OK, a bit of an overstatement. The missus and I just got back from 4 delightful, unchallenging days motor-sailing on the Chesapeake.
Joe: Here is evidence that I was on a boat and it was under my control. As you can also see below, when the old lady is at the helm, the Wind God blows for us.
We chartered a well-equipped "Beneslow" 34 from Annapolis Bay
Charters,a very good outfit managed by a funny English American guy (we are a great breed). It had an AC and a microwave!!!!!! but no bloody GPS, not that you really need one on Chesapeake. Thankfully she motored well as we had bugger-all wind. That said given the weather we had the week before we were glad that it didn't rain. In fact, the weather was beautiful all 4 days.
The Bay was empty for most of the time. Other than commercial and recreational fisherman trailing lines, there was hardly a boat in sight. The fishermen were a pain in the neck. They have rights and they know it. We snagged one recreational fishermen's lines and he yelled after us to give him 10 bucks. I asked him where he wanted me to leave it as we were sailing in the opposite direction.
On Sunday, we sailed and motored from Annapolis south down the Bay, hung a louie up the mighty Choptank River to Oxford. Zephyr has blogged about this place and I can see why. It's a wonderful place for sailors (On the right is a shout-out for Zephyr, this is the Tred Avon Yacht Club. A damn fine looking place it is too). It's historic (I actually mean older than 1952) and a lovely place to stroll around. Lots of
Victorian and Colonial homes, blabla.
The best bit is the Ted Avon River. This is right of "House and Garden". One spectacular house after another along its banks, including some new monster palaces with their own dock along a winding river with opreys nesting on the daymarkers.
Day two, there was no wind. Well no wind of course until we started to dock and then it blew 15 kts for an hour. We motored to Cambridge, further up the Choptank. I would give this a big miss. It's a weird place. It has a big, new and mostly empty marina that is a long way from the main part of the Bay. Secondly the town is a bit of a dump. It has the feeling of a beautiful Victorian town that become completely run down BUT has a big new marina and a lot of investment is going into the place. Who knows, it may turn around.
On Tuesday, we motored back up the Choptank, out into the Bay and sailed across to Deale on the West
side of the bay. Deale is basically a collection of big marinas, mostly full of sailboats not motorboats. You really have to pay attention to the charts in Chesapeake Bay. Deale is at the north end the large'ish Herring Bay. A shallow-draft vessel can just head straight in at the North end but anything with a keel has to follow the markers for a mile from the south end of the Bay and then follow a tight channel into Deale.
There is a long shallow bar in the front of the bay. You have to be bloody careful. We weren't in the dead middle of the channel and we grounded briefly. This was the closest thing to high drama we had all 4 days.
On Wednesday, we had an uneventful motor-sail back to Annapolis.
One of my happiest sailing moments is captured in this picture. It was at the end of a great day's sailing in Turkey on the Carian Coast.
We sailed from Torba to Gumusluk in frisky conditions, me, the missus, my son (seasick as ever poor bugger) and his friend. Most of the day was spent in 20-25 kts, wind on the nose trying to get round a bloody big island. Crap navigation on my behalf meant that we never went out far enough to clear the island on the return tack and had to tack back out gain much to my son's dismay. "Are we there yet?"
Towards the end of the day and still not having cleared the island, seemingly spending more time going in the opposite direction, the crew (and me too I confess) started to worry that we would not make Gumusluk before sundown.
We finally cleared the big bugger at 4:30 pm and then it was one of the most perfect reaches to Gumusluk. If you ever have the opportunity go to Gumusluk do it. In fact go now! It's one of my favorite places on the planet.
After 8 hours at the tiller in 20-25 kts, getting wet and salty with no foul weather
gear, first order of business was a nice cold beer,. After that to the
barbers right on the dock. This was a once in a lifetime experience.
First a haircut, a massage, a clean shave including plucking. The best
bit was at the end the barber took a smoldering taper and singed by ear
and nose hairs. Sounds scary and not something you want to do to
yourself but it was awesome.
I have been trying to find a barbershop that would replicate this but
all I ever get is weird embarrassed looks as if I were a little nuts.
The Cup Kops it: Workmen lay turf in America’s Cup village
Click picture to enlarge
Thursday, 19 April 2007
The world famous AC rumour mill today hit full tilt as workmen were spotted laying astroturf within the AC Village confines.
soon spread that due to lack of wind, the Louis Vuitton cup would now
be decided by a series of five a side football matches. An AC
spokesman, who wished to remain anonymous, categorically denied this,
but stated that tiddley winks followed by a full contact beer drinking
competition were being discussed.
Hill online bookmakers this afternoon were said to be quoting ETNZ and
Germany’s United Internet at 2-1 joint favourites.
I don't normally do ads but Peter McG of Project Beagle fame emailed me this. The Transat part is being skippered by his sailing Dutch uncle. I blogged Peter's story about him a few months ago ==================================================== > SAILING COURSES/HOLIDAYS AVAILABLE > > > ·ANTIGUA RACE WEEK > Some places are still available for Antigua Race Week - 29th April to > 5th May 2007 > > · 2008 SEASON > We are already taking bookings for 2008 in the Caribbean. If you book, > between now and 1st May 07, then you can have 2 weeks sailing for the > price of 1 week. Price for 2 weeks is now £595 instead of £1190! > > ·RETURN JOURNEY TO UK > Black Arrow sails back across Atlantic in May 2007. Join us for a > 5,000 mile trip, an experience adventure of a lifetime. Pay only a > contribution towards operating expenses. You will be able to track > our progress via our website. > > ·SUMMER IN THE SOLENT > Between July and September we will be running RYA Competent Crew, Day > Skipper, Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster courses, based in the > Solent. This is one > of the best places to learn and improve sailing skills. > > · CRUISING BACK TO THE CARIBBEAN > Black Arrow will be leaving Lymington in September 2007. On the way > back to the Caribbean, we will visit France, Spain, Portugal, and the > Cannaries. Places available for this trip. > > FOR FURTHER DETAILS OF THE ABOVE - CONTACT YVONNE – DETAILS BELOW > > SAFESAILING LTD > No 3 Kimberley Units, Stathern Lane, > Harby, Leicestershire LE14 4DA > Email:- Yvonne@safesailing.co.uk > www.safesailing.co.uk > Tel: 0800 195 2423 > Safesailing
Good article in today's NYT about Emirates Team NZ.
"When you talk to a lot of people who have been on the receiving end
of a bad defeat in whatever sport or pursuit, I think the lessons you
learn from that are probably going to be far greater than from any
win,” Barker said recently.
“If I’m ever struggling for
motivation to get out of bed, you don’t have to think back too far.
I’ve enjoyed the thrills of victory and suffered the effects of defeat,
and I know which one I prefer.”