Author Topic: Small Boats, Short Distances  (Read 501 times)

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Offline Norman

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Small Boats, Short Distances
« on: April 07, 2017, 07:35:55 PM »
Sail Far, Sail Short, It is all good sailing.

This is the log of an interrupted sail from a few years ago, that I enjoyed very much at the time.  The interruption, surprisingly, included a sailing race which I had not intended to participate in.  My priority was a cruise.

Ports visited add interest to any cruise, especially if they are famous places or historic.

Things do go wrong, but if you can find a solution and keep on going, that is part of the adventure.  Sailing for days in the trade winds with the sails balanced just so, untouched, does not make good reading.  Adversity overcome does.

Famous places and adversity are found here.

The log of the S.V. KRUSE?N, Day 1, Monday October 8, 2007

I started on the Potomac River at the Washington Sailing Marina, on a solo cruise down river and into the bay. The start did not go too well.  I did not leave home until the morning rush was over, as my route took me through the middle of down town Washington D.C., and as a result, the day was already rather warm.

Getting all the gear on board and suitably arranged took several hours, and the day was hot with little wind. When I was ready to leave, it was near lunch time so I went to the Afterdeck, a cafeteria style indoor/outdoor eatery at our marina and had a Philly cheese steak with fries and drink. I did not want to get hungry as soon as I was under way. I was not real hungry, too hot to eat much, so only ate half, and took the rest for a future snack.

At 13:51 I set the 4 foot American flag on the radio mast on the stern, and motored out of the channel, as both the wind and tide were against me. Tide had just turned, and would continue up river as I made my way down.

In the main channel there is much more room, so I raised the main and unfurled the genoa and since the tide was just starting in, made good progress beating to windward down the Potomac River. Crossed tacks with a Mac 26, close across their bow, and 3 tacks later was well ahead. That proved to be the only real fun thing that happened today. One of the Tuesday evening racing boats came down the river, pointing 10 degrees higher than me, and left me far behind, but that was not too bad, he paid more for those sails than I paid for my boat. Motored under the new Wilson Bridge as there is construction going on and holiday boaters, so not safe to try to sail through.

From there south, the channel is narrow, and hydrilla grows into the edge. A depth sounder doesn?t see it, you just slow down gently, and when you put the helm over to tack, you can?t go thru the eye of the wind.  I just raise the keel and jibe around. I did more than 6 jibe arounds, one thirty feet inside the channel from a buoy. That makes a 200 yard wide channel only sailable for 150 yard, and that is tough beating to windward with about a knot of adverse tide. On the plus side, there was enough wind to keep a bit cool, provide pleasant sailing, and the scenery was interesting. The new Wilson Bridge is nearly finished and is claimed to be the widest in the world. The beltway and all I 95 traffic is currently using only one half while the other half is being finished.  It will be the equivalent of 14 lanes wide when finished.  Way too wide to try to sail through, with continuously shifting wind underneath.

On the Maryland shore there is a huge new complex under construction, totally changing the nature of the scene here. It will have a convention center, offices, thousands of hotel rooms, a marina, and retail stores.  This was formerly known as Smoots Cove, as it was not originally a cove st all, until the Smoot Sand and Gravel Company dug and dredged uncountable acre feet of the key ingredients for concrete and mortar to build Washington, and its roads.  That uniformly deep cove is a perfect place for a waterfront business.
 Just a little further South, the river shore becomes mostly residential with a virtual forest of trees, and rapidly develops a more rural feel. The very first of the trees are changing to red and yellow, but today is quite hot and sunny.

By 15:30 the tide is strong and the wind is fading. Anchoring in the dark is not good practice, so I turned into Broad Creek on the Maryland side of the river. Since the wind had died completely, and the tide wanted to take me back up the river, I fired up the Honda and motored slowly in. Most of the water in there is 4 feet or less, so the swing keel was up part way but it went by a sunken log and the propeller hit it. I thought I broke the shear pin. As the sun was now behind the hills on the Virginia side of the river, I set anchors, 25# Northill fore and 15# Hooker (Danforth knock off) aft. The infamous hydrilla was thick and only the Northill seemed to hook into the mud bottom, but the forecast was calm so I left them as they were. I finished up the French fries from lunch, but so hot, I was not very hungry, just drinking a lot of water and ice tea.

The large flag flew 24 hours, lit at night by anchor light.

