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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

this afternoon

tropical depression

The black dot is where we are right now, Bath Creek. Just below and to the right is where we were on the Pamlico River when this afternoon's storm rolled through. Made 5.5 under jib alone. Storms the last three days with a forecast for five more days of rain. I'll probably head back to the ramp tomorrow or the next day. First five days of sailing were perfect, but enough of this rain.

Monday, May 30, 2016


Will spend the night anchored out here to see what the weather does.

Monday, May 23, 2016

SPOT tracking url

Click here for the SPOT tracking url, or copy and paste from below....


Webb has anchored Gannet in Mission Bay near Cairns, Australia.  He says he will leave in a day, beginning 500 miles of day sailing inside the Great Barrier Reef.  Excellent.  He had a rough ending to his offshore sail.....

"Came across the Great Barrier Reef yesterday in miserable conditions, heavy rain, quarter mile visibility.  Let's here it for GPS and IPhones as chartplotters.  More rain due today.  I hope to be on my way north tomorrow.  It will be 500 miles of day sailing always on a reach now that the trades have settled in."

Gannet was kept at Quivira Basin on Mission Bay in San Diego.  I wonder how many miles under the hull from Mission Bay to Mission Bay.  (Webb now tells me it is 8,496 miles.)


A persistent low has hung off the Mid-Atlantic for a few days now.  Cool temperatures, dark low clouds, light rain, drizzle, heavy rain.  It does not feel like May at all.  The weather should be moving offshore tonight and I should be driving down to Hobucken with a forecast of sunny days and warmer temperatures.  I'm so ready.  

Saturday, May 21, 2016

ok, I think

Went over the list of gear, an old version of the Watertribe's required equipment list, and found that I've got everything I need (the orange "ok" are from this trip).  Bought my NC saltwater fishing license.  Checked the tides for Beaufort Inlet.  Cleaned the O-rings on the deck plates.  Filled the small water bottles and checked to make sure the eight one-gallon water bottles beneath the bunk flat (forward deck) are full.

I had noticed some wear on the bottom of the mast where it had rubbed down to bare wood.  Sanded and epoxied yesterday, four coats of varnish on today.  Good as new.

I've got a couple long days of work Sunday and Monday, hope to be on the road before dawn Tuesday.

the gear, tracking url

There's the gear, or at least most of it.  I am always surprised when everything seems to disappear in the storage areas, under the foredeck and behind the coamings of Spartina.

And here's the tracking map, or you can copy and paste the url below.  Should go live Tuesday a.m.


Forecast still looks pretty good for the first few days, which should see me down to the Beaufort and Cape Lookout area.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

the forecast

It's an early forecast but I'm hoping it is true.  With a low being pushed out by a high pressure system there could be a few days of sunshine and 10-12 mph wind out of the southwest.  I'll take it.

Curt was not as fortunate for the Pate Boat Yard launch for his trip, driving down in the rain and then getting hit by a hail storm (below) while launching Annie.  Curt is posting his logs now, you can find them here.  

This is the five day weather front forecast.  That high should be nice for a few days, hopefully getting me down to Beaufort and Cape Lookout.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

windless to brutal

Interesting weather on the water yesterday.  Light ground fog driving to the ramp, no wind when motoring down the southern branch of the Elizabeth, 15 mph arriving mid-morning, gusts picking up in the afternoon, with a brutal wind gusting to almost 30 mph late afternoon.

I was joined on the water by Sail Nauticus friends, some who later joined my on Spartina for an afternoon sail, the weight of three passengers being welcome as the gusts ran across the river.  I built the boat to get away from people but have found that I have met and made very good friends with a lot of sailors over the years, yesterday's guests included.  I enjoy sailing single-handed, but I am finding I enjoy company too.  A great day on the water.

Below is a cell phone video clip from Lynn, shot as we passed each other in the photograph above.

Friday, May 13, 2016

getting close

Deke tells me his Pathfinder is very close to being finished and he is ready to do some cruising.  

And Lorenzo is getting very close too.  He's caulking the decks.  Very cool.  Good luck, guys.

Monday, May 9, 2016


"My wound is geography.  It is also 
my anchorage, my port of call."

