SWS Spring Cruise Day 3: Rowing round the Little Choptank light

Their 44th cruise. My 1st.

[ SWS Cruise day 1 ]
[ SWS Cruise day 2 ]

I awoke still afloat. Tied up near the crab sheds on the commercial wharf at Taylors Island. Sunday morning. No boat traffic on Chapel Cove. No road traffic in town. Coffee and oatmeal for breakfast. I was under way by 8:30.

The sail out of Slaughter Creek was easy, steady 1.5 kts. None of the excitement and tension of the past two days.

I was out in the Little Choptank by 10 am. Plenty of time before returning to Madison. So I decided to pay another visit to the Little Choptank marker and light. But as I moved out of Slaughter Creek, the wind slowly died. I dropped the sail and rowed the final quarter mile to the light, then around it, and I kept rowing.

I rowed 2 miles from the light to Susquehanna Point, pretty straight, averaging 2 kts. From there, the wind picked up from the southwest, and it was a calm but fast reach to the point at the mouth of Hudson Creek.

I dropped the sail, anchored near the marsh, and set up my Trangia stove to heat up canned chowder for lunch.

Here we tested the stability of the Trangia in the wake of a passing workboat.

I’m satisfied with the stability of the Trangia and confident in my choice of an alcohol stove for my small boat cruising.

After this mid-afternoon lunch, the 5 kt breeze miraculously backed around to the north and pushed me right into Madison Bay. I ghosted up the bay at 2.5 kts while the windmill in town was motionless. I kept dozing off with one hand on the tiller and the other barely holding the sheet.

At 3:30 pm on Sunday, I texted John, Jerry, Norm W, and Norman and Diana that S/V Kai had arrived. Now all vessels and crew were accounted for. It would seem that SWS Cruise #44 was now concluded.

[ SWS Cruise day 1 ]
[ SWS Cruise day 2 ]

I also write about traditional Eastern Shore sailing workboats here.

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