Tuesday, March 31, 2020

another use

Glad to have a few buffs in the gear closet.  Yes, I'll have to pull it up to cover my nose, still nice to have on hand.

From the NYTimes:  Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are considering altering the official guidance to encourage people to take measures to cover their faces amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a federal official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing matter of internal discussion and nothing has been finalized.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

not too bad

Don't worry, I touched up that little 
spot on the cockpit sole.


Taped, sanded and ready to paint.  Interlux Steel Gray topside paint.  This will be a workboat finish at its finest.  I am, after all, a master of the workboat finish.

cleaned out

Cleaned out SPARTINA to sand down and repaint the cockpit.  It surprises me how much gear finds its way on board.  When I go to put it back I'll make sure each piece of gear needs to be there.  I suspect most of it does in fact need to be there, if not for day sailing certainly for cruising.  We'll see, maybe I can eliminate a few things.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

distancing along the Dismal Swamp Canal

A social distancing walk with the Pilgrim along the old Dismal Swamp Canal just over the state line in North Carolina.  Surprisingly warm, hot really, for a March day.  I asked the young man at the kiosk who takes names of everyone who crosses the bridge into the swamp (so that can make sure everyone finds their way out) if he has seen any boats coming north on the canal.  Not yet, he said, maybe next month.

Choptank River at dawn

Thursday, March 26, 2020

quality quarantine time

Today, with a warm, sunny afternoon, I raised the masts, bent on the new sails and the new sail covers.  The only sail I raised was the main, I wanted to see how it set.  And it set very well.  My thanks to Stuart at Dabbler Sails.  The sail covers, made by Angel and her crew at Little Bay Canvas, fit perfectly.  

Although SPARTINA looks ready to sail, she is not.  There is some painting to be done and work remains to be done on the motor mount.  

Also I am not ready to sail.  I think there is a responsibility to isolate and stay close to home these days.  Anyone who does not believe that might do well to read this story in The NY Times.

When will the time be right?  I don't know.  A few weeks?  Maybe more?  Something might happen, the mood might change and I will wake one day thinking "I ought to go sailing."  When that day comes, I will be ready for it.

Be safe, be healthy.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

social distancing

Social distancing walk with the Pilgrim on the Dismal Swamp Canal trail.  The photographs are deceptive.  There were a lot of people out there, but all appropriately distanced.

I do wonder if we all envied the turtle.  How nice to be able to draw back into the shell and hide.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

sheltering at home

And sorting through photographs from past cruises.
This one is from the anchorage at Dobbins Island
on the Magothy River in Maryland.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

not to worry...

I've received some well-wishes and get-better-soons from friends.  They are very much appreciated.  Not to worry, I just spent eight hours today sanding, painting and rigging on the Schooner Virginia today (her masts just barely visible at the stern of the Battleship Wisconsin).  Just a common winter bug.  Glad to be past it.

Best wishes to all my friends out there.  steve

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

stop loss

Work came to a stop and I lost a little time as I came down with a virus for a few days.  No, not that virus.  I've turned the corner, feeling better, still tired.  Got several coats of Bristol Finish on the masts and spars yesterday and today.  

A summer-like squall came through just as the final coat hardened off on the front porch.  I still need to put the gooseneck back in place on the main boom, reave the lines, do a few other odds and ends.  Next comes painting the cockpit, cranking up the new outboard and bending on the new sails.  

With that work, plus waiting on the new sail covers, I don't expect to have SPARTINA on the water until early April.  So next month will be the spring shake-down with time to make adjustments on both the new sails and new outboard.  The outboard should be simple enough, getting the sails right will take a little longer.  


And speaking of stop loss, here's a nice product from Duckworks.  That's a StopLossBag for saving unused paint.  I've always found, no matter how hard I've tried, that unused paint in the can goes bad after a while.  The idea of buying a $50+ can of marine paint, using half of it and then watching the rest go bad drives me crazy.  For under $20 you can get four bags, the funnel for transferring paint and extra caps for storing that leftover paint until it is needed.  It's worth taking a look at.  This is the first time I've used one of the bags, I've got high hopes that they will work.  Here's a little video about the product.

Thursday, March 5, 2020


Spars, tiller, boom kin ready for varnish.  Heat from a light bulb curing the Douglas fir/epoxy patch on a little ding in the bow.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

winter maintenance

The garage is now a boat yard for late winter maintenance.  Sanding down and patching of the spars, fixing a few dings on the hull, probably cockpit paint.  Also have a new outboard, you can see it at the right in the photo above, that required some adjustments to the motor mount.

New sails, new outboard, waiting on the new canvas sail covers.  Could be a week or two before I get back on the water.  But not to worry, plenty of time for sailing this year.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

planes, train, automobiles and even a small sailboat

Back from a quick trip to California to see the youngest daughter.  Flight out to San Diego, then bus and train to LA.

Stormy on the ride up the coast, catching the old Amtrak station in Glendale with the new iPhone 11 Pro (nice camera with three built in lenses and exposure compensations).

Dinner at our fave LA restaurant, Spartina on Melrose.  Great menu, hard to make a dinner choice.

Fried squash blossoms filled with cream cheese and avocado not a bad way to start.

A tour of LA and then a train back down the coast.

Peaceful and a little bit quieter in San Diego.

Foggy morning on Shelter Island.

Boats anchored in the fog just off the island.

And a little drill-time with the US Marines on the island.

Favorite sushi spot in San Diego, tucked in a strip mall behind a 7-11.

The trick at a good sushi spot is to sit at the sushi bar, you get your own personal sushi chef.

And of course La Jolla on a brilliant day (but aren't a lot of the days in Southern California just like that?).

So it as a great trip, highlighted by an unexpected invitation to go sailing with Webb, top photo.  A morning with fog just off the coast that broke up as we sailed out the channel.  

Just a wonderful time seeing the youngest daughter and friends.  Now it is time to get in some winter maintenance on SPARTINA.