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More trips at:http://CarlAdler.org/waterlogged/
Sun, Jun 6, 2004
Salt Ponds Marina
LAT 37 83.135
Lon 76 17.135
It is hard to believe but finally we can cruise again. We leave tomorrow. Where are we going? We have no plan, just wherever we head when we leave the marina tomorrow. Of course we have a 'destination', in this case Baltimore Inner Harbor. In 15 years we have never actually reached a destination and even worry that it might be bad luck to actually succeed.
The weather for tomorrow looks great. What could possibly go wrong?
Mon, Jun 7, 2004
Lat 37 15.352
Lon 76 28.662§
We left late. The few small things that we left for today turned out to be not so few and not quite so small. So we left at 10:30 instead of 8:30. Just as well as it turned out. The promised South wind at 5 knots left us the options of going cross bay to Kiptopeake or North to wherever. The 90 degree counterclockwise shift from South which greeted us, in reality, said "go North young man" and the 10 knot increase in across the bay wind speed said " and by the way don't enjoy it." Alas we had the next to last laugh, with plenty of time to spare we decided to turn into the York River and anchor in Sarah Creek for the night. Halfway up the York river to Sarah Creek the wind died.
Tue, Jun 8, 2004
Lat 37 32.881
Lon 76 19.988
Last night we listened to the end of the audible book "Paranoia" and were entertained by dozens of rays engaged in what appeared to be the Olympic sport of Synchronized Swimming. Much acrobatics!
I guess in the spring even the thoughts of Rays turn to thoughts of love. We probably would have spent another day at anchor in beautiful Sarah Creek, except they where building another retaining wall nearby and the constant crash of tumbling stones drove us away.
We decided to leave for the Piankatank and slipped anchor at 9:20. On the way out of the York River we were treated to a sight we have never seen before, 10s probably 100s of porpoises/dolphins. When I was young, I used to hunt crows with a shotgun. I was always told that no matter how big and dense the "flock" (actually "murder") you have to aim at the individual. I never did and I never downed a crow (thankfully). The same was true this morning, I knew that these where not the typical bottle nose dolphins but something else. Instead of concentrating on an individual I was distracted by the many, and all I can say is that they were about 5 feet long with a distinct white tip and leading edge on their fins. I have seen Harbor Porpoises, Spotted Dolphins and Bottle Nosed Dolphins (as well as Killer Whales and Pilot Whales), and these were different.
|Kay takes us out of Sarah Creek
The only other thing of note on the trip was that our State of the Art, Super Special, autohelm, which replaced our Run of the Mill previous autohelm which always worked, didn't work. Damn!
Oh yes, the bay was flat calm all day until we arrived at the difficult entrance to Jackson Creek and then it blew like hell, but we understand that this is SOP.
Wed, Jun 9, 2004
Lat 37 39.780
Lon 76 26.030
Having no more ice and an overabundant supply of trash we decided to head for a Marina.
A Martini without ice is clearly uncivilized. We had been to the Tides Lodge/Tides Inn (now merged into "The Tides") before and knew it to be a plush resort. This was important because that meant that every slip had a phone. I had already exhausted almost all our cell phone's minutes on hold waiting to talk to tech support at RayMarine about our super special AutoHelm, and now I could work on using up our Sam's phone card.
|The Rappahannock River bridge is 110 feet high
but no matter how high the bridge it always looks
like you are not going to clear it.
The rather short trip from Jackson Creek to Carter Creek on the Rappahannock was
for the most part uneventful. As has happened many times before we spent a lot of time dodging the Menhaden boats that operate in this area. There movements are sometimes fast and always unpredictable.
But that was not the real thrill. At one point Kay shouted "Look at all those pelicans". I grabbed my camera, turned and froze, just as Kay said "They are not pelicans." What we saw was like the scene in the movie "The Edge" as the plane rounds the mountain edge and finds itself facing a large flock of Canadian Geese head on. That is exactly what we confronted, a large flock of geese, in formation, two feet above the water surface, coming directly at us. They missed (barely), which in its own way was a shame. We could have gone down in the record books as the only sailboat ever sunk by a flock of geese!
The actual conversation took about two minutes and went something like this:
Entering Carter Creek we called The Tides on the VHF. They told us to come straight on towards the bow of the 127 foot "Miss Ann", go around it and move into the seventh slip. Clear enough, though it would have been nice if they had mentioned that between point A (our location) and point B (the bow), there was an unmarked sandbar. Being very experienced at running aground we extricated ourselves, navigated around the bar, then the bow and into the seventh slip.
As a first order of business I called Ray Marine using my Sam's card. When I initially connected I had 280 minutes left. When I finally got off the phone I had 170!
Me: I have a problem with my autohelm
RM: What problem?
Me: It holds the course for about 30 seconds and then starts to swing left and right in ever increasing arcs.
RM: You must have a Hunter or Catalina
Me: (dumfounded) er yes
RM: How many turns lock to lock on your wheel?
Me: Well I am not sure, my wife does all the steering, but I would guess 1.5. (Kay tells me that it is 1.25)
RM: That is what I thought. The autohelm 4000 is set up to work with a wheel which has 3.5 turns.
Me: " " (speechless)
RM: You need the Catalina Cocktail
(I needed a cocktail alright but not a Catalina Cocktail.)
It turns out that this autohelm has a dealer setup screen with a dozen or so parameters, each with a wide range of choices. The Catalina Cocktail is a particular set of numbers to use for some of these. It turns out that by pure happen stance I had arbitrarily changed one of these, rudder gain, from its default value of 5 to the Catalina Cocktail value of 2 and that did help a little. So maybe ... .