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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Last dance with Trainwreck

It has been a surprisingly busy visit back to Baltimore/DC this past week--hanging with the family, dinner with friends, obtaining visas, getting vaccinated, meeting with lawyers, paying bills, etc. I really wish we had more time to visit with people, but as Catherine and I have discussed on many occasions, we have to get going and get this adventure underway. Our plan is to spend more time with family and friends when we get back and when we have a back-pack full of great stories and pictures to share.

Amidst the hustle and bustle, I was able to squeeze out a few hours to spend with my second most favorite lady--Trainwreck. We had a window of good weather (and relatively few plans) on Saturday and so I headed out to take the Newberry clan for a quick midday sail. Thanks to Guy for allowing us to interrupt his previous sailing plans.

We arrived in Annapolis grabbed our cameras, beer, and water then made our way down the marina steps to the slip that holds Guy and my special girl. I spent a few minutes unclogging cockpit drains which held the contents of many trees exfoliating various types of seed, stem, and pollen in celebration of spring. I prepped our vessel and admired all of the recent improvements Guy had made to Trainwreck's interior. Whomever ends up gunk-holing with him this summer will be awash in amenities such as newly covered cushions and pillows.

The wind was out of the SE around 10-15 knots and the sky was speckled with clouds and blue sky. As we made our way out of the slip I reveled in fantastic views of the marinas lining Back Creek in Annapolis. I have so many good memories associated with this area and I never seem to tire of taking our little sloop out to the Chesapeake Bay.

Once we made it out of the channel Fred took the helm and pulled us straight into the wind as I worked with Charlie to free our mainsail and hoist her towards the heavens! We fell off wind and drew smiles as Trainwreck fell to the power of the wind and began gliding across the bay. For those of you who have not been on a sailboat, it is an amazing sensation when you kill the boat engine and everything goes quiet except for the sound of the wind and the waves splashing against the boat. You are left soaring across the water awash in the serenity of the water and the simplicity of the physics fueling your movement. Many have described the beauty of sailing so I will quit trying and move onto pictures and other interesting notes from the day.

A naval destroyer sat on the far side of the bay across from Annapolis, along with 5 freighters, and more than 100 sailboats out enjoying the early season. Fred and Charlie took turns at the helm and when they weren't playing captain they pulled out their cameras to photograph our trip.

Of particular interest was the naval destroyer and a small "stealth" boat that was running back and forth between the big military ship and Annapolis. We heard the destroyer hail a sailboat who was overly curious in their vessel and sailed too close for comfort--they were instructed to "Back Off!"

We held a beautiful beam reach across the bay for just over an hour before tacking back and beginning our trip back home. Average speed was just over 5 knots and we made it fairly close to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The new genoa foresail performed really well and I personally loved being able to see underneath it (our former genoa held its tack at the ships bow). I sat at the helm relaxing to some Rolling Stones and being very happy that I had gotten in one last sail before taking off on the big trip.

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