This morning it was blowing about 15 knots out of the SW. A great day to get under way for a beam reach down the Potomac and then into Deltaville. The boat was ready and the fleet in the anchorage was dispersing quickly and I ended up sailing with about 10 other boats down the Potomac for a few hours.
The wind kicked up to around 20 knots and began gusting so I threw in a reef and kicked back for the ride. The boat was fully powered up and we were moving along nicely at 6.8-7.1 knots all day. That is until I went to round the point at the mouth of the Potomac. This is where things get really interesting. A friend of mine had told me before leaving St Augustine that when the winds and current collide at the mouth of the Potomac it can get really rough quick. He wasn’t joking around with me. I got the ever living shit kicked out of me right there.
Things began to deteriorate fast as the wind picked up to a solid 25 with gusts up to 34 knots. I threw in a second reef on the main and reefed in the jib a third of the way. I actually had the radio on to see what was going on in the area and there was plenty of excitement. The radio was exploding with a capsized boat, 3 people in the water, sailboat sunk with just mast sticking up, another sailboat lost its rudder and was attempting tow by another boat and a number of other random alerts from Channel 16.
The waves weren’t really big at all maybe 4 ft. but really weird in that area. This is the first time I took a wave over the bow in Kokoi that flooded the cockpit and we have been in much larger seas than these offshore. I proceeded South and decided to call it a day in Reedville. I altered course and headed towards the channel. It took me 5 hours to cover a little over 6 miles. When the radio begins to explode with all the commotion and distress calls and your right in the middle of it and you’re lucky to be making a knot or maybe a little more, you begin to wonder what the hell you’re doing out here.
I would ride up two waves and slam the bow down into the third. The boat would shudder and shake for a few seconds then get back up and charge two more waves. It sucks while your out there, but once you’re back into safe harbor with the anchor set I laughed. You’re an idiot Matt! I dropped the hook in Reedville, pounded a beer on the boat and dinghied into the nearest restaurant to eat some onion rings and fried green tomatoes. It seems to be routine that whenever I sail and get the hell beat out of me, the first thing I want is beer and fried food. Must just be a comforting thing!
|Only in Reedville!|