Last night, we listened to NOAA around 10:00 pm and also watched the Weather Channel on TV, trying to get an idea of what was going to happen this morning. Both reports agreed with one another, saying it would be pretty rough for the next four days. Having this information, we decided to sleep in a bit and, in the morning, prepare to stay here for a few days. Upon waking up, however, the weather was just plain gorgeous! A light breeze, sunny skies and warm temperatures belied what we had heard last night.
I got on the radio and listened to NOAA, who said the anticipated front had stalled due to an unexpected offshore low-pressure cell (what…a weather man being caught off guard!?!) I then checked on sailflow.com for a 24-hour wind speed forecast and found that they concurred with NOAA. But, and I do mean but, there was only a 24-hour window to make the trip north. There after, it would get progressively worse with the brunt of the system staying south in Virginia and the better weather up north above Annapolis. With this information in hand, I went up to the office, paid our bill and made ready to get underway.
We finally left Gloucester Point at 12:30 pm, en route to Baltimore MD. We pulled out of the marina and entered the York River and it was dead calm. Being so sheltered, however, this wasn’t any real indicator of what the Bay would be like, so we were a bit nervous regarding what we’d find once we left the river.
As we pulled out onto the bay, we were not disappointed by the weather. There’s no wind, no waves or swell and it’s eerily quiet on the water. Just the sound of the engine and occasional squawk of birds flying by as we sail on water looks like it’s been covered with a coat of motor oil. I can only think of one or two other times when we’ve had it this calm on the water, but instead of being short lived like before, it stayed like this until well after midnight.
As darkness approached, we were treated to a killer sunset. I then set points on the chart plotter that our boat would follow and sound an alarm about every hour throughout the night. I also set our radar to sound an alarm if we approached any boat within a 2–mile radius of the boat. That way, if I dozed off during the night, I’d have lots of alarms going off to keep us safe and me awake.
Around 2:00 am, we had a bad wind storm develop. We were about 12 miles south of Annapolis and were buffeted about quite a bit. The whole thing blew over about an hour and a half later so it wasn’t real bad for very long. Fortunately, the wind stayed on our nose, so we only lost some speed and weren’t rocked too much.
We made Baltimore Harbor around 11:30am after a leasurly trip up the Patapsco River. We spent some time taking pictures of an old fort (Fort Carroll) and its defunct lighthouse along the way and, once inside Baltimore Harbor, spent an extra hour cruising about and taking some pictures of the city from the water.
With the photo shoot complete, we motored on over to the Anchorage Marina and called in on the radio. We got docking instructions and were tied up at our slip by 1230 hrs and are now secure in our new surroundings. But, as for now…..It’s time to go walk the dog!