I tried to type the daily log on the laptop, but every time my sweaty hand touches the touch pad mouse it thinks I hit the left click and I wind up with gibberish. At 8:30 the first mosquito came in and I buttoned up and killed him/her. Temperature is 78 and not a breath of wind stirring. Turned on the cell phone and called my wife at her sisters in Florida, and 30 seconds after Bev answered, the phone turned off ?low battery?. I don?t have a 12 volt charging cord, so no phone. Tried typing again, the computer still doesn?t like sweaty palms, so I shut it down and ate the last of my lunch. I tucked in for the night on top of my sleeping bag and sheet, but at 10:30 woke with leg cramp and drank some more water. 76 degrees and lights on the far side of the river are reflecting off the water sharp and clear, so I checked that the anchor light was still on and back to bed. Midnight plus: 30, leg cramp again, so opened a V8 for some salt, checked the boat and wow! Temp down to 73! It is amazing how quiet it is this close to Washington DC. I am only 4 miles from the Washington Sailing Marina, but when the airport curfew kicks in, most urban noise is gone. There are no major roads near the Md. Shore, and the Mount Vernon Parkway is nearly a mile away in Virginia with no trucks. After midnight there were only 3 house lights still on in the creek, ? mile wide where I am, but the sky light of the city is up there fading the stars.


Offline Norman

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 07:39:43 PM »
The log of the S.V. KRUSE?N, Day 2, Tuesday October 9, 2007
New days don?t start at midnight, they start when the sun rises, or on cloudy days, when the skipper rises for the day.

Wake up call, the first airliner of the day inbound to Reagan National Airport went whining overhead, early for the 6: AM opening of arrivals, at 5:53 AM, temperature 70. Up early, washed and shaved, fixed hot oats and hot chocolate, rearranged the bed for daytime convenience.

One of the annoyances yesterday was the genoa leach tension string has a flat plastic cleat, and the rivets catch on the stays on tacks to starboard. And now that there is light to see, I sail taped them, double layer. That should prevent any hangs today.

Pulled the Hooker at the bow, and it came up with a bushel of hydrilla, and no mud, and hung it on the bow hanger. That is the first time I used that device, but I did not want the anchor aft at this time. The Northill came up hard, also with a ton of hydrilla, but the fluke and crossbar were covered with mud. That anchor would have held if wind had come up. I had to cleat the chain when it was at the surface, as too heavy to lift with the weeds on it, and attack with a boat hook until all the trash was off, then wash the mud and stow it.

Next paddled with great difficulty to a private home pier to get to the propeller, and change the shear pin. Bummer, the pin is OK. Later put the problem on trailer sailor, and Charlie Jones told how he cured slipping hub disease on his motor. But that is much later in the trip. The motor will produce thrust up to 10% or less of throttle, unless you have a wad of hydrilla in the prop. As soon as any weeds show up, I have to put in N and then reverse to blow off the weeds, then forward again, slowly.

Finally free of the weeds, and gentle breeze from south, so raised sails and started tacking down river again, but in the morning the tide is with me. At 9:41 AM passed R 84, and Fort Washington is on the point ahead to port, in command of the river.  In the war of 1812, when the British ships appeared approaching Fort Washington, the Commandant ordered all the canon overcharged with powder and multiple balls, the fuses were lit, the crews fled, and the cannon destroyed.  The Commandant feared that the overwhelming size of the fleet would result in destruction of his troops, but was not willing for the cannon to be captured.

 An hour and 20 minutes later, I arrived at the Mount Vernon pier channel and turn in under motor power, the channel is fairly narrow, and the tide is getting strong.  The tiller pilot steered as I secured the sails. I don?t need the extra confusion of stowing the sails and trying to catch a cleat on the pier. The signs required tying up to the upstream side, so secured the boat there.  The end and downstream side are reserved for tour boats.

