To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Bound for Reedville

Started: Deltaville Marina, D-Dock. 37°32.94′N 076°19.79′W

Anchored: Mill Creek. 37°47.58′N 076°19.19′W

Distance: 25.1 nm; Time: 5.3 hrs

Wow! Wow! Wow!

So far—touch wood for luck—nothing more has broken. Today was a very short trip. All of 25 nm. We motored, sailed and motored for just a few hours to get to Reedville. A place we've been several times before.

Almost nothing new about this. Almost. We are out and about. That's what's really important.

But some things are new about this trip.

With new paint and a clean propellor, Red Ranger flies! Wow!

[See Back in the Water Again for the start of the drive-shaft issue. See Year 2, Week 3: The good and the bad for phase two. More on the shaft issue below.]

In the spring, we felt like we were limping down the bay. Our speed from Annapolis to Solomon's Island was barely 4.8 kt at 1700 RPM. Allow ½ kt for adverse current, but the rest of the deficit was barnacles and slime.

We hadn't painted for two years. We're seen that biennial painting was a mistake.

Today, we roared up the bay making 7.2 knots speed over ground (SOG) without even breathing hard. With ½ kt of current to the good, we were making 6.7 kt through the water: not our top speed, but 2 full knots better than we made in the spring. Call it a 40% speed improvement.

That's a 40% fuel efficiency improvement. Wow!

Maybe that won't last, but even a 15% efficiency boost pays for the paint.

When we stopped motoring and tried sailing—in under 5 kt of fitful and shifty wind—we still make 3.3 kt SOG. We were giddy with the improvements.

After an hour and a half, what little wind there was breathed its last gasp. We chugged up to the familiar entrance to the Great Wicomico River, arriving around noon.

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Something Else New

Instead of turning right and heading up Cockrell Creek, we went to the other side of Ingram Bay and motored up Mill Creek into a magnificent anchorage. At least six other boats are anchored here, too.

New to us. Spectacular.

A wow! afternoon tacked onto a wow! morning.

Back in Deltaville, we had snackies with Impromptu. Fun people on a Cape Dory, trying to do their fall Chesapeake Cruise with a bunch of other Cape Dory's. We met Impromptu because they had to stop in Deltaville to fix their exhaust riser.

Now, in Mill Creek, who motors in? Impromptu! Everything fixed. Back with their Cape Dory fall cruise.

Previous Years

We are reminded of our last trips to the Whitby Rendezvous in Red Ranger.

  1. We got our asses kicked by a head wind and a fuel system that wasn't ready for prime time. We sailed back to Deltaville, got in the truck, and drove up to Galesville.

  2. Did not attend.

  3. It was as calm as this year. We motored much of the way. Some motor-sailing. A really great trip.

The Bent Shaft

Yes, our drive shaft is probably bent. We had a drip. We though the drip might be motor alignment. A more serious investigation showed that the shaft is bent. It was likely bent on August 6th, 2011, at about 1300. That's when we ate a crab pot with our propellor in Nantuxent Cove on Delaware Bay. There was a huge, wrenching crash. That kind of thing has consequences.

Since then, we've gone, perhaps 3,000 miles with a slightly bent shaft.

After about 1500 miles, it had worn the shaft seal down and started dripping a little.

It needs to be repaired, but it's in no danger of imminent or catastrophic failure. Indeed, our mechanic may have stopped the drip for another 1500 miles.

That's why we're on our way to the Whitby Rendezvous without having addressed the bent shaft.


Attribute Value
Depart Started: Deltaville Marina, D-Dock. 37°32.94′N 076°19.79′W
Arrive Anchored: Mill Creek. 37°47.58′N 076°19.19′W
Distance 25.1 nm
Time 5.3 hrs