Okoumefest … Sailing after dark

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While still in the lee of Kent Island, we took the opportunity to put in a reef and don warm clothes for the 8 miles to the finish upwind. Once out into the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay, headed for Bloody Point Light, we had sloppy rollers of three to four feet in steady succession, and the wind kicked up a notch. Fortunately, the reef in the main and the working jib tacked at the bow were balanced, and I had my tacks down by this point. My butt hurt despite sailing shorts and gel rowing pad, but we were otherwise warm and psyched for our first nighttime sail. Entertained by the "party" on the Bay Bridge (Corsair's term for the light display that was the aftermath of a tanker truck fire) we steadily port tacked our way up the coast, with occasional 1/2 mile jogs on starboard. Funny how those docks are silent predators at night! 

Corsair says he saw food in the waves: waffles, eggs and hot chocolate, so we checked off "hallucinations" on his bucket list, but I think he was just sick of nut bars and energy chomps.

When we rounded, the GPS initially calculated our speed based on our reaching leg... so we were only two hours to the finish. Later, when we checked our progress, it had adapted to upwind speeds and informed us... two hours yet to go. As the wind died, I reluctantly informed Corsair that we had... two hours to the finish. A courts-martial was instantly convened, evidence noted, and the captain was summarily demoted and put in time-out.

Eventually the Matapeake jetty was fetched, and we were about ready to turn the corner to the beach when we had to crash tack to avoid a fishing line that was crossing our path and extending at least a hundred yards out past the boat launch basin! Recalling Chief's admonition not to upset ANYONE, we hailed the fisherman (who was a wee bit suprised to see a sailboat crossing his line in the middle of the night) that we kind of needed to get past his obstruction, and soon flipped back onto port and made for the spotlight of BayRaider, Chief and a few other gracious welcoming folks.

Thanks to Chief and BayRaider for an excellent race, to John Harris for a great event and race support, and the other Watertribers for making it memorable. And kudos to Corsair who stayed up late, was unendingly insightful, entertaining and enthusiastic, and NEVER complained. Except about my time estimates.