South River Invitational Regatta

Annapolis, MD. It was supposed to be light air, 5-10 mph. Instead, after the first wind line rippled toward us on the glassy South River, the wind kicked up, and my father-in-law Bernie Weaver and I heeled the rented Ranger 29 into a close reach, counting down the channel markers toward the Chesapeake. With the wind though came a bank of fog that soon enveloped us, leaving us with no shore references and no way to see the next marker until we were practically on top of it. The fog left us reliant on an eccentric and only part-time depth finder, a compass, and our ears. We eventually abandoned what should have been a short run over the remaining distance to the Bay and the uncertain conditions there in favor of running back up the river, beyond the fog. What had started as a quiet day on the river–no wind, few boats–had become even “quieter” when we couldn’t see anything. It would have been great to sail in the Bay again, though I could sail for years at Lake Pleasant and never add fog to my resume.

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