Cold and misty, the fourth day in a row. Seems like March is always the longest and wettest month around here. Very slow at the office too. So what else could I do but think about future cruises and draw up a few charts. Below are three rough drafts of cruises. One I've already scheduled for the fall, one I hope to sneak in during the summer and one I won't even consider for at least a few years.
Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival/Eastern Shore
Below is a trip that Bruce and I have on the schedule for late September, about a nine or ten day trip up the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay, maybe a distance of 135 miles. We'll probably put in somewhere like Crisfield, sail over to Smith Island and spent the night at a little inn there. From there we'll work our way up the islands of Tangier Sound, duck into the Honga River and cut back out on to Chesapeake Bay at the north end of Middle Hooper Island. We hope to continue on north a couple of days and meet up with the sailors from the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival as they do an overnight sail to the Wye River. We would overnight with them on the river and then sail in to the festival at St. Michael's Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Then from there head north for a day or two more, maybe ending up at Rock Hall, Md.
Weekender on Chesapeake Bay
This is a long weekend trip I would like to do this summer out of the village of Rumbley on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Goose Creek Marina has a public ramp right next door and will let me park my jeep on their property for $5.00 a day. Give me three or four days, some decent weather with a nice breeze, a handful of fishing lures and I'm there. Maybe late June????
The Gulf Coast
And this is a trip from Ocean Springs, Mississippi to Cedar Key in Florida. I can't even seriously consider this trip for at least a few years, but maybe someday I'll be able to do it. Ocean Springs was the home of Walter Inglis Anderson. I have heard him described as a painter in the southern naturalist school of painting. He used to sail out to nearby Horn Island in a 12 foot boat, painting supplies tucked in a can, and spend days out on the barrier island capturing the wildlife in his very distinctive way. Very interesting guy, compulsive and creative.
The cruise would carry me east past Mobile Bay, Pensacola, around the coastal bend and then down to Cedar Key. I suppose in could be done in ten or twelve days, but I would want to make it a three or four week trip and explore a bit. Anybody familiar with Nathaniel Bishop's Four Months in a Sneakbox will recognize this as the final stretch of his late 1800's 2600 mile journey in 12 foot open boat. Talk about an open boat sailor! I've already got some charts for this trip. As a sign of the tough economy I was able to buy a $45 waterproof chart book of the Florida panhandle for $15 at West Marine.
It was on a slow winter day at the office a few years ago that I came across David Perillo's story about his Welsford Navigator. Three years later I was sailing a Pathfinder. So if I'm thinking about the gulf coast during this year's grey misty days, then in three years...