Bugless in Deltaville

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Fri 11 Oct 2013 23:07
In position 37:32.29N, 076:20.06W
Well, we seem to be bug-less at the moment but then it's not been good flying weather for the little darlings and the ones we left Herrington with have been subjected to a war of attrition from the moment we re-launched. As soon as we were out of the lifting dock we raised the mainsail a few feet at a time and blasted the things off using the excellent water pressure on the dock. They didn't like it much having seemingly settled in for the winter but some 20 or so enjoyed a high pressure enema that sent them into the surrounding water and certain death. But we certainly didn't get them all. Two days later the Admiral found one under her mattress in the morning and she wasn't pleased ! Another turned up within her underdeck hatch when it was being re-secured. But so far not as bad as the last time we left Maryland.
Stopping for 2 nights in Solomons as the breeze was due to be southerly before changing into a strong norther we left before the really bad weather was due to arrive. Bad mistake. It had already arrived out in the river but we just couldn't get a feel of the conditions in the sheltered creek we were in. Motoring out of the Patuxent River it was obvious that the single reef we had put into the mainsail would be inadequate, proved moments later when there was a loud bang aft indicating that the 1st reef point block strop had met it's end. The result was the mainsail leach flying to leeward and flogging whilst simultaneously jettisoning 2 stink bugs that had been clinging on for dear life halfway up the mainsail, The true wind at this point was blowing at the top end of the 20's and we were making over 7 knots into it. Exciting stuff as we brought the number 2 reef into play which reduces the main to about one third of it's size. Luckily the stitching held on this one although it must be questionable as they were installed at the same time.
Once clear of the Patuxent River we were able to head south at between 8-9 knots with the wind at 120 degrees off our port stern, just about the best sailing angle possible for heading southwards as we aimed the boat towards Deltaville some 50 miles away where we would have to rest up for 2 or 3 days whilst this nasty stuff, the remnants of tropical storm Karen and a cold front moving off the coast from the plains states moved away from the area.
So here we are, anchored in appalling weather in Fishing Bay, Deltaville with a variety of other boats for company. This includes a large sailing school boat which has already dragged twice. Won't mention the name but it figures regularly in Apache Indian folklore and begins with a G. We also have a 100 ft plus super yacht anchored behind us - just wish it was in front of us - as would our insurers!
Hopefully we can escape tomorrow and head towards Norfolk when we can enter the ICW and make more assured progress regardless of the wind direction.
That's it for now.