Wednesday, September 30, 2020

mizzen and jib

Winds out of the west at 17 with gusts to 28. A wild ride south.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020


I have received a few comments the past week or so. For some reason I can't respond on my phone. So I will try it here now.

Tom: Yes, going with the wind has been great.
Shawn: Yes, out for a while now, and out for a while more. Enjoying the trip very much.
Enrico: Agreed, life on the water can feel like a miracle. Hope you had a great sail with Lorenzo and the rest of the crew.

waterman working the Chester River

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

sitting tight today

That's a lot of wind for Tangier Sound. Will sit tight today. Glad I brought a couple books.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

windy and rough

High winds, very rough ride this morning. Tucked into Pry Cove at South Marsh Island to wait out the wind.

Saturday, September 19, 2020


With a nice breeze.


With a nice breeze.

headed south

Forecast is for strong north winds today and the next couple of days. Instead of fighting it I will ride with it. Headed to Tangier Sound this morning.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

long tall Sally, unjumbled

I don't know what happened to that last post.  It should have said more than "beer."  In fact it should have said:

The remnants of Sally should pass by in the next 36 hours or so.  We are on the edge of the rain, high winds should continue through early Saturday morning.  I've tucked into Knapp's Narrows Marina. I could have tucked into a little cove, but here I can get a hot shower and a cold beer. 

long tall Sally


across the water

From sailing friend Kevin Brennan. Leaving out of Cambridge. Thanks, Kevin.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

a weather day

Not enough wind today or tomorrow to get any farther north, too much wind and rain (remnants of Sally) Friday to sail Friday. Will take a weather day Friday at Tilghman Island.

leaving the cove


at the appropriately named Steve's Cove

Monday, September 14, 2020


I think I will need to print out a new checklist - I use the Watertribe required equipment list - because I've run out of way to mark "ok" as I locate each piece of gear.

There are some storms out there.  Those in the mid-Atlantic are all turning north into the open ocean.  Might get some remnants of wind and rain from Sally, which is now threatening the gulf coast.  

I hope I have got the SPOT tracking map set right.  They changed the process for creating a shared page about two weeks ago.  If I did it correctly you will be able to find it here, or copy and paste the line below.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

the packing continues / SPOT track

 Fruits and nuts.

Dried strawberries, pineapple, papaya.

Almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds.


Disturbance two continues to be a concern.  My instinct is to head up to Cambridge as planned as I don't think we'll have any valid track forecast.  And I don't want to sit around and wait.


And here is my SPOT TRACK.  

Or copy and paste this below.

Friday, September 11, 2020

and then there were six

The cook kit is ready to go.  Essential ingredients:  Jet boil stove, gas canister, spork and spoon, MSR cook set, olive oil, cajun sunshine and blackened fish seasoning.  Just one pot is needed but I carry the kit in case I catch a striper or bluefish, using the pot to make boil-in-bag rice and the pan to sauté the filets.  I even sharpened the filet knife.  Just in case.  For the freeze-dried meals I'll follow Curt's lead and "dress them up" with a little olive oil, hot sauce or seasoning.

Six items to track on the hurricane map.  The two red x marks are of concern, but mostly the red x at the right is the one to watch.  We'll see.  

Thursday, September 10, 2020

peak day

It is the orange "X" at the right that makes me a little nervous.

 I have always heard that September 10 is the peak day for hurricanes and this seems to be proving itself true.  Paulette and Rene should be no problem, they will turn north, according to predictions, and not both the coast.  The yellow marks have just a small chance of turning into tropical storms.  It is the orange 'X" that has a high probability of becoming a tropical depression.  Here is the latest from

3. A tropical wave is located a few hundred miles southeast of the 
Cabo Verde Islands and is producing disorganized showers and 
thunderstorms.  Gradual development of this system is forecast, and 
a tropical depression is expected to form by this weekend or early 
next week while the system moves generally westward across the 
eastern and central tropical Atlantic.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...60 percent. 
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.
Food is packed, clothes too.  I think I have the SPOT issue resolved.  Now we just need to see that the storm situation is like next week.  That 90% gets my attention.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Miravar 2020 / sleeping gear

Lorenzo tells that the 2020 edition of the sailing raid Miravar casts off tomorrow (Wednesday) on the Mediterranean coast of France.  This will be the third gathering of small boats on what has got to be some of the most beautiful coastline for camper cruising.  I follow the raid's blog every year, using Google translate to read the posts.

