Here's a report on the small but mighty fine Fairlee Point Rhodes
Rendezvous over Labor Day weekend.
The attendees were Gil Eaton on Closing Time sailing from Elkton and
sharing his wonderful vacation rental house (more on this later) with us,
Jim Harrison on Recess who singlehanded over from the Middle River and Fred
and I on Fretless who sailed up from Rock Hall.
Saturday was a boisterous day on the water. We stood Fretless on her ear a
couple of times beating up from Rock Hall. Frequent gusts in the 20s but
even the steady wind was in the 15 knot range. There were whitecaps and 2
ft. + waves in spots. Took us 19 miles to do 8 but we made great time with
boat speeds approaching 5 knots much of the time. Gil had an even more
exciting time running down from Elkton.
Jim had already arrived in Fairlee and was casually anchored off the marina
waiting for someone to show up who knew where Gil's dock was. We had
investigated the night before and thought we knew. We spotted what looked
like the dock next to a high bluff with stairs running up to the house and
tied up to investigate. Took us 3 approaches in the wind which was blowing
us off the dock. We had the right spot as Tina and Denise who were waiting
for Gil to show up came down to greet us. Jim motored over and tied up to
Gil arrived around 5:30 having made a convert to sail of Gary Clarey who
had sailed down with him. Gary's comment on their 8 hour run: "I never knew
there was so much to do on a sailboat!" Good work Gil!
Gil had other guests staying at the house. Some of the names escape me but
they were all interesting folk who welcomed us Rhodies into their vacation
weekend. We had appetizers and then a cookout on the deck of the house.
I'd brought chicken, Gil and Tina provided everything else - what a feast,
what a view.
Rain was forecast for part of Saturday. We decided to stay on the boat at
the dock. Jim decided to go anchor out. The rains came overnight and stayed
all day. Jim dinghied back over to the dock and later brought Recess back
over to tie up next to Fretless again. We spent a lot of time talking R22s
and sailing and telling General Boats stories. Jim had brought the General
Boats video which Gil had never seen so we watched that. During periods
when the rain let up we went down to the docks to compare boats. Gil was
particularly interested in what Jim had to say because Closing Time turned
out to be Jim's old boat which General Boats had then recycled. It was
really interesting to see what had changed and what hadn't. We picked up
several new ideas. Jim used his dinghy to take a line from Closing Time
over to a piling to keep her off the dock.
Dinner that night was in the house as it was still rainy. A couple of Gil's
houseguests run an award winning restaurant in Philadelphia and had brought
clams and grouper so another feast ensued. We (the Rhodies and Gil's
guests) talked late into the evening. Jim decided to anchor out again. We
decided to stay at the dock. Jim made the better decision as the wind
changed overnight and was banging us up against the dock whenever a fender
would work loose. Fred got up several times to rearrange things.
By morning (Labor Day) the wind had died down a bit. Jim decided to head
out early and left for the Middle River around 7:30 or so. We had breakfast
and then a shower up at the house. We put Gil's Loos gauge on Fretless's
stays and discovered they were way loose - well Stan said don't
overtighten.....;). We'll have to see if that makes a difference in our
helm. Shortly thereafter we said our goodbyes and set off for Rock Hall. We
had a great sail back - beam reach all the way with boat speed over 5 knots
for much of the trip. We were back at Swan Creek by noon.
Even though it rained heavily on Saturday we had a great time. The sailing
to and from was great and the company and the accomodations were wonderful.
Fairlee Point (www.fairleepoint.com) would make a great spot for a larger
Rhodes Rhendezvous. The house is big, there's a good ramp down the street
and the docks are adequate. Something to think about.
We're off for a long weekend today. Planning to head south from Rock Hall
to the Corsica tomorrow night, then to the the Wye and St. Michael's. On
the way back we hope to check out the anchorage at Tilghman Creek that
David Dawson told us about. Of course those are just plans - I just got the
tides for Annapolis too. If any of you Chesapeake Rhodies are out there
keep an eye out for us.
1991 R22 Fretless
Swan Creek, MD / Ft. Washington, PA
05 Sep 2002