Thursday, December 31, 2020

from Scoot

 From my friend Scoot, who lives in the Outer Banks but I sometimes see him on the Pasquotank in Elizabeth City.  He got out for a sail yesterday on Pamlico Sound, a nice afternoon before all the rain arrived.  I'm envious.  Happy New Year's!

Monday, December 28, 2020

ANNIE, a drascombe longboat cruiser, for sale

My good friend Curt has put his beautiful ANNIE, a drascombe longboat cruiser that he had custom built, on the market.  I can't imagine this is easy for him to do but life changes makes this a necessary move.

I've had the pleasure of sailing on board ANNIE and also alongside of her on more than a few cruises.  Nothing brightened a morning more that waking up on a creek somewhere and looking out the boom tent to see the boat with the green hull and tanbark sails anchored nearby.  Swan Creek, Oriental, Mouse Harbor, Tangier Island, Chestertown and Langford Creek are some of the places where ANNIE and SPARTINA have crossed paths.  

From Curt:

For Sale      S/V Annie

Wooden Drascombe Longboat Cruiser with Coaster design elements. 

Rigged and configured for single-handed or two-person expedition sailing. Will accommodate additional crew for day sailing.

21’9” LOA; 18’0’ LOW; 6’7” beam; 1’0” draft centerplate up, 3’6” plate down
Yawl rigged with tanbark sails. Mainsail with 2 reefs, roller-furling jib and mizzen. 172 sq. ft total.
Sails and standing rigging new 2018.

Construction: Built by East West Custom, 2007 in Elliot, Maine. Only and last built in the US. Bruynzeel sapele (African mahogany) ply, lapstrake with WEST epoxy, Honduran mahogany trim, recycled teak rails and grates. Stainless steel centerplate and rudder.

Auxiliary propulsion: 6hp Nissan Marine outboard, custom sculling oar

Load Rite trailer with radial tires. Reconditioned 2019

Custom full length storage cover, cockpit tent and dodger

Custom cockpit and salon cushions, ample storage and included equipment and amenities

Well found and maintained with several thousand miles of US cruising along the east coast, west coast and St. Johns River of Florida, the sounds and Outer Banks of North Carolina, and the western and eastern reaches of the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia and Maryland.

Viewing by appointment in Richmond, Virginia. Send request by Contact page at
Specifics available by inquiry

 References:        2012 issue #74

$28,000 obo

Sunday, December 27, 2020

picture perfect

Light winds but a picture perfect post-Christmas sail today.  Just an hour or so on the water today but it was very enjoyable.

It was not all good for IT'S ALL GOOD, the boat that caught on fire last week.  I am surprised they did not tow it away and suspect it will just sink to the bottom of Craford Bay.  About a hundred yard another boat sank over a year ago and is still there.  

Hope to get out for a New Year's Day sail.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

farewell rubbermaid tubs

Above are two brand new Watershed Ocoee waterproof duffel bags, the newest cruising gear for SPARTINA.  Not cheap at $118 each, but very well made with several lash points (I really like the ability to tie gear in place) and compression straps.  They passed my "wait and see" test which involves seeing something that appeals to me and then waiting a few weeks (or in this case a few months) to look at it again and see if I really want to make the investment.  More often than not I decide, when using this test, to not purchase the particular item that caught my eye.  In this case I did.  

They will replace the two small Rubbermaid storage boxes that you see port and starboard underneath the coiled lines on SPARTINA.  Those boxes probably cost me about $10 each over a decade ago at the hardware store.  They have served me well, the one on the port side holding books, the log, anchor lights along with a few other items, and the one to starboard holding the cook kit.  They are not at all waterproof and it surprises me to say that in over ten years of doing two to four cruises a year only once have the contents of one box gotten wet.  

That was on a sail up the Pamlico River, a gusty day when I was thinking with my stomach more than my brain as I tried to reach a nice little waterfront steak house in Washington, NC.  A good all purpose lesson learned:  Think with your brain, not your other organs.

I bought these because:
  • they are waterproof
  • take up less space than the boxes
  • fit on SPARTINA, with lashings in place, as if they were designed for it
  • they are bright orange and will float - if I ever end up in need of rescue I plan to have a bright and easily traceable debris field
I also bought them because I recently learned that, despite the fact I stopped working in early February, my termination date of my few decades of a career is actually January 1, 2021.  A bit of a going away gift to myself.  How nice...

