2017 NSHSA Fall Cruise
October 7-15

Elsie’s Phantasie (EP), Elsie and Steve
Puesta del sol (PDS), Keith, Kirk, Alice, and Stephen
Windrose (WR), Carl and Sue

This year the fall cruise was moved to October in hopes of getting better weather and cooler temperatures (as well as take advantage of the Columbus day Holiday for several potential participants).  Well the weather was okay and temperatures felt like September so……

October 7-9, 2017
Middle River to Broad Creek/Magothy (Puesta del sol)
Rock Hall to Broad Creek/Magothy (Elsie’s Phantasie)
Broad Creek/Magothy to Harness Creek / South River

The week started out with Hurricane Nate spinning in the Gulf working its way toward landfall.  After discussion between Elsie’s Phantasie and Puesta del sol – the decision was made to meet at Broad Creek off the Magothy Saturday and move to Harness Creek off the South River on Sunday.  From there the progress of Nate would be accessed and the next steps determined.  While Nate moved further west than originally anticipated, it created strong winds out of the South on Monday and steady rain through noon.  After a conversation with Windrose it was determined that Solomons Island was no longer a destination for the week.  Tuesday’s rendezvous would be San Domingo Creek off Broad Creek off the Choptank river.

October 10, 2017
Harness Creek / South River to San Domingo Creek (EP, PDS)
Solmons Island to San Domingo Creek (Windrose)

First stop of the morning, Anchor Yacht Basin to empty holding tanks, buyfuel and swap out Puesta del sol’s crew.  We said goodbye to Kirk and Alice and welcomed Stephen to the adventure. The trip from South River to the Choptank was slow going under sail. Following a valiant but fruitless effort to sail in light winds - Elsie’s Phantasie and Puesta del sol switched over to motoring.  Our entrance into the Choptank synced perfectly with Windrose’s progress from Solomons into the Choptank.  The winds kicked up once in the river and gave us a nice sail into Broad Creek.  With only a few other vessels in the San Domingo and a good overnight forecast PDS and WR accepted EP offer to raft-up.The day ended with Happy Hour and a beautiful sunset aboard Elsie’s Phantasie in San Domingo Creek.

October 11, 2017
A day in San Domingo Creek

The group spent the day hanging in San Domingo Creek and with time ashore in St. Michaels.  Museum visit, shopping, drinks at Carpenter Street Saloon for all the crews. The crews meet back up later for an Italian dinner at Limoncello.  A great day and a wet ride in the dark back to the raft-up.  Next destination – Cambridge *(mostly because Puesta del sol wanted to go to the RAR Brewery).  Next day forecast- windy, windy, windy

October 12, 2017
San Domingo Creek to Cambridge Yacht Club, Cambridge

Wow – what a day. Sails up at Day beacon #6.  Windrose lead the group out to the Choptank with winds in San Doming and Broad Creek hitting the low twenties.  Once on the Choptank winds steady in the low-mid twenties with gusts to 30.  Windrose and Elsie’s Phantasie sailed for sometime and decided to motor up to Cambridge.  Puesta del sol pressed on until Bouy 23 near Cambridge.  In the end we all made the interesting entrance into the Cambridge Yacht Club with 20+ winds coming from the east directly into the yacht club (Puesta del sol was grateful for the helping hands getting tied up at the T-head closest to the river).  Happy hour was enjoyed on Windrose in the comfort of the main saloon as the winds continued blowing at 20+ through much of the evening.

October 13, 2017 – The parting of ways.
Elsie’s Phantasie – destination – Harness Creek, South River
Puesta del sol – destination – Rhode River
Windrose – Homeward Bound – Solomons Island

The day promised more wind with 16+ winds. Phrase of the day – “Port Tack” whether heading South and West or North and West. Puesta del sol decided to check out the Rhode River as an anchorage prior to the long run back to Middle River on the 14th. .  Elsie’s Phantasie planned to meet up with friends on the 14th and headed to Harness Creek for easy access to Annapolis given that the powerboat show was taking up most of Annapolis Harbor.  After a late night watching the Philadelphia Eagles win, Windrose departed Cambridge YC after 1100.  The near-ideal winds still let her sail the 36 n mi from the Yacht Club to Zahniser’s Marina in Solomons before dark, all sans Yanmar. Everyone enjoyed the long port tack.  It was a great run with winds mostly in the mid-teens.

October 14, 2017
Elsie’s Phantasie –Harness Creek, South River
Puesta del sol – Homeward Bound –Middle River

For Puesta del sol the wind forecast was winds out of the North at 8 or less L.  Dropping off around noon – good news the forecast was wrong (mostly) – winds 12-17 out of the North (L).  Oh well – sailing it is – if we wanted to go point A to point B in a straight line we would have a powerboat.  Five hours of sailing put us just North of Kent Island on the eastern shore side – winds started to drop to less than 10 – so switched to motoring for the remaining 18 NM back to Maryland Marina. 

October 15, 2017
Elsie’s Phantasie –Homeward Bound – Rock Hall.