Lake Ogleton by John Ailor

Over the weekend of July 22, 2017 we sailed citizenWendy from Worton Creek to Annapolis.  A line of summer squalls was forecasted for 5:00 pm and we wanted to be securely anchored before they hit.  A steady WNW wind of 5-10 knots and an outgoing tide made the 45 mile trip south ahead of the storm achievable, but a little assist from the citzenWendy's 40 horsepower diesel provided timely arrival insurance.  As it turned out we needed it.  

We pulled out of Green Point Landing (GPL) at 9:30 AM after enjoying a cup of coffee and a bowl of Greek Yogurt with Blueberries and Raspberries and, of course, a banana.  One straight tack is all it took to carry us down the bay to Annapolis.  On prior outings we had some problems with excessive wear, and annoying squeaking, from the V belt.  Jordan Clark from GPL had tightened the belt earlier in the week which seemed to have resolved the issue.  Our original goal  was to find Wendy's Aunt Ethel's place on Back Creek in Eastport.  However, when we got close to Annapolis, we found a boatload (pardon the pun) of activity on the water - go figure, we weren't the only people enjoying a beautiful July Saturday on the Chesapeake Bay.  Having never skippered into Annapolis before, I couldn't determine which set of markers were Back Creek's.  With the approaching storm, we diverted to a less crowded inlet, Lake Ogleton (which isn't a Lake at all, but rather a little cove with a narrow, shallow entrance channel).  We found a little open spot just off a channel marker, lowered the anchor and secured the hatches.  And just in time.  The line of squalls moved in two hours earlier than forecasted.  We congratulated ourselves on the decisions to motor sail and to pull into Lake Ogleton rather than searching for Back Creek.

Just before the storm hit, as the western skies darkened to black, I stood in citizenWendy's cockpit and watched a shirtless boy, maybe 10 years old, sail a 10 foot dinghy up to his home dock.  He was standing, using his body weight and his rudder to ease his way home.  As he passed a mooring ball, he reached out with his left hand and touched it, not for balance or to push off, but just because it was there.  He then rocked the dinghy up to the dock and jumped out.  For that brief moment that little boy was the Prince of Lake Ogleton.  The last one off the water ahead of the storm.  Untethered by a cell phone or electronic navigation aid, no panicky parent on the dock admonishing him to hurry. Just the Prince meandering past his mooring ball, giving it a little touch, confidently rocking his way to the dock.  

And then the sky opened up, the wind crescendoed, and I closed the gangway hatch.   

 

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Summer squall