Heading South

Stephen and Roberta Arnold
Wed 20 Oct 2010 00:03

37:47.5083N 076:19.2749W


Tuesday October 19, 2010 8PM


We finally left DC yesterday and had an uneventful day of motoring and no winds. We were able to cover almost 65 miles in 11 hours exactly the number of hours of daylight. We raised the anchor just after sunrise and were putting I back down just as the sun set. I thought 65 miles was a good day until someone point out we were still just 45 miles from DC. Can we get someone to straighten the Potomac?


As I picked my place to anchor last night the winds were as forecast – from the northwest at about 5 knots and they were predicted to stay that way. About 1 AM I noticed that the sound of the wind in the rigging was being caused by more than 5 knots so I got up to check. The winds were now from the northeast at 10 to 15 knots. Annoying since I  had anchored with a shoreline protecting me from the northwest winds but nothing for the northeast winds. So it was a sleepless night as I got up every hour or so to make sure all was well. Something I realized, a clanging halyard can be your friend. The louder it bangs the higher the wind, and I usually wake up when the winds build to about 15 knots.


So today as we got underway, the winds were from the northeast at 15 knots, and we were headed southeast, I was looking forward to some nice sailing. The winds gods had other ideas. We had the jib up for about 10 minutes when the wind started to veer to the east so down it came. We were going to be turning more to the south shortly so no problem I thought, we’ll be able to sail then. Wrong again – another wind shift. I was the only boat I saw so I figured the wind gods had my number and weren’t going to give me a break. Finally I saw another boat headed in the opposite direction raising its sails and I thought at least one boat will be able to enjoy a sail. Wrong yet again – the winds dropped from 8-10 knots to less than 4 in under ten minutes.


We are anchored in Mills Creek just south of the entrance of the Potomac. It’s  a very well protected place with room for 20 boats or so although there are only about 10 here tonight. They all look like they are headed south with their decks loaded with ‘stuff’ much like we look.


Tomorrow will be a short day, just a little over 20 miles to Deltaville – Rain is forecast for most of the day, and there is no need to be driving the boat in 60 degree rain.