Tuesday, July 5, 2011

a circumnavigation

Here is a very rough chart of the Delmarva circumnavigation that Bruce and I are talking about.  The idea circumnavigating the peninsula is not a new one, I read about a man named Washington Tuttle making the trip single-handed in a small catboat.  I wrote about "Tut" here.

Bruce and I have tossed around the idea a few times over the years.  He brought it up again in our phone conversation yesterday.  So here is what we are talking about.  We have already sailed the portion marked in red, a combination of the Back to the Islands (spring 2011) and Crabhouse 150 (fall 2009) trips.  The next leg (yellow) would be up over the top of the peninsula, though we would probably start the trip somewhere lower on the bay than Rock Hall.  Maybe Cambridge or as far south as Rumbly - whatever would give us a nice relaxed seven or eight day trip to Lewes, Delaware (with a side trip to Cape May, New Jersey thrown in).

The last leg would be (in white) from Lewes down the eastern side of the Delmarva, around the southern tip and up the bay to Onancock.  The seaside version is very roughly drawn here.  Some of it would be inside the barrier islands, some would be outside on the ocean.  

The next leg won't be until the fall of 2012, I'll look forward to doing the planning for that.  And the final leg would be the year after that.  In the meantime I've got to put some more thought into this fall's trip.



MaryLou said...

If you haven't read DeGast "Western Wind Eastern Shore" I highly recommend it. There's another book called "Between 2 Bays and the Sea" by Howard Walker Schindler also about a Delmarva circumnavigation. Schindler was inspired by DeGast and also owned a Sailmaster 22. I suspect the Pathfinder may be an even better boat for the trip.

Steve said...

I have heard of those books but have not read them. I hope to read them as part of the research, and I'll also reread Nathaniel Bishop's Voyage of the Paper Canoe which includes going down the ocean side of the peninsula.
Hope you and Fred are doing well.


Bill said...

I have been told "Between Two Bays and the Sea," buy Howard Schindler is a good book for anyone contemplating a circumnav of the DelMarVa peninsula.

Steve, have you sailed Spartina "outside" before?

I actually right now am contemplating the remote possibility of helping an acquaintance sail a very spartan, old wooden sailboat from Deltaville, VA up to the Long Island Sound - if he in fact makes the purchase of the boat. One of the debates is whether to go inside up the Bay and through the channel, or outside, which would be about 50 miles or more shorter, and thus cut at least a day off the trip.

Of course, right now, it's all hypothetical, but it's an exciting prospect.

Steve said...

we have not taken Spartina out on the ocean. We had hoped to make the sail outside from Cape Lookout Bight to the inlet at Beaufort, maybe a dozen miles, last June. But the weather did not cooperate.
On the Delmarva, I think the outside passages would be 20 miles or less, which seems reasonable if the weather is good.

Drew Frye said...

Good plan. I've done this a number of times, inside passage and outside, and the inside route you have marked is best.

Perhaps there is some stuff on my blog that will help your planning. And the DeGast book is good armchair reading, something every Delmarva and shallow water sailor would enjoy.

Try the "trip report"tab.

Steve said...


thanks for the information and link. I think we are in for an adventure. I do appreciate picking up some more local knowledge.