Downrigging 05

Paddling Delaware and the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia

 

Click here for Downrigging 04 and some more photos of '07 and '06 are up on Web Photos

Click here for Downrigging 0405,  06,  07,  08  and soon 09

The weather was perfect, the fall colors were peaking, it just couldn't get much better.  While there were many recreational kayaks and some canoes out there, the only sea kayaks in the water for the second sail on Saturday were our two.  At one point we found ourselves overtaking the Lady Maryland 100 feet to port and the Kalmar Nyckel 100 feet to starboard.  The Sultana was just behind us by a couple of hundred feet.  I wish I could have had a picture of that.  I know there were many on board the ships that took pictures of us, but we weren't about to stop paddling.
The Kalmar Nyckel sails off.   Laura overtaking the Sultana
It just couldn't get any better The Lady Maryland The Virginia
Delaware's Kalmar Nyckel Mildred Belle and the Sultana The Sultana
we gave them a head start The Virginia, the Sultana and the Skipjack Ellsworth The Stanley Norman and the Skipjack Ellsworth
The Virginia
The Lady Maryland The Lady Maryland and Kalmar Nyckel pass

There's more information about the weekend and the ships and boats involved at http://www.schoonersultana.org/

We met in Chestertown last Saturday to do a little paddling.  It was Downrigging weekend, an amassing of local tall ships for a couple of sails along the Chester River.  The winds were soft for sailing but perfect for kayaking.  Laura said she only wanted to do a light paddle, but once on the river and after seeing the ships pass by us we wanted to paddle the river along with them.  We wound up going several miles down river so that we could keep the ships in sight.  The tide was going out and the light breeze was across our beam.  It made for a simply lovely paddle.  The ships turned around near Rolfe’s Wharf.  We waited slightly upriver from them, and watched and photographed these vessels as they came back up the river.  The afternoon sun was low and the leaves of trees along the banks, which were reaching their fall foliage peak, provided a spectacular backdrop for these ships at sail.  A Kodak moment, but one of those times when the film, equipment and photographer just couldn’t do the moment justice.

 The beautiful day brought out many recreational kayaks, a canoe, and some male athletes from the Washington College rowing team in sit-on-tops.  I asked them how the water was and yes they said their butts and adjoining areas were cold.  I stopped them before they delved into specifics.  I like my enclosed cockpit and spray skirt, especially when the water turns cold.  The many rec boats paddled along the rivers edge delightfully connected to the ships by shared water.  The two paddlers in the lone canoe carried with them their tail-wagging buddy who was wholly unimpressed with the ships but perfectly happy to greet anyone who would paddle up to them.  On the way back our sea kayaks gave us the speed to actually overtake the Kalmar Nyckel and the Lady Baltimore.  We had the Lady Maryland 100 feet to port and the Kalmar Nyckel 100 feet to starboard.  The Sultana was just behind us by a couple of hundred feet.  I wish we could have had a picture of that.  I know there were many on board the ships who took pictures of us, but at that point we weren't about to stop paddling.  The mischievous side of me thought of egging on the helmsman into a race, but since they were already “cheating” by using their engine, it probably wouldn’t have taken much to leave us.

The day ended at the Washington College boathouse, a quick adieu and it was time to return to the real world.  Driving home I realized I still had my wetsuit on, so after a discreet change of clothes, a quick snack stop it was back to feeding the dogs, and working on to-do lists.  They say old age without memories is hardly worth living; we banked a few that day. 

 More info at Downrigging

 

 

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Last modified: 08/10/14