Crew slowly made their way to the Rose this Friday evening, taking a leisurely stroll by truck over the Bay Bridge en-route to the Fisherman’s Inn for a bite to eat like many other land-lubbers in the area. Arriving to the boat after dark, Christina’s crew loaded simple supplies aboard quickly and were in bed by 11pm in-anticipation of a low-key weekend.
Actually, it was in-anticipation of a Francis Scott Key weekend, which turned-out to be anything but low-key. After morning coffee, donuts and a tank top-off at the marina, Christina quickly made her way across the Chesapeake to Baltimore before the Coast Guard’s lock-down of the Patapsco River at noon on the 16th was put into effect We dropped hook just south-east of the exclusion-zone (several-times in-fact) due to the Coasties not liking Christina’s park-job next to a Coast Guard cutter and several attempts at getting the anchor to hold in a stiff breeze and current.
There were several-hundred other boaters with the same idea as us, completely surrounding the exclusion-zone around Fort McHenry, birthplace of the National Anthem 200-years ago. Small delays due to weather (wind) was reported on the VHF, though every moron with a 12-oz was also on the VHF throughout the day making all kinds of other “reports.” Fortunately, by 2:30pm the weekend’s top-attraction, the Navy Blue Angels, were on the scene. Words fail to adequately express how awe-inspiring a spectacle such as this really is, especially when viewed from directly underneath the maneuvers. In fact, we never witnessed any of the Angels fly directly over the masses assembled on land at the Fort… the best seat in the house truly was aboard the Christina Rose…
The mass-exodus from the harbor following the Blue Angels’ show was close to a terrifying display of seas and seamanship, as hundreds (possibly thousands) of boats attempted to channel through the Key Bridge area. Chaotic six-to-eight foot waves were all around the Rose (as were many boats with captains that probably never took a safe-boating course) as she safely managed her way toward the Chesapeake. Within 5-10 minutes of passing through the Key Bridge area, the VHF reported a boat sunk with two people rescued by another vessel under the bridge… not a place for a captain or boat that wasn’t up-to-snuff… with the number of boats leaving, 5-10 sailboats coming in through that narrow-way, combined with alcohol and idiocy, it’s actually surprising that was the only true-call on the radio.
Christina blasted across the Bay with very few boats around her, as most seemed headed north or south out of the Patapsco, not due-east as the Rose was, running for the Chester. By channel-marker #9 on a smooth-cruise near the beginning of the Chesapeake at 3800RPM, the captain looked around to find the First-Mate asleep in the cabin and the Admiral asleep on the aft cockpit bench! Apparently both were worn-out from the treacherous-seas only minutes earlier or from the now smooth ride of this Cruisers Yachts… either way, Christina headed for her favorite anchor-hole far up the Chester. With the crew unconscious, the Captain was finally afforded time to play around with throttle-positions while watching the new fuel-monitoring NMEA2000 toys installed months earlier. Varying speed and tabs as measurements were recorded, Christina’s Captain made the peaceful “solo” journey 29.4nm from the mouth of the Patapsco to her anchor-location in 1hr-18min, averaging 23kt on one of the nicest (gas-guzzling) long-runs she’s had to date:
Revived after their long nap, the crew quickly woke and popped into the water as soon as Christina’s hook hit splashed down. A little kayaking, a little rafting, and then another great dinner on the Magma… corn-on-the-cob, potatoes, zucchini, salmon and hot-dogs all at the same time!
A little relaxation before heading back to the marina Saturday night; thank-gawd for the Garmin Radar as this was the first night-time cruise aboard the Rose with absolutely no moonlight. The stars were out in full-force though, shining like a planetarium display in all directions, just not bright enough to steer-by (regardless of what John Masefield once wrote). Without the Garmin, the whole trip would have been impossible. Once again, the crew slept almost as soon as the throttles were pushed forward; this time the Captain got to play with the radar the whole trip back, arriving at the slip at 11pm.
FATHER’S DAY 2012 started with coffee aboard, then coffee and donuts at the marina, followed by a 9-mile bike-ride on the Cross Island Trail, this time headed east toward the Narrows. Some biking, some sight-seeing, more biking, ending with a great lunch at Harris Crab House:
The truck was quickly loaded with the dirty-leftovers of another great weekend on the Rose after an energetic bike-ride back to the marina Sunday afternoon; the crew headed home on four-wheels by 4pm. Total time aboard this weekend was less than 36-hours, but the most was made of it, viewing the spectacular Star Spangled Birthday and cruising a total of 68.4nm at an average speed of 14kt and a top-speed of 26kt.
Happy Wakes! Drop me a note anytime, ChristinaRose@edickent.com