I had a very nice daysail yesterday. It was overcast and the wind was blowing out of the west. A stronger and cooler wind than I had expected, it felt as if it was about to rain.
There must have been some sort of regatta going on at Hampton Roads harbor a few miles down the Elizabeth River. All morning long a steady stream of 30 to 40 foot boats came out of the marinas and headed west. I had plans to be at home early in the afternoon so stayed down near ICW mile marker zero, finding myself content to tack back and forth watching the passing boats.
I visited Crawford Bay, the anchorage for cruisers, to take a look at this week's cruising fleet. The cutter above, Alice of Penrhyn, will be one of my favorite cruising boats seen this summer. She is a Bristol Channel Cutter 32. I have seen and admired the BCC 28's designed by Lyle Hess. I read that he had designed a 32 foot version but did not know that any had been built. I'm glad to have seen it.
This was my first geography lesson of the day. The home port was listed as Beaumaris. After having read countless books about sailing all around the world I thought I had heard of most ports. But not this one. A little research when I got home showed me that Beaumaris is a town on the island of Anglesey in Wales. And more research continued the Welsh connection - Penrhyn is the name of a castle built in the 1780's in Wales. I said a quick hello with the owner, a moment to trade compliments and well wishes, then sailed on.
I later saw the owner of the BCC rowing his dinghy over to this nice wooden cutter - Paviti Tern out of Westport Point, Ma.
Of the nine boats in the anchorage two were from the Netherlands, Mauyva, homeported in Amersterdam, and another boat that I did not photograph. Then I saw I third Dutch boat, a very serious world cruiser call Abel T. from Makkum. I did not know where Makkum was, but recognized the flag as being the same on the other boats. The internet later showed me that Makkum is in the Friesland area of the Netherlands, the very place where much of the action of classic spy and sailing novel The Riddle of the Sands takes place. While the boat was very serious looking, the family aboard looked very friendly and relaxed. I found, but do not know how to translate, their blog. At least you can see a photo of the family there.
Sometimes I feel like the character in The Shipping News, keeping track of the boats in the harbor. I don't know why I enjoy getting to know something about these boats - I just know I enjoy it.
Eventually I headed east on the Elizabeth River and entered the High Street Landing in Portsmouth, right behind the schooner Spirit of Independence. I've enjoyed seeing the schooner for a couple of years now, we've traded tacks a few times. I tied up nearby to get a sandwich from a coffee shop.
While I was having lunch on the docks the schooner's owner walked over and introduced himself. We exchanged phone numbers and have made plans for some sailing together - he'll have me as a guest on the schooner for part of a day, then we'll switch to Spartina where he will be my guest. Sounds like fun to me.
Mixed in with all the sailboats were a large number of commercial boats including this freighter below. Barges, tugboats and all sorts of work boats, it was a busy day on the water. The wind pick up in the afternoon and I decided to head back to the ramp.
We had Father's Day plans for the evening. The celebration included a card from my daughter admitting she was difficult, challenging and a real pain in the butt to raise, but it also pointed out that I was no cake walk myself.