Sunday, January 15, 2017


Dry U-10 scallops (translation: dry meaning right off the boat, no chemicals added to make them absorb water (i.e. increase weight and cost at the check-out line), U-10 meaning less than 10 scallops per pound, they don't get much bigger, or sweeter, than this) seared on the griddle and served with fresh raspberry sauce.  Nice.  Simple.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

small world, wonder if they know the right way to pronounce the name

I get a text this afternoon from sailing friend Lynn, who is in L.A. at the moment.  The text shows a photo of a restaurant sign, the restaurant being named "Spartina."  So I look it up on the internet and a review describes it polished, modern restaurant with a penchant for local, seasonal ingredients for meals with Italian roots and California sensibilities.  Sounds pretty good to me.    

So I text my west coast daughter, who I will be seeing in just a few weeks, to see if she had ever heard of the restaurant.  She replies that she had driven by it not 10 minutes earlier and had already decided to take me there for dinner.  How nice.

Trenette, octopus with bone marrow, tomato, red wine, parmigano reggiano anyone????

I'll have to ask the waiter how they pronounce the name of the place.

Friday, January 13, 2017

the new knife

Trying out the new, very serious, oyster knife, an xmas gift from the oldest daughter.  Worked great on a Ware River oyster, the Ware being one of the four main rivers leading into Mobjack Bay on Virginia's middle peninsula.  The oyster was not as salty as seaside, of course, but plump and rich tasting.  And the knife worked very well.  May test it out some more this weekend.

Almost spring-like this morning but colder air moving in by afternoon.  Chilly next week but then warming, maybe for a late January sail.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

everything you need to know about ramps in NC

Barry tells me about this great interactive site for boat ramps in North Carolina.  You can find it here. In the good old days, when money seemed to flow freely, NC printed up and gave away, mailed out, distributed anyway they could a great paper map with ramp information.  Those days are long gone, but you can find the equivalent here.  Thanks, Barry!

Sunday, January 8, 2017


Kent emailed a question about ramps for a Drascombe Lugger in the upper Outer Banks.  Here are some ramps, though I have only used one of them and that was with a power boat.  There is a ramp in downtown Manteo, just above the bridge at the left end in the sat photo above.  You have to take a channel around the island at right to get out to Shallowbag Bay.  From what I have seen there is limited parking there, it would be worth a call to the police or parks department to ask about leaving a vehicle and trailer there.  It is #3 on the image below.  I do like the Manteo waterfront.

There is a ramp at the west end of the Washington Baum Bridge to Roanoke Island, mostly used by power boaters/fisherman, #4 on the sat image.  It's on a channel that runs north/south, not a lot of open water right there so probably not the best ramp to sail from.

Soundside in Kill Devil Hills there is a ramp with lots of parking.  I believe, but do not know, that it is a public ramp.  If it is public this might be the best ramp to use.  It is at the intersection of Dock and Bay, #2 on the sat image.  Again, worth a call to the city parks and rec just to confirm that it is public.

And before you cross the Wright Bros. bridge there is a park with ramps near Harbinger, easily seen from 158 before you get to Harbinger. "X" marks the spot above, #1 in the overall image.  It opens out onto Currituck Sound with Duck on the other side of the water.  

All these ramps open out onto pretty skinny water, from 3 feet deep to 9 or 10.  Lots of good sailing down there, just have to watch the depths.  Have fun!


four wheel drive

A shopping expedition to the grocery, four wheel drive on icy roads.  Tossed into the basket two four-packs of diced mangoes, first of the supplies for the coming May trip on Pamlico Sound.  I buy most my supplies bit by bit, an extra item or two each week and I don't notice it in the budget.  

I do have plenty of freeze dried meals for the spring trip, will have to do a resupply for the fall trip.  Anyway, just nice to think about sailing on a cold day.  

Photo below is a favorite from last spring's trip, before the storms arrived.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

so when is it not a good day???

I had just crossed the bridge on a grey, foggy, rainy day when the boss both texted and voice-mailed "Is this a good day to go to the Outer Banks?"  This brings to mind the question of "When is it not a good day to go to the Outer Banks?"  

Tundra swans, white pelicans all the way up from the gulf coast, a terrapin holding off on burrowing down for the winter, a fishing trawler head south just off the beach of Hatteras Islands.  Pretty good day to be down there if you ask me.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016: the first, the fastest, the finest

The first sail of the year was on the last day of January, a day that began with pleasant winds that became gusty by early afternoon.  It is only now looking back through the log that I see it was on that first sail, when I had the GoPro along, that I got the photograph that I call "the gust."  Is surprises me a little that I would be out with full sail on a gusty day on some very cold water.  I guess it seemed like the thing to do at the time.  

The fastest sail of the year was on day six of the Bonnie 228.  There had been five great days of sailing from Hobucken south on Pamlico Sound, the Nuese River, Oriental, Adams Creek Canal, Beaufort, Cape Lookout and a hard, fun sail up Core Sound.  The next morning the remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie arrived.  Storms over night, sailing off anchor during a clearing then the weather moving in again.  Grey and rainy, I did not see the storm cell coming up West Bay until it was too late to round up.  The gps showed 8.9 m/h for a steady run with the wind right behind us.  It was a fast moving storm.  By the time we got to where the bay was wide enough/deep enough to round up and shorten sail, the squall had moved on.  It was an interesting day with more squalls, building winds, clearing and an evening rainbow.  

The finest day on the water, and there were many fine days on the water this year, was day eight of the Talkabout 185.  It began the night before with a text from Kantala telling me they had left the Miles River and were anchoring near Oxford.  Up before dawn the next morning, sailing wing and wind downwind on Harris Creek in light airs.  A light fog moves in, then heavy fog, crabbers culling their catch and roosters crowing on shore to port.  Skies clear and the warmth of the sun, and a strong/steady wind on the beam on the Choptank.  Late morning rounding Benoni Point onto the Tred Avon, water reflecting the deep blue sky, the bright white hull of the ketch Kantala anchored just off Oxford.  Lunch with cruising friends, casting off to building afternoon gusts for the mizzen and jib sail farther up the Choptank, rounding up to raise a double reefed main to tack into La Trappe Creek.  Anchor down in the calm behind tall trees on shore, a farm across the water, sheep bleating as the pasture disappeared in darkness.  It doesn't get any better.