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Rendezvous with Our White Magic

Wed 8/26/2009 The winds were light – but it didn’t matter. We simply HAD to get away from the dock. With new sails installed, sika fully cured, and my triathlon now OVER — we headed out of the Patapsco River. Our destination would be Hart Miller Island for an overnight rendezvous with fellow CAT travel companions Becky & Bob & family on “Our White Magic”.

It seemed as if we had to re-learn how to sail. The halyard was h— bent on twisting and turning in unnatural ways – so Captain Pat spent a fair amount of time correcting this – while I piloted Cat Maudy out of the harbor. Then, all of the reef points had to be re-aligned — since the new sails were installed.

But all was good. The winds were light so we weren’t taxed tryting to make adjustments and remember all of the other nuances that go with sailing. Bob and Becky, aboard Our White Magic were in the “same boat” on their Catana 47′ so to speak. We were all busy fixing things…and slowing making our way to the mouth of the Patapsco.

Spent the night anchored in front of the Hart Miller Island beach front – a delightful remote area only accessable via boat. I kayaked to shore to get a bit of endorphins…and in the evening watched the setting sun. We dinghed to Our White Magic for delightful conversation….to finish a perfect day.

Thursday 8/27/2009: With the winds picking up – it was time to bring up the anchors, and sail somewhere. Anywhere. Annapolis was selected as the destination. We started sailing to some robust speeds…when suddenly we slowed as if we were dragging anchor. And we were. Well, not our anchor…but we caught the line of a crabpot.

After 2 miles of crabpot dragging, it was time to figure out a strategy for setting this contraption free. I wanted to luff…and then move in reverse. Captain Pat had his own ideas. Usually these ideas consist of doing some Jacques Cousteau dive under the boat – which I was already prepared to overrule. But instead, he opted to “fish” for the line with the boat hook. I tried doing this by standing over the port side rudder, but couldn’t seem to connect with anything but water. So, we tethered Captain Pat to the boat, and after a few tries – the boat hook notched the crab line. I grabbed a knife, and we set the crabpot free. Some crab fisherman out there would not be happy with us… Hopefully the little crabs inside can find an escape hatch! *** Special Note to the Crab fishermen north of Hart Miller Island — your crab pots are NOT lined up in any order! Makes is nearly impossible to navigate this area without coming into contact with your crab lines. Maybe tidy this up a bit and you won’t lose pots to boaters like us who simply cannot get around the crab minefield you create! Just a friendly thought!

By now, Our White Magic was long gone. With more sail area, and a longer reach (47′) we were no match to try and keep up. Eventually we’ll find them in Annapolis!

The winds were delightful – making a perfect sailing day. We re-convened with Our White Magic – and dropped anchors just off of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Just in time too – as monohull sailors who had spent the day racing – returned to port. They made sure we noticed their sail handling skills, as they sailed within inches of our bow and stern…as if our boats didn’t even exist. It was quite entertaining. By now, we are exhausted, and opt to crash early.

Friday 8/28/2009: There is talk about Hurricane Danny moving in. Maybe we need to return back to Baltimore? First, we head to shore…for my endorphins (run thru the Naval Academy), Captain Pat’s coffee…and showers.

Just before noon, we depart from our anchorage in Annapolis. Light winds during the first portion of the day…quickly evaporated to no winds. We motored much of the way back to Baltimore. Just in time for Hurricane Danny to arrive.

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