Melonseed Marginalia

Some of the best rewards from “messing about in boats” are the people one meets that become friends. One guy I’ve met along the way started from a long chain of email correspondences over the Melonseed skiff, a late 19th century New Jersey gunning boat. This fellow had built 2 simultaneously in his basement. They are pieces of furniture as the saying goes. A high standard for sure, but Barry isn’t afraid to use his works of art. He and I got to share each others boats a few weeks ago.  His write up of our sail and his blog are here. Enjoy!

Barry and his Melonseed “Aeon”.


Three Boats, Three Sails, One Day

It is not often one gets to go sailing. It is rarer still to sail three different boats in a single day, but that is what happened this past Sunday. Sailing in the early morning was fantastic with Luna up East River. The boys and I then trucked across Mathews County to meet Barry at Freeport Landing. Upstream from the Route 3 bridge on the Piankatank, a private ramp and pier exist now where once a long gone ferry landing was. A $5 honor system allows you acess. A few boats, some more neglected than others rest in sheds along the loop drive in front of a 2-story building. Known as the Freeport Store, it was once the “overnight” building for the Piankatank Steamship Line before ending in 1932 when the automobile eclipsed the ferry’s need.

A nice view of the surrounds is in Barry’s blog from an earlier visit. He really captures the feel of the place. It was his idea to meet there and I’m glad we did. Aside from a few always annoying jets skis, you couldn’t pick a better place for a Sunday sail. Winds were light and temperatures in the low 80’s. The boys and I launched UNA and chased after Barry’s midnight blue Melonseed named “Aeon”.
Barry built two such boats at once in his basement. Talk about pieces of furniture! He lovingly thought about every detail, some I’m sure he borrowed, but others I know he created. All in all, these elegant boats are truly something to gaze at.
Farmer Brown and the paparazzi.
I wish I had taken closer pics, but the day was just about messing about in boats as we slid from shore to shore, looking for that ideal shack and pier along the water’s edge. Several met the mark.
Ideal place. Just sink the jet ski.
Luna took us for a morning sail, Una carried us through the afternoon, and I got to take Aeon for a tail end sail. Just me and a small boat. That’s sailing at its essence. Toes dragging in the water as we slid along. I felt like 9 years old again. Thanks Barry!