Saturday, September 30, 2017


Blustery sail down Chesapeake Bay this morning. Forecast of 20-25 with gusts to 30 may have been accurate. Tucked way back in Queenstown Creek surrounded by trees with eagles and herons.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

last night

Bringing down the main at Money Creek on the Sassafras River last night.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Rock Hall

Anchored with the skiffs in Rock Hall. Great trip so far. Light but very steady winds so far, lots of sailing between 1.8 and 3 kts. No complaints, very relaxing.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Forecasts are looking good.  Above is for Rock Hall which is about mid-way from the southern point of the sail, Cambridge, to the northern point, the town of North East.  Light north winds the first day, which is fine as I'll be sailing west on the Choptank, then swinging to the north for the few days after that.  That should see me past Tilghman and Kent Islands.

Above are the current forecast models for Maria.  I'll keep watching but as of now she'll be well offshore as she passes Chesapeake Bay.  Maybe one day of wind like we had with Jose yesterday, but there are plenty of creeks to tuck into if needed.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

this storm and the next

We have some clouds, wind and a little rain from Jose this morning.  The Cat 1 hurricane is east and a little south of us.  I have been watching the wind speeds on the bay with this storm as the next storm, Hurricane Maria, could follow a similar path.  Right now sustained winds on the bay are in the low 30 mph range, gusting to 40.  

I'll continue to watch Jose as a precursor to Maria and will certain be looking at Maria's computer models.  I have no problem anchoring in a nice creek for a day or so to wait out the wind.  I have done it before in up to 55 mph winds.  But should Maria's model bring her closer to the Outer Banks or Chesapeake Bay than I may have to adjust plans.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

organized confusion

Should go live Friday.

It is all starting to come together.  Checking batteries, counting fishing lures, trying to figure out where I'll stop to do laundry (probably Sassafras Harbor Marina in Georgetown) and watching the weather.  Tropical Storm Maria popped up yesterday and could be a hurricane by this afternoon.   Forecast is Irma-like, possibly hitting some of the already damaged islands.  Computer models show a turn to the north before reaching the Bahamas.  

I've been debating where I'll visit at the north end of the bay.  For a long time I've been thinking of Havre-de-Grace where the Susquehanna River opens up into the bay.  Lately I've been looking at the town of North East which is a smaller town and slightly to the north of Havre-de-Grace.  Wind and tide will probably make the decision for me.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

meal time

That's a one-gallon bag holding most of the food for one day.  What you can see are dried fruits - mango and cranberries, italian canned tuna, and a mixture of cashews nuts, wasabi peas and pumpkin seeds.  What you can't see are three small plastic cups of fruit in syrup (one each for breakfast, lunch and dinner) and a breakfast bar.  Some bags have cheese crackers in them, others have beef jerky.  There are 16 bags in all and they will be stored under the thwart.  Freeze dried dinners, a mixture of New Zealand meals, courtesy of Webb and Graeme, and US freeze dried dinners, are stored in a watertight duffel that will be bungee'd up forward in SPARTINA.  There will also be some fresh fruit - apples, bananas and oranges - in the netting up under the foredeck.  I will not go hungry.

Friday, September 15, 2017

hull speed, maybe a little better

This video comes from sailing friend Lynn, she was shooting from aboard the schooner Virginia.  SPARTINA was making hull speed or maybe even better.  I didn't have a gps with me but I'm guessing somewhere close to 6 knots, maybe a little more until towards the end when we were approaching the wind shadow of downtown.  Perfect conditions with the wind forward of the beam and coming off the river shore so the water was very calm.  I can only hope for wind like that on the upcoming fall sail.

Monday, September 11, 2017

photographic evidence

There is mayhem in the Florida Keys, no doubt, but there is some hope for a couple of friends.  Tom, builder of the Pathfinder FIRST LIGHT, says his home "made out ok."  He forwards the photograph above.  Very good news.

And an aerial photograph from the Life on the Reverie blog indicates that there is hope for Webb's GANNET, which would be located just to the right and a little above the red circle at Marathon Boat Yard.  

Tough time for the keys, Florida and of course Houston.  Just nice to find the possibility of good news for Tom and Webb.


Out for a beautiful, guilty sail Saturday.  Beautiful because the weather was perfect.  Guilty because I felt uneasy enjoying the water while so many friends were dealing with hurricane Irma.

The schooner Virginia was out on the water too, the crew training for the upcoming Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race.  They have got a little over three weeks and one-half weeks before sailing up the bay to the race's gathering place of Fell's Point in Baltimore.  I asked if they thought they could compete with the Virginia's old rival Pride of Baltimore II.  "We're gonna win it!" was what I was told.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Key West radar

Home from sailing.  Need to wash the boat but first wanted to check on Irma and the keys. mentioned that the storm is now visible on Key West radar so I have added a link here and will be checking on it hourly.  Hoping for the best.

Saturday morning light

thinking of my friends in the keys

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

watching, fleeting

Like everyone else, watching Irma work her way through the Leeward Islands.  Watching the models and forecast track too.  Way to many friends spread from the Keys to the Carolinas.  Hoping for the best.

I do not use Facebook though I do have an account, mostly for work-related issues.  I received an email from Mike Goodwin who took the nice photograph of SPARTINA in a nice breeze about a week and a half ago.  He told me that the image made the banner of the Duckworks Magazine Facebook page.  I was pleased when I saw it there.  Next day I went to look again and it was gone.  A fleeting moment.

Monday, September 4, 2017

snakes in the grass, treefrogs in the cord grass, and how to pronounce SPARTINA

Out for a walk at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge today, just a wonderful day with nice dry air and 80 degree temperatures.  The mild temperature tends to bring out some animals that seem to disappear when it is either really hot or really cold.  Above in an eastern cottonmouth, also known as a water moccasin, that made its way across the parking lot at the refuge then curled up in the grass.

And here is a tiny green treefrog clinging to some cord grass.  I was delighted when my guide referred to cord grass by its scientific name, so much so that I asked her say it three times.  Listen below.  So maybe I do know how to pronounce the name of my own boat.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

steamer night

Steamer night, little neck clams from the Eastern Shore.  
Steamed up they'll be served with a little lemon-butter-
caper dipping sauce รก la Bertha's Mussels.