OK, back from the race. We left Baltimore last Thursday morning heading to the start line just south of the Bay Bridge. Gun went off at 1:00 and everyone sat there floating around with no wind
. Hours went by and we sat and sat. Eventually we got some wind---right on the nose!! We then spent much of Thursday night tacking east and west down the bay. Took us 7 hours to go 10 miles. I think I could have walked there faster, but that is sailing for you.
Friday brought a weather
report for more wind
and we did get a good breeze that came around to our stern and allowed us to go on a run down the bay. By afternoon the wind had increased and we were doing 9-10 knots so it started to look like a race. Unfortunately, the wind continued to increase and came around to our beam so for safety
sake, we took a double reef in the sails
. Friday evening during dinner we got hit by some very heavy wind and the dishes went flying as everyone scrambled to get sails under control. The decision was made to completely drop the sails and turn on the engine
as the sea had gotten very turbulent and the wind was howling. With turning on the motor
, we forfeited the race, but were glad we made that decision when we later heard sad news that one of the other schooners in the race had lost
a sailor overboard
who drowned. First fatality in a race that has been held since 1990.
I sailed on the AJ Meerwald from New Jersey
, a historic wooden vessel. The quarters were basically just wooden bunks built into the sides of the hull
. Pretty rustic. It was cold and standing watch during the night was freezing.
It was something I had always wanted to do, and am glad I can cross it off my list! But, I don't think I'll do it again!