We sailed with friends Jim and Sue over labor day weekend. The Chesapeake Sailing Club (CSC) has a Fall cruise that’s also know as the ‘named storm’ cruise since a hurricane or 2 always comes around the first week of Sept. Luckily, we dodged any storms although Jim and Sue were actively checking the status of storms headed towards their home in Florida.

I started out the cruise by falling down the companion way steps on the first day. This was right after I warned Sue to hold onto the rail since the steps are steep and slippery when wet. Luckily, I didn’t hurt my back and just got bruised (they called me ‘blue butt’ the rest of the week!)

The first stop for the CSC was Crab Alley Creek off of Eastern Bay. 9 boats arrived for happy hour hosted by Moondance and Taj Muja. Sunday was the club race from Crab Alley Creek to the mouth of Eastern Bay. We started out behind all of the boats but crossed the finish line first after an easy downwind sail. Since we had to give time to other boats (due to a rating system that make all boats more equal) we ended up in 3rd place. It’s our first racing cup and it’s silver–appropriate for our silver anniversary on 9/1!!! We attribute our success to our secret weapon, Jim, (who knows how to race!)

Sunday night was spent in Shelby Bay in the South River. There is an unmarked shoal in Shelby Bay that we hit last time we were there and, sure enough, we found it again! After running aground and not being able to back off with the motor, we dropped the dingy and pushed the bow of the boat off of the shoal. We were happy to have our dinghy davits and a more powerful outboard motor (thanks to John and Carolyn who just sold it to us.)

Monday was one of the best sailing days ever…we flew our spinnaker for the first time!! Jim and Skip untangled the lines and figured out how we can easily hoist the sail. The spinnaker is great for downwind sails in light breezes. We were flying!! I hope some other club members got pictures of us too.

Monday night was spent in Waterhole Cove off of Harris Creek in the Choptank river. We had not been there before and liked it so much better than Dunn Cove. There was even a public dock where we could take Bailey for a nice walk.

Tuesday, we headed for Oxford and stayed at a marina. It was a nice break to do some walking and swim in the pool. Not much changes in Oxford–it’s a sleepy little town. The club had dinner at Schooner’s Landing. The best part is the small stand nearby that has home made ice cream made with real Scottish cream–yum!

On Wednesday, we motored back to Annapolis–no wind. After getting cleaned up, we went into town for Mexican food–Jim’s choice for his birthday meal. It was a great few days out on the Bay and we enjoyed sharing that time with good friends. Now it’s back to preparing the boat for cruising!

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