- first line of the prologue from the Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

I think the shopping is done.  Got all the food I need, and probably more than I need (though I might add some of those tiny cheese rounds that come wrapped in wax), bought a new l.e.d. anchor (WalMart, under $10) and received my second book from Amazon, The Prince of Tides (the first book is Jan DeBlieu's Wind).   Tides tables for Beaufort Inlet have been printed out.  I do need to go online to get a NC saltwater fishing license.

About two weeks until I cast off, really ready to go as I've been following Curt's sail on Annie on the same waters I'll be sailing.  Last I saw he was in Bath, Blackbeard's old hangout, a little town on a creek off the Pamlico River.  

Thinking about his trip and my last couple of sails down there I dug out these photos from the Easy in the Islands 292 and The Inner Banks 425.  Can't wait to get back down there.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

hard fought

Curt posted the photograph above to his blog after what he described as 36 miles hard fought miles in 11 hours.  This must have been up Core Sound, which is shallow with narrow winding channels.  His SPOT message last night showed him anchored in Long Bay just around the corner from the east entrance to Old Channel.  He could be taking the Old Channel to Turnagain Bay (love that name) and the Neuse River today, but my guess is with a west wind he'll be sailing north up West Bay to Pamlico Sound and Ocracoke.  How nice.


When daylight gets to the other side of the world Webb should be heading into Bundaberg, Australia.  It looks like he had several days of excellent sailing and a couple of days of very light winds.  I'll be looking forward to reading his passage log which will probably appear here in a few days.


Here's a photo my friend Paul shot last October.  No sailing for me this weekend, cold and rainy on Friday, then rainy again yesterday morning.  So I took care of chores around the house, checked/packed more gear, sorted fishing tackle and added waypoints to the gps.  A little more than two weeks to the spring sail which may likely follow Curt's path.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

great things about Hobucken, my kind of christian

First off, a great line in a Garrison Keillor essay:

 "I am no model Christian either. 
I love my neighbor as myself but only 
because I don’t much care for myself."


Curt has my envy today.  He is on the water in North Carolina, putting in at Pate Boat Yard in Hobucken.   There are at least two great things about Hobucken.  One is Shawn, owner of the boat yard, a good guy and a great friend of anyone with a small boat.  He always always welcomes me at the yard, helps pack Spartina, helps launched the boat (the very first launch years ago he had to bring about a ladder and a saw to clear a branch for Spartina's mast), watches the car and trailer while I'm on the water and even tracks me throughout the trip via SPOT.  I'm sure Curt is getting the same treatment.  I look forward to seeing Shawn and his Goose Creek Island friends in just a couple of weeks.

The other great thing about Hobucken is the location.  Just about any which way the wind blows you can find some fine sailing.   Heading down the narrow channel from Pate Boat Yard will take you out onto Jones Bay.  Go west a few hundred yards and you'll come to the ICW.  Heading north leads to the Pamlico River, heading south will take you to the Bay River and the mouth of the Neuse River.  Pointing the bow east on Jones Bay will carry you directly to Pamlico Sound.  Which way will I go when I launch in a few weeks?  Depends on the wind.  But I know that each direction leads to excellent sailing and countless small coves, bays and creeks that are perfect for anchoring out that first night.

From Curt's SPOT messages it appears he spent the first night on Ditch Creek, the largest creek on the south side of Jones Bay.  Another message this afternoon show him in Oriental.  I went to the harbor cam at TownDock and there was Annie  (with the green hull) tied up for the afternoon, in fact I think I can see Curt sitting in the cockpit wearing a blue hat in the harbor cam image below.

Give me a couple of weeks and I'll be on those Carolina waters too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

light and contrary

Surprised to look at the calendar and see it is about three weeks until the spring sail.  Departure date a little uncertain as I'm still negotiating at the office, but the trip is approaching quickly.  Boom tent could use one last adjustment and I'm trying to decide if I should bother the canvas ladies now or wait until after the trip.

After what appeared to be great winds for the first several days of the sail to Australia, Webb seems to be getting light wind on the bow.

Gannett's track started to show tacking yesterday, which continues today.