I walked up the very long set of stairs to the mansion and toured it and some of the outbuildings.  It is a 90+ degree day, and the air conditioning in the mansion felt wonderful, as I was dripping sweat from climbing the stairs from the river. There is a shuttle bus, but it was not due for a half hour, and I wasn?t willing to wait.  The restoration of Mount Vernon has continued for many years, and the tour is outstanding.  The furniture and furnishings are often original, and otherwise are from the period. The previous time I toured Mount Vernon was in 1948, and although my memory is slim on details from then, the place is amazingly different. Many outbuildings had fallen down and been abandoned then, and now are rebuilt to the original appearance and location.  I visited many of them, and after I was well warmed again walking the grounds and gardens, I went to the food court and had a late lunch?..also air conditioned! I talked with the staff at the ticket desk about future restorations until the shuttle bus arrived, and rode it back to the pier.  I highly recommend visiting Mount Vernon for cruisers who come up the river to Washington.  It is a bit pricy, but it is not a government owned park, and the entrance fees are all they have to keep it up and improve it. 

The fee is collected by the refreshment stand at the pier, and is not a fee for tying up, but for the whole visit and tours, plus the shuttle bus.  If you go to the food court at the entrance, be sure that you have your entrance ticket with you, as the lunch room is outside the ticket taker, and you will need it to get back in.

This part of the day was outstanding, but the closed up boat was so hot a jar of chocolate covered raisins were melted into a chunk and the bottle of drinking water under the table was blehhh. The tide had turned, and there was very little wind, so sailed with the motor idling in gear. The view along here is truly amazing, the Mount Vernon people have worked with the federal and state governments to force zoning changes and buy easements that protect the view from the front lawn just as it was in Washington?s time. The Virginia shore is less protected, and land that is out of sight is developed, so there are houses on that side.

Marshall Hall is a house, built in 1690 on land purchased from the Piscataway Indians, that was contemporary with Mount Vernon, and is visible from Mount Vernon, but was destroyed by fire many years ago, and only the brick outer walls remain. There is a park and boat launch facility there, and you can tie to the down river side of the pier if you wish to visit the remains of the William Marshall house and read the historic signs.

I have been here before, both by boat in recent history, and back when the mansion was intact and occupied by the Marshall family.   Today, there is a lot of action at the ramp, as there is a major bass tournament on the river this week, and there are roars and rooster tails in sight and sound most of the time.  I Passed Marshall Hall about 3:30.

Mason Neck on the Virginia shore is a wildlife sanctuary, and has a good size resident Bald Eagle population, and I saw an eagle on a buoy ripping a fish apart and eating it.

On the Maryland shore is Cornwallis neck and Indian Head Naval facility. Can?t tell you what they do there, 911 you know. Swung in close to shore as I passed their small marina, and read the sign ?FEDERAL FACILITY NO TRESPASSING SLIP RENTERS ONLY? Obviously not a good place to spend the night, but there were empty slips in sight. My goal was Quantico Marine base, on the Virginia side of the river, and the starting point of the Masters of the Potomac race to Colonial Beach and return that I crewed in two weeks ago, so the marina was familiar, and the staff was friendly. Also it has no unfriendly signs. Wind and tide still both upriver, so motoring along at 5% and staying in deep water, away from hydrilla (for you southerners, hydrilla is kudzu that grows in the water). I calculated an ETA of 2 hours after dark, but that is ok if you know the marina, but the 10% chance of thunderstorms was beginning to look like this was going to be 100% for me. As the sky ahead got darker and the clouds taller, I finally heard thunder, so I turned around and headed to Indian Head. With the tide and wind going my way, my GPS speed doubled, but there were small sets of sprinkles running across me, so went below and changed to swim suit, as still very hot day. I never really got wet, and the rain felt good. As I neared the marina the wind got up and there were plenty of white caps, estimate the wind at 20 K in the gusts, and building higher. Ran into the marina, and tied up in the second slip because it had the least hydrilla, with the aid of a guy fishing from the pier. There are about 15 slips in the marina, but only one other boat, down at the far end. After I had all my lines to suit, I visited with the fisherman and found he knew nothing about the rules of the marina, but there was a regular patrol that came through. He caught a large cat fish, and it was too big to lift out with his light tackle so I volunteered to hold his rod while he went to his truck for a net. It was about 24 inches long. My choice of slips proved to be poor before the night was over, but I don?t think I could have gotten in and then out of the others. I would have been happier if I had turned bow to the entrance of the marina, but the space was tight and the wind strong, so left it stern out.  The finger piers only extended about 4 feet, and have no cleats.  You catch the pilings as you come in, and then tie to the seawall pilings for the bow.  Not single handed friendly, but I did get both stern pilings coming in, and the fisherman caught my bow lines and pulled me in to the finger pier. It is obvious why there are no boats here except the one in the last slip, which appears to be silted in.

