Friday, May 6, 2011

Fishing Bay Yacht Club – At a free dock

Fishing Bay Yacht Club docks
 With the genset finally repaired, it was time to move on north. Our goal was the Fishing Bay Yacht Club, about 40 miles up the Chesapeake. First we took on fuel and as we started the engine, we noticed that the autopilot would not turn on. Oh no, not again. The first thing to check are always the connections, especially with Raytheon instruments with Seatalk plugs which are famous for working loose. They do not have a positive latch to keep them in their socket which is a design flaw for a boat given all the motion, bumps, vibration, etc. Sure enough, the plug in the back of the autopilot head mounted on the binnacle was loose. Pushing it back in cured the problem and taping the lead to the nearest post further helped to keep it that way. On a boat you become your own fix-it man or go broke. If the genset ever speeds up again in rpm, I’ll know what to do. I do make a point of carrying spares of all major wearout items so at least I don’t have to pay retail for replacements if they fail. Even if installation requires expert help, it still pays to have the spares on-board which saves both time and money.

Note the construction of the fixed docks, typical of area
With a 15 to 20 kt wind all day long out of the southwest, we sailed almost all the way north, about 6 hours of sailing. The channel into the yacht club is very narrow and at one point it appears to go within 100 feet of shore before a sharp turn to port. As I approached the entrance, the boat next to me suddenly pulled up (I thought he was going through first) and held up the radio. We called and he said, “I’ll follow you in!” Right. So I led the parade down the channel with the warning from the yacht club of “Be sure to stay in the channel, it’s very narrow” still ringing in my ear. Naturally, about mid-way through the channel, another boat was coming out so we passed very close (Why couldn’t he wait??)

The Fishing Bay Yacht Club has two free docks for visitors from other yacht clubs. The docks come with electricity and water along with showers and restrooms ashore which are spotless. Given that the docks are extremely well protected, it’s a perfect stop-over.

We’re off again on Saturday across the bay, hopefully with some wind left over from today.