The Most Interesting Man on the River and an Exercise in Strategic Docking

Four days with nowhere to be but the water. Four days to get past the mouth of the Potomac River, into the Chesapeake Bay and back home again. Or so we thought. So close the mouth of the river and yet so far to go before dark.

Prime example of a nautical u-turn.
Prime example of a nautical U-turn.
After experimenting unsuccessfully with navigation equipment and a paper chart in the morning, after braving the elements with a u-turn to make it to a marina before dark, and after sailing past crab pots and the cutest little oyster farm this side of the Chesapeake Bay, we found ourselves out of the wind and waves at Tall Timbers Marina and performing an exercise in strategic high-winds docking.

A line handler met us on the dock and helped secure our lines, no small task with no cleats on the dock. As I was tightening the bow lines Charles noticed our aft line was completely undone and we were being pushed away from the dock by the wind. I quickly released the bow line while Charles started the diesel. With the line handler back in the warmth of the restaurant and no cleats on the dock, I’d have to jump onto the dock and secure us to the posts while Charles fought against the wind with the diesel. Two passes later and I was still unsuccessfully trying to leap onto the dock. We were saved by a liveaboard from a wooden sailboat on our third pass, and only one sailing glove was lost in the process.

Tall Timbers Marina from the fuel dock.
Tall Timbers Marina from the fuel dock.
The sailor ahead of us spent quite a bit more than we spend to fill up.
The sailor ahead of us spent quite a bit more than we spend to fill up.
IMG_3388_307
Charles and Chiron at Tall Timbers Marina.
With lines secured and shore power on, Chiron was ready to spend the night at the dock and we headed into the restaurant to see Rick, the owner. Rick introduced us to everyone seated at the bar as the ones with the cat on the fuel dock. I love being identified as the ones with the catamaran!

The Mopey Rose greets visitors to the Tall Timbers restaurant.
The Mopey Rose greets visitors to the Tall Timbers restaurant.
Charles and I sat next to the most interesting man in the marina, an expert in historical wreck diving. Charles shared old navy tales with him through a perfect fresh farmed oyster dinner, alternating with jokes and good conversation from Rick. Everyone’s family at Tall Timbers. With full bellies and a bargain in transient slip rental fees, we left with the coveted Member’s Only key to the showers and called it a night.

Tall Timbers Marina- for a good time, call… http://www.talltimbersmarinasomd.com/

Next up- small craft advisories are made for sailing straight into. 


6 thoughts on “The Most Interesting Man on the River and an Exercise in Strategic Docking

  1. Good blog. Research setting up a long line from your midships back to trim winch in the cockpit. If you can loop this line over a piling and then winch it tight you will have brought the boat long side the dock securely without jumping. Also a long boat hook pole can be used to loop the line over the piling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the idea! I’m going to check in with my husband about this idea- he will be able to put it into practice on our boat.
      Turns out we do have a boat hook on board, who knew?
      The lines came off so fast and with the wind and current there was no time for anything, hahaha well it seemed like that at the time.
      I’m keeping the boat hook in mind the next time we dock away from home because with the leap, one of these days I’m going to end up in the water.

      Like

  2. Remember, never jump onto a boat or dock. Rather, step off with one foot, and then hesitate between boat and dock as one slides away from the other until you are left with no choice but to fall backwards into the water. Much more entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I consider myself a minimalist, yet we have not one but 3 boat hooks on board. We never approach a dock that I don’t have one handy. Also useful for picking up mooring balls. Nice blog, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh yes, the boat hook… Something we had on board in a forward locker and I had no idea about it. This happened so fast and with the rough time we’d just had with wind, waves and fighting crab pots, Charles says he didn’t have time to think about it.
      Believe me, I’ll be thinking about it next time!

      Liked by 1 person

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