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Today marks departure day so that I can make it to head of the Chesapeake and out to sea between weather fronts. I have to leave the dock by noon and there are a lot of things that still need to be taken care of. At the top of the list is getting instruction on how to use the SSB Pactor modem with Airmail/Sailmail and in getting weatherfaxes and NAVTEX. Dave Skolnik was my instructor but before we could get going we had to sort out the Pactor installation, as it wasn't working the way it should. In the end I had to remove those 4 screws that had taken me over an hour to get in so that he could confirm the cable connections. It turned out that there were 2 DB9 connections in back and I'd used the incorrect one! Once that was sorted I got my instruction and we finished just before noon, in time for me to depart on the tide and head south towards Solomon's Island.
The weather isn't good for the trip down the Chesapeake, since the wind outside is blowing 20-25 knots directly from the south and I am to head directly into it. It is surprising how such little fetch (well, over 100 miles of it) can generate such big waves that I was ploughing into and I was getting sea-spray in the cockpit which doesn't usually happen on this long vessel with an aft cockpit. With the wind and waves against me I tried to increase throttle but it turned out that I was having the exact same problem with 2000RPM being my effective limit. That still gave me 6 knots, but it wasn't fast enough to allow me to enter Solomon's Island during daylight hours. Luckily the channel is well-marked and I arrived at 22:00. I anchored somewhat in the middle of the channel, but that would give me enough room to swing at anchor without touching docks, the little island in the middle, and the shallows.