Ah … Isobel

Another beauty

UNA and this blog have connected me with people I’d otherwise likely never have met. Many are now friends. Several even dear pals. My buddy Kirk comes to mind. It was good catching up over a long overdue lunch last week.

Another fellow, Terry, began email correspondence several years ago. We even talked on the phone back when he was building Isobel, a lovely sister ship to UNA. We’ve yet to actually meet in person. Hopefully our boats will cross paths soon. Currently a 6 hour drive separates us, but what is that among friends?

Yesterday, at my request, Terry shared a few photos of his boat with permission to feature her here. Take a look.

Excellent work. UNA and Isobel must meet this Spring. I’d like to be there too. Thanks Terry!

Isobel and her justly proud owner

Water and Color

Just got a text with this fine painting from Mabu’s skipper, Harris. He and his Caledonia were anchored just to windward of UNA that colorful evening on Yarmouth Creek two weeks ago. Seems like ages now. I can hear the slap of the water, cries of the geese …

Somehow the cold is gone.

Thanks Harris!

UNA, Mabu, Molly and the Chick

Sub freezing temps and small craft warnings make neither a good nor wise cruise. Earlier forecasts were off a day. Our planned three day sail shrank to two. Five boats were to gather. Weather pared the group to three. Still, it the sailing was spectacular. The higher winds had dropped to a gentle breeze. The winter light became brilliant. The night would drop back to freezing, but the crazies wore on. That’s two Caledonia yawls, Mabu and Molly, and one Sooty Tern, UNA. We awoke to frost on cars and boats. By mid morning we were sailing off the wind from Governors Land on the James River for an 8 miles up the Chickahominy River. Our trio slid past banks of cypress trees and glided into the watercolor marshes of Yarmouth Creek. Drinks and yarns accompanied our late afternoon anchorage. Tents, sleeping bags, long johns and wool caps tucked all in shortly after sunset. A good book was the evening’s entertainment.

Daybreak offered little air. We motored back down the Yarmouth, took a cut called Shipyard Creek to meet the Chick again. There we raised sail and had a great beat home. Una was in her element.

It was a fantastic couple of days with fine buddies. Hopefully its not the last sail in what has been such a fraudulent year. If so, perhaps this video will stretch us to Spring.

East to the Severn

Monday was “breezy” with small craft warnings. However, Tuesday and Wednesday were as perfect as perfect can be. Winds started at 8-12 mph from the NW moving to the W the following day. Air was crisp, evenings cool and skies blue. The attending boat count got whittled down to two, but that offered some spirited “racing” both days. It was Caledonia vs Sooty Tern and the leads changed hands enough to make both parties happy.

Enjoyed it Bob!

Trip video

Philosophy

Motoring out into North River

Life demands responsibility. We all make mistakes, but how responsible are we for those others make? Sadly, too many won’t take any ownership of the problems they’ve wrought in their own lives. It is an overwhelming problem in our land and to foment this discontent is criminal.

Like many, I’ve had enough of the corrupt “news” reports of left wing “peaceful protests”. Hate and destruction are never a recipe for heeling. The stories are practically unavoidable. You can forget who you are. So, I sought some peace on the water where no one is leering at you for not wearing a mask. Where you’re free to go where the wind takes you. A nice sail has always been restorative, rejuvenating and recuperative.

Though Chickadees’s projects are ongoing, it was time to sail her home from the yard after fixing the centerboard, painting the bottom and mending a few deck leaks. A light breeze pulled us out into North River as several porpoise raced in our wake. Beautiful creatures. Otherwise, it was just me and my Huckleberry pushing to weather. I longed to continue on up the Bay on some grand adventure removed from so much insanity. Soon I hope.

Hot Hot, Pot Pot

Camille waiting on her clothesline

Small boats are generally simpler boats, and, simpler boats are easier to use. An unused boat will suffer from neglect. Though new to us, little Camille was built in 1958 and found recently languishing in a shed. Over the past year she has given us some wonderful sails and warrants more attention. We’ve begun to cross off a number of her “to do” items. Improvements this week were: main sheet, peak and throat halyards are now new spun polyester, soft to the hand and supple. The old lines will serve as dock lines for C. I like to think they are souvenirs from her decades of sailing.

Used traveler with new running rigging

Bright sail ties dress up and hold a furl in the main. Looping the main sheet around the package was awkward and probably harder on the old sail. A discarded bronze traveler from Peter at Howard Boats replaces what was a rope traveler secured with two deck eyes.

Sail tie and new sheet

With a new masthead fly, Camille is ready for more memories.

Fly

Here is a short video as she cut along a string of a dozen crab pots. It was a very hot day. Think we’ll favor cooler evening sails for the next several weeks instead.