On Thursday Annette and I brought Magnolia from St Mary’s, MD to Solomons Island, MD, a passage of about 35 miles. Friday we arose expecting an easy departure followed by favorable west winds to carry us to our next destination, Dunns Cove on the eastern side of Tilghman Island on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay. Sounds good, huh?
Just after raising the anchor and preparing to depart the anchorage the engine died. Not good, but not the end of the world. The engine on a sail boat is called an Auxiliary Diesel for a reason! After making a quick assessment that vessel and crew were safe the trouble shooting begins. We measured remaining fuel last evening and decided to change over to the “other tank.” Bad fuel…hmmm added fuel from same same pump to both tanks and first fine, fuel should be fine. We have two fuel filters on Magnolia that we can swap in and out with a couple of valves. Whatever was in the fuel lines was now in the filters because the first one was completely clogged and the second was right behind it. We nursed Magnolia over to the fuel pier about 1/2 mile away and just before getting lines across the engine dies again! Crap, luckily we were on a good trajectory and Aelous *god of wind” smiled on us and gently nudged us pier side. Annette did do a hell of a good job keeping us running head on to the pier. After a quick filter swap out and a couple more gallons of fuel onboard we are underway out into the Patuxent River for our trip out to the Chesapeake Bay. Note: We carry 10 spare filters onboard for just this type of situation, bad gas is just part of the experience!
As we approached the Chesapeake Bay a left turn would take us north towards home but as Annette suggested a right turn would take us…
As expected westerly’s did fill in nicely as we sailed along with a single reef in the main and half the jib out. As we sailed north lines of rain squalls began moving in from the west. The first got us with heavy rain and wind though we did decide we had too much sail out. As soon as the squall passed we reefed down to and rolled the jib only to watch the second to pass in front of us in the distance. The third and strongest got us square on. It was exciting but Magnolia and crew did just fine. The only troubling aspect was the loss of my 15 year old Bahamas Fast Ferry baseball cap. It is really sad because the hat had become appropriately worn and broken in after all these years. Luckily the “Yahoo News” ball cap has been in hot standby. Magnolia ended the day anchored in the Rhode River right near our home port at Galesville, MD with a rainbow.