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

a sad story about a favorite place

The Washington Post tells us that the virus has reached Tangier Island.  Peter Jamison and photographer Katherine Frey (these are her photographs) put together a very poignant piece about the isolated Chesapeake Bay Island.  The people there are very tight nit, and the demographics are skewed to an older population.  Those two factors make them vulnerable.  

I sailed to Tangier twice this year.  The first time was in June.  I did not go on the island then because of the virus but I did see Ooker, the town's mayor (above), when he motored by to check on me and say hello while I was anchored in Cod Harbor.  I was there again in September, and I did go on the island (practicing social distancing and wearing a mask) for a nice lunch.  Leaving Cod Harbor the next morning for Pocomoke Sound Ooker again motored by to ask where I was headed and then went off with a friendly wave.

They are good people out there.  I wish them the best in these difficult times.


Friday, December 18, 2020

not dead, not sleeping

 Just tired and sore after
a few hours of sanding
on the Schooner VIRGINIA

Monday, December 14, 2020

Friday, December 11, 2020

so whose life is this anyway?

So I'm out sailing this afternoon and get a text from a friend working in a high-rise along the waterfront.  "Great day to finish the wine and go for a sail" it said.  How right he was.  

The wine he was talking about was from a virtual wine tasting last night.   A young woman dropped off four bottles of wine, a tray of meats and cheeses and associated accoutrements last night.  The Pilgrim and I enjoyed sampling the wine as the vinter explained over a Webex call from his vineyards in California how it was made.    It was both interesting and enjoyable.  

This morning I worked on the schooner VIRIGINIA for a few hours as we wrapped the boat for winter.  By midday there was a nice breeze so I walked a couple hundred yards to where SPARTINA was tied up and headed out for an afternoon sail. 

Sometimes I just don't get it.  Wine tastings?  Working on a schooner?  A great place to tie up the little yawl on the waterfront?  And of course the beautiful yawl?  Where did all this come from?  How did this happen?  Whose life is this anyway?

These lines from Jimmy Buffet's THE WINO AND I KNOW seems appropriate....
I'm just tryin' to get by being quiet and shy,
In a world full of pushin' and shove.

 Maybe I shouldn't ask too many questions.  Just enjoy it while I can.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Ho Ho Ho, NO!

Received a box from Amazon containing 30 Rx bars, my standard for breakfast-on-board both daysailing and cruising.  A nice surprise to see some new flavors mixed in with the old favorites.  Chocolate Raspberry, Vanilla Almond and Coconut Chocolate all sound interesting and good.  There are some other favorites that were not included.  Those can easily be bought at the local grocery.  Thirty bars for under $60, that's a good deal.

I thought I had yesterday evening off as I was told the weekly waterfront boat parade was canceled due to high winds.  But I got a call late afternoon saying the winds had laid down and the parade was on.  So did I get a night off?  Ho Ho Ho, NO!  That's ok.  It was a fun evening.

Friday, December 4, 2020

crowded river, Black Friday (corrected)

A correction from Tom:  "That's a Virginia-class boat, roughly $3B on the hoof".  Thanks, Tom.

It was nice weather this morning but I was glad to not be sailing.  It gets a little crowded when sharing the river with a nuclear powered submarine and associated protection boats.  In the past I have been chastised for photographing submarines (if being chastised is having a patrol boat with mounted and manned machines guns heading towards you at full speed with a voice coming over a loud speaker saying "by order of federal law put down the camera").  Public affairs folks with the Navy have to me in the past that it has something to do with the antennas, they don't like them being photographed.  This time now such interaction.  Pretty cool to see it.  My guess it is a Los Angeles class attack submarine (Tom tells me is is a Virginia class), and no doubt it was heading to the dry docks on the southern branch of the Elizabeth River.  


My only Black Friday purchase arrived today.  Six Journal No. 393 Rite in the Rain notebooks.  I can't remember how I heard about it but they had a pretty good discount going and free shipping too.  Six notebooks, how many cruises is that?  Can't wait to find out.