The mosquitoes began to eat me up, so retired to KRUSE?N and closed up as tight as possible, which is not very tight. Killed 4 of them while heating my supper, and I thought there was one more that was hiding after a near miss swat, but to bed at 8 PM and 81 degrees. No possibility of opening up a hatch with the number of bugs that this marina has. Just after I shut off the light and settled down, a vehicle came into the marina, pulled up to the wall and put a spotlight on KRUSE?N and went from end to end a couple of times. I figured that the next thing would be a rap on the bow pulpit, but since I wasn?t dressed for company I just waited for the knock, which never came. Hourly through the night I was awakened by the light shining into the cabin window, but then they drove away.

Like many people, if there is a regular sound or motion, I quickly get used to it and go to sleep, so the ?slup Slup SLUP Slup slup slup Slup SLUP Slup slup of the waves against the stern and the plik plik plik of the halyard soon disappeared from my consciousness, and I slept. I definitely was not going out to feed the mosquitoes for a little sound.

New sounds do wake me, and boomp??.boomp??boomp was added to the original sounds. The wind has shifted 90 degrees, and is coming right into my slip, and I wonder if I am now hitting the finger pier? Slide the hatch and look, and looks OK, but moving aft and opening the hatch changed the way the boat is riding, and the boomp is gone, so into swim suit and rig another shore line to be sure. The wind has increased some more, and the mosquito problem is much less, so slid the hatch closed and made a log entry about the new shore line, with time and temperature, 75 degrees. While I was writing the boomp came again, and it appeared that maybe it was the lantern swinging far enough to hit a food box, so I moved the box and prepared to sleep again, when boomp?darn, what is that? A log in the water? Sat and listened for a while and pinpointed it as near the shrouds port side, and went on deck. The wind shift to the port side of the boat and larger waves coming in are banging my fender against the side of the boat occasionally. I pulled it up and stowed it behind the shrouds. I saw the patrol vehicle coming and got below and shut the hatch. KRUSE?N is beginning to rock and roll in the waves coming right in the marina entrance and under the stern of KRUSE?N, but everything is secure, so back to sleep. When morning comes I feel like my mind hasn?t had much sleep, but somehow the body feels well rested.


Offline Norman

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 07:43:08 PM »
The log of the S.V. KRUSE?N, Day 3, Wednesday October 10, 2007
Up at 6:40, washed and dressed, took a walk around the marina to loosen up the legs, and stopped to read the historical plaques. This has been a Navy proving ground for guns and armor since before the civil war, and one of the memorials to the activities is a 5 foot square of steel 4 inches thick with a hole big enough to stick your hand through, from before 1900 testing. The marina is on the site of the original gun battery for shell and armor tests. As I finished reading, the patrol car came down the hill into the marina, and I figured this is where things get tough, I wish I had left as soon as I was up, and walked over to the car. The officer eyed me with obvious suspicion, rolled the window down 2 inches ?Do you want to talk to me?? Yes I said, and the window came down some more ?what do you want? ?I?m in the sailboat, I came in last night when the weather got bad, and wanted to see who to check in with? ?Yes, we have been watching that boat all night, when do you plan to leave? ?I?m ready to leave, just didn?t want to leave without checking in? ?You can leave any time you want? ?OK, good bye?. And I walked over to KRUSE?N, started the motor, untied the shore lines and departed.

?FEDERAL FACILITY NO TRESPASSING SLIP RENTERS ONLY? It would seem that the no trespassing refers to slip renters only, and they have succeeded in driving all but 1 of them out, and strangers with no rent paid are OK. Joking aside, the marina was a welcome sanctuary during the storm, and I am glad there were no unpleasant issues concerning my stay.

A new day! Wind 6-7 knots far enough off the bow to sail close hauled and the tide is going out. The clouds overhead are breaking up, and blowing away, with clear sky to the Northwest. Genoa and main pulling smoothly, right down the dredged channel.. Magnificat passed motoring upriver at 8:19, and Firefly of Alexandria, a 40+ foot sloop passed going downriver at 8:31. The buoys here have cormorants on them drying their feathers, not as pretty as eagles. The wind began to shift side to side first port tack then starboard tack, and naturally dead ahead in between as I approached the 500,000 volt transmission line river towers Started the Honda, lowered the main and rolled the genoa, the dredged channel is not very wide, and there is hydrilla outside, so sailing is not a good choice. Anyway, I decided back at Indian Head that I would have breakfast at Quantico at G and D, Home Cooking, World Famous SOS. No, I did not have SOS, but I hear that the SOS is very good, but they have it only 2 days a week, and when the one batch they cook is gone, there is no more. It is on the menu because one of the top officers of the post comes in twice a week for his favorite breakfast.

