Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day and a National Treasure

Labor Day - the unofficial end of summer. School is back in session, the days are markedly shorter, the weather starts to cool, and every boater I know makes every effort to take advantage of the long weekend. This particular Labor Day weekend was hampered by the threat of bad weather. While it seemed that fewer boats were out, the weather didn't stop us. We left Friday evening and spent the night docked at a friend's shore house on Seneca Creek. We had the best of both worlds - an evening on the boat and a real shower in the morning. Thank you Nancy, Tom, and Linda for your hospitality.

Saturday was the start of our raft up in Sue Creek. Five boats visited at different times during the day and three boats spent the night. But the real treat of the day was this guy:
We are very lucky to have bald eagles that nest on the Bay. We've seen them in both Fairlee and Sue Creeks. I apologize that the picture is little blurry; I had to zoom in a bit to have an effective photo on the blog.

We had a severe thunderstorm warning but the storm skirted around us. All in all, a pleasant day and evening.

Three more boats joined the group for Sunday evening. A wind storm picked up late afternoon and the raft up in front of us broke loose.
They were originally facing toward us.
At first it seemed like they were more interested in grilling their dinner than fixing the problem. Their bow anchors were still holding so our boats weren't in danger. After assessing the situation, they were really smart. They slowly broke off into singles or doubles and then reset their anchors at a different spot.
I don't believe I've ever seen two connected boats connect to another raft up before. But it worked. Good for them.

There was one small problem with the wind storm. When it hit, our stern anchor was the only one holding a group of five boats. As soon as the other group broke loose, we added two more stern anchors in order to secure our group. As has been proven before, Sue Creek takes a strong hold of anchors. When the time came to go home, we pulled our dinghy out towards our anchor and tried to pull it up. Normally we can just get straight above the anchor and pull it up with a small amount of effort - no luck that day. It looked like we were going to have to use our boat to pull it loose again. We left the dinghy attached to the anchor line, got a ride back in another dinghy, and broke free from the raft up. To the "dismay" of the rest of our friends, this anchor retrieval was not as "entertaining" as the weekend before July 4th. It came right up and we were on our way.

One last story to tell - I had another first on the boat. I captained the boat as we pulled up to the fuel dock. Not only was I at the helm but there wasn't a dockhand in sight. It was just the two of us. With good coaching from Doug, it was a complete success. I'm continuing to learn.

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