Sunday, January 17, 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021

boat work

A beautiful, almost spring-like day with blue skies and a warm south wind.  Perfect for a little boat work.  Started on the Bristol varnish on the coaming and rub rails.  The photo above is a deceptive.  Much of the bow is in good shape and just touched up a spot or two.  It is the rub rails that get the abuse for pilings and it will take a few coats to get them looking decent again.  And, as always, will stick to my work boat regimen.  Nothing fancy here.

 Also put the final coats of primer on the rudder and at the bottom of the rudder stock.  Will start finishing the rest of the stock with varnish tomorrow.  We've got rain coming but it will still be warm enough to do the work.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021


Stuff from SPARTINA, and some new stuff, seems to have taken over the room over the garage.  I needed to clean the boat out for winter maintenance.

There is some new gear in the mix, above the Watershed Drybags, that I been packing and repacking to see what fits best where.  You also see some food supplies at the top right - Rx bars, cans of tuna, ginger chews and Tanka bars - that I am using as I try to come up with the most efficient way - both for space and  access - to pack and stow.

There is a new boom tent storage bag from the nice ladies at Little Bay Canvas, plus various lines for docking, reefing and whatever.  I want to figure out what I need and don't need.

In the meantime I am working on SPARTINA.  Last week was sanding.  This week a little more sanding and the epoxy work.  And if the weather is as warm as forecast later this week maybe I'll do some varnish work too.  Then more varnish and painting next week.

 I want to get it all done by the end of January, which should be very possible, so I can get in the Mango drysuit and do some winter sailing on the Pasquotank River.

Is it just me, or does it feel like we are back in a lock down these days?  Maybe just survival mode kicking in.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

the new year

It finally felt like the new year this morning as the warming sun burned the frost off the dock on Scuffletown Creek.  I had left SPARTINA on the river for December, a month with more rain than usual and a couple of wind storms.  I sailed a few times but not nearly as much as I wanted. I found myself leaving the boat in the water with the hope of a New Year's Day sail that, because of rain, was not meant to be.

The tide and wind were perfect this morning at 6:30 (the pre-dawn time and temperature - 36 degrees) not so much, to bring the boat home.  

I drove to the ramp just off the southern branch of the Elizabeth River, leaving the jeep and trailer there as the Pilgrim picked me up on her way to her downtown office.  An early morning walk took me right up to day break.

It felt good to be on the water, so, so good, even if just for a motor up the river with sails still covered.  It was fresh and open and I enjoyed the clean, chilly air.  It was also a good morning to test-drive my new Ice Breaker medium weight (#260, though I don't know what that number signifies) merino wool thermals.  They worked very well.

Mist hung about the docks on the little creek as I readied to haul SPARTINA for some winter maintenance.  There is some sanding, epoxy work and varnishing to do.  Plus painting some of the interior cockpit and storage areas.  With more and longer trips this year, plus leaving the boat on the Elizabeth River for daysails, she has been exposed to the elements more than ever.  And it shows.  I expect the maintenance to take about four weeks.  And there will be some modifications too, including putting the new rudder stock and rudder in place, and adding a downhaul for the jib.  

February is for some winter sails/test sails, most likely on the Pasquotank River in Elizabeth City.  Then in March, well, we'll see.  Maybe head south for some warmer weather.


Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year's Day

 Down to the Dismal Swamp for a hike and a selfie.
I hope everyone has a great 2021!