KRUSE?N at the Quantico gas dock
When I arrived there was no one at the gas dock so I tied up KRUSE?N and went to eat. After a brunch of Reuben and fries with coleslaw, and with half of it in carry out, I visited with a couple of the boat owners at the marina. There was a guy with a basset hound sitting at a picnic table, and the hound was standing on the leash, straining against the collar, and barking at passing people. His owner said he was friendly, but I did not want to share my sandwich with him so continued on. I topped up the gas tank with 2 gallons, made good use of their bath room, and started on down the river.  I should add that I have always been made very welcome here.  I have been invited to join the Quantico Yacht Club several times, even though they know I was a draftee in the Army.

On the MD side of the river are Sandy Point, Mallows Bay, and Liverpool Point, where the Government beached and abandoned a large number of surplus wooden boats years ago, and they were burned to the water line, leaving ribs and frames just below the water to tear up careless boaters. The hulks are on the chart, but many people don?t even buy a chart to go water skiing or just putting around. The government recently sank a steel ship in there so people would be aware that something was different, and more recently someone put up a flagpole with an American flag on it.

Genoa and main pulling on starboard tack and the tide is still downstream, relative wind measured 9 mph and GPS 4.4 mph, pleasant sailing. The river is wide and deep here, and there are only 11 houses in 5 miles of Maryland shore, they are all in one little beach community, Clifton Beach. A large red sloop and power boat ?SPECTRA? passed north bound. As I arrive at Clifton Beach, the wind shifts to South, and the tide begins to run up river. That is becoming the pattern every day, so afternoon progress becomes very slow. I should stop sightseeing in the morning, but that would change the nature of the trip to miles instead of places. Power boat ?FRANKLY TERIFFIC? of Pawtucket RI, passed, throttled down to dead slow and waved as he passed, a true gentleman.
The wind is getting gusty, and 8-9 mph in between the gusts. The tiller pilot does not deal well with the gusts. KRUSE?N has a moderate weather helm as presently rigged, and when a gust hits the boat starts to round up, the helm catches it and gets back on heading, the gust dies and KRUSE?N falls of rapidly due to the helm being over for the correction, the helm then goes to the limit the other way, and the boat swings thru a tack before the helm can get back to center. I just reset the desired new heading and keep going, since we are doing alternate tacks, but I am not happy for unplanned tacks to take place, especially if I am down below catching a bite or getting out another bottle of water, so I turn it off and hand steer.

I had hoped to reach Waugh Point marina tonight in Potomac Creek, but the south wind at 5 gust 10 knot forecast is about what I am seeing, but wish it had stayed NW. South wind is helping the tide drive water up the river and making reaching Potomac Creek unlikely. The GPS says we are sailing 3-4 miles to make good 1 mile. I have been watching a sailboat far down the river tacking back and forth, and finally decided they are sailing a beam reach East and West with the SSW wind and having a great time, while I am beating into the wind. As I get close, they head in to Aquia Creek, and I decide that with the sun as low as it is the best plan is to head in also, and follow them to their home base, and see if there is a slip that I can use. My chart indicates that all the marinas in this creek are upstream from the railway bridge, and it is 3 feet too low for my mast. Unfortunately, the hydrilla on the point slows me down so much that by the time that I am in the channel, they are out of sight, or have lowered the sails, and I cannot see them in the failing light. At a ? mile inside the creek, I steer out of the channel 90 degrees to the right, drop the stern anchor, and as the rode ran out and stopped the boat, dropped the bow anchor and returned to the cockpit and took in half the stern rode and cleated it. I then returned to the bow and pulled on the bow anchor, but it felt like it was just in the hydrilla, not hooking the bottom, so I paid out some rode and let it sit and hoped that it would at least damp swinging.  It is the Hooker that did not hold in Broad Creek hydrilla.

