Wanting another boat for years now I had been agonizing over whether to build or buy, whether to go wood or tupperware, but this year I bought a used CLC Skerry. I've had it out a few times already, mostly on a small lake to get a feel for it without risking being blown out to sea. Early last month I tried out a small creek that feeds into the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, but got discouraged by the heat and lack of wind and gave up for a while. This last Sunday I finally worked up the courage to launch directly into the bay at Sandy Point when I saw that there was what I considered gentle wind in the forecast.

Although I'm here writing this, I'm not sure if I bit off more than I should have so soon. I launched at the small boat ramp right on the beach near the bay bridge, and managed to sail back and forth a few times between the launch and the bridge. I even sailed out to the lighthouse and back to the beach. After stopping at the launch for a break I decided to head up the bay against the current on a beam reach to see how far I could go, figuring the same current would bring me back quickly. I can't say that I ran into any trouble, but for such a benign forecast it seemed like a pretty hairy ride.

The forecast called for 10kts winds from the NE, and at the beach the waves looked like nothing more than 1ft chop. Tide was outgoing. After I got out to the deeper water I was in 3ft chop and fell down the backside of at least one or two waves into what felt like a 4ft deep trench. The boat was surfing up the waves and slamming down off the crests, sending spray 4-5ft into the air. This was a far stretch from sitting becalmed in a docile, glassy creek while roasting in 100F heat and swatting bugs. There was wind threatening to pull my hat off! Salty spray in my face! What a ride!

Like I said, I didn't really run into any trouble, except for one gybe that pulled the mainsheet out of my hands even though I had sheeted in. I'm surprised the gooseneck didn't break on that one. The reason I was gybing was that the skerry simply would not tack. I had been trying to nose it into the wind to get it to tack but wasn't able to. Frustratingly, the gybe spun me around back to my original tack.

Comments / criticism welcome.