Saturday, June 13, 2009

back on the river

First daysail after the Skeeter Beater today.  Summer is here, hot and humid with wind out of the south.  Left the ramp about 8:30 and looked forward to seeing all those snow bird boats anchored out in Crawford Bay on the Portsmouth side of the river. 

I kept seeing these little "wakes" here and there across the river.  They seemed out of place until I saw the grey fins breaking the surface.  About 20 dolphins were moving in two or three pods.  I hadn't seen that many dolphin on the river in a long time.  It reminded me that we did not see any dolphin at all on the Skeeter Beater.  I've seen them every other trip on the Sounds.   
I talked with the folks aboard this 1974 John Alden Bristol design, they were from Oriental, one of my favorite towns in North Carolina.  I told them we had been there a couple of weeks ago and tied up at the public dock.  They laughed and said "public dock, that's free!!"  My kind of sailors.
And this lady below was on her way back to Rhode Island from Key West and the Bahamas.  I asked if I could take a picture because she looked so relaxed and peaceful.  She said she was about to ask me the same thing.
Wind was lighter than forecast, but that was fine with me.  Sailed up Scott's Creek, a narrow winding waterway through an old Portsmouth neighborhood.  Saw a beautiful yellow crowned night heron on the shore.  Bruce would have had a great time photographing the bird and the dolphins.
I sailed back to the Elizabeth River only to see the thunderstorms showing up earlier than forecast.  So I headed for the docks.  I made it to the ramp before the rain hit, but got soaked as I took down the rigging.  Tomorrow I'll dry out the boat.
Nice to be out on the water again.


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