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Sailing to Annapolis

Tuesday at 1:00 pm we left our homey slip in St. Michaels, MD to head back to Annapolis on our Albin Vega Velocir. The wind was forecast to be out of the north 15-20 kts and dying throughout the afternoon. Friends and coworkers cast us off and we set sail in the Miles river, heading north into the wind. We had a blast putting our new sails to the test, going to weather in a decent breeze and 3ft. chop. We were sure glad to have our new dodger on and looking forward to the day when we had some canvas on it to stop the spray!

We rounded Tilghman Point and turned southwest for Bloody Point on a starboard tack. The sail was a lot nicer on a deep reach on a warm sunny day. We discussed our options if the wind was still howling out of the North building ugly chop. As we would have to beat to weather all the way to Annapolis we toyed with the idea of anchoring out tonight if it was nasty. We saw no reason to push it.

Sailing to Annapolis by Velocir

As we rounded Bloody Point and sailed past the rusty old lighthouse tilting forlornly to the side we found the wind had died down on the bay to 10 kts. Close hauled on a starboard tack we sailed right up the bay, getting lifted again and again until we made it all the way to Annapolis! It was a beautiful sail past Thomas Point lighthouse as we turned on the music and just hummed right along.

Sailing to Annapolis by Velocir

As we doused sail and motored into our home river entrance we spotted a dinghy adrift in very shallow water where not even the runabout will go. We had time before sunset so I stripped down, threw on a life jacket and dove into the water while Amelia kept the boat nearby. I swam a lot farther than it looked and finally made it to the derelict dinghy. I could see an older couple near shore and shouted to them asking if this was their dinghy and did they need help getting it. I got back an angry response telling me it was not theirs but it was registered and I could not steal it.

Steal it?! That’s what I get for coming out to help. I found 4 feet of anchor rhode tied to the head of a danforth with 4 feet of chain attached to nothing. I retied the rhode to the chain, reset the thing as best I could and swam back to the boat. We later learned the boat was leftover from two drunks who ran their sailboat aground on the rocks there a couple night prior.

We motored the rest of the way up the creek and made it to the dock as the sun was going down. A beautiful day, a wonderful sail, and an incredible way to end an unforgettable chapter in our lives.

Star Fruit and Sugarbaby Watermelon

Dinner on a boat for two people with limited refrigeration calls for some fun meals and lots of planning.  We never want more leftovers than can be eaten for lunch the next day.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are great because they last well until you are ready to eat them!   Meat is harder so we eat it right away or used canned varieties.  Here are a couple meals we really enjoyed:

Star Fruit, Ham and Eggplant Veggie Medley:

This was a fun meal.  We browned some ham on the stove.  Then also on the stove sautéed some eggplant and fresh heirloom tomatoes, adding in some olive oil.  The star fruit was a fun addition to the meal.  Grant couldn’t remember tasting it before so he was able to try something new—plus it has lots of vitamins!

Cooking by Velocir

BBQ Cups with Sugarbaby Watermelon:

1 can chicken
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
2 T brown sugar
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t garlic powder
2 rolls refrigerated biscuit or crescent roll dough
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large fry pan, brown chicken and cook onions until translucent.  Stir in BBQ sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Flatten dough and place in greased muffin cups, pressing dough in bottom and against sides.  Spoon meat mixture into biscuit “cups.”  Bake 10 to 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake until melted.  These are easy to make and great hand food for on the boat.  The Sugarbaby Watermelon came from the St. Michaels Farmer’s Market and was delicious!

Cooking Aboard Sailboat by Velocir

Crabby Morning

Today we woke up to this funny crab on the piling next to our boat.

Log Canoe Races

We were invited to sail on the beautiful log canoe, Edmee S, this morning.

A nonexistent breeze, the race was cancelled.  But here are some beautiful photographs of everyone getting ready!  Also video of how to de-rigg a log canoe (great if you’re curious).

Log Vanoe Races by Velocir

Log Vanoe Races by Velocir

Making a Dodger Frame for V

To keep out the rain and sun, Grant has built us a dodger out of stainless steel and starboard!  (I still have to sew together the isinglass and sunbrella sides)

Making Dodger Frame by Velocir

After looking online at different designs, we decided we liked the rounded look with side visibility, a hard top and soft isinglass sides.  This way it will be strong.  We could stand on it if needed.  The starboard top will not need to be replaced in a few years like a full fabric dodger.  We found inexpensive isinglass in new condition that was consigned at Bacon Sails that I will recut and sew onto the frame.

Making Dodger Frame by Velocir

For the frame, Grant welded together stainless steel tubing using scraps from other biminis we found. He used two rounded sections he bent a curve into, and the cross beams about every foot.  For the starboard top, he welded tabs for it to secure to using bolts.  On each side, he welded outer handles, and then welded threads into them, so that they would also secure the starboard on a tab.  To fasten it to the boat, he also welded tabs.

Making Dodger Frame by Velocir

For the top, we cut a big section of starboard into the right dimensions and bolted it to the frame on the tabs.  On the lower part below the handles we used U bolts.

Making Dodger Frame by Velocir

As a project, Grant spent three days measuring and constructing the frame.  It took one day to attach the starboard and attach it to the boat.  We measured the distance from the cabin to the boom MANY times, and even had our new sails cut specifically to make the boom higher when we were sailing so that we could stand in the cockpit and have room for a higher dodger.  It is about 16.5 inches high from the cabin top to the top of the dodger.

We really love it!

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August 2011