Thursday 16th June 2011
Distance run: 52 nmiles
In order to catch the ebb tide in Cockrell Creekand the flood tide in the Potomac, we lifted the anchor around 0800 and motored downriver and back out into Chesapeake Bay. The skies were grey and it was trying to rain, but there was a good wind coming over the starboard quarter so we unfurled the yankee and sailed very nicely under headsail alone. As we turned into the Potomac,we gybed the sail,picked up a favourable tide and continued to sail under yankee until the wind dropped at lunchtime, when we put the yankee away and unfurled the genoa.
Around 1700 we furled the sail away and motored into the mouth of the Wicomico river,on the north side of the Potomac, where we planned to anchor for the night. As we approached the anchorage, the sky darkened and the wind picked up considerably,and we hastened to find as protected a spot as possible in which to get the anchor down. With the anchor down,we switched on our newly acquired weather radio and listened to the severe weather warning that told us that we were now directly in the path of a very unpleasant storm - information which was not really necessary as we were actually looking at the storm approaching. We battened down the hatches and spent the next two hours watching the storm as it passed right over us, depositing torrential rain as it went. Fortunately it didn't seem to have much wind under it, so we decided an early night would be a good idea as we would have an early start next day.
At 0130 we woke up because the boat was seesawing and the water was slapping loudly on the stern, just by our heads. Another storm was passing through,and this one had brought wind which was blowing straight into the anchorage, causing a horrible swell. It was impossible to sleep with the movement and the noise, so we got up and made a cup of tea and read for a while. By 0300 it was beginning to calm down and we went back to bed, planning to be away by 0530 to catch the tide.