We are back at anchor in Solomon MD. Almost in the same
exact spot we were before. Getting here was pure joy. The night
before could have been pure hell.
We were in Back Creek next to Eastport which is next to
Annapolis. We had been at anchor for 3 nights with no problems. Last
night, however the wind shifted very suddenly, (although well predicted) from
out of the north. It had been blowing gently from the south. About
1AM I awoke at the shift and thought I had better look at where we were and if
we were ok. All seemed fine so I went back to bed. I never got to
sleep again because the wind really piped up. It was blowing about 20-25
knots so I got up again and noticed we seemed to have moved a bit closer to
shore and some boats and docks. While I was pondering if it was my
imagination or real, I saw we had indeed begun to move and now
I got my pants on and woke Judy to help. We had to
move and move fast. By the time I got to the wheel and the engine started
we had drifted to within about 10 feet from a dock.
The bottom in the Annapolis area creeks and bays is what
is known as "puff mud". It is just a slurry about two feet deep with hard
clay underneath. Skippers are warned about it, so anchoring is chancy at
best. Trouble is, slips are $2.00 to $2.25 per foot. At 42 feet it
adds up quickly. Mooring balls are available but they cost $25 per night
and are located in a very rolly part of the harbor. Anchoring is much
preferable for peace and quite and cost.
We got the boat moved to a new spot where we were in the
middle of the channel. The wind was blowing straight down it, so at least
if we dragged, it would be down it's length instead of across it.
We re anchored twice before we were satisfied we were
holding. The water is only 10 feet deep and we had to have 100 feet
of chain out to stay put. As an added measure, we put out our danforth
anchor astern to keep us from getting sideways in the channel.
It all went well and we were soon back in our cozy bed and
In the morning, we had to recover the danforth
astern. It and the rode, were covered with the blackest, stickiest
mud you ever saw. It got everywhere on the boat and on us. Next
time, maybe the $25 rolly mooring ball will look a lot more
The wind was still howling out of the north at about
20 with gust to 25 knots. Our kind of weather for a romp south. We
left the harbor with just the Genoa doing about 6 1/2 knots, respectable speed,
but nowhere near Jaywalker's potential. So, up went the spinnaker and we
flew. Hitting 9 knots at times was better than anything I could
think of at the moment. There were about 4 foot waves behind us so we hand
steered for an hour and a half, but then let the pilot take care of the rest of
day while we marveled at the speed and the excitement of the day. It was
43 miles of pure bliss. Cloudy skies and cool but better than hot and
sticky with flys. We passed every boat that we saw ahead of us and caught some
that were over the horizon when we first left.
This was the first time in months we've had a spinnaker up
for any length of time and it sure felt great. A very good way to bring
the season to a close.