Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cruise, Day 16, Part 2

Well, this bites, but what are you going to do? What am I talking about? I was finishing the storm door job yesterday afternoon, and came in to look at the forecast. Winds today were going to be 5-8 NW. Yeeha!! It’s time to get the canoe wet. That’s why I made the run to the lake last evening to check it out. So anyhow, I step out the door with my pack bright and early this morning, ready to load the canoe, and a blast of cold wind hits me in the face. A nearby flag is standing straight out like it’s made out of sheet metal. A run back inside to check the forecast again showed it had been changed to 16-23 mph, and the wind direction would have it bowling right down the full length of the lake. So, back to the cruise.

From Baltimore Light, we sailed directly west for the southern point of Gibson Island and the entrance into the Magothy River. Thistle sailed north following the six-foot contour line through Sillery Bay. We sailed into the Magothy Narrows and around into the harbor of Gibson Island, and continued into Redhouse Cove. There were a few moorings there from the nearby marina, but no obvious evidence of a red house.

Gibson Island Harbor Yacht Yard
A utility building "lighthouse" near the travelift.

From there it was up into Cornfield Creek and across to Gray’s Creek . There was still no wind when we came out of Gray’s Creek, so I just shut the engine off and let Thistle drift as I prepared lunch. There’s a huge home on Little Island. It’s a beautiful place, but it gives the appearance that at any moment the huge house may cause the island to roll over and capsize. As I had lunch I was looking at Dobbins Island, just south of Little Island, and reminisced about my friend Hugh, and an autumn trip we made here in his boat many years ago.
Dobbins Island

There were four of us on board as I recall. We sailed south from the Sassafras, not arriving at Dobbins Island until 0100. In spite of the hour, Hugh mixed drinks and we sat in the cockpit and laughed and talked for a couple more hours before finally turning in. He was a good friend, a very sharp engineer, and he enjoyed teaching celestial navigation. Alzheimer’s attacked him with a viciousness I didn’t know was possible. In just a couple months he went from someone who never stopped, physically or mentally, to a man who couldn’t climb stairs, even walk or feed himself. Not wanting anyone to see him in that state, he wouldn’t allow even his friends to visit. It was only about three months until we learned that he had passed. It was strange never having the chance to say goodbye, but I think of him often, and as I sat there, I raised my mug to Dobbins Island and Hugh’s memory.

From there we powered around Dobbins and west into Broad Creek, Blackhole Creek, and then to the back of Cockey Creek where I got a chance to photograph a Friendship Sloop. This is a style of vessel we were first introduced to in Friendship Harbor, Maine. They were originally a fishing vessel, but are maintained now as yachts, and some of the original boats are still around to participate in a healthy racing fleet.  

A light shower began to fall as we entered Old Man Creek, but it started to pour as we came out, so I ran around into the next cove, just across from Indian Village, and dropped anchor. Two hours later, the rain stopped, so we continued on into Cattail Creek.

I was having problems keeping the outboard running. It kept coughing and sputtering, so I stopped at a couple marinas looking for one that had a mechanic on staff. It was 1600, so I was running out of time before everyone closed for the day and went home, but the manager of Cypress Creek Marina told me to come alongside next to his travelift, and he would have someone look at it the next morning.

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