Wednesday, July 1, 2020

day eight -a closed town, an open marsh

Another rough night.  Forecast to blow out of the north all night and I am jostled awake to see the lights from Canton Ridge - the eastern most of the three ridges of Tangier - out the back of the boom tent.  Those lights should be off our bow.  The wind has swung to the south.  An opposing tide doesn't help.

Sail off anchor at 6:35 with a single reef tucked in the main and wearing foul weather bibs in case it is rough, wet ride.  Just after 7:00 making 5.1 out of Cod Harbor.  The wind slacks a little after 8:00 and I shake out the reef and slip off the foul weather gear with Watts Island to the northeast.

At 8:30 make a tack towards the Onancock Creek entrance channel, another tack at 8:45 and a third at 9:00.  And the wind disappears.  Under power.

Inside red marker "6" drop the main and the jib, the outboard carries us up the the glassy-calm creek past some crabbers working their pots.

Docked at the Onancock Wharf at 10:50 only to find it closed.  There is a note saying I can leave a phone message if I need gas.  And I do need gas.  So I leave a voice mail.  I figure I'll go get something to eat, only to find most of the restaurants closed.  Only a bakery is open, and it is an excellent bakery I can tell you from past experience, but the line is so long I don't want to bother with it.  

No response on my voice mail for gas so I check my phone to find a gas station a mile away.  I put the gas can in a mesh bag with a shoulder strap and make the trek a mile up and a mile back.  

Push out from the dock at noon, motor down the creek and sails up in a light breeze near the bright sandy beach at Parkers Marsh.  A couple long tacks to get out of the creek, pleasant and pretty sailing while I have a can of tuna and crackers for lunch.

It's a beautiful day and with just enough wind to sail close-hauled along the beach that heads up towards Chesconessex Creek.  Off the creek entrance at 2:45 making 2.3 kts.  I tack off the point at Tobacco Island at 2:50, then tack back in.  We slip past tiny Rogue Island, really just a little patch of marsh grass, at 3:15.

The next two hours is a delightful sail on the marshes of Pompco Creek.  Depths are marked as shallow as two feet but the centerboard never touch bottom just ghosting the shorelines of the tiny little coves and bay.  The wind is perfect and I am so glad Onancock was closed otherwise I might have missed this little gem of a marsh.

It has been too long since I have done this kind of exploring, standing in the cockpit, a hand resting on the main boom and a knee nudging the tiller.  A perfect afternoon.

Anchor down Pompco Creek at 5:15.  Pasta Roma for dinner, excellent.

32.05 NM


johnz said...

It is so cool that you are able to get into all of those shallow areas. I've never seen anything like Rogue Island. Always amazed at how much ground you cover!

Steve said...

Thanks, John. The Pathfinder is great for skinny water. steve