Woodas Creek

The heat dropped and the couple days of rain gave way to a strong NE wind this past Saturday. We decided to go sailing. With my two youngest boys as crew, we hitched up UNA and a couple kayaks and headed down to Mobjack to see Luna. Coaxing her from her berth posed a problem. Winds were in the upper teens and pinned us into the slip. Our little engine that can, a 5.5 hp Seagull ( yes, that’s the original one), couldn’t on this day as she has no reverse. Never did. We had to warp Luna from her berth to an outer pier 2 slips down.

Prior to first attempt.

With a hardy shove of the bow to windward and full forward throttle engaged we headed out, or so we thought. The wind would not allow Luna to take her bow to weather and we glided back past our slip and headed for the rocks. I immediately cut the engine and ran forward to jump from the bow onto the marina’s rip-rap saving us from striking. Somehow we avoided any damage (other than ego). Not a scratch. We coaxed Luna back in a vacant slip. That is something impossible to have said with a 42′ boat. 6,500 # is a far cry from Emily’s 22,000#.  Undeterred, we sat and pondered for 30 minutes or so before the next attempt.

The pondering pause. Seagull ready. Nice stem!

I figured not only had we not gotten past the eye of the wind, but we really had no steerage.This time we waited for a momentary wind decrease, got the engine rolling, slingshot the stern with her docile while a stronger shove of the bow passed it through the eye and we were free. (I’m still not satisfied with this technique ad will figure out a better answer). Once out in the river we raised the mizzen and jib to sail up river. I’ve said it before, but I’m continually amazed at the increased cruising grounds in a boat that only draws 4′. We scouted both the east and western branches of the East River. Selecting the western end, we dropped anchor in the mouth of Woodas Creek.

Fetch up Woods Creek. Perfect evening.

There was still enough fetch to the NE to allow for knocking down bugs. We swam, scrubbed the bottom (the Hydrocoat is performing well), had cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, “dined” on black beans and rice, played cards, and watched the sun set.

First mate and mate 1.1.


A good find in Maine from Texas.

Mate 1.1 beat the skipper in gin. How he did it with 5 aces, I don’t know. Incredible. First mate had hurt his back. He mostly lay in the cockpit reading. Accordingly his rank was in jeopardy. He didn’t seem to mind.

Sancho Panza and First Mate taking his siesta.
We watched stars in the cockpit under our new oil lantern. It is a W. T. Kirkman #350 “Little Giant” and functions so much better than the Chinese brands we’ve used. They may look the same, but that’s it. This model has a larger tank and nice wide base. The light is very clean burning and consistent.
1.1 exudes his winning card playing smugness.


Wonderful scenery.
Dropping sun.


W.T. Kirkman in action.

We all slept well. The evening was cool. Luna’s deep ballast hardy gives notice to the slight wavelets pushing down the creek. One sailor berthed in the cockpit on an air mattress and 2 slumbered below. For some reason I awoke at 1:00 am and caught sight of a brilliant falling star.

Breakfast was simple, if not nutritious. Donuts, milk and later, oranges. A short 8:00 am sail further up river was sparkling. However, by 9:15 all went glassy and we fired up the outboard after getting past flooding it. Shutting off the fuel flow and 7 pulls later, we were rolling along back to the pier when the engine sagged and died. No more fuel. Had planned to go sailing, not motoring, and had left the extra fuel in the back of the truck. With only a tenth of a mile to go, we raised the jib and mizzen to creep back to the marina and into the slip. Nice and easy. No sails would have been needed yesterday. It was a short trip, but a fine trip.

One thought on “Woodas Creek

  1. Pingback: Three Boats, Three Sails, One Day – LINGERING LUNACY

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