Wednesday, February 24, 2021

tracking url

Here is my tracking url.  Or copy and paste this link below.

For a couple different reasons heading south a few days earlier than planned.  Got all the gear and food, lots of packing going on today.  Hope to cast off midday Friday.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

puzzled, again

Yesterday's post was a bit of a test.  It was sent from my phone and included the three images in the post.  It also should have included a few lines of text which were lost somewhere between my phone and blogger.  I first noticed this problem on last fall's cruise.  I can send one image and text successfully.  More than one image and the text disappears.  I will keep this in mind during on the way to Georgia's Sea Islands.

Yesterday's post should have said the puzzle was a gift from the Pilgrim.  It also should have said it was made with a beautiful photograph shot by Curt during last spring's cruise on Pamlico Sound.  It is an original and interesting gift, one that I greatly appreciate.  The puzzle was made by Shutterfly and is very high quality.  Need to come up with a gift for someone?  I would recommend a personalized puzzle like this.

Excuse me,  I need to get back to the puzzle.  That morning sky is a challenge.

Saturday, February 20, 2021


temperature check

Just back from the morning walk, 32 degrees here this morning.  I did my usual check on the temperatures down south.  Between 40 and 45 degrees along the coast.  

That should be comfortable with the gear I've got. (And look at that nice north wind!)  I've done 40 degree nights a few times and once, during an early winter storm, woke to find ice on my boom tent in Chestertown.  The more research I do on weather and currents, the better I feel about the trip.

Friday, February 19, 2021

sorting gear

Most of this gear, but not all, goes on the trip.  With cooler weather than my usual cruising times, plus cold water, the drysuit will be important.  There is no insulation in the drysuit, so merino wool base layers, to the right of the suit, will also be important.  Electronic gear - cameras, batteries - is off to the left.  Sleeping gear is on the bed at right.  It looks like a lot of stuff but once tucked away in dry bags or stored in holds, SPARTINA should be neat, clean and organized (why can't I be that way with the rest of my life?).


Thursday, February 18, 2021

fourteen sounds, lights, food, parking

I am learning of more sounds on the way from Charleston to Jacksonville.  My original source, Henry Plummer, showed 11 sounds on his hand-drawn chart from The Boy, Me and the Cat.  Mentioned in my post about that is a twelfth sound, the very small Buttermilk Sound.  Webb also pointed out Calibogue Sound, next to Hilton Head, was not included in the list.  And just a couple a days ago, looking at maps online, I came across Wadmalaw Sound.  So I believe now there are 14 sounds.  Maybe it is not a good idea to navigate using 100+ year old hand-drawn charts.

Checking gear I found one of my anchor lights no longer worked.  I like to have two on board so had Amazon send a new one.  GPS, GoPros and SPOT have all been checked to make sure they have up-to-date software.

This morning I drove to a high-end grocery store in Norfolk and spent too much money on bags of nuts and dried fruit for homemade trail mix.  Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews and wasabi peas make up the nut trail mix.  Dried strawberries, mango, pineapple are in the fruit version.  Look closely and you will see also jelly beans in each kind of mix.  This was a suggestion from my Appalachian Trail friend.  Another suggestion he had, for cold evenings or mornings, was hot chocolate.  An excellent idea and I bought a box of eight pouches.

Speaking of GPS, I finally figured out how to read the current predictions on my Garmin GPSMAP 64S (no one has ever called me the sharpest hook in the tackle box).  Put the cursor on the little diamond shape with a "C" in the middle of it and click once.  That gives the location.  A second click brings up the forecast current for that point.  Having that data available will be very helpful.

A storage facility on James Island today confirmed that I have two parking spots reserved, one for the jeep, one for the trailer.  It is about a 15 minute drive, I believe, from the Wappoo Cut Boat Ramp where I hope to launch.   As I look at tides and currents down the ICW I see that one of the strongest currents I could face, is just to the west on Elliot Cut which connects Wappoo Cut to the Stono River.  Emphasis on the word "could" as I just need to time my launch to have little or no currents, or possibly a current to help carry me on my way.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

a great journey, a Pathfinder launched

Here's a great story about an interesting boat and journey on TownDock today.  Evan and Ariana, brother and sister, passed through Oriental on their way south in COD, a classic dory built at the the Dory Shop in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia in 1999.

The dory was built with a removable canvas cover for the bow, a tent so to speak.  Although the dory is powered and not sailed, it still reminded me of some of the journeys I have made on SPARTINA.  They are essentially camping their way down the coast.

Not 20 minutes after reading the story I received an email from Keith of TownDock telling me about the story and how it reminded him of Curt and I passing through Oriental last spring.   I agree with Keith that there is a similar feel to our journeys.  They are headed south for Florida.  Wouldn't it be cool to cross paths with them in SPARTINA somewhere down south?

I wish the siblings well on their trip south.


Noah sent some photographs of ELIZABETH, a John Welsford Pathfinder that he launched last summer after five years of part-time boat building.  I think he did a wonderful job.

The cuddy cabin is an interesting idea, I don't know that I have seen that before on a Pathfinder.  It is a nice way of splitting the difference between a completely open boat and a cabin.

Noah must be looking forward to spring when he can get her out on the lakes of New York for some more sailing.  He apologized for the set of the sails in the photographs, he is still tweaking the rigging.   I told him I first launched about 14 years ago and I'm still tweaking the rigging too.  

Congratulations, Noah!


Sunday, February 14, 2021

another $100 piece of wood

Another new rudder blade, this one a bit heavier being made out of mahogany.  And though you can't tell from this photograph it has a much nicer foil shape to it.  Weather cold and rainy this week.  There might be a good day early next week and I would really like to get it out for a test sail before heading to South Carolina.