1 November 2021: Sailing to Reunite!
1 November 2021
Annapolis, MD, USA
Solomons, MD, USA
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
14 knots, easy sailing.
Not a cloud in sight!
Balmy for this time of year
Dry, thank goodness!
Leaving Annapolis in the morning and I was excited to meet up with cruiser friends from the Bahamas in 2018. We met them in Nassau, had a rendezvous in the Exumas for fishing and beach fires (see feature photo above) and generally kept in touch over the years. Ellen and Arjuna had since lost their sailboat Impuls in Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and had recently purchased another boat, SV IImpuls, in the United States to continue their liveaboard cruising life. I had not seen them since so the fact our cruising plans were lining up in the Chesapeake was ideal!
Many things had changed for them as well: new boat, they had gotten married and they had gotten a dog. So there was much to catch up on!
I left in the morning from Annapolis around the same time that Ellen and Arjuna left Baltimore so I figured I would arrive first. We were both aiming for Solomons Island in Maryland. The sail was very simple with flat and calm conditions and I was able to sail 90% of the way. At about the halfway mark, I noticed that my bilge pump was going off – something that had happened only maybe twice in the first month of sailing the boat. So it seemed a bit unusual.
I engaged the autohelm and could hear that the water pump was continuously on behind the engine area. I knew that if the water system could not hold pressure there must be a leak and that the pump would run until I ran out of water so I immediately shut the fresh water pump off at the switchboard. The pump stopped but the sound of spraying water continued until it lessened and slowed to a stop. Shortly after the bilge pump stopped. That made me think the accumulator tank may be the issue. I turned the water pump back on and the spray sound resumed so I shut it off.
Nothing seemed to start up with the pump off so I left it off to deal with once I got to the Solomons.
I dropped anchor in the Solomons after finally deciding on a spot. It was an unusual anchorage with a long shoreline that drops off to shallow quickly and in my mind there was one spot that seemed ideal. However, there was already a boat there. So I drove around after dropping my sails trying to decide the best spot. Not too close to the other boat but also in the part of the anchorage that seemed ideal.
Once I did and backed down, I was happy with where I settled. Great news for me, because I hate hauling it up and doing it all over again!
I checked AIS and saw that my friends were still a long ways away. It looked as though they would arrive around midnight. So I took a closer look at the issue with the water system and while looking at the pump and accumulator tank I turned on the power for the pump, it was immediately clear that there was a crack in the accumulator tank – spraying water all over the engine compartment.
I immediately turned the pump back off. It made me grateful for the redundancies on the boat because I had both fresh and salt water foot pumps so having the pump off until this problem was solved was no issue. The only inconvenience was that it meant brushing my teeth in the kitchen, a small price to pay. It was getting late now at 10pm so I decided to make dinner for myself and go to bed. The reunion would have to wait until morning!
“I’ll see you when the road decides it’s time for our paths to cross again.”
– Ben Maxfield