|the 2009 Chesapeake Wayfarer Cruise
Crisfield - Tangier Is. - Watts Is. - Smith Is. - Crisfield * May 26-30
a report by Robert Mosher
Chesapeake Cruise 09
Trollop of Tangier is perfect host:
Eight participants met up at Tony and Mary's house in Maryland. The Trollop of Tangier proved again to be a great hostess. She provided pizza early, and then lasagna for supper. She made sure everyone felt welcome, and had a place to sleep. Tony provided the entertainment, a video of skiff racing Aussie style. It was true sailing porno, as boats with small hulls and way too much sail raced in 30-knot winds. The value of the gear they broke in one day, exceeded the value of our Wayfarer fleet parked outside! Crew on harnesses were slingshot around the mast when the skiffs hit waves wrong. When the skiffs were flying their spinnakers on downwind reaches they would forget sailing and go prawning! i.e. they would hit the base of a wave and go stern over bow to catch those elusive prawns in their spinnakers. In one race the last boat sailing was the winner. During the evening we talked of flocks of birds, a covey of doves, swarm of bees, and a school of fish. So what were we? A Weird of Wayfarers?
See this link for a small taste of skiff racing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_uAlyTYqcg&NR=1
I was to meet up with Steve and CL16 at Tony and Mary's. There was general concern when Steve was not as ealy as the others. I knew we had made our confirmations to each other, and though I had never met Steve, was sure he would show. He did just after everyone had run out of new ways to try and make contact.
Steve and ......
... his CL 16
Mary keeps her boat ashore:
The next morning Mary helped shepherd us to our breakfast stop, and then went home to stay ashore. We were all very disappointed not to have her helpful attitude and beauty on our trip. Despite our sorrow, we understand that she needed to take care of other projects.
We drove down to Crisfield and found Blue Mist and Osprey waiting for us. We launched and docked the boats. The wind was just right until we would pull alongside the slip we wanted, then it would blow us backwards. This made for some interesting docking techniques. Normally there is an introductory out and back sail. However with the heavy seas and wind outside the harbor, no one was anxious to try their hand at prawning.
recognized for feats of exploration:
At supper time we headed up to The Cove restaurant. The Wayfarers put on their new Chesapeake Cruise caps and surprised Dick Harrington. Gary Hirsch presented an engraved stainless steel knife to Dick for all his explorations that led to the development of the Chesapeake cruises. There was a speech recognizing Dick's work. Then without being prodded, Dick explained in detail, how he went about exploring and that it was for his own joy and nothing big.
Wednesday we sailed to Tangier in great winds and 4 1/2 hour sail. Coming into the harbor opened up a stunning view of the crabbers' boats, sheds, and crab-tanks. While I had seen photos from last year's cruise, I was not prepared for the beautiful views and waterfront scenes. We docked and prepared our tents and went to supper. Meantime, the mother ship Osprey having had her sails repaired from the previous day's wild winds, arrived and docked.
Islands of the Chesapeake:
The islands follow an old southern tradition of some counties barring the sale of alcohol. So any drinks must be personally brought in. Our drought on Tangier was broken in the cockpit of the Osprey as Dark and Stormies were passed around. Great conversation and fun followed, including for this non-drinker.
The next day we took a day trip to Watts Island. The sail started out quickly with good winds that died down to total calm. Wayfarers rowed, paddled, and motored/got towed in. I wish I had charted a course to the South like 3 other boats so we could drift with the tide down to Watts. In the end, our northern route proved to be the fastest of slow. Watts is just a sandy wooded Isle that is eroding away. My GPS showed that we sailed over where the island's northern tip had been. But what a feeling of bliss and happiness, walking in the sand, seeing the birds, swimming, eating crabs, and just talking. A little piece of heaven just a sail away.
and Jane Go Sailing:
We all agreed to sail around the south end of Watts and Tangier, but as each boat pulled out they turned north and sailed away. We were determined to keep to plan as we were the last boat leaving the beach. Only then could we see the storms on the western horizon. We too tucked our tails in and ran for home on a quick joyful sail. Next to our boat was Dick instructing Jane in the art of helming. We notified her that as helmsman, any order she gave Dick, he had to obey and quickly. Jane did not take the bait. No one noticed the three stunned paparazzi taking photos of the first Weird of Wayfarers they had ever seen. The storm stayed far away, then a second storm came in but still kept away from us.
Black Pearl attacks girl:
I took a short walk and found a fearsome pirate on the Black Pearl attacking a defiant Capitan of Summer Breeze. Look at the photos to see a young boy and girl slinging hunks of grass and mud at each other as their friends look on, encouraging their broadsides.
The Wayfarers went to supper and there some us met the paparazzi coming in for supper as we left. They were on the island to write about and promote the region, so the photos of us Wayfarers may be published or in some ad.
It was late and everyone seemed to head off to bed early. With the next morning came bright sunshine and good winds. The wind was from the NW making tacking in front of the marina docks very easy. Soon all Wayfarers were tacking back and forth like a bunch of teenagers cruising the cut on Saturday night. We sailed out together, and up the West side of Tangier and Smith Island. While we left in one group, we soon broke up into shore huggers, keep to the deep, and uncommitted sailors. The mother ship Osprey sailed for home in North Carolina.
