Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
whiteness and brightness
and unbreathed air
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I did a little more painting on the interior, plus put in the hardware to hold the rolled up Bivys up under the foredeck between the forward edge of the coaming and frame #2. They'll be out of the way, out of the sun and spray. I also put in the purchase points for the Bivys when they are in use - a couple of pad eyes for the for shoulders loops and one of the feet attachment point. Need to get some bungee cord and a couple short pieces of nylon line and we'll be all set.
Friday, April 24, 2009
That's Spartina and Bruce off of a little island near Beaufort, not too far from where Sandybottom and Kiwibird are headed right now. We are less than a month from the Skeeter Beater. I bought some plastic cups of fruit and a bottle of olive oil today. When I looked in to the food box I was surprised and pleased at what was there. Buying an item or two each trip to the grocery store the last few months has really added up. Pasta, cous cous, breakfast bars, peanuts and sauces. A pretty good start. I'll wait until Bruce is in town for the main courses.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Kiwibird and SandyBottom plan on paddling the course in a couple of weeks. I'll look forward to reading about that.
As for the Skeeter Beater, things are moving along. I rebuilt the water pump on my Nissan 3.5 outboard. It is seven years old, I really should have rebuilt it a few years ago. I also printed out a tide, sun and moon chart for our late May/early June trip. Tides won't be much of a factor for us, but knowing the daylight hours will help with planning.
Monday, April 20, 2009
It was Byard Miller aboard his Sea Pearl "Bygone." He had left Palatka, Fla 23 days ago, headed north on the ICW. The York River, his final destination, is just up the Chesapeake Bay. Byard is from Arkansas. He had bought the Sea Pearl a year ago for sailing on the lakes of near his home, but had always wanted to make the journey up the ICW. He looked happy and healthy, smiling as he talked about strong winds, heavy rainfall and the beauty of the waterway. The boat looked in great shape (I could use some tips from him on how to keep a boat organized). He laughed about traveling in the company of million dollar boats, wondering why everybody wanted to take a photograph of his boat, the smallest one in the group.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I don't know any more about Washington I. Tuttle than what is written in the three and one-half pages printed off an internet site years ago. His friends called him Tut. He had a wry sense of humor and an understated way of describing his adventure. He had done some small boat cruising. He didn't seem too concerned about planning. He liked a cold beer now and then.
I thought of Mr. Tuttle when I read the comment to the blog from S R "Seth" Wood. Seth grew up sailing the Eastern Shore and is now builidng a Pathfinder. His dream cruise - a Delmarva circumnavigation. "It can be done!" he said. The Delmarva peninsula is the narrow piece of land, made up of of parts of three states - Delaware, Maryland and Virginia - that separate the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. Decades ago (the transcript never mentions the year), in a small catboat, Washington I. Tuttle made that circumnavigation.
He left his home in Queenstown, Md. while his wife was asleep, he said, so she could not object. It was mid-August, the month with the highest temperatures, the month with the least wind. He sailed north to Worton Creek where he stopped for a beer. Dinner was dry that night - he had forgotten to pack water for the trip. With a fair wind (and water picked up at Worton Creek) he sailed north the next day past Betterton, the Sassafras and Turkey Point, entered the C & D (Chesapeake and Delaware Canal) and motored to Chesapeake City where he left his catboat at a marina.
After a few days break he returned to his boat and motored in to Delaware Bay dodging cargo ships, thunderstorms and thick clouds of flies. He eventually anchored in "a big ditch", also known as the Jones River, for the night. Near Cape Henlopen, where Delaware Bay opens in to the ocean, Tut ducked in to the Lewes and Rehobeth Canal, stopping for the night at a drawbridge. The next day he sailed in to Rehobeth Bay and called his wife - he needed money. Next stop was the Coast Guard station at Indian River. He timed his departure the following day for the slack tide and sailed past the stone jetties into the ocean. He sailed south on the Atlantic, and then he turned west in to Ocean City, Maryland, tied up at a commercial marina, had a sandwich and a beer.
Tut worked his way south inside of Assateague Island with the barrier island to the east and the wooded coast of the eastern shore to the west (I've visited beautiful Assateague Island, walked a couple of hundred yards back behind the dune line and found pieces of shipwrecked boats scattered about the sand, boats so old they were held together not by nails but by wooden pins). He left his boat for a week at Chincoteague (pronounced "Shincoteauge" by the locals) to return home for work, hitchhiking to Tees Corner (a convenience store still there to this day) to catch a bus back home.
Resuming his trip Tut took his boat out on the ocean again. He sailed south all day, chased well offshore by the vicious blue headed marsh flies. He anchored for the night at a small harbor near a Coast Guard Station on, according to the transcript, Anismas (I cannot find Anismas anywhere on the charts - could the writer have misunderstood Tut saying "an isthmus"? There were a handful of CG stations on the barrier islands, decommissioned and eroded away by the late 1960's). Out on the ocean again he continued south then entered the barrier islands to anchor in the small harbor at Oyster and have a beer with a fishing boat crew.
He continued south to Fisherman's Island at the very southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula and turned west in to the steep waves of Chesapeake Bay. He pushed through the waves under power and then turned north for a rest behind the sunken concrete liberty ships of Kiptopeke. Further north he entered the waterman's harbor just north of Cape Charles (he mistakenly calls this Chesapeake City) where he anchored near "a rickety pier and a small store on it." (In the late 1980's I visited the harbor. It was filled with deadrise boats from Crisfield and the Tangier Sound area. They were down south that fall dredging (or as they said in their island brogue "drudging") for crabs. The store was still there, old grizzled fishermen buying candy bars, crackers and hot chocolate. The harbor has since been turned in to an upscale marina with trendy shops and a restaurant few watermen could afford).
