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If we wanted a sail that would fully test our newly-modified shroud and our jerry can lash boards, yesterday’s sail from the Magothy River to Solomons Island was a good start. For once the weatherman got it right. They were calling for sustained winds of 15-20 with gusts to 25 (downgraded from their previous forecasts of gusts to 30 and 35) and we got it. We had a beautiful and fast reach down the bay, which in our short Chesapeake Bay experience, is next to unheard of.

This was perhaps, our best sail since arriving in the Chesapeake. When the waves are coming up over the bimini and you’re still laughing, that is a good sail!

We cast off from our friends’ dock at exactly 6 am yesterday morning and dropped our hook in Mill Creek at 2:25 pm. Things were going so well that we briefly contemplated continuing on down the bay but some menacing-looking clouds made us do the prudent thing and stick with our original plan. Believe it or not, this is the third time we have anchored at Solomons Island, having done so before on our trips both up and down the Potomac. I am pretty sure this will be the last time though as we’ll be heading south again tomorrow morning.

Our high-speed sail had us dodging fast moving cruise ships…

and stationary fish traps. Why would anyone allow something like this to be constructed at the inlet to a river? It’s akin to allowing someone to set up a gopher trap in the middle of a highway!

So how did the shroud and new antenna fair? Well, to begin, the mast is still upright, as it should be. As for the antenna, I checked in to the Waterway Net while underway this morning and I think that our reception was much improved. Of course, that could just be some propagation-related voodoo, but I’ll pretend that it has only to do with the money we just spent to fix up our antenna.

As for the lash boards, we arrived at our anchorage with all six jerry cans still lashed on deck where they started. I may have already mentioned this but I can’t believe that we have spent so much time and money on some boards and jerry cans. At the risk of embarrassing myself, I’ll post a detailed accounting of what we spent on this project (figures rounded to the nearest dollar).

  • Gas Jugs: 4 x $38.00 = $152.00
  • Water Jugs: 2 x $16.00 = $32.00
  • Cedar Lumber: 14′ x 3.90/foot = $55.00
  • Thompson’s Water Seal: $9.00
  • Rope: 120′ = $20.00
  • Stainless Steel U-Bolts: $47.00
  • Stainless Steel Nuts: $8.00
  • Total: $323.00

OMG! I didn’t even realize myself it was so much until I just added it up. That is crazy! That dollar total doesn’t even include the time, labor and gas we spent (Our friends’ gas! Sorry guys.) to acquire materials and put this project together. Now you know why we are forced to drink Busch beer! 🙁

Securing the boards on the stanchions, trying not to drop (any more) items into the water.

6 Jerry Cans waiting to be filled.

All were accounted for at the beginning of the sail…

and also at the end! Money well spent?


  1. I read where the Liberty Clipper set an all time record in the Chesapeake yesterday too, 14.3 knots.

  2. Mike…Boards look great….You guys are on your way

  3. Those are some beautiful boards to use just to hold jerry cans! Nice work, guys! And it sounds as though you had a wonderful sail!

  4. Solomons Island is where we had a visit from the police because a landowner erroneously reported that we were dumping garbage in the water! But other than that, I love Solomons and we ended up there three times this summer. Thank God they have a vet clinic as Wilbur (our pit bull) developed a horrible yeast infection and was digging himself raw.
    Our first week out this summer had us sailing through huge rolling waves and gusting winds that lifted our huge swim pad off the front of our catamaran and tossed it into the bay.
    Next week we’re leaving Kent Narrows and moving our Knotty Cat to Florida and I’m hoping that the weather holds until we get out of there!
    Keep posting!!

    • Hi guys

      We lost a fender overboard during our sail Saturday and there was no way we were going back for it. We were surprised at just how long we could keep our eyes on it though, especially given the large waves.

      Good luck on your trip south!

  5. Busch? UGH!

    Have you considered just drinking water and making a mash of yeast and hops to spread on pretzels?

    Were you bashing to windward or did you have the wind on the starboard quarter? I’m a bit concerned with your jerry jugs wanting to slide forward while beating.

    BTW, when you get down to Norfolk and start down the ICW, strongly consider going the Dismal Swamp route. If you go that way, you will meet the phenomenal lockmaster, Robert Peek, plus the Dismal is surprisingly beautiful for being a mostly straight canal.

    Fair Winds,

    • We were sailing anywhere from a close reach to a broad reach.

      I understand what you’re saying about the cans moving, and believe me, I was just as concerned. Even with the conditions we’ve had the last 3 days, they haven’t moved. I tied a constrictor hitch on the board at the front of each can, and then began each lashing from there. That hitch won’t slide so I think they will be good, although we did have our eyes on them the last couple of days. Time will tell of course.

      Our plan is to take the Dismal Swamp and we’ve heard from several people about Robert. I’m sure the trip will be great!

  6. It will more than pay for itself when you are able to explore off the beaten path with your extra fuel and water. Then maybe you can splurge on some Kalik 😉

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