Wednesday, November 1, 2017

day eleven - morning and evening

Clear, calm night.  I wake comfortable and dry but find the boom tent covered in a heavy dew.  A light fog hovers over the river.  Twenty minutes later the sleeping gear is stowed, the still wet boom tent folded and stored in its bag.  Sail off anchor just after 7:00.  Fish break the smooth surface of the water, gulls and terns fly with intent across the river.  

We drift with the mist inside of the anchored sailboats, the morning sun casting a shadow of Spartina's jib, gaff-rigged main and mizzen along the shore.  

By 8:30 the mist is gone, sunny cool morning, making .8 knots.  A crabber works his trot line, running the length of the line faster than most crabbers I have seen.  He dips his net now and then bringing in a crab.  We leave the Corsica River to find a light NE wind on the Chester River, making 1.1 knots to Piney Point.  Cast to feeding gulls and bring in a small striper that is quickly released.

Late morning the wind shifts to NW, 3.5 knots down the Chester.  I'm not quite sure where to go.  I could easily make Kent Narrows, but it is too soon in the week for that.  I search the chart of Kent Island and don't see any anchorage that appeals to me.  Then I look at Hail Creek.  Not too far away.  With plenty of time left in the afternoon I motor to a boat ramp on Eastern Neck, a good chance to empty the holding tank and drop off a bag of trash.  That done I push off from the dock and enjoy an easy sail south.

At Hail Point I turn up into the creek.  It appears much smaller than what I expected from the chart.  Maybe a couple hundred yards deep and a hundred yards wide, maybe a dead end.  But as I sail north I see the marsh winds to the northwest and opens to a large pool of water that is protected on all sides.  To the west and south a stands of tall pine trees, eagles flying to and from the trees to the west.  To the north and east is a thin line of marsh grass, Spartina alterniflora, separating the creek from the Chester River.  I see the tops of sails as large boats head up the Chester.

I clean up Spartina, relax, read and nap in the afternoon.  Dinner is venison in white wine and mushroom sauce mixed with casarecce pasta, a fine freeze-dried meal carried half-way around the world by circumnavigator Webb Chiles and now being enjoyed on Hail Creek.  Who would have thought?

My view to the east in the evening is like a simple painting.  Calm blue water, clear blue sky, the thin line of Spartina's namesake and a little bit of sail.  I make photographs with both my Nikon waterproof camera and my phone.  As I do so I scroll back on the phone to look at the photographs from dawn on the Corsica River.  Morning and evening, a beautiful way to begin and end a day on the water.


Baydog said...

And which wine was had with the venison pasta? Where did the octopus post go, Steve?

Steve said...

Not sure about the wine. As for the octopus, loved the appetizer and even presentation, wasn't happy with the technical aspects of the photo. As Andre Agassi said "Image is everything." So I pulled it. steve

MaryLou said...

Quintessential Eastern Shore images, Steve. Well maybe not the pasta. I'd always wondered about Hail Creek. Gorgeous photo.

Steve said...

MaryLou, a lot of people have asked me about my favorite anchorage on the trip. I used to say "all of the above" but now I'm thinking it was Hail Creek. I will be back there again. steve

Unknown said...

I love reading your logs. One thing I always wonder is if you have ever heard of freezer bag cooking? Basically its freeze dried meals that you prepare yourself. A lot of ultralight hikers go this method to save weight and money over the premade meals. There are couple of recipe books out there from some boy scout troops. Search for "frezzer bag cooking" or "freezer bag cooking trail food made simple pdf". Also visit

Steve said...

Stephen, thanks for the idea. I looked at the meals, they looked great. I'll give it some thought but maybe a little more work than I like to put together. steve