Wind is light and forecast to stay that way, so plenty of skeeters to be expected. I ate the other half of the Reuben from lunch, and the still warm Campbell?s chunky soup from the thermos, some chocolate covered raisins and finally opened the Pringles. They have been tempting me every since I started. Good supper, washed down with plenty of cold water. I have a large cooler filled with 0 degree water (ice) in gallon jugs, ? gallon orange juice boxes and 24 oz. soft drink bottles. I only open it twice a day, and put bottles of water for the day in a small soft side zipper insulated bag to drink thru the day. At the end of day 4, half of the water was still solid, so cold water was always available, and on hot days, very much enjoyed.

The skeeters showed up as I prepared for bed and for the third night, closed up the hatches and went to work clearing out the skeeters. Killed 6, but there is one that runs and hides in distant places every time I move my hand toward him, so I guess that he will eat tonight.

1:17 AM Wind has swung to the NW, straight down the creek, and at the high end of the forecast, with 17 mph measured 1 foot above the cabin roof between gusts, and the large American flag that I fly from the VHF mast is snapping and cracking in the wind. Taking down the flag in open water is not safe, so down comes the mast, off came the flag, and stowed both till tomorrow. Temperature is now 71 deg. and more pleasant than previous nights. The Northill is holding fine, but the Hooker has let the bow come around and the stern is still to the wind. I considered taking down the roller furled genoa to reduce windage, but dealing with cotter pins on the foredeck at night is a bad idea. No new skeeters, the wind put them out of action. The rudder is down, the keel is half down, and the boat is rocking 5 degrees each way in the shifting gusts. I crawled into the sleeping bag for the first time, as the temperature is definitely dropping with the NW wind.

1:40 AM Up again to check the anchor situation and all is well but there are white caps on the creek, and the hooker is not doing anything useful. I?m not really happy with the stern to this much wind, but since the Hooker is not set, I can?t let out stern rode to swing to the bow anchor as I would normally, so back to bed and get used to the hard slaps of I foot waves against the stern.


Offline Norman

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 07:46:36 PM »
The log of the S.V. KRUSE?N, Day 4, Thursday October 11, 2007
60 degrees, wind measured 11 mph, down from last night but still chilly after the 80-90 deg of previous days. Forecast high for today is 60?s, and low tonight 40?s.The dawn looks good, a little dark and cloudy, but the East is peach color, and KRUSE?N is solidly at anchor. I took down the genoa, and replaced it with my 95% jib that I recut 3 feet out of the height and put in a jiffy reef 3 feet up the luff, this is my storm jib. My foresails roller furl, not roller reef. There is so much wind that I had trouble rolling it up, and it had a bag in the top 5 feet. Pulled up the bow anchor, and found the expected huge wad of hydrilla, but surprise, there was a small dab of mud on one fluke tip. It had reached the bottom, but not penetrated, as it was too full of weed to dig in. I tied a loop into the stern anchor rode and clipped in to the bow painter, Charles Brennan style; let it out and now hanging bow 20 degrees to the waves on the Northill. The water here is about 5 feet deep, and I have 50 feet of nylon and 16 feet of chain, so scope is not a problem. Unfurled and re furled the jib and it rolled up OK with the wind from ahead. Bass boats screaming by headed for protected water to fish, and some stop near me to fish the hydrilla surrounding my boat.

Not in the mood to cook this morning so I had 6 peanut butter and cheese crackers,  and 6 cookies, a dozen Pringles and can of V8 juice, followed by cold water. The creek is about 5% white caps, and much more on long gusts. The Potomac River must be pretty rough by now. The wind is around 10 between gusts, and then really whistling, but everything is looking OK.

Went below and rearranged the bedding and 3 throw able cockpit cushions for a lounge crosswise, with the port window over my shoulder for good reading light, and got out ?Tales from the Arabian Nights? and settled in for some relaxed change of scene. Well into a good story of scheming, murder, bravery and sailing?.Yes the Arabs sail! In the middle of this fun, the sun coming in the window made a wild swing of about 90 degrees and the boat was definitely under way! On deck I found that the anchor was still holding, but the 20 degree angle I had set had resulted in gradually working thru the hydrilla in the gusts until we were well to the side of the anchor, and the bow went across the wind and away we sailed to the opposite side. Also the jib bundle that I had secured with slip knots with the sheets had blown loose, and was over the side. I re secured the jib with hard knots, which will be inconvenient if I need to get under sail in a hurry, but that is how things go sometimes. Now we were sailing back and forth, so I let out some more rode and let the boat hang bow to the wind, and the sailing back and forth damped down some. I?ll bet my keel, rudder, and anchor rode ripped up a lot of hydrilla on those swings!

