"When I think of all the fools I've been it's a wonder that I've sailed this many miles." -Guy Clark

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

day eight - Tangier Island, and a visit from a friend

Wake to the sound of birds calling in the marsh.  Seems like the first time I've heard anything but wind for the last couple days.  Sail off anchor with a beautiful sunrise.  Full sail on a cool clear morning.

Making 2.1 across Pry Cove.  7:05 out of the cove and jibe towards Solomon's Lump Lighthouse.  A very pleasant run down the southwest shore of South Marsh Island, 4.6 in the calm lee of the island.  Peanut butter and berries Rx bar, tropical fruit and a buffalo bar for breakfast.  7:40 steady sailing at 3.4 across Kedges Strait.

8:10 crab pots and rough water in the shallow northeast of Smith Island, sailing towards the giant wind turbine in Crisfield.  Making 5.4 kts at 8:45.  Jibe at 9:00 with an excellent angle for Tangier Island.  I look through binoculars to see a tiny blue dot on the horizon, Tangier's water tower.  

Near Goose Shoal at 10:20, the gps shows a steady 5 kts and 7 kts in the gusts sailing wing and wing.  Make out the channel entrance markers at 10:55, sails down just after 11:00.

It is a well-marked channel but several sticks colored green and red mark shoaling within the channels.  I follow the path between the crab shanties, getting a few waves from waterman along the way.

It is still windy and the tide is rushing through the channel near Mr. Park's marina.  I try and dock on the down current side but the tide carries me away as soon as I cut power.  I swing the outboard to reverse back into the channel and come in on the up current side, a harder landing than I would have liked but not damage done.  

I find Mr. Parks getting into his golf cart, say hello and give him $5.00 for the tie.  I ask him, because of the pandemic, if the restaurants are open.  He tells me yes, "hop in and I'll give you a ride."  I say thanks but I want to tidy up the boat first, and the restaurants are only two blocks away.  

Lorraine's Snack Bar and Fisherman's Corner are right across the lane from each other.  I choose Lorraine's and enjoy an excellent crab cake sandwich, homemade chips and a small salad...plus a couple glasses of iced tea.

I take a walk through the village to see what has changed.   Some houses have been fixed up, some fallen into disrepair.  I stop at a gift shop and buy a used Hemingway book for $1.  Down by the docks a crowd has gathered as the mailboat has come in from Crisfield.  Visiting the grocery store I find the shelves distressingly empty.  I was hoping to buy a gallon or two of water but none to be had.  I do buy a couple small bottles of water at an ice cream stand.

Cast off just after 2:00, motoring past the crab shanties and raising mizzen and jib over the shallows next to Port Isobel Island.  I sail down and back along the eastern most ridge of Tangier Island known as Canton, looking for the calmest spot to anchor in the north wind.  I find it deep in the "hook" known as Cod Harbor.

Anchor down 3:00.  23.73 NM for the day.

About an hour later I see dark saisl coming around Canton.  It is Curt in his Drascombe Longboat Cruiser   ANNIE.  He has had a rough sail across the bay from the western shore, using The Thorofare to cut across Smith Island and then dropping down to Tangier.  It is good to see him.  

ANNIE  rafts up alongside SPARTINA.  We share a toast from a little flask Curt is carrying and catch up with each other.  We fix our own dinners and talk our days on the water.

Curt casts off and anchors nearby for the night.


Chris Smead said...

This beautiful area is so fascinating - I hope to visit one day! Can you just build a crab shanty wherever you want? You just drive posts into the sand and build on top?

Annie is also a beautiful and interesting boat! Glad you guys got to catch up.

Steve said...

Hey Chris, how you doing? I hope the boat is coming along well. I doubt that you can just build a crab shanty. I think a lot of them have been around for decades, passed from one generation to the next, and all probably grandfathered for rules on building structures in the water. But I don't know that for a fact. Certainly worth visiting Tangier Island. steve

Chris Smead said...

Thanks Steve! Boat is coming along well, though slower than I imagined (of course). Fitting out the cockpit now and cuddy-cabin sliding hatch. Still lots to do on the sail, rudder, mast, trailer, countless other things before a planned Spring launch. I'm thinking now about how to make it snake-proof after reading your post about Day 9, though! Good grief. I might have to build in a self-destruct button and just blow the whole thing in case it's taken over by those things.