Saturday, September 30, 2023

the trip so far

Good trip so far.  Five days of sailing.  A lot of wind, not so much sun.  No complaints. 

Day two was the only sunny day, sailing from Parks Neck on the Honga River to Pry Cove on South Marsh Island. 

Otherwise lots of overcast. Apparently a low pressure system is trapped off the coast by a high pressure system to the north.  Hopefully that situation will resolve itself by tomorrow. 

Yesterday I attempted to sail north from the Honga River to the Little Choptank.  I could handle the strong north wind with mizzen, jib and double-reefed main. But the steep waves, often coming three in a row, would nearly bring SPARTINA to a halt.  I got the feeling we wouldn’t make the Little Choptank until after dark, so fell off to the Patuxent River.  Now anchored at Solomons Island, I’ll take a weather day and wait for less wind and more sun on Sunday.

Oh, and one other highlight from the trip, listening to the Orioles win the American League East.  Go Os!


Monday, September 25, 2023

La Trappe Creek

 Cool and grey all day, but no rain.  A good start to the trip. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Ophelia gone, Philippe turning headed north

Ophelia passed inland of us sometime last night and the remnants are headed north.  Philippe is forecast to turn north soon and is of no concern.

Possibly a little rain tomorrow for the launch in Cambridge, then excellent wind to carry us south on Tuesday.


Friday, September 22, 2023

that low pressure system

That low pressure system off of Florida couple of days ago is now known at Tropical Storm Ophelia.  It should come ashore in lower North Carolina tonight.  It is very close in wind speeds to a hurricane and might well become Hurricane Ophelia.  I hope everyone stays safe.

The storm should be north of Chesapeake Bay by Sunday night.  My gear and food is all packed, I hope to head up to Cambridge on Monday or Tuesday.


Thursday, September 21, 2023

tracking url

or copy and paste from below.

Still waiting to see what the weather does.
Hopefully that system off Florida will
be north of us by Monday.   We'll see.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

twenty years ago

I'm hearing from friends and seeing stories in the media reminding me that I was on Hatteras Island twenty years ago when Hurricane Isabel hit and cut the island in two.  For twenty-some years I got the assignments to head to Hatteras whenever a hurricane was headed that way.  Most storms seemed to turn north before they reached the island.  This one did not.

The image below was from the old Seagull Motel on what they called "Little Hatteras" after the storm cut the island just north of Hatteras Village.  There had been a two story building there.  The storm carried the building a couple hundred yards down the road.  If you look at the tracking map above you can see that the Outer Banks were hit by the northeast quadrant of the storm, the strongest area of the hurricane.  

Over the years I was on Hatteras when it was cut in two by storms maybe three times.  Those folks are painfully used to it.  Often the hardest part of the storm is the week, two weeks, maybe the month afterwards when there is no power, no water, no road.  

The people were always good to me down there.  I remember a lot of kindness, being welcomed into flooded homes, destroyed businesses.  Everyone banded together and helped each other out.  I also remember a chef at the best restaurant in Hatteras Village, knowing that his refrigerators would lose power so he moved all his food to his house, then threw one of the all-time great post hurricane parties.  Yeah, twenty years ago...


Monday, September 18, 2023

time to start packing

Starting to gather and pack the gear for the fall sail on Chesapeake Bay.  A lot of the gear was still packed from the summer sail up in Maine, so much of it ready to go.  I will be watching this low pressure system.  I hope to leave early next week and hope that whatever this turns into will have slid north of us by then.


Saturday, September 16, 2023

Webb, the documentary

If you have nine minutes to spare, you might want to spend it watching a brief documentary about Webb Chiles.  Webb keeps his boat GANNET at Skull Creek Marina in Hilton Head.  The company that owns the marina, Safe Harbor, is doing a series of videos about interesting people who keep boats at their marinas.   This is the first episode in the series of videos, which is called Storytellers.  

A handful of people have attempted over the years to do a video about Webb and his sailing.  This is the first one that has been completed.  It is a high quality production that blends some of Webb's videos and photographs with contemporary video interviews of Webb in Hilton Head.

 The video is not without some errors, the first one being on the title slide which identifies Webb as a six-time solo circumnavigator.  Webb will be the first to tell you, as he does on his online journal, that he has done six circumnavigations, three of which were solo circumnavigations.  There are a few other minor errors, but those are just small details.  The overall production captures Webb very well.  As he said in his journal...

 The final film is just under nine minutes long.  While naturally there are omissions in reducing eighty-one years, six circumnavigations, seven books, six marriages, another million or so words, and some other relationships, to nine minutes, both Carol and I like the film very much.  I do not believe that I could be portrayed better in that length of time. 

Take a few minutes to watch and enjoy it.  The YouTube link is below...

Thursday, September 14, 2023

breakfast and a hike

It was a chance meeting several years ago during a day sail on Craford Bay.  Each admired the other’s boat.  Soon I was on their ketch, a day or two later Michael and Sheila were sailing on SPARTINA. 

Over the next couple of years we crossed paths many times on Chesapeake Bay.  While out on a cruise I would get a query about my location, followed by an invite for breakfast the next day. Or maybe lunch on the Tred Avon.  Or dinner on the Wye River on a stormy night.  The meetings were always unexpected, always a pleasure. 

One fall they headed south along the coast, then east across the Atlantic.  They left with plans unknown, sailing what they sometimes called the world’s slowest circumnavigation.   At the time it was about 30 years and counting since they had cast off.  

I was surprised and pleased to get an email a few weeks ago saying they were on the Algarve.  And when we got to Lagos there was an invite for breakfast on board and maybe a hike along the cliffs of Ferragudo. How nice.  

Meeting people in the water, I have found, makes for fast friends.  And I am very glad for that. 


afternoon sail

Just gotta love
sailing with a gaff rig. 


Saturday, September 9, 2023