Before I went below to return to reading, I measured the wind again, 15-23 between gusts, with gusts above the limit of the instrument, 36 mph. It is time to make some other preparations for the unlikely. I put sail tape on the batten pockets of the main so they can?t flog out, and secured the main to the boom more tightly. The creek is now full of whitecaps and my wind is from 330 deg., but the wind turbine on the far ridge is pointed to the NE. No wonder the wind is shifting so much on the creek. I wish that my propeller was not messed up, so I could motor out of the hydrilla and up to the marina that I can see near the railroad bridge. It has sailboats in it, but it is not on my chart. It would be much better than sitting out here at anchor in this much wind, plus a bathroom is so much better than a porta potty.

After I finished the story, I had some lunch, and started planning an alternate strategy. I was not willing to stay here indefinitely, and if I was going to get out of the hydrilla, it was going to be sail power, and that would have to be while the wind was still fairly strong. About 2 hours before sunset, the wind was beginning to ease for the evening, and I winched in the anchor rode to the Northill. The gusts were still so strong that it wasn?t worth the effort to winch during gusts, but eventually I reached the chain. When we were between gusts, I pulled over the anchor and broke it loose from the bottom. Just like broad creek, the wad of hydrilla was too heavy to pull out of the water, and I ripped it up with the boat hook, washed the mud off the anchor and stowed it.

KRUSE?N had now turned broadside to the wind and was held by hydrilla from going further. I raised the keel some more and eased the hold down line for the rudder, so it wouldn?t break if it went aground, and unfurled the jib. Wow....sailing! I only wish I could get a little further to starboard, but no such luck. I think that if I had not been single handing, I could have poled the jib out to starboard and it would have pulled the bow over enough to get to the channel, but I did reach the end of a very long private pier, brand new, not completely finished. Got a line on a piling before the bow reached the pier and stopped the forward motion, furled the jib, and took it down, stuffed it into the bow hatch, and started maneuvering to get more lines set up to keep KRUSE?N off the pier but close enough to get ashore.

Hydrilla everywhere, but at least I can reach shore
The owners of the pier were not home, but Gary Basye, a professional crabber who lives on Brent point said that they would not mind, so I called a friend to come get me, and returned to KRUSE?N to properly secure it for a few days. I did not feel like riding out two nights of 40?s temperature and wind, so time to go home. While I was securing KRUSE?N Gary called the owners of the pier at work, and they said to leave my boat there as long as I wanted. Back home at 11PM, shower and sleep late.

Offline Norman

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 07:48:44 PM »
AN INTERLUDE!

Day 5, 10 AM Friday 10/13/2007, the phone rang! Hey I just got up an hour ago! Phil Akers calling, and said he needed crew for his spinnaker Benneteau 30 for an invitational frostbite regatta at Quantico Marine Base could I go? Yes, packed for overnight on his boat, met him at Washington Sailing Marina, and under way at 1 PM. Mostly a pleasant run with just the big genoa and speeds around 5 K with strong wind from NW. Near Quantico the wind shifted and got light, and we could not make progress without a lot of short tacks, so fired up the diesel and furled the genny for the rest of the trip. We were in a slip at sunset, and had some supper before attending the monthly meeting of the Quantico Yacht Club. After the meeting the club members had a very detailed rehash of the Masters of the Potomac race to Colonial Beach and back. We finished 4th even though we only carried a spinnaker 15 exciting minutes in that race.   The spinnaker had a dip in the river, and a big tear.  Slept very comfortably on the boat, and washed up in the fine bathroom at the marina, breakfast in a restaurant, same one 3 times in 2 weeks!


The log of the S.V. KRUSE?N, Day 6, Saturday October 14, 2007
We won both races in spinnaker class, and motored home with the wind on the bow.

