I was out in the garage earlier today working on the cap for the new mast slot in the deck. You will see a photo of it, not quite finished, at the bottom of the post. As I worked I noticed the temperature was dropping and I, for once, was glad to see it getting colder. Our annual fishing expedition is two weeks away, we need a good cold snap to get the fish going.
For a decade or maybe more - we've lost track - friends and I have done a annual striper fishing expedition. For several years we made the trip down to the Outer Banks, catching the fish in the shoals of Oregon Inlet. The last few years the bait fish, and the stripers that follow the bait, have stayed up north around the entrance of Chesapeake Bay. So we have done our last couple trips out of Virginia Beach's Rudee Inlet. As of yesterday's fishing report the stripers have not shown up in strength at either of the places. Colder weather should get them moving.
I dropped by an outdoors shop yesterday to do some window shopping and came across Wetfire tinder. At about $9 for a pack of eight individually sealed firestarters, it seems like a pretty good deal.
This would be an improvement over the fire starting material that I carry in my hypothermia kit right now. I'll pick up a pack from the store this spring. My kit is based on a Watertribe article that you can find here. I have never used my kit, I only opened it to check the contents before each trip. But I do carry it on every sail. Someday it maybe come in handy for me, or maybe for someone else.
And speaking of the Watertribe, I've been enjoying the updates on the building of Mosquito, the trimaran that my friends Alan and Dawn are building. They plan to use it this coming March in the Watertribe's 1200 mile Ultimate Florida Challenge. They just put the trimaran in the water for a paddle test which you can read about on SandyBottom's blog.
Above is Spartina's new deck cap, made out of African mahogany. The screws of course will come out after the three pieces of wood - the plug cut out of the deck and two strips of mahogany - are epoxied together. The screw holes will be drilled out then I'll tap pieces of dowell into the holes. My intent had been to paint the cap white to match the deck. But now I'm thinking of finishing it bright. African mahogany looks beautiful with seven coats of varnish on it. We'll see how the other boat goes this winter, then make the decision based on time and energy.
On this cold and getting colder day I found myself listening to Jesse Winchester's southern lament "Mississippi on my Mind." I have always found it difficult to describe heat. Two days - an afternoon in Ocracoke last summer and a sail up the Neuse River a year earlier - stand out in my mind because of the heat. And I could never find words that describe that heat. Winchester calls it "an angry oven heat." That is perfect. We need to have a little cold weather now to get the stripers moving, but I'm already looking forward to next summer's angry oven heat.