Friday, September 24, 2021

a man of leisure


Pretty dawn light this morning as I ran SPARTINA to the ramp to back her in to the water so I could make some adjustments on the trailer.  A front moved through yesterday bringing cool dry air that will hang around for at least a few days.  How nice.


My usual routine to start a cruise involves getting up at 0-dark-thirty, making the predawn drive to the ramp, rigging, launching and then sailing the first leg.  A long day to say the least.   I realized the other day that being retired I am now a man of leisure.  So instead I will make a leisurely drive up on Sunday and launch the boat.  I might sail a few miles to an anchorage, or I might just tie up in the basin on Cambridge Creek, get dinner, relax and be ready to sail at dawn the next day.  That sounds kind of nice.



Wednesday, September 22, 2021

tracking url


Here is the tracking URL for the fall sail.  Or you can copy and paste the link below.  It should go live Monday.  It could possibly go live Sunday should I decide to drive up mid-day, launch in Cambridge and anchor nearby so I can be sailing at dawn Monday.  We'll see.



The photographs are from the last three cruises.  At top is crossing Tangier Sound (fall sail 2019), next is anchored in Broad Creek off the Alligator River in North Carolina (spring sail 2020) and then a foggy morning on the South Edisto River in South Carolina (winter sail 2020).





Monday, September 20, 2021

tentative


Today I received a tentative docking plan for the Downrigging Weekend in Chestertown (click on the link to see some cool drone video of the tall ships on the Chester River and the Chestertown waterfront).  My dock appears to be 45' long.  I think that will work.  At the "tee" of the dock are both the Pride of Baltimore II and the schooner Virginia, so should have plenty of friends passing by.  


Above is a favorite shot by my friend Roger, who sails the Herreshoff ketch GWYLAN, from the 2014 down rigging.  You can see more of his photographs of SPARTINA with the tall ships here.  


 A quick look at the weather early next week shows a good chance for a pleasant start for the fall sail.

I should have the url for the tracking page soon.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

she swam like her boat sank


Taking my time these days packing gear, food and batteries.  Why take my time?  Because I enjoy it.  Above are contents of the clothes bag, pants, shirts and a few other items all in their own bags that go into the larger dry bag at left.  Four sun block shirts and three NorthFace Paramount Convertible pants seem to work well.


I tucked the freeze dried meal storage bags into the two thwart storage areas and filled each with 15 meals.


Sleeping gear, left to right, 30 degree sleeping bag, bivy and inflatable sleeping pad.


Hypothermia kit, left, and the dry bag that holds the Stohlquist Amp dry suit, right.

--------------------------------------


My hat is off to the oldest daughter who completed her second Ironman triathlon in Cambridge, Md. yesterday.  I launched SPARTINA there two years ago on the day of her first event.  Though I could not see her in the crowd I could see the swimmers out on the Choptank River.  I remember the posters displayed around town and as they said...

She swam like her boat sank
Rode like she stole the bike
And ran for her life.

And in the process cut 40 minutes off her previous IronWOMAN event.  Well done!




 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Stone Horse


 I have always been a fan of Edey & Duff Stone Horses and was very happy to see this one on the cover of this morning's Town Dock, Oriental's online news site.  A beautiful sailboat on a beautiful morning.

Doing touchup painting and some hardware replacement on SPARTINA.  I've got most of the food packed.  Clothing and gear is sorted out and I'll start packing that soon.  Too far out to look at the weather but I hope to start the fall sail a week from Monday.

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's video The Long Shore makes me look forward to the fall sail even more.  I've watched it several times, and I'm sure I'll watch it a few more before casting off.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Long Shore

 
Here is a nice little video from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum about Chesapeake Bay, the history, the changes and the museum's work in preserving that story.  Lots of old black and white film clips mixed it with the current day work at the museum.  Enjoy!


Interesting fact from the video about Chesapeake Bay - there are 8,000 miles of shoreline.  I've seen a lot of those miles, but still have a lot to go.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

additions to the menu



On a visit to REI I came across two freeze-dried dinners that I had not seen before.  Backpacker's Pantry Mushroom Stroganoff and Alpineaire Kung Pao Grilled Chicken.  Both sound excellent to me.


Just yesterday I had packed the food sacks, two 20 liter Sea to Summit dry bags, with 15 freeze-dried meals in each.  I'll go back in and pull out a couple of dinners - there is some repetition in there - and add the new meals.  When I load up for the fall trip I will have to empty each stuff sack, putting one sack each in the two thwart storage holds, and refill the bags in the hold (the full bags will not fit through the port).  Each evening I can open the port, grab the top of s dry bag, open it and pull out that evening's dinner selection.  Two reasons for the dry bags:  1) keep the meals dry, moisture always finds its way into the hold and 2) all the meals in the bags make the holds much more organized.  There is some other gear in there that I need to access and I don't want to have to dig through a bunch of individual items to find the whatever I need.

 

The Kung Pao dinner reminded me of my all time favorite fortune cookie which came with a Kung Pao dinner a few years ago.  

A little over two weeks until I begin the fall sail.  Lots of little jobs to do, still plenty of time to get ready.

Friday, September 3, 2021

friends in high places


Just a spectacular day on the water as fall came to the area from a brief visit.  Not here to stay, at least not yet, just a drop-by visit with cool dry air out of the north, a chance for us to get re-acquainted with comfortable temperatures, blue skies and white puffy clouds.  Steady NNE winds 10-15 with gusts in the high teens.  Perfect.


A friend and schooner Virginia crew member was aloft in the in the rigging tensioning a counter stay and grabbed a few nice photos.  Thanks a bunch!

And fall, when you come back in a few weeks, make yourself at home and stay for a while.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

cloudy then clear, and a wonderful morning breeze


The morning started off with a huge dark cloud over the river, and a very nice breeze.  Just the tiniest hint of rain and the cloud moved on.  The wind stayed.


If you watch the video you will see there is some slack in the dyneema starboard shroud.  It is the same with the port shroud.  I have tightened both shrouds multiple time but after a short sail I get some more slack.  They say that dyneema does not stretch.  I was told by a tall ship captain the other day that while dyneema does not "stretch" it does have some "creep," and there is, according to the captain, a distinction between the two.  We'll see.  I will continue tightening up until the slack is gone.


 It was a wonderful morning, probably the best since the heat arrived.

Friday, August 27, 2021

not for sale, here comes the sun, one out of two is not bad,


I was greeted by a folded note as I got to SPARTINA before dawn this morning.  It was from a man looking to buy a Pathfinder.  I am not interested in selling the boat, I told him this in a text.  I also told him that I was impressed that he recognized the design.  Most people think it is a Drascombe.


I got out on the water before the sun crested over downtown.  There was a nice breeze and it was still cool, perfect for a morning sail.  I found I need to do some adjusting on the new standing rigging, it always takes me a while.  It should not be too much trouble.  Three hours of pleasant sailing before the heat arrived.  I'll take that any day.


Sailing by the beautiful schooner FLYING DRAGON out of Key West there was a man on board having his morning coffee in the shade.  I asked him who designed his boat.  He told me Merrit Walters.  I should have at least suspected that from the raked masts.  The tall ship AMERICAN ROVER, also with raked masts and tied up just across the river, is another Merrit Walters design.

The man on the schooner then asked if my boat was a Drascombe.  One out of two for the morning is not bad.