Had a good time in San Diego while visiting my family out there. Nice to see Bruce too and talk about things like safety (as in his post below) and talk about our last trip and the upcoming trip on the Bay. We did sit down with a chart of Chesapeake Bay and went over the route, departure dates, goals, food, etc. We seem to be in agreement on the overall plan, plus we built in some contingencies for light wind (we can shorten the route if we make less distance than planned) or excellent wind (that route, which we are really hoping for, would take us up to Rock Hall before turning back south towards St. Michaels and the Small Craft Festival).
I did try out the new cook set that Bruce picked up at REI. Worked very well. I boiled a liter of water in just under four minutes. Plus it stows very nicely inside the roughneck cook kit and leaves lots of space for the other cooking essentials - utensils, seasonings and olive oil.
On the web I've been enjoying 70.8%, Thomas Armstrong's sailing blog. Right now it has a post that is near and dear to my heart, a collection of photos of John Welsford boats in New Zealand. It was some of those same photos that got me interested in building Spartina a few years ago. I have not met Thomas in person but we have corresponded some on the internet. I think we'll get to meet him up at the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival.
Speaking of John Welsford, Amazon indicates his updated book Backyard Boatbuilder: How to Build Your Own Woodenboat should be out very soon. This book is a great investment if you are considering building one of John's designs. The edition I have includes his theories on boat building and design, plus chapters about camper cruising and some of John's adventures. He detailed several of his designs from row boats to sailboats and gave some background on the history of some of his more popular boats. I'm sure the new edition will have all that and more.
Talking with Bruce got me thinking about the Skeeter Beater 126 cruise. I dug out some photographs from day four of the trip. Click here for more details of that adventure. That was sailing east into a strong wind out of the east with a nice squall thrown in. At top is Spartina at the dock on Bath Creek. Bruce kept a steady hand on the tiller, first time he had sailed in to that much wind and rain. And after a long day of tacking we anchored in beautiful Dixon Creek (bottom photograph). That was my favorite anchorage, I think Bruce's too. I won't soon forget the fireflies and spanish moss, a tiny cow-nosed ray skimming under the surface of the water, the glassy calm water that was such a relief after a long day on the rough waters on the Pamlico River.