Sunday, September 6, 2009

sunday sail and gear test

I did well to ignore the weather forecast - winds 2 to 4 mph - and went for a fantastic sail today on the Elizabeth River. Wind was a very steady 10-12 out of the NE and I had a great reach down the river to the James River and back - about 20 some miles I expect. I had flown over the river last night (photo below) and it was very calm but decided to go sailing anyway as I wanted to find out how a few new pieces of gear fit on board.
That's the Elizabeth River below with the Norfolk Southern coal yards in the foreground. The James River can be seen in the upper right. Right across from the coal pier is Craney Island and Craney Island Creek (for history buffs that is where the ironclad Merrimack - known as the CSS Virginia to the confederacy - was beach and destroyed as the union forces moved up from the Outer Banks to retake Norfolk and Portsmouth. The battle between the Monitor and Merrimack occurred a few months earlier just a few miles to the west on the James River.).
I made a small change to Spartina, seen below. I added a couple of hammock hooks to bulkhead No. 1 up under the foredeck. The hooks will hold this mesh laundry bag which will hold a two gallon ziploc trash bag. I am always surpised about how much trash we generate on a cruise. Wrappers for breakfast bars, plastic cups from fruit cups, aluminum tuna fish cans, baggies from trail mix, etc. It really adds up. We keep a one gallon ziplock bag in the cockpit for our daily trash. We'll compress that bag each evening and stow it in the two gallon bag stored in the mesh bag below.
Below are the two 4 liter bags that will hold our survival kits I mentioned in the lifeboat post. They are hooked on a bungee cord that runs below the deck and behind the coaming on the port side of the aft cockpit. We'll figure out what goes in the bags once Bruce arrives in town.
And that is the new Pelican camera box. The idea for the box comes from day four of our last trip. It was a very wet day with lots of spray coming over the bow. At one point we looked down to see the bag containing Bruce's camera and lenses sloshing around in a few inches of water. Not good. The gear did fine that day, but we decided that a Pelican case - both waterproof and shock resistant - would be a good investment. It will hold one camera body and two lenses.
So I had these pieces of gear on board today just to make sure they fit and did not get in the way. I've marked in red the new pieces of gear, plus an extra long docking line we've added, on the packing layout below.
Everything seems to fit just fine. I do think we are approaching full capacity for Spartina. The boat is living up to John Welsford's goal - enough room for two people and supplies for two weeks. We can easily do that. But in the future when we decide to add another piece of gear we'll need to decide what other piece of gear needs to be left behind. That's ok by me, no need to carry anything more what is needed to be safe and comfortable.


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