Sunday, September 15, 2013

where did summer go?

Flying V-shaped squadrons of geese have been flying overhead.  A man fishing along the old concrete rip rap on the eastern branch of the Elizabeth pulled in a nice speckled trout.  And there were 20 mph gusts buried in the steady wind that rolled straight down the Elizabeth River yesterday morning.  All signs of the coming fall.  I had to wonder where had summer gone.  Maybe this evening I will scroll back through this summer's posts to remember what it was like.

It was a beautiful day on the water, starting out under a double reefed main, then single reef and then full sail as the winds evened out mid-morning.  No clouds, plenty of sailboats big and small enjoying the cool dry air.  The Coast Guard barque Eagle drew a crowd to the High Street Landing on the Portsmouth waterfront.  There was a music festival on the Norfolk waterfront, the Sail Nauticus boats were out for an afternoon regatta and I must have counted a half-dozen kayakers paddling the river.  Just a great day.  

Packing starts this morning.  I'll sort through the cook and light kits, check the hypothermia bag.  I'll open all the deck plates, taking out the day sailing gear and replacing it with cruising supplies.  The boom tent will take the place of the rolled up sun shade beneath the foredeck.  The bivy, sleeping bag, sleeping pad will all go into their stuff sacs.

I need to count my food supplies.  The trail mix I've made up is too salty, I'll add some dried cranberries to make it less so.  I'll buy some more cups a fruit, a luxury on board because of their weight but I do enjoy a cup of fruit with breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I've found two new favorite flavors - mango and mango/pineapple.

A dead battery for the Fuji X20 will be charged today - another nice sunny day - using the solar panel.  I've done a couple of tests recently and found that I can charge a battery and have the storage battery back to 100% in a matter of hours.   

I'll drive a circuitous route to Uncle Chuck's, my shellfish guy, taking me by two places that should have fuel canisters for the jetboil and West Marine where I'll pick up a spare spark plug for the Honda outboard.  (At Uncle Chuck's I'll pick up some Argentinian deep water shrimp which I'll substitute for lobster in this nice recipe from the NY Times.)

I'll count batteries, pack clothes, maybe check the ten day weather forecast but probably not as it is not very reliable.

Lots of things to do on a pretty day that feels like fall.  Where did the summer go?



Bill said...

The fact that summer is ending has prompted me to get my butt back up to work on my boat, which I had done nothing with until last weekend.

Went up there last Sunday and did a bunch of work, notably de-winterizing the engine, which I had winterized last December(!) To my great satisfaction, she fired right up with only about 5 seconds of cranking, and purred like the proverbial kitten.

Went back up today to do some interior sanding and painting. Also am replacing the entire wet section of the exhaust.

My sailing buddy and I are planning on an overnight trip in the next few weeks. Prime sailing season on the Chesapeake is upon us.

Steve said...

Good on you. Enjoy!


SandyBottom said...

Not sure the timing will work out, but I'd sure love to see you and Spartina sailing the ICW canal between Alligator River and Pungo Canal when I'm paddling it. I'm thinking I'll be in that area Mon or Tues 9/30 or 10/1. I'll be looking for you.