Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
whiteness and brightness
and unbreathed air
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I did a little more painting on the interior, plus put in the hardware to hold the rolled up Bivys up under the foredeck between the forward edge of the coaming and frame #2. They'll be out of the way, out of the sun and spray. I also put in the purchase points for the Bivys when they are in use - a couple of pad eyes for the for shoulders loops and one of the feet attachment point. Need to get some bungee cord and a couple short pieces of nylon line and we'll be all set.
Friday, April 24, 2009
That's Spartina and Bruce off of a little island near Beaufort, not too far from where Sandybottom and Kiwibird are headed right now. We are less than a month from the Skeeter Beater. I bought some plastic cups of fruit and a bottle of olive oil today. When I looked in to the food box I was surprised and pleased at what was there. Buying an item or two each trip to the grocery store the last few months has really added up. Pasta, cous cous, breakfast bars, peanuts and sauces. A pretty good start. I'll wait until Bruce is in town for the main courses.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Kiwibird and SandyBottom plan on paddling the course in a couple of weeks. I'll look forward to reading about that.
As for the Skeeter Beater, things are moving along. I rebuilt the water pump on my Nissan 3.5 outboard. It is seven years old, I really should have rebuilt it a few years ago. I also printed out a tide, sun and moon chart for our late May/early June trip. Tides won't be much of a factor for us, but knowing the daylight hours will help with planning.
Monday, April 20, 2009
It was Byard Miller aboard his Sea Pearl "Bygone." He had left Palatka, Fla 23 days ago, headed north on the ICW. The York River, his final destination, is just up the Chesapeake Bay. Byard is from Arkansas. He had bought the Sea Pearl a year ago for sailing on the lakes of near his home, but had always wanted to make the journey up the ICW. He looked happy and healthy, smiling as he talked about strong winds, heavy rainfall and the beauty of the waterway. The boat looked in great shape (I could use some tips from him on how to keep a boat organized). He laughed about traveling in the company of million dollar boats, wondering why everybody wanted to take a photograph of his boat, the smallest one in the group.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I don't know any more about Washington I. Tuttle than what is written in the three and one-half pages printed off an internet site years ago. His friends called him Tut. He had a wry sense of humor and an understated way of describing his adventure. He had done some small boat cruising. He didn't seem too concerned about planning. He liked a cold beer now and then.
I thought of Mr. Tuttle when I read the comment to the blog from S R "Seth" Wood. Seth grew up sailing the Eastern Shore and is now builidng a Pathfinder. His dream cruise - a Delmarva circumnavigation. "It can be done!" he said. The Delmarva peninsula is the narrow piece of land, made up of of parts of three states - Delaware, Maryland and Virginia - that separate the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. Decades ago (the transcript never mentions the year), in a small catboat, Washington I. Tuttle made that circumnavigation.
He left his home in Queenstown, Md. while his wife was asleep, he said, so she could not object. It was mid-August, the month with the highest temperatures, the month with the least wind. He sailed north to Worton Creek where he stopped for a beer. Dinner was dry that night - he had forgotten to pack water for the trip. With a fair wind (and water picked up at Worton Creek) he sailed north the next day past Betterton, the Sassafras and Turkey Point, entered the C & D (Chesapeake and Delaware Canal) and motored to Chesapeake City where he left his catboat at a marina.
After a few days break he returned to his boat and motored in to Delaware Bay dodging cargo ships, thunderstorms and thick clouds of flies. He eventually anchored in "a big ditch", also known as the Jones River, for the night. Near Cape Henlopen, where Delaware Bay opens in to the ocean, Tut ducked in to the Lewes and Rehobeth Canal, stopping for the night at a drawbridge. The next day he sailed in to Rehobeth Bay and called his wife - he needed money. Next stop was the Coast Guard station at Indian River. He timed his departure the following day for the slack tide and sailed past the stone jetties into the ocean. He sailed south on the Atlantic, and then he turned west in to Ocean City, Maryland, tied up at a commercial marina, had a sandwich and a beer.