As we raised the Smith Island entrance, the wind died and went away totally. Soon the "Honda Wind" was heard coming back for us stragglers. Steve and I did not see any threatening skies and declined the offer. We wanted to sail as much as possible. After drifting to land and finding bugs, we drifted back out. I got excited when we passed a jelly fish, and Steve said 'enough' and threw out the lunch hook. Soon all of our food was spread around the deck as we considered how long it would take to eat it all. It was at least several days' worth and we did not have that much time, so we dug in to the best right away. That challenge to the wind did not go unanswered, and we were soon eating and sailing. We came into harbor on a 6.6 knot run and arrived only a half hour after the "Honda Wind" sailors.
Some of us ate at Ruke's which had very good food including a veggie sub sandwich, while others boiled water and added it to dried food, yum. In fact, it boiled down to a water boil off, but I was not there to see who got hot first. I went for a short walk with Dick and Jane.
Back at the docks it was time to set up the boat tents as storm clouds started rolling in. Lightning struck the island, reminding us tents should be set as soon as you dock. Not while it is lightning, ugh! Then came the rain and more rain. Then the wind began to blow really hard. Deck chairs danced around the porch. Our CL 16 lost its wind vane. The wind was clocked at 50 knots by other boats in the area. Thank goodness we were in the Dock Master reception building.
It was an appropriate time for Dark and Stormies. Except for Dick who was checking his tent again. Suddenly Jane looked up from her ever present Sudoku books and asked "Where's Dick?" No one knew. After "walkin' in the rain", I found Dick double checking his tent fasteners, and he promised to be right in. No wonder his boat kept dry. Jane was still very upset at him, so I stated, "He's not dead yet." Rather than kill me on the spot, Jane just shook her head muttering about her man, going out and playing in the wild wind, rain, and now distant lightning....
to blow up a Wayfarer
Tony, an expert in explosives, was asked by Brian what it took to blow up a Wayfarer. He reluctantly proposed that a small amount of explosives in the centerboard trunk would do the most damage. Not being close to the conversation, my response was properly ignored. But, I still think it is impossible to blow up a Wayfarer, I mean just take a look the boat's stem, it has no valve. (i. e. a bad pun on valve stems used for inflation)
Women gone wild:
Heather and Mike were staying in the B & B, but found Wayfarers to be good company. They had joined us in the sunshine, and were now joining in the storm party. After having been earlier cadged out of a beer, Heather decided that some compromising photos with the offender were in order. The photo of her kissing a Frenchman just never came out quite right, so the kissing had to be done over and over, again and again. Much to the delight of a certain Frenchman. Man! I never learned French, don't drink, no wonder my life is so dull!
Two Wayfarers overboard:
When the storm died down, we went out to bail, pump, and wipe the water out of our boats. Soon the mix of wet boats, docks, and sailors ended up with two Wayfarers going overboard, one shortly after the other. Brian, an EMS in real life, pulled out one sailor after the other. Everyone found a dry place and went to sleep.
Girl in Ewell excited by so many single men:
The next morning dawned brighter and clearer than every other day. We would get our breakfast after the regular bed and breakfast customers. So, many went walking. I was taking pictures of Ewell and fell behind the other walkers. Going the other way was a neatly dressed gal pulling her wheeled luggage. I said, "Good Morning, what a beautiful day." She responded, "It is so exciting to see so many single men in Ewell." Hmmm?...
do snails cross the road:
After catching up with the other four walkers, we notice snails crossing the road. They were all in single file! Each snail follows the slime of the one in front to make movement easier. Ha! Just like some humans.
Weird of Wayfarers meet Horde of Power Boaters:
Breakfast was served and it was great. The wind was good, but being out of the West it ruled out sailing back the way we had come in and around the north end of the island. So we headed out as a group to the east down the Thorofare. It being Saturday, we were met by a lot of power boats, so it was "rock rock little boat on the stormie sea." One of the smaller crab boats turned around and pulled up to Tony's boat. It was the same crabber who had rescued Tony last year when his rudder broke. They had a nice little chat.
Just as we got to Crisfield the wind began to die, but kept just enough life to get us into harbor. Then the wind picked up to make docking fun once again!...
of the Jungle does it all:
Jane did the whole trip, and except worrying about Dick in the rain, was a happy camper. In the beginning she had trouble getting in and out of the boat at low tide, as did many of us. By the end she had mastered the techniques for this tricky maneuver. So Jane provided more than a worthy Wayfarer.
Looking around the parking lot you would see one neat lady and a lot of unshaven men almost unrecognizable from those who started out. Everyone started off for home. Gary and Brian dropped me off in Berrien Springs at 4:30 AM Sunday morning. There I could not remember where I had placed my key, rang the door bell (my daughter heard it and went back to sleep). I then rolled out my sleeping bag and slept to 7:30 when my son let me in.
My daughter was up from Atlanta City and I got to spend the day with her. Thanks to Gary and Brian driving all night.
So just face it, you're a little crazy for reading this and thereby qualify to join our Weird of Wayfarers! See ya next time.