Rose, Nip, Little T, Aeon, Molly, Whisper, Caesura and UNA. Sharon and Kirk, Peter, Kevin, Barry, Bob, Dennis, Doug and me with Huck. We all experienced a wonderfully long weekend by invitation from Floyd and Francie to enjoy their charming river house and sail the Yeocomico, a sleepy rural river jeweled with old homes and nestled on the south shore of the Potomac. To eat, sail, eat, sail, drink, eat, sleep became an easy rhythm to fall into. That we did. The hosts’ southern hospitality was sublime. Each meal highlighted Francie’s fantastic cooking and conversation was peppered with Floyd’s “histories” . No pounds were lost on this trip. My mornings started with coffee and country walks with Huck. Full breakfast fare proceeded gentle reaches downriver. Return trips tacked from bank to bank back home. Cocktails were savored with late afternoon breezes under big shade trees. From our roost we saw the sun set and a full moon rise. Lightning bugs, yelping of distant coon hounds, water reflections and tales told tall closed each day. What better way is there to spend with friends? This “bed and breakfast” sailing is hard to beat. Thank you Floyd and Francie! Thank you.
About a month ago I spent a few days helping a friend resurrect his backyard shed that had burned to the ground. One day we used the tried and true 24 oz hammer to raise 3 of 4 walls. The following day the right “wing” was quite sore. On the next visit, a framing nailer was available for use. I knew it would be more efficient, but experiencing the difference was an enlightenment. The tool moved to the top of the wishlist. I searched for a deal. Got an Hitachi.
We were quick with Project #1: more sawhorses. Made from 2×3’s, they’re sturdy and relatively light.
Project #2: Mothers Day Adirondack chairs. Got tired of buying “disposable” plastic ones each year.
With galvanized ring shank nails, these projects are darn near impossible to pull apart. How do I know? I measured twice, but should have thrice. Had to pry off one of the curved back horizontals. Tore it up. Wood dough is good. Primed and 2 coats of Rustoleum should keep these in service for years.
I now see all kinds of use for wood cut offs. Awesome tool!
After last weeks’ aborted trip in Reedville (particular details are witheld on my end) we had several days of rain. However, Monday, my buddy Kevin with “Little T” and I with “UNA” decided to give sailing another go. This time we headed south to Beaufort, NC. The Beaufort Maritime Museum graciously allows us to use their event parking for our trailers overnight as the public ramp on Town Creek does not.
The first night we sailed Little T along the Beaufort waterfront to return to anchored UNA after dark. A good breeze from the SE greeted us the next day. We sailed against wind and current into the ocean to tack along the beach to Cape Lookout. Waters were almost tropical, the tour of the Lighthouse interesting and the sunset fantastic. The following day we cruised around Lighthouse Bay before reaching back inside along Harkers Island and into the cut along Beaufort again against wind and current. Little T motored. However, UNA tacked and wiggled up the channel and reached the museum pier first by a good 10 minutes. That was some of the best sailing.
After a burger at Clawson’s (highly recommended), we decided to go to Morehead City and sail along it’s waterfront, but after a 1st then 2nd reef in the main, I was tired of getting wet. The beat became a bash with increasing winds. The day’s sail already was reward enough, so we cracked off, rolled along Radio Island and reached back into Town Creek. Schedule also demanded my return. We said our goodbyes over a chart session where Kevin decided to go downwind up the Intercostal to anchor in Dumping Creek and on to Ocracoke the following day.
Despite my shorter trip, it was well worth it. Got some video of parts here:
A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY MEANS WIND SPEEDS OF 25 TO 33 KNOTS AND/OR SEAS OF 5 FEET OR GREATER OVER THE COASTAL WATERS ARE EXPECTED TO PRODUCE HAZARDOUS BOATING CONDITIONS TO SMALL CRAFT. INEXPERIENCED MARINERS…ESPECIALLY THOSE OPERATING SMALLER VESSELS…SHOULD AVOID NAVIGATING IN THESE CONDITIONS. MARINERS SHOULD PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE MARINE FORECAST…AND CONSIDER WIND AND SEA CONDITIONS IN PLANNING.
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.
I contacted Dave Gentry last week about a skin-on-frame pulling boat he designed several years ago named Ruth after his grandmother, mother and now daughter (but at 2 1/2 yrs old you could argue his baby girl is named after the boat. Dave, what were you thinking?). It is a pretty name and fits this no-nonsense well proportioned shell. With a wine glass bum and glowing dress, her sheer is pleasant to gaze at. Weighing a trim 45 pounds, she’d welcome play on any river, lake or even beach.
Yes, Ruth could offer a little rowing exercise, but maybe better yet, the two of you could chill along a shady river bank where you might fancy a read, savor a picnic or simply doze in the warmth of the day.
Anyway, Dave was gracious enough to invite me to try out Ruth. We met at Walnut Creek Park in Albemarle County, about an hour from home. I loaned him my recently finished F-1 kayak and together we cruised the little lake talking along the way, mostly about … boats.
I’ll have to say I was impressed with the boat’s glide. Her lightness has many advantages and the fuse frame makes for a quick build (40 hrs?). Dave says he has been leaving the polyester skinned beauty turned over and outside for years. While she showed signs of weathering, there was no deformation of her shape and the varnish sealed skin remained tight and leak-free.
Here’s a quick clip. Slipping without strain. Longer oars could be of benefit.
Did I say I was impressed? Smitten may be more like it.
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.
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.
Thunder, lightning and lots of rain greeted us later in the evening, breaking up the party.
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!
Escaped the desk for quick paddle today: 30 minutes down the James and 45 back. I may have paused 3 minutes at most the entire time. The F-1 kayak is so easy to keep moving. All along the way, turtles were soaking up the warm day. All were quick to drop from their perch before we got too close. They’ve a keen sense of hearing (or smell? I did shower this morning). Most had shells the size of dinner plates. Eastern River Cooters I think. Not sure where the little ones were. Maybe at school?
Here’s last week’s journey up the James and into the western end of Tuckahoe Creek. I had hoped to discover the eastern end today, but time didn’t allow. That will have to be for another day.