Tut worked his way south inside of Assateague Island with the barrier island to the east and the wooded coast of the eastern shore to the west (I've visited beautiful Assateague Island, walked a couple of hundred yards back behind the dune line and found pieces of shipwrecked boats scattered about the sand, boats so old they were held together not by nails but by wooden pins). He left his boat for a week at Chincoteague (pronounced "Shincoteauge" by the locals) to return home for work, hitchhiking to Tees Corner (a convenience store still there to this day) to catch a bus back home.
Resuming his trip Tut took his boat out on the ocean again. He sailed south all day, chased well offshore by the vicious blue headed marsh flies. He anchored for the night at a small harbor near a Coast Guard Station on, according to the transcript, Anismas (I cannot find Anismas anywhere on the charts - could the writer have misunderstood Tut saying "an isthmus"? There were a handful of CG stations on the barrier islands, decommissioned and eroded away by the late 1960's). Out on the ocean again he continued south then entered the barrier islands to anchor in the small harbor at Oyster and have a beer with a fishing boat crew.
He continued south to Fisherman's Island at the very southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula and turned west in to the steep waves of Chesapeake Bay. He pushed through the waves under power and then turned north for a rest behind the sunken concrete liberty ships of Kiptopeke. Further north he entered the waterman's harbor just north of Cape Charles (he mistakenly calls this Chesapeake City) where he anchored near "a rickety pier and a small store on it." (In the late 1980's I visited the harbor. It was filled with deadrise boats from Crisfield and the Tangier Sound area. They were down south that fall dredging (or as they said in their island brogue "drudging") for crabs. The store was still there, old grizzled fishermen buying candy bars, crackers and hot chocolate. The harbor has since been turned in to an upscale marina with trendy shops and a restaurant few watermen could afford).
Tut continued on his journey north, passing through the channel at Tangier Island and continuing north through Hoopersville. At 9:30 at night he stopped at Poplar Island. It was foggy the next day and he worked his way north, eventually putting in a double reef before reaching Kent Island at 11:30. A short while later her arrived back to his homeport of Queenstown. As far as I can tell the trip involved about 15 days of sailing and somewhere over 400 miles made good.
It sounds like quite a trip. I've always liked catboats, for a long time that was my dream boat. I've heard catboats, along with jazz, described as a true American invention.
Mr. Tuttle did not have a gps or high tech clothing. His anchor light was a kerosene lantern hung in the rigging. Did they even have sun block back then? I can almost picture him with worn blue jeans and a khaki shirt, maybe a faded downeaster cap with a long bill. And clear eyes that drifted towards the horizon.
Bruce saw the mention of the Delmarva circumnavigation on the blog too and asked about it. "Do you want to think about doing that someday" he asked. I agree with Seth that it could be done in a Pathfinder. It would certainly be an adventure. I guess we need to add a Delmarva circumnavigation to the cruise list.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Just about five weeks until our trip. Bruce tells me he is off on a week-long photo expedition in the southwest. I'll look forward to seeing his shoot.
Monday, April 13, 2009
So I spent most of the day sanding and painting. I'm not the best painter around, I just don't have the patience (I remember Kiwi's on the JW builders site talking about ten coats of paint with wet sanding in between - I would rather be sailing than painting). But it looks a lot better than it did. I like to tell people Spartina is a pretty nice looking ten foot boat (stand ten feet away and she looks pretty good).
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Nearest Location:not known
Time:04/12/2009 08:16:25 (US/Eastern)
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Our first exceptional experience was on Harkers Island and particularly at the Harkers Island Fishing Center. We arrived in the early evening and set about checking into the motel. The room was nice and affordable.
The people who worked at the fishing center checked us in and showed us where we could park the boat for the night. Everyone was genuinely friendly. They suggested a great place to eat dinner that was within walking distance (Captain's Choice Restaurant) and pointed out a local store located right next to the center. Turned out we really needed that store. (I think its name was Billy's and it was one of those local "we have almost some of everything" kind of stores, very cool to look around in.)
