Saturday, May 14, 2016

Mill Creek - at anchor

Sunset version one at Mill Creek
We had intended reaching Fishing Bay YC but the weather prediction was ideal for going north. Light winds in the morning and SW winds in the afternoon building to 15 kts with no storms until after 6:00 pm. With that we left at 7:15 am and headed out. For once the weather we encountered was what was predicted. Just like clockwork, the winds were light at first but then shifted around to out of the south to southwest and increased to 15 kts at the end of the day just as predicted. So we went past Fishing Bay and headed for the Mill Creek anchorage just south of the Potomac River, a 53 Nm run. We used PocketGrib for the predictions which we've found usually accurate and ahead of the NOAA marine forecasts.

The anchorage here is one of the prettiest on the Chesapeake. It's surround by homes with a lot of empty acreage. The banks are high with tall trees on top so there's good wind protection. It can be blowing 20 to 30 kts out on the bay and in here it will less than 10 kts. That's  both a positive and a negative. Sitting in the anchorage you might be tempted to ignore the small craft advisory thinking that the forecast was overly conservative but if you leave the anchorage you will notice the winds gradually increasing and eventually reaching the forecasted level at the end of the passage to the bay. We've experienced such a change ourselves in the past, we're a believer now.

Sunset version two at Mill Creek, after the storm front
The latest forecast is for a small craft advisory through Sunday evening with 15 to 20 kts and gusts to 30 kts. Add that forecast to the usual nasty crossing of the mouth of the Potomac and you have a prescription for staying in the anchorage another day. Even Monday does not look good so we'll probably be here until Tuesday morning when we plan on resuming our march north.

We can stay here fine. We have lots of ice, a genset for heat and charging and a place to take Hoolie. We're protected 360 so we'll wait for ideal weather to continue.