The log of the S.V. KRUSE?N, Day 7, Sunday October 14, 2007
Sunday, Day of rest, went to Church

Offline Norman

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 07:55:15 PM »
The log of the S.V. KRUSE?N, Day 8, Monday October 15, 2007
Pulled the trailer to the marina below the railroad tracks on Aquia Creek, unhooked the trailer, drove more than 10 miles to Brent Point and Gary Basye?s house, and took a bucket of tools to the pier. There was only a gentle breeze blowing, and I untied KRUSE?N and pulled her to the sand beach, took off the rudder to get in as far as possible, and removed the propeller. Charlie Jones said ?drive out the hub, put some shim material in and drive it back together?. I had the tools to do it and it worked. Thank you CJ! Then I dragged KRUSE?N out to the end of the pier thru hydrilla so heavy I could hardly get the boat thru it, keel and rudder both up. Fired up the Honda, and went carefully thru the thinnest patches of hydrilla to the channel and motored gently up the creek to the marina. The staff pulled the trailer over with a tractor, and we recovered KRUSE?N to the trailer and up on dry land. Gary generously came up to the marina with his crab boat, only 1 1/2 mile by boat and took me back to my car at his house. After a short visit with Gary and his wife Barbara, I drove 10+ miles back to the marina, hooked up and towed KRUSE?N home, About 9 pm.

Thus ends the cruise. It was very different than I had hoped, but a lot of fun, much shorter than I had expected, but over all a good experience. If I knew how it was going to turn out before I left, I would still have gone. Life is not about how far you go, but the things you do along the way, and whether you enjoy them. I took two books and three magazines to read in dull times, and only read one book for about 3 hours. The rest of the time I had things to do, and enjoyed doing everything but feeding skeeters. I do draw the line there.

The tiller pilot is indispensable for me when sailing alone, and as long as the conditions make it trustworthy, I tend sails and do boat chores while it faithfully steers toward my destination. When alone and there is something that I would comment on if someone were with me, I write it into the log. Solo logs have more than twice the entries compared to sailing with someone on board, and thus are much more interesting to read later, or share with others. Also, the night time disturbances are all logged for time and what the problem was. It is interesting how different my recollection is a few days later, how many times you were up and what you did, but it is all there in the log. No matter what time it occurs, it is still part of the previous day. If the sun is down and there is maintenance to be done, it is entered on the next day?s log, at the top, and when daylight comes these items are done and times entered before the voyage resumes. Tools and parts get lost if you work in the dark.

The short voyage was nearly a decade ago, and to locations not nearly as exotic as Frank writes about, but rereading the log brings back fond memories of a pleasant time.  I hope that it has been a good read for you today.  I was  73 then, and plan to sail again this year.

Norman

Online Frank

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2017, 09:07:24 AM »
What an enjoyable morning read with my coffee!
Brings back many very fond memories of short cruises.
Put a grog in your coffee 😄
God made small boats for younger boys and older men

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2017, 05:38:36 PM »
GREAT read Norm
 
Very different from when I  brought Tehani up to DC in 2010!!

Oh, and at Mount Vernon? they now charge horrible fees to tie to the dock and you have to be gone at 1700. But no fees to anchor off and dinghy in. Go figure. But Mt Vernon was a highlight for me- I would urge anyone to visit if they can
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline Norman

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2017, 10:03:33 PM »
CJ, I have sailed in 4 times, and the only fee I paid was $17 per person entrance fee.  The "out by 1700" is because the pier is inside the security fence.  The whole facility must be vacant at closing time.  There are alarms on the pier area to prevent trespassers from stealing or damaging anything.

The guy that checks tickets when the cruise boats come in took my dock lines  and gave me a hand up two times, but the other two times, there was no one there except the girl in the concession stand.

She did not notice that I came in n a small boat, and did not sell me a ticket the first time I went. That time, I bought it at the normal entrance before catching the shuttle back down to leave.

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2017, 10:13:02 PM »
They wanted to charge me $5 an hour to tie to dock, and be gone by 5. But told us we could anchor off ( we were 20 feet off) and dinghy tie would be free. Same entry fee, which was well worth it. The women who saved the place have done a beautiful job
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline misfits

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2017, 03:02:55 PM »
That was a nice read.
What got my attention is you mentioned the log was from 10 years ago when you were 73 years old.
You're still at it, God Bless ya!






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I'm having a very good day!

Offline lance on cloud nine

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Re: Small Boats, Short Distances
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2017, 04:03:38 PM »
Thank you for detailing this trip. It was a very enjoyable read....much appreciated!
"a boat must be a little less than a house, if you want it to be much more."