Home Port; on the Delaware River at Fox Grove Marina Essington PA.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chesapeake Bay

September 25, 26 & 27

Friday 25
Chartered a Gemini 105m catamaran (10.5M 35ft). Departed Back Creek Annapolis 12:00 noon on Friday with Vicki and Kat 18nm south and west for Galesville on the West River. Easy sailing while we got familar with a different sailing style from  mono-hulls.

Passed Thomas Point light a classic Chesapeake light house on stilts and tacked with 10 to 15 knot breeze out of the east to West River and docked at the Thursday's resturant transient dock about 5:30 PM for beer and appetizers.

Leave the dock in darkness after a stroll along the waterfront about 8:00 PM and anchor just outside the mooring field.

We had set the anchor for 10:1 scope typical for the Delaware but overkill for the Chesapeake which resulted the next morning with an anchor so well set that we needed to power over the anchor to tug it loose in opposition to the set angle.
Depart Galesville about 8:00 AM for a 25nm cruise east to St Micheals on the Delmarva peninsula. The Coast Guard has posted a small craft advisory with winds 15 to 20 knot from the east with sustained gusts 20 to 25 knot, and 5ft short period swells.
The Gemini was in its element, tacking 60 to 30 degrees off the wind at 10 knot speed over ground (SOG). We probably ran more tacks than we needed to enter the Eastern Bay at Bloody Point for a long slog under power with dogleg turns and narrow channels to St. Micheals.

Dock at St. Micheals Marina about 4:00 PM and meet-up with Vanessa and Danaka with Alex their driver to overnight on the boat before they leave at 5:00 AM for a 10k race on the Delaware side of Delmarva.
Beer and crabcakes at one of the many crab resturants Saturday night. Throughout our trip we have been running through a maze of crabbers and crab pots.

Sunday 27
Heavy rain overnight and misty rain in the morning. Depart St. Michaels about 8:00 AM for our 25nm return to Annapolis, spotting the channel markers in Miles River through a slowly clearing mist before turn west into the eastern bay, with a 10 knot breeze from the west. Try some tacks and make slow progress and eventualy power sail past Bloody Point light into the Chesapeake.

Set a port tack with 5 to 10 knot breeze from the west on a heading northwest to Annapolis, and hold the same tack to the entrance to Back Creek.
Drop sails as we motor into the Severn River and make the turn to Back Creek with a stop at the fuel and sanitary pump-out, then return to the charter company slip about 5:30 PM

A great weekend and we learned a lot skippering a catamaran including its limitation, and benifits. Perhaps a longer charter next time.

The most useful item I brought apart from the Embassy Cruising Guide and Charts was the new Stiener bonoculars with built-in compass, we could easily get a compass bearing to bouys and points.

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Ulladh pronounced "ul-la" (null lad).

Uladh the gaelic spelling for the territory of the U-Nail chieftains in the ancient Irish province of Ulster (English/Norse), originally the counties of Down and Antrim, but now including Derry, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, also referred to as Ulidia (Greek/Roman),.

Uladh was the home of a pre-celtic, cruithne (crew-en-ya) pictish tribe, who may have been descendants of prehistoric tribes indigenous to the British Isles since the retreat of the last ice age.

Archeological finds date first inhabitants to about 6,000 BC and trade goods from Rathlin Island, County Antrim off the northeast coast of Ireland made from porcellanite stone appearing in Egypt and Crete by 2,500 BC.

The early tribes of Ireland where displaced by later waves of migrants from mainland Europe; about 1700 BC by bronze age tribes, celtic tribes about 500 BC, and in the past two millenia; Roman trading posts, Viking settlements, English plantations... and in the 21st century a welcome increasing diversity from the European Union and the world.

SV Ulladh (for vhf clarity I use "sailing vessel ul-la") is named for the territory of the first peoples to settle in Ireland after the retreat of the last ice age.


Since 1949 Fisksatra Varv in the coastal town of Fisksatra Sweden, built fiberglass boats from dinghies to a 300 ton minesweeper for the Swedish Navy.

The Havsfidra 20's were built between 1968 and the late 1970's to Swedish Navy and Lloyd's certification standards.

The Havsfidra 20 and a larger version the Storfidra 26 where sold in the United States by Continental Yachts and Trawler Agency of Atlantic City NJ.

Havsfidra; sea-feather?
(fidra; to touch or tickle with a feather -Icelandic-English Dictionary, Clarendon Press 1874)