Saturday, November 7, 2009

small boats everywhere

For spectators the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival is a one day event. But if you come in a sailboat like we did it is a three day affair. Our festival started on Dividing Creek off the Wye River. Below is the gunkholing fleet arriving mid-afternoon on Thursday. The boat in the middle is Kevin B.'s Navigator "Slip Jig", a John Welsford design similar to my Pathfinder.

A couple of boats tied up to an old pier on the creek and the rest of the fleet rafted up with them. I think Slip Jig and Spartina were the last two boats to raft up as we sat out on the creek for a while and talked about our boats. Eventually we headed to shore and carried our stove/cooking gear/food (steak and fresh caught fish) up to the park area on shore and had dinner with everyone else, a nice evening with an excellent dinner and great people.

(Steve and I anchored out for the night. Most of the others set up tents on shore and enjoyed a late campfire.)

After a quiet night on the creek we sailed in to St. Michaels with Kevin and Slip Jig. High winds were in the forecast, but we had a great ride in. Kevin sailed with us for a while, but as we were weighted down with two people and all our gear he eventually sailed away from us. He met us at the entrance to St. Michaels and showed us the way in past a shoal.

(I still relied on the old gps after running aground earlier that morning, no offense to Kevin or anything. :) )

Kevin even loaned us his car to run down to Crisfield and pick up my jeep and trailer. By the time we got back to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum oysters and steamed crabs were being served.

Talk about a great afternoon snack!

But it was only a snack, Bruce and I headed over to The Crab Claw right next to the Museum for dinner. I had a salad and steamed clams. I don't recall what Bruce had but I do remember we both enjoyed the evening.

(I can't remember what I had, but we did have a great time. We could walk back to our B&B and it was a perfect evening to enjoy the boats and the quaint streets.)

It was glassy calm the next morning, the day of the festival. Bruce had decided to stay ashore and take photographs while I took Spartina out on the Miles River. I think I was the first sailboat to head out.

I said I went for a sail, Bruce said I went for a "drift". In either case it was a pretty morning and I enjoyed myself. I really like this photo (below) that Bruce shot of Spartina, that's a very nice reflection in the water (it reminds me of some Winslow Homer paintings). Nice shot, Bruce!

(It was a drift. A drunken sailor in a life jacket could have made better time getting around. But Steve did look pretty out there.)

Bruce checked out all the boats on shore and on the water. There were probably a couple of hundred boats there, everything from large wooden sailboats to beautiful wooden kayaks that looked like works of art.

(We have lots more pictures of the boats at the festival, perhaps we can do a post with just the boats, maybe tomorrow?)

Below is a log canoe, a very classic Chesapeake Bay Boat (and another classic to the right -Kevin's Navigator Slip Jig).

Of course Bruce could not stay away from photographing birds. I can't remember what kind of bird this is, maybe Bruce will tell us.

(I believe this is a Green Heron. It was hanging out in a pond near the museum. Birds are great subjects to photograph, especially when they pose for you.)

And below I'm taking Mary Lou and Fred out for a sail. I made four sails that day. One by myself (the morning "drift"), one with Mary Lou and Fred (our friends from Rock Hall), one with Seth (a Pathfinder builder) and Barbara, and the last with my neighbor Jim and his friend (also) Jim. Taking those folks out sailing was really the highlight of the festival for me. I would get Spartina out of the harbor and then turn the tiller over to whoever was on board. It was fun to watch Spartina's guests feel the sails catch the wind. By late morning we had a nice breeze and blue skies, it was great sailing and a lot of fun to talk with the folks on board.

The festival made for a great ending to a real adventure. We've started picking out dates for next year's trips. I can't wait.


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