A familiar anchorage near Kent Narrows is Reed Creek, a tributary of the Chester River. For an overnighter, Damian and I thought this spot would be the perfect place to unwind after being in the slip for a week or so working on boat projects. Only a few hours’ sail up the Chester, and we were free of civilization!
Entering Reed Creek
The entrance to Reed Creek is tricky, because the deep-enough channel is narrow and glides between an old duck blind and a red marker. We always drop our sails before motoring into the creek. As we did so, the sun began to drop lower in the sky. We had taken off later in the day than we had planned, but we were “hungry” for some sailing seclusion after “dock-life” living for more days than we prefer.
We had come to Reed Creek earlier in the season with Kevin and Stephanie, Penny and Dave’s daughter and son-in-law. We had buddy sailed together: we sailed Gem&I and they sailed Moondance. We had rafted up and shared happy hour and dinner, so fond memories haunted this site for us.
Gordon Point, anyone?
Instead of anchoring in our same old spot, we decided to anchor closer to the entrance of the creek where a small cove inverts into the land that points out in the water. On the chart, this spot was called Gordon Point. We wondered if any other sailboats had chosen to anchor here overnight as it is a popular anchorage. But it would be just us!
How to drop anchor
Dropping anchor is a two-person process for us. Damian is up at the bow, and I take the helm so that we can work together to secure the anchor for our boat to stay put safely. I rotate the bow toward the direction that the wind is blowing. This is called “turning into the wind.” Once the boat is “in irons,” Damian takes his cue to pull the anchor chain out of the locker and let gravity run its course as the weight dunks into the water. Then it’s all about communication. Damian uses hand-signals (per our training with Penny and Dave) and key words that he shouts back at me, so I know to put the boat in forward or turn her to port (left) or starboard (right). Once Damian feels that the anchor has gotten snug in the mud, we test out its secureness by running the engine at 3000 RPMS in reverse. The boat pulls on the anchor with full force, and we both scan the horizon to determine whether the boat is moving or is firmly in place. Finally, Damian gives me the signal to shut off the engine.
And the sound of the motor ceases, and the sounds of nature emerge with full vibrance. The gurgling of the water’s current, the breeze through the trees, the splash of jumping fish, the squawking of ducks and geese, the singing of songbirds on shore, and the screech of the osprey.
Capturing the cool breeze
I opened our five hatches to let in the cool breeze from down below. We have a large hatch above our bed in the V-berth, a hatch in the head (bathroom), a hatch in the hallway between our wardrobe and the head, and a hatch above the salon table. When we are at anchor in the summer, these hatches provide the relief we need from the heat (most of the time) as long as there is a steady breeze.
Fishing at anchor
Damian took the opportunity to grab his fishing rod and went on deck to try his hand at sunset fishing. The calm of the setting and the beauty of the setting sun just made the whole experience euphoric. At this time of day, the fish are alive with energy. It’s as if they want to be caught as they soar up out of the water’s surface and into the air, only to dive back again. You can only glimpse the fish airborne for a split-second, and if you turn your head, you’ll completely miss it (except for the sound). Schnitzel loves being our companion no matter what we are doing, and fishing was no exception. He sat right beside Damian the entire time and watched with eager anticipation as each line was cast and reeled in. Damian wondered if Schnitzel thought the fishing rod was a cat toy simply because it looks similar to a play wand we have for him. At the same time though, I can only imagine how excited the little guy would have been when a real live fish was reeled in on the end of it! Not only was the fishing relaxing to Damian, but he was enjoying trying to catch a fish for Schnitzel. Needless to say, he did not have any luck this time. But it got him thinking about how to improve his fishing next time with some tantalizing fish bait.
My favorite things: at anchor
One of my favorite things to do at anchor happens once the sun has risen in the morning. Since Damian loves to sleep in and soak up his zzz’s as the boat rocks from side to side gently, I have some alone-time. Yet I am not really alone, because Schnitzel is an early-riser too. And he’s always interested in what I am doing and wanting to be “involved.” After feeding him and making coffee with the percolator on our natural gas stove, I sit down in a sun patch and pull out my journal and Bible to spend some time with Jesus. An anchored boat is the perfect place for a quiet time. Nature itself glows with the joy of God, and being right in the center of it with few “man-made” distractions is priceless. I also have my guitar, Victory, on board with us. And I have enjoyed playing and singing worship songs and hymns in the beauty of creation.
What are your “favorite things” at anchor?
Share your favorites at anchor whether you share our love of fishing, reading, journaling, or basking in the beauty and stillness of nature!