After checking in, we returned to the Jeep and for what ever reason we happened to notice that one of the rear tires was going flat. Bummer. We just knew we were going to have to unhook the trailer, park it, unload all the gear covering the spare tire and then look for an open gas station. We were sure we were in for a lot of hassle, especially in the light rain that was falling off and on. I suggested to Steve that we buy one of those "fix a flat" in a can products, which would inflate the tire until we could get it fixed. We were pretty certain none of the gas stations were still open and we needed an early start in the morning. There would be no time to fix the flat until we returned.
We walked over to the store. We met a nice woman at the checkout counter, explained our situation and what we were looking for. She called her husband over, told him what we were looking for and he immediately took charge. He led us to the automotive stuff isle, told us that he recommended a plug type fix it kit. He spent time telling us about his personal experience with the product, what applications it worked best on and how to use it properly. He answered all our questions. Well, we thanked him for his advice, bought the kit, went back to the Jeep and proceeded to repair the tire. It worked just like he said it would. Steve had a portable air pump and we were able to inflate the tire. We never had a problem with the tire for the remainder of the trip. The owners of the market were very friendly and such a big help. You could tell that was the way they treated everyone.
After we finished our repair adventure, with out any hassle at all, Steve parked the boat and we set about rigging it for launching the next morning. It continued to rain off and on all evening.
While Steve went to get the trailer hooked up to the Jeep so we could haul out Spartina, I went into the office to settle our account. Laura and I started talking about our cruise when she had to take a phone call. Apparently the caller asked her what was going on because she replied, "our sailing boys got back safely". When I asked her about that comment she said that they were all a bit worried about us because we had taken off in the rain. It was great to hear that people were aware of our trip and concerned for our safety. I talked to Laura for about half an hour while Steve got the boat ready to haul out of the water. (Honest, I wasn't slacking off!) We talked about our adventure and Laura shared with me her dream to do some blue water cruising someday. Laura made you feel welcome. She was warm and friendly and knew her stuff. What a pleasure it was to meet her. I hope she finds her dream some day.
Another great encounter with friendly people took place in the town of Oriental. What a nice town! They even have a neat web page that's fun to read. As Steve mentioned in his last post we arrived in Oriental in the early morning. We came in under sail and we looked sharp. We used the motor for the final distance to the public dock. A number of people had watched our approach from the shore. Right from the start the people we met were friendly and helpful.
One fellow approached the boat as we were unloading our gear for the trek over to the Oriental Marina and Inn. As I recall his name was Charlie. He liked Spartina and he engaged Steve in conversation about the boat. He asked all about how Steve built her. It turns out that he was taking a boat building class from a man named Graham Byrnes who teaches at a nearby community college. (Steve has emailed Graham and we may stop by and see him on this next cruise) When Charlie found out we needed some gas, he volunteered to drive Steve to the gas station. Steve took him up on his offer. I stayed with the boat a got things cleaned up and packed for the journey to the Inn.
On the public dock in Oriental. That's the Paddle Pamlico shop in the background.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
We also plan to stop at Bath, Blackbeard's old hangout. There we'll stay at Bath Harbor Marina. We've got a couple of other spots we might visit, so there will be four or five hotels/marinas that will be on the list. Soon I'll print out the list with all the contact numbers and have it laminated, it'll be tucked in a folder with some satellite photos of anchorage areas. I'm content staying on the boat - that suits my bank account just fine. Bruce prefers the occasional hotel - and that suits his wallet (good for him and me too!). We'll probably spend six days anchored out, four days in towns along the way.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I've crossed Hatteras Inlet dozens of times over the past twenty years. It is a beautiful place. But I have never seen it quite like this. This is the reward for getting out on the water, having an adventure. You never know what you will see.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I take one end of the line and separate the three strands. I unravel enough length to make at least four to six tucks, depending on the use of the line. In this case, since the line will be for the anchor I provided enough length for about six tucks. Then I carefully tape the end of each strand with a different color tape. I have found it is important to keep the threads of each strand tightly twisted. This is accomplished with the tape. It makes the weaving/tucking process so much easier and the results much tighter. Sometimes a piece of tape at the bottom of the unraveled strands will hep keep the line from unraveling further while the splicing takes place.