In an email Lorenzo says there will be eight boats in the event, two of them being John Welsford Pathfinders (Very cool!) including his wonderfully built ASTRID.  From the email:

"We have a big day beating into the wind on Wednesday, then the winds will die down a little for Thursday where we will have a fair stretch to cover. Friday Saturday and Sunday will be dedicated to sail around the island of Porquerolles and the Hyères peninsula." 

It is a great gathering of friends with beautiful boats, comaraderie, good food and plenty of good wine.  Lorenzo says they may post along the way but it is usually a couple of days or weeks before they begin posting lots of photographs and videos.  Have a great sail!


I am busy packing for my upcoming trip, including the sleeping gear.  Above, from top to bottom, you see my Outdoor Research Bivy, my brand new never-been-used Hyke and Byke 30 degree sleeping bag and the inflatable sleeping pad and pillow.  Compressed, it all looks like this below.

 I've started watching the weather.  We've got about a week to go.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

the last summer sail, how about handsome?

It was a perfect day for the last summer sail.  Cool with a deep blue sky, white puffy clouds and a breeze that started the morning well and then built from there.  I chose to head down to Elizabeth City, I had not sailed there in a few months.  A few power boats out and also a couple of snow bird sailboats headed south.  It seems like it was late June and early July that the flock of snow birds was passing through on their way north.  Everyone is off schedule these days.

This is, for me, the last summer sail of the year.  When I launch the boat in Cambridge in about 10 days it will still be summer.  But by the time I return from a sail to the top of the bay and back, visiting creeks and rivers along the way, it will be fall.  I expect a few warm and even hot days, but also some cold fronts rolling down that will make my 30 degree sleeping bag seem like a good idea.  I decided on today's sail that I will take my dry suit on the fall sail.  While the water will not be cold enough to require a dry suit there are sometimes cold rains that can be chilling to the point of a discomfort that can be distracting and dangerous.   

 As I said, the wind built through the morning, requiring a reef just about lunchtime (try tucking in a reef while putting mayo on a store bought submarine sandwich).  I was glad to have the practice of tying in the reef and pleased with the mainsail set that resulted.  The sandwich was pretty good.

Back at the ramp a woman, who had stopped to ask for directions, told me SPARTINA was "cute."  I thanked her but said I really don't like the boat being called cute, it has a connotation that does not fit a boat that at time does some hard sailing.  So we continued our conversation about other things.  As she turned to leave she stopped, looked at me and said "How about handsome?"  Confused I said "What?"  She said "Can I call your boat handsome?"  I told here "that works!" and thanked her.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

tech talk, Invest 92

I spent over an hour and a half on the phone yesterday with customer service and techs at SPOT.  Early last spring they had upgraded their mapping options.  It was an improvement in several ways but it took Curt and I quite a bit of time to figure out the settings before the spring sail.

I was pretty happy with the new system but they, well, improved it again about 10 days ago.  Hard to find now is the simple page where I could put in all the data for a shared page.  Instead you have to go through icons for such things as "data visualization."  So I worked through all that and created a shared view with a beginning date in mid-September and an end date in October.....and when I looked at the shared view it included the May and June trips, well outside of the page's date range.   Yesterday it took me a while to explain the problem to customer service.  And then I get a call from a tech who was able to create his own page with the exact same problem.  He said he was going to call the code writers for mapping as soon as we hung up.  I think they have it straightened out now, I'll do some tests to find out.

Invest 92 possibly was something I was watching, worried that it might be off the mid-Atlantic about the time I am hoping to begin the sail.  Relief came from this forecast out this morning that shows it should not be a problem.  A little good news never hurts.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

thank you, TownDock!

My thanks to TownDock, Oriental's online publication, for their story about Curt and I visiting on ANNIE and SPARTINA late spring.  Allison wrote the pice and took some nice photographs.  Keith came down the morning we left and got this wonderful photo of SPARTINA and ANNIE side by side.  

I have read TownDock for years, particularly the Shipping News section.  They have written about a lot of interesting sailors there.  It is an honor that SPARTINA and I are included.  Oriental is a great place.  Excellent harbor and dock, great restaurants and provision shops and really fine people.  I can't wait to get back there.