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Going up the Potomac we anchored in:

  • St. Marys River
  • St. Clements Bay
  • Colonial Beach
  • Mattawoman Creek
  • Washington, DC

On the way back down, beginning in Washington, we then stopped in:

  • Port Tobacco River
  • Smith Creek (where we are now)

Why so much faster heading south? No 20 knot headwinds to slow us down and wear us out!

Yesterday’s transit was one of those great ones where we had enough wind to make the sailing fast and fun, but not so much that we needed to reef the sails. The wind was also from a consistent direction and we were able to go the entire way on one tack, with much of our time spent on a beam reach. In a word, “perfect!”

Traveling each day really emphasizes for me the numerous steps that we need to complete to get the boat ready to go. As an example, here is a list of things that we do before setting sail each day (not always completed in exactly this order as both Rebecca and I are working through the list simultaneously):

  • Center boom and re-rig preventers
  • Remove and store sail cover
  • Secure (eased) lazy jacks
  • Attach main halyard
  • Secure spinnaker halyard
  • Trim headsail halyard and topping lift (these are typically secured with rolling hitches to allow our salon hatches to open while at anchor)
  • Remove and store instrument covers
  • Turn on instruments
  • Lower and lock engines in place (raised at end of previous day)
  • Start engines and allow to run for 10-15 minutes
  • Turn on VHF radio
  • Confirm tides/currents
  • Check weather forecast
  • Close all open hatches
  • Secure any loose and breakable items, both inside the boat and on deck
  • Get charts/guidebooks available (stored at end of previous day)
  • Get binoculars available (stored at end of previous day)
  • Get PFDs available (stored at end of previous day)
  • Boil water for thermos (good for coffee while on route)

All of the above, and no doubt several other things which escape me at the moment, is completed before we even think of raising anchor. A similar but opposite list occurs when we reach our anchorage later in the day. And yes, there is a list of steps for raising sails, setting anchor, raising anchor, deploying the dinghy, etc.

I’m sure that this list, like the others I mentioned, aren’t really unique. Plus or minus a few things specifically relating to their own particular vessels, I would guess most boaters have to complete similar lists, that they either have on paper (ours aren’t) or committed to memory.


Smith Creek is cool. Each boat can have their own little bay!

Look closely and you can see a mast behind the trees, in their own little bay.

Every night has been pretty, just like this!


9 Comments

  1. Here is what I do…….Turn Key

  2. I only thought I was clueless…. I’m amazed. You sailors make it look so easy.

  3. What a lovely SAIL! Good the winds showed up today! Your pictures continue to amaze me.

  4. That’s awesome, you are totally doing it! Very inspirational and rational, love it!
    There has been some great weather the past weeks in these parts, must make for lovely sailing.
    Good going, and looking forward to posts of your future destinations.

  5. We really like your site. You guys do a great service for future cruisers. Thank you. My daughter also loves reading your blogs(I read them first she is only 15). Your research page has also been a great help. Again thanks for all the hard work, God Bless, JC

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