It's another late night on watch while I type this. 0121 on Saturday morning. Weather in the 50s, a definite chill in the air, lots of lightning on the horizon in the south. Downwind, a few stars out overhead. But I'm not sailing...rather am in the wheelhouse - sitting in the leather helm seat to be specific - of the MY 'Azure', a 53-foot Selene Ocean Trawler. We're steaming south on the Chesapeake, abeam of Point No Point now and bound towards Portsmouth.
If you've been following my recent posts you might wonder if I've entered some kind of time warp. Only two days ago I was offshore of Virginia Beach, on the final leg of Sojourner's trip north and back home. We'd crossed the Guff Stream and saw the water temps drop from the 80s to the 50s and then high 40s quite quickly. The weather followed suit. By the time we started north on the Bay after clearing customs in Little Creek, air temps were in the 40s, it was raining a steady mist, and the wind had kicked up out of the northeast. A decidedly unpleasant, yet rather adventurous way to complete the 750-mile passage home. We had a fitting finale too, sailing in under full canvas from Thomas Point Light to Annapolis Harbor, and even right the way down into Ego Alley before we dropped the mainsail 100-feet from the dinghy dock. 'I needed that!' said an enthusiastic onlooker from his dinghy that early, rainy morning. We had to have been the first boat of the season to pull that off. Les and Jim wanted to experience Annapolis, and you couldn't have sailed any closer (and they learned firsthand why the spot got its name). We parked on the bulkhead and walked up to Chick N Ruth's for breakfast. Well deserved, that.
Alas I'm not in a time warp. Only a few hours after cleaning up Sojourner and seeing the lads off (though Les would return later for my dad's birthday dinner at Middleton's Tavern - he turned 63 on Thursday), I drove over to Chesapeake Harbor Marina with Forbes, the broker who put together our Swan deal, to get introduced to the Selene and the boat's new owner. And now here we are, about 1/3 of the way down the Bay, me, the owner Dan, and the 'Admiral', the father of a friend of mine (he used to be in the Navy, hence the nickname). This is the busy time of year for deliveries, so I'm striking while the iron is hot! And there will be no rest for the weary - on Monday, we drive to CT to bring Isbjörn down the coast and home to Annapolis.
I posted a nighttime photo of myself in the wheelhouse of the Selene earlier tonight and was immediately chastised by my sailing friends for getting 'soft' and going to the dark side. From where I'm sitting, in this cozy leather chair in my shorts and t-shirt (and the heater just kicked in!) the dark side ain't looking so bad. It'll be a needed rest at any rate before another offshore bash in the cold North Atlantic next week.