Tut continued on his journey north, passing through the channel at Tangier Island and continuing north through Hoopersville. At 9:30 at night he stopped at Poplar Island. It was foggy the next day and he worked his way north, eventually putting in a double reef before reaching Kent Island at 11:30. A short while later her arrived back to his homeport of Queenstown. As far as I can tell the trip involved about 15 days of sailing and somewhere over 400 miles made good.
It sounds like quite a trip. I've always liked catboats, for a long time that was my dream boat. I've heard catboats, along with jazz, described as a true American invention.
Mr. Tuttle did not have a gps or high tech clothing. His anchor light was a kerosene lantern hung in the rigging. Did they even have sun block back then? I can almost picture him with worn blue jeans and a khaki shirt, maybe a faded downeaster cap with a long bill. And clear eyes that drifted towards the horizon.
Bruce saw the mention of the Delmarva circumnavigation on the blog too and asked about it. "Do you want to think about doing that someday" he asked. I agree with Seth that it could be done in a Pathfinder. It would certainly be an adventure. I guess we need to add a Delmarva circumnavigation to the cruise list.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Just about five weeks until our trip. Bruce tells me he is off on a week-long photo expedition in the southwest. I'll look forward to seeing his shoot.
Monday, April 13, 2009
So I spent most of the day sanding and painting. I'm not the best painter around, I just don't have the patience (I remember Kiwi's on the JW builders site talking about ten coats of paint with wet sanding in between - I would rather be sailing than painting). But it looks a lot better than it did. I like to tell people Spartina is a pretty nice looking ten foot boat (stand ten feet away and she looks pretty good).
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Nearest Location:not known
Time:04/12/2009 08:16:25 (US/Eastern)
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
We also plan to stop at Bath, Blackbeard's old hangout. There we'll stay at Bath Harbor Marina. We've got a couple of other spots we might visit, so there will be four or five hotels/marinas that will be on the list. Soon I'll print out the list with all the contact numbers and have it laminated, it'll be tucked in a folder with some satellite photos of anchorage areas. I'm content staying on the boat - that suits my bank account just fine. Bruce prefers the occasional hotel - and that suits his wallet (good for him and me too!). We'll probably spend six days anchored out, four days in towns along the way.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I've crossed Hatteras Inlet dozens of times over the past twenty years. It is a beautiful place. But I have never seen it quite like this. This is the reward for getting out on the water, having an adventure. You never know what you will see.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
This is one of the reef knots I tied in at the ramp. I am very glad that I asked the folks at ES Bohndell to put in two sets of reef points. I don't remember how much they cost, but whatever it was they are well worth it. I use the first set of reef points every once in a while, I use the second set just once or twice a year (like today). When you need them, they make all the difference in the world. It can turn a rough sail with the boat on its ear in to a nice relaxed, SAFE time on the water.
Above is Aaron, a friend from the office. He has spent a lot of time on the water in canoes and kayaks. He and his wife have had a sunfish for a couple of years. Just last week they bought a 17 foot boat. I hope to see them out on the water this summer. He sailed with me today, but now that he has his own boat I'm sure he'll do all his sailing on that.
The snowbirds are starting to show up. These folks on "Somewhere in Time" are from Toronto, I found them anchored in Crawford Bay near the ICW's mile marker "zero". They are wrapping up a seven month cruise from their home in Canada to the Bahamas. "Living the dream", they said. And it was better than they hoped. They'll spend a few weeks on Chesapeake Bay till it warms up, then head home. This is one of the things I like about sailing on the Elizabeth River, meeting people like this. I was so interested in talking with them I forgot to take their picture. But I did photograph their boat, a Nordic Tug.
Friday, April 3, 2009
When Steve and I first started talking about cruising, the thought of the daily routine never really came to mind. But when we laid out all the gear we were going to take on his garage floor, I noticed a portable potty.
The potty is stowed up under the forward deck during cruising operations. At night we needed to move most of the stuff stowed under the forward deck so we had room for our sleeping gear and our feet. This meant putting the potty on the cockpit floor aft of the thwart and facing the stern. In our sleeping bags, we faced forward. So, one could use the potty in complete privacy, sort of, while the other stayed in the bag or worked on rolling up the sleeping gear. We generally had the boom tent up during these moments so no problem with Peeping Toms, but who would peep is beyond me.
Now, after a number of hot and humid days, there may appear to be dead things hidden in the boat. Don't be alarmed, it is just a little hygiene problem that some soap can't fix right up. I always bring along some Campsuds I get at REI. As the manufacture says:
This all-purpose, biodegradable soap in a compact bottle works in hot, cold or salt water to wash just about anything.
Anything includes you! Steve and I had been out for a few days when we lost all the wind. It was hot and the humidity started to climb. Perfect weather for Mr. Stinko to appear. As the day wore on we found a great place to anchor and rest up. The water on Pamlico Sound was like a mirror. Steve said he was going to take a swim, I was thinking maybe I wouldn't. Steve said that I really should and that I should be real friendly with the Campsuds, and a good rinsing after wouldn't hurt either. What could he mean? Anyway we did go swimming.
Bruce, watch how easy it is to get back in the boat.
Finally, one of the best things about cruising is the sky. (Besides keeping fresh and clean and all pipes in good working order that is.) We had some magnificant ones on our cruise, especially a sunset while we were on the ferry to Cape Hatteras on our way home.