Tuesday, February 27, 2018


This morning's emails included a press release which included the announcement that Webb Chiles will be awarded the Blue Water Medal by the Cruising Club of America.  Webb is being honored for his five circumnavigations plus the 24,000 miles he has sailed the last couple of years on his Moore 24 GANNET.  Attention is not something that Webb seeks.  He just sails, writes and lives the life he chooses.  I am glad to see that his circumnavigations, and his life, really, are being acknowledged as something special.  Congratulations, Webb.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


The weather forecast was marginal.  Surprisingly warm with a nice breeze, but only a little sun in the a.m. and the heavy overcast for the rest of the day (in the winter I really want sunshine on a sail).  But the oldest daughter had a birthday wish: a sail on the boat she helped build.  So I drove to the ramp in a light mist thinking this is not going to work out well.  But it did.  Skies cleared just as we reached Craford Bay.  I picked up the Pilgrim and oldest daughter at the docks later in the morning for just a wonderful sail.  

It was the first sail made with adjustments to the rigging by sailmaker Stuart Hopkins.  He had suggested adding a roband (simply a fixed piece of line to hold the clew close to the boom) to the main and not tightening the outhaul as much so the main would have more "belly."  I will be experimenting with this all spring but the first effort was a success.  You can see the curve of the foot of the main along the boom.  Without the roband the foot, because of tension from the outhaul, creased and folded over.  Now it curves out nicely.  It looks good and I think adds a little power to the sail.  Very nice.  Thanks for the advice, Stuart.

There was a second birthday wish: seafood.  More specifically, seafood cooked on the grill.  Little Neck clams from the eastern shore steamed in a foil tent.

Salty, very salty, oysters from the eastern shore seaside swam in garlic/basil butter, maybe too much of that (but then again can you really have too much).

And fresh caught Carolina shrimp, skewered and grilled.  It all came out pretty good.  

First sail of the year, a birthday celebration.  Pretty nice.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

this is getting old....

Below is the forecast map for tomorrow with red Xs marking my sailing areas and blue indicating rain.  Not too happy about this at all.  Seems like mid-week the forecast called for overcast, which I can deal with as long as it is warm.  Rain I can deal with too, but not on the first day of the year with the nice-just-cleaned sails.  Ideally I would like to make the first sail of the year with some sunshine and a nice breeze.  Not happening tomorrow.  Maybe next week.  In the meantime I went back through the log and pulled a few images from February sails just to prove to myself I have sailed in February.  Here they are.  (I had completely forgotten the photo above.  Pretty cool, don't you think??)

Monday, February 12, 2018

workboat finish, of course

Two new coats of steel grey interlux paint on Spartina.
Cold, rainy weather continues, and it appears that
it may last a few more weeks.

Friday, February 9, 2018

a dog's life

From Tom, who is gearing up to sail his Pathfinder
FIRST LIGHT in the Everglades Challenge.

Monday, February 5, 2018

fine dining in Saxis

The internet tells me that the the number of fine dining establishments in Saxis, Virginia has doubled.  Yes, at one time there was just one restaurant, Martha's Kitchen, and now there are two with the addition of Capt. E's Hurricane Grill & Tiki Bar.  This is good and useful information as I may well be heading across Pocomoke Sound near Saxis during the spring sail.  I have been to Saxis just once and while leaving there I took one of my favorite all-time photos, above.  Don't know why I like it so much, I just do.  Saxis is not exactly an island, it is connected to the mainland with a long road through the marshes, but it is so isolated it may as well be an island.

Capt. E's appears to be located next to the boat ramp and docks on Starling Creek with indoor and outdoor dining and a menu that relies much on the food of Smith Island.  I hope to pass through Smith Island too later in the trip and will definitely compare Capt. E's with the real deal island food.  The last visit to Saxis included lunch at Martha's Kitchen, below, an interesting visit that I wrote about here.  

Onancock is the reason I'll be crossing Pocomoke Sound.  I would like to head out of Crisfield, cutting behind the marshes on what I have seen labelled as both Broad Creek and Daugherty Creek (last photo in this post shows sailing through the creek wing and wing).  You can see the line that connects the Little Annemessex to Pocomoke Sound.  Depending on the time of day I could head east to Saxis or south to Beach Island or Island Bay.  Onancock would be a day's sail south of there.

This is just thinking out loud now, it will all depend which way the wind is blowing the first few days of the trip.  I'll certainly visit Tangier and Smith Islands, plus there are the countless tiny creeks and bays and coves.  We might even work our way up the Honga River.  We'll see.

Much too cold and windy today for a sail.  I spent the morning stowing all the sails and spars on SPARTINA.  We are ready to go as soon as the weather warms.