"When I think of all the fools I've been it's a wonder that I've sailed this many miles." -Guy Clark

Saturday, September 26, 2015

the forecast

Tilghman Island Country Store. They had a wine tasting last night, very nice. They also have an excellent deli and I'll walk there for lunch today.

Weathermap+ says winds will be out of the NE tomorrow at 15, swinging to the east by late morning. Perfect for a sail up to Kent Island.

Friday, September 25, 2015

safe harbor


The sail flow forecast in the previous post is probably towards the high end, but none the less it will be an interesting weekend of weather. "Disturbed weather" is what I heard over the radio this morning leaving out of Plaindealing Creek.

It's been a great trip. Not much wind the first couple of days, then five out of the next six days had small craft warnings. The one day without warnings, yesterday, had gusts to 35 mph out on the Choptank.

Highlights so far include some great sailing, soft shell crab sandwich at Tangier Island, an afternoon swim in Cod Harbor and an oyster farmer who gave me a bunch of oysters and wouldn't take any money. People are nice.

weather hold

Here's the sail flow forecast. A large low pressure area off the Carolinas meeting up with a strong high pressure system over New England. I'll wait it out for a couple of days at a nice hotel/marina at Knapp Narrows. More later.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

so ready

SPOT tracking url is here, or copy and paste....


Used the same copy of the watertribe equipment list
that I've used for a few years now.  It made me realize
I need to pick up some bug spray.

Notice the lanyards on the camera.
Can't wait.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

up a creek, tracking url

Definitely starting at Cape Charles so I've been looking at anchorages heading up the peninsula.  There are several creeks, most easily accessible for a small boat like Spartina.  I would like to reach Occcohannock Creek or maybe Nandua Creek the first evening, both being nice jumping off points for a sail to Tangier Island.  Forecast for the first day on the water is sunny with very light winds.

The SPOT tracking url will be the same one I have used the last few years.  To see it you can click here or copy and paste from below.  It should go live Friday morning.


Monday, September 14, 2015

if only....

....I had put in at Chincoteague yesterday and spent the night in Tom's Cove, I would have flown down the Easter Shore seaside with today's wonderful WNW wind. If only......

Sunday, September 13, 2015

a south wind

A forecast, if a forecast for five days out is to be believed, tells me I will probably be launching out of Cape Charles and heading north on Chesapeake Bay.  Using different apps and websites I am seeing a variety for wind estimates for Friday and Saturday, none of them including the 10-15 mph wind out of NW to NE that I would like to sail outside on the ocean from Chincoteague to Wachapreague.  They all do include lots of sunshine.  Nice!

Starting in Cape Charles is fine by me.  A very short drive, a nice secure ramp with the harbormaster's office nearby to keep an eye on the jeep/trailer, just a couple of days sailing to make Tangier Sound with some nice anchorages along the way.  The distance from Cape Charles to Tangier Island will be new water for Spartina's hull.

I've added waypoints to my gps going all the way to the top of the bay at Havre de Grace.  Whether I get that far will depend on weather and whim.  Deciding, for example, to head up the Choptank River for a nice lunch in Oxford adds a day to the trip vs. bypassing the river and heading straight up the bay.  Sometimes lunch is worth a day of sailing, particularly if it includes a beautiful anchorage off the Choptank River.  I'll go with whatever feels good.

My annual Virginia salt water fishing license has been renewed, though I don't expect to put a line in the water until I cross into Maryland waters where the season is open for striper fishing.  The Virginia license works in Maryland under a reciprocal arrangement.  

In the past I've carried two quart water bottles in the cockpit.  This time I will carry four, all with clips so they can be attached in place (I don't like things rolling around the boat, particularly when it is rough).

Stealing an idea from Curt's Annie, I've added a four foot line that goes around the base of the mast.  Now I can clip the line on to my harness when I go on the foredeck, a nice feature when the deck is wet or the water is rough.

Dried papaya spears were the last item added to the food supplies.  It's time to stop the madness, I've got plenty of food for about 14 days on the water.  Granola bars and fruit cups for breakfast, tuna salad with crackers and fruit cup for lunch, freeze dried meals (first night out will probably be my fave: beef stroganoff) and fruit cup for dinner.  Dried fruit, crackers, peanut butter and honey packets, mixed nuts and ginger candies for snacks.  And that doesn't even include crab cakes at Ruke's, a burger at Schooners in Oxford or a plate of oysters on the half shell on Tilghman Island.  I won't starve.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Just a wonderful overnight visit to Urbanna to see the opening of Curt's one-man show, "Return to the Great River, Maritime Paintings."  There were some beautiful paintings, a few of which I had already seen and many that were new to me.  Plus Curt had several of his mixed media pieces on display, all interesting and fascinating.  

I did not take any photographs during the opening, Liz and I were too busy enjoying the paintings and visiting with the friendly crowd (though I did go back this morning to peek through the window of the Urbanna Harbor Gallery to take the above picture).  Curt and his wife, artist Eleanor Cole Hughes, were generous with their time as they welcomed us to the show.

Later than evening, on what must have been a very long day for Curt and Eleanor, they dropped by along with friends John and Vera England of the buy boat F.D. Crockett to sit on the patio at The Works Bar & Grill for a rambling discussion of art, sailing, daughters, travel and who knows what else.  A fine evening under the stars.

It was, as I said, a wonderful visit.  Thanks Curt and Eleanor for your hospitality.  John and Vera, I'll look forward to seeing you at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival.

Friday, September 11, 2015

in my mind's eye

I received the gift of these photographic prints yesterday, the one above measuring 13 x 19 inches, and a handful like the one below on 8 x10 paper.  I do not know the photographer, he is a friend of a friend.  It was incredibly generous of him to shoot the images, then make the beautiful prints and have them delivered to me.  In a thank you note I wrote that I sometimes wonder what we - we being Spartina and myself - look like under a fine breeze.  I told him that if could see the image in my mind's eye, well, he would know that he captured it perfectly.

The large print will be framed.  The smaller ones will be sent to the daughters, co-builders and part of the original crew of Spartina.  All of them will be treasured.  Thank you, David.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

a dog's life

afternoon way up the Pamunkey River

what can I expect?

a little bit of everything.....

Just over a week until we cast off.  I'll give it a couple more
days before I look at the weather.  These are some photos
from past trips on the Bay and visits to St. Michaels.

Monday, September 7, 2015

an organized mess

Sorting through the gear, not really packing yet.

Batteries, spray olive oil and a jetboil fuel canister.

Inflatable sleeping pad, sleeping bag, sun block, luminAID light.

Goalzero solar panel and storage battery.

Bottles of water and tool kit.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

a preview

From my friend Dave, aka BayDog, who made a weekend visit to Tangier Island.  I always love the way the white workboats and crab shanties are set off against the green of the green water, green-brown cord grass and blue skies.  

Saturday, September 5, 2015

lit up

New batteries put in today for the, from left to right, ACR Firefly Plus strobe/flashlight and the two Coleman l.e.d. lights (excellent and cheap anchor lights).  At far right is the folded luminAID  light, uninflated (which does not need batteries and works very well uninflated).

New batteries too for the SPOT and the Garmin GPSmap 62s, ultimate AA lithium batteries.  Sleeping bag, ground pad and inflatable pillow are packed.  Lots of gear everywhere right now, still sorting through the cook kit and the light kit, trying to make sure everything is there that I need and what I don't need is not there.

 Also finished the waypoints for inside the barrier islands on the Eastern Shore seaside, which I'll need on if I get a favorable north wind, otherwise I'll be sailing only on Chesapeake Bay.

Packing gear this week, food next weekend.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015