Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A weekend of Baltimore!

We took some time off work this weekend and after a short few days at the pier got underway Wednesday to head to Baltimore.  The whole week we'd been watching the weather, with a cold front forecast to come through Baltimore Wednesday night with a big pickup in winds.  Our plan was to get underway shortly after sunrise Wednesday morning and try to make it the whole 42nm in one day.  So, how did the plan work? so.  We got underway early, but there was almost no wind so we found ourselves motoring up to the Bay Bridge.  After that, we started to see some wind so we shifted to sailing only to have the winds ramp up quickly to 30-35kts, and clock rapidly to the north.  This was around noon--the front was coming through early!  Frank did his best to hold on, and we were heeling at 30 degrees for a good little run.  That's probably nothing to a racer, but to a live-aboard?  Well...
A small sample of the havoc caused by our significant heel.  See those fishing rods?  They normally live in the cockpit!

We finally got a good opportunity to pull the sails in and motor again, but by then the seas had really built to the 4' range and the bow was slamming pretty hard.  As we pointed the bow up the Patapsco River, the pounding got worse, with the entire front half of the boat seeming to go airborne at times.  We pressed on since there was really nowhere to bail and because we knew with the wind coming straight down the river the waves would eventually diminish due to the reduced fetch.  It was not an easy ride, and Captain Frank bore the brunt of it, but we eventually made it!  Though the winds were still pretty strong, the lack of seas made for easy docking at the City Dock.  And once again, we were the only boat there!
Lehe Paine in the Inner Harbor
 We took advantage of the remaining hours of daylight to pay our dockage fee and check out our surroundings.  We learned that not much of anything was going to be open on Thanksgiving, but there was tons to do within walking distance.  Historic ships, museums, the aquarium, and parks were all right there!  We will likely rest and relax tomorrow, and tear up the town on Friday!
The 9-11 memorial outside the Baltimore World Trade Center

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