The Great Wicomico

Today’s Small Craft Advisory was genuine. Winds were at the lower end and seas were more like 2-3 feet, but on the nose with pervasive white caps. We put in at Shell Landing Boat Ramp in Fleeton, VA with the second reef in the main. After thrashing out of Cockerel Creek, we bashed to weather into Ingram Bay. hiked on the rail, in short order we wished for the third reef in the main and one in the mizzen. It was a very wet ride, but thankfully the day was warm. Turning up the Great Wicomico gave some relief from the seas, but not the winds. They were steady and apparently building. UNA took it all in stride. Just after 1 1/2 hour sailing, we paused along a nice stretch of beach on the southern shore to “dewater”, grab a sandwich and put in all the reefs we could find. Turning back toward Fleeton, the spray flew as we reached back down river. It was a glorious bright blue windy day. No time for photos on the run, but here are a few from lunch.



drying out






Old Bay Clubbing

Yeah, not what you thought. Wouldn’t be pretty anyway. However, our TSCA chapter, the Old Bay Club did get a couple days sailing in around Crisfield, MD last week. Base camp was at the now familiar Janes Island State Park, a good place to launch before and after summer’s business. There were no crowds or mosquitos yet, but the no-see-ums were persistent the hour before and after sundown. Our fleet included about 10 boats participating. Winds were light and variable. Water, clear and cool.


Day 1 was spent sailing and kayaking in front of Crisfield.

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Dinner was an excellent shrimp boil prepared by Barbara, Harris and Peter with lots of armchair cooks.


On Day 2 we ventured toward Deal Island. When the breeze dropped out 1/2 way there, we beached for a picnic before paddling, rowing or motoring home to cocktail hour and fireside banter.

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Thunder, lightning and lots of rain greeted us later in the evening, breaking up the party.

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Day 3, as predicted, was more rain. A few intrepid souls (Jim, Kevin, Theresa and Dennis) stayed for a sail. This writer and crew packed up wet gear and headed home. We had some sailing, good fellowship and great food. What’s to complain about?

Planning an escape to Cape Lookout next!


17-02-08: First Sail

A little warmth, light winds and good company all made up UNA’s first sail today.  We put in at Mathews County’s Town Point Landing (new concrete ramp and pier), beat against the current for a picnic lunch at Poplar Grove’s tide mill. Supposedly John Lennon owned the estate for a short time and planned on making the mill into a studio. Thankfully he didn’t. There is little depth to get behind the mill. Stick close to the rocks.

All but 2 of these photos were taken by my daughter (thus the artistry).

Had to pull out the oars for part of the return. Boat moved well across the glass. The water’s winter clarity is always surprising. do we really still have 6 weeks left? Tomorrow has snow predicted. Weird. Thankful for the break … and the company.

Art by Bowman

Almost 2 years ago a crew of us sailed in Belhaven, NC waters. I noticed Curt and Mike were sketching at a small distance while the rest of us either lunched, napped or both. It was warm in the lee of the pines ringing the shore. Today I get this:two-mizzens“Two Mizzens” of UNA and NIP resting at the beach. Nice work. Thank you Curt!

Wind In The Willows

Old Bay Club members Barbara and Harris couldn’t have been any better hosts this past weekend. They invited the “Club” to their house. True, and that after last year’s visit. In attendance were 8 boats and 12 sailors. Some arrived Friday afternoon for a sail down the James, oysters on the beach, a fire, cocktails (beware of Dark and Stormies) and a beautiful sunset.

Saturday was a dream sail in the marshes of Grays Creek near the Jamestown ferry landing at Scotland. Took lunch on a sandy spit with Dennis and Jim while watching Barry in his 1947 Lightning glide back and forth. The others took lunch at a small restaurant in the creek. H & B win the race home. For the record, Barbara was at the helm.


Sunday’s sail was brisk. Winds in the upper teens. I climbed in with Barry under full sail. We were quick to sit on the rail of his sprite Lightning and eventually doused the jib to carry on. The fleet was reduced to Harris and his Caledonia, Doug and Kevin with their Marsh Cats, Dennis in his Wisp and Tom and Francie in their Sea Pearl. Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend or folks to share it with. Here are some phone clips as proof.

Sailing Janes Island

Took my pup Huck to the Eastern Shore. We met Kevin, Peter and Mike for 3 days of wonderful sailing. Day 1 Kevin and I circled Janes. Day 2 we sailed across to Deal Island and back. Day 3 was windier and we all spent it in the various creeks just north of Janes. Camping in the back of the pickup work well with an inflatable bed and galley kit. Video follows:


UNA Cameos

Maine’s Small Reach Regatta was part of a fine adventure. It was held in the backyards of the people at Off Center Harbor. They create wonderful videos promoting sailing, wooden boats, building techniques, seamanship, history, voyages large and small, etc. Their offering this week features friends Barbara and Harris in their Caledonia “Mabu”. Deeper into the video, UNA slips in there pushing along on port tack. My daughter is at the helm as the captain lazes to leeward with his dog, Huck. How long this can be viewed, I’m not sure. OCH is a subscription service (and one of the best regarding small boats IMHO). Click here to see the movie.Screen Shot 2016-09-10 at 13.15.35.png

Also, OCH picked up a post my daughter did a couple years ago logging an overnighter we took in UNA. She takes beautiful photos. Proud of her. Post here.
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A Week’s Time In Maine


the girl

Too much to tell and too little patience to relay it. It was a beautiful week of scented pines, midnight thunderstorms, lobster, foggy mornings and of course sailing in sparkling waters. For 3 days my daughter, dog and boat wandered among the small islands, camped on some, only lunched on others. Days passed lazily with temps in the low 80’s and evenings in the 60’s. From campfires to sunsets, the time was rejuvenating.

Bear Island viewpoint
morning’s ceiling

Swimming took some working up to, but our pup Huck didn’t hesitate. I was concerned he’d balk at his first cruise since a short canoe ride was the extent of his exposure. The 16 hour drive north could have ended very differently.

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The last 4 days’ sails were with the Small Reach Regatta participants. Over 70 boats were in attendance this year. Based out of the Reach Knolls Campground in Brooklin, ME. The owners were great hosts. All dinners were delicious with the last night capped with lobster. This community of boaters couldn’t be more genuine and fun-loving. Though technically not a race from lunch spot to lunch spot, there was some dueling going on.

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I regret that I didn’t get more pics. Some can be seen on the SRR Facebook page. One afternoon was near windless so, we headed for Deer Isle and Stonington, a town we had visited 6 years before on the bareboat schooner “Alamar”.

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Here’s a short video as we reached home from Sheep Island back to Herrick Bay.

Our last night presented a marvelous sunset. Turning south and heading home was not easy. Still, there is always next year … or … sooner?

photo credit: A Girl Named Leney


Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival

We’re just back from the Small Reach Regatta in Brooklin, Maine and still I’m ready for the next event. In terms of sailing, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD hosts a great gathering of sailboats, rowboats, canoes, kayaks, etc. The event page has 2 double enders bookending the header photo. To the left is my UNA and to the right is Peter’s NIP. After last year’s cancellation due to hurricane threats, this year should be extra special. We are going.