Monday, May 29, 2023

repaired, snakes

A week ago after sailing from Tangier Island to Smith Island and then on to a little creek south of Crisfield I found the leech seam on my jib was separating.  I was pleased to find an old roll of sail tape in with my repair kit.  That patch held well while sailing up the Bay, sometimes with winds gusting in the 20s.  But I knew it needed reinforcing .

Kristen had some new tape waiting for me in St. Michaels and I added the reinforcement this morning.  We should be good now.  


There are a lot of snakes here.  Yesterday I counted six or seven in the spartina as I walked along the boardwalk. I believe they are Northern Water snakes.  Today I saw just one snake.  It was larger than the rest and appeared, with its thick body, to be digesting something.  

 Rain and wind since about noon today.  Better weather tomorrow.  I’ll cast off on Wednesday. 

Sunday, May 28, 2023

a break in St. Michaels

I’m stopping in St. Michaels for a few days, for a few different reasons.  First of all, I love this waterfront town.  I have some good friends here.  And there are some excellent (and even reasonably priced) restaurants here too.  Spending time here is always in the plan for a Bay cruise. 

And it is a good place to wait out a storm that is sliding up the coast (though it is possible that the weather will head up east of us, we’ll see).   I came in a day early because of the storm. Josh, the dock master at the museum, was kind enough to make room for me.  

And lastly, I need to repair my jib.  About a week ago I found the leech seam was separating along the stitching.  I had some old repair tape on board and taped it up as best I could.  Kristen was kind enough to pick up some new, wider and I think better quality tape that I will use to reinforce the seam.  This should get me through the next couple weeks of the trip.  

I expect to be sailing north Wednesday. 


Thursday, May 25, 2023

hard miles

A lot of hard double-reefed miles sailed today for a soft shell crab and a cold beer.   Realized this afternoon that I’m about a third of the way through the spring cruise.


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Friday, May 19, 2023


I am spending the day and night in Onancock.  Why?   One reason is the corner bakery.  The other is Mallard’s on the Wharf with their great lunches annd dinners  And also the people here are so friendly and kind.  

It was only three hours ago that I tied up at the slip.  Since then I’ve talked to about a dozen people.   Some I knew from earlier visits, some just stopped by to say hello.  Twice I have been offered ride for errands.  And there is an invite to listen to music tonight at the Irish pub.  How nice.  

 I still don’t understand the gaps in the SPOT data.  There is about a two hour gap missing from yesterday when I left my anchorage and sailed south on Tangier Sound, turned into the Little Annemessex and sailed through lovely Broad Creek.  Oh well.  From the maps you can at least get the general drift. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

the trip so far

Three days of sailing finds me in Onancock.  So far I have had a sail with a dear friend, lots of wind, a wake-up from a waterman and plenty of sailing under just mizzen and jib.  Tomorrow I’ll refresh here in town.   We’d see what happens after that.


Thursday, May 11, 2023

SPOT tracking url

or copy and paste the link below

It should go live Monday mid-day.

SPARTINA is ready to go.  New bottom paint and a couple of new blocks (realized some of the blocks were originals and very much in need or replacement).  I changed the position of the throat halyard block and did a rigging test yesterday to confirm it worked.  It did.

Doing lots of packing today.  Hope to launch in Cambridge, Md. Monday around noon.  Will spend the afternoon and night on Cambridge Creek.  Tuesday, might be a day sail and then the start of a cruise.  A good friend, longtime colleague and now an organic farmer on the Eastern Shore might come to visit me Tuesday morning.  Should she make it, we'll probably go out for a morning sail.  Once I drop her off I'll head down the Choptank River.  If wind is good maybe I'll make the Little Choptank River.  In not, maybe LeCompte Bay or LaTrappe Creek.  We'll see.


Wednesday, May 3, 2023

back to the ramp, new SPOT

Back to the ramp on Scuffletown Creek this morning to haul out for pre-trip maintenance.

Always an interesting trip up the southern branch of the Elizabeth River.  This "hammerhead" crane at the shipyard has not been used in years (decades??) but is a local landmark.

Snowbirds still coming up from the south.  Interestingly there are more boats stopping in the local marinas and fewer anchoring out in Craford Bay.  I suspect this is partly due to the boats being larger than in the past (at least one marina that has been here for almost four decades had to rebuild their docks to accommodate all the larger boats) and I think the bigger boats want to hook up to power and water.  That's just a guess.

The train trestle was closed for about twenty minutes as a train crossed the river.  Unfortunately a security boom at the shipyard was open and there was clear access to an aircraft carrier, so a military patrol boat kept close watch as I circled near the trestle.  I did not photograph the yard, the aircraft carrier or the patrol boat.  The folks in uniform tend not to like that.

Good to have SPARTINA back home.  I've got some antifouling paint to take care of, some topside paint and some hardware too.


My "new" SPOT is up and running.  I had it in tracking mode on this morning's motor up the southern branch and it tracked as it should have.   I'll post a tracking link closer to leaving for the spring sail.


Monday, May 1, 2023

refurbished, or not

I received my replacement SPOT GEN4 today.  SPOT had contacted me during my winter sail down south to say my GEN3 had a defect and they would send me a new GEN4 for around $50.  When I got home the device was waiting for me.  I opened the package to see it was not a "new" device.  There was a scuff mark on the case, finger prints on the buttons and scratch marks on the battery plate screws.  When I tested it out this past week I found it did not record data consistently.  So I called SPOT to say the item was defective and also used, not new.  Both the tech and the manager told me they did not distribute refurbished devices.  I will take them at their word that this was what they were told.  But the final line on the packing slip for the GEN4 I rec'd today tells a different story.  This is in fact a new device.  I will test it out over the next few days.


Having been caught in an unexpected storm on the winter trip I decided to upgrade my Storm Radar app.  I had been using the free version which gives a forecast radar image for about the next four hours.  The paid version, in addition to having multiple layers to apply to the map, forecasts out about eight hours or so, which would cover basically entire sailing day.  A good investment at about $10 for the first year, $20 per year after that.