The day’s sail north of the marina started sluggishly and tense, as Stew and Rob repeatedly were heckled by youngsters in a Flying Scot claiming luffing rights and announcing “no adults on board.”
The murky brown water was filled with dead cows and fallen trees. The wind was gusting and white caps were forming. Rob Gosselink’s determination since 10:22am to keep on a southeasterly course across the Potomac suggested he was aiming at Bolling Air Force Base and his arrival at 10:24am at a small inlet with a Marine jogger certainly fit the bill.
Gosselink would have known even from Frazier’s published account of the 1973 Penabscot Potomac cross-river voyage that he would first encounter sand banks a few dozen yards offshore, where Penabscot initially had grounded temporarily in a roadstead he named Watergate Shallows before proceeding eastwards into the small bay. With Harris casting the lead up front and yelling back the depths (and other such advice as “mind your clew,” “weather your forelock,” “you’re luffing,” “damn your eyes, you jackanape!”), the M16 sailed on. But Gosselink was not at Bolling. He was at both the wrong latitude and on the wrong coast. The M16 had fetched up at the shallows off Founder’s Park on the west bank, and the Marine jogger wasn’t a jogger at all, but a sculptor from the Torpedo Factory out looking for found art. Continue reading Rob’s Maiden Voyage