Since 1978 I have been fortunate to sail wooden boats. In 2006 I set out to find a Drascombe Longboat Cruiser for single-handed expedition sailing. This is the continuing story of how it came to be, our adventures, notes on the maritime world and other things I don't want to forget...


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Timing Luck

June 28: Ellie and I loaded up assorted painting and boat equipment and made our way to Mathews County. We rented an apartment over the marina where Annie is kept and had four perfect days just ahead of the Independence Day weekend storms. She's always been the 'good luck girl'.

So, with a plenty of room, a great kitchen, cold AC, Annie on the dock down below, and cheap rent... we were livin' large. Ellie did her first boat painting on Gwynn's Island while I did a few water color sketches on Annie while getting distracted by just being onboard. We slipped in a early breakfast at Linda's Diner and a some tasty seafood at Sea Breeze. And then there was swimming behind and exploring the sand spit at The Hole in the Wall that connect the Milford Haven run to The Chesapeake.

In other words, we had a great time. I'm one lucky guy.



View from our deck


Milford Haven Coast Guard Station


Crab houses


Treasure bucket

Sketching













Friday, June 19, 2015

My Friend


I recently heard that Ted Perry, Annie's builder is retiring after 37 years of boatbuilding. He obtained license to build Drascombes in wood in the early '80s and, to my knowledge, the only one remaining. I commissioned Annie in 2006 and worked with Ted on the design through much correspondence and several working visits to his shop in Elliot, Maine. Haven't met a nicer guy. Good luck Ted and wishing you a long, happy life.

Here is Ted's photos of the build. I guess Annie will be the only wooden Drascombe Longboat Cruiser built in the US. Time will tell...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Mobjack Investigation

Temperatures have risen. 90 degrees F + in the afternoons and upper 70s at night are becoming the norm. But with a planned meetup with my friend Doug on the Mobjack Bay this past weekend it didn't much matter. We were going for it.

Doug trailered his fine Cornish Shrimper Tidings down from northern Maryland. I had launched Annie at Town Point ramp below Mathews, Virginia Thursday afternoon ahead of Doug who was scheduled for the next morning. After pottering around in the East River I joined my friend Ben at his nearby boathouse to help with boat repairs and beer drinking. I quite enjoy that kind of late afternoon activity.

Awake early (as usual) I sailed Annie back down the river to Compass Marina to seek out another friend's just acquired Roziante Luna. Eddie, the proud and excited new owner, texted that he was on his way down and wanted to join us. Doug checked in and informed me that, with a blown trailer tire, he would be a bit late. So... what's a guy to do? I went sailing again.

Tidings


Luna


Eventually we joined up and crisscrossed the Mobjack. The wind was fresh. As the temp' rose I began dumping water over my head to stave off the heat. Eddie sailed north into the Ware River, one of four that feed the small bay. Later Doug and I headed up, but I led us up the North River instead of the Ware. Far up I realized my mistake. I felt like I was a quiz show. Is it behind door number two or door number three? We retraced and eventually reached Eddie who was in the water cooling off. A nice swim, a fine dinner by Doug, and a quiet night at anchor.

The next morning we crossed back over the Mobjack to Compass where Eddie took us to get some more supplies. Doug and I set out to explore Pepper Creek and after the thunder heads dissipated, back across to the Severn River. We rafted and I served Cuban black beans and rice. We shared stories and learned a lot about what we have in common.


Crossing the Mobjack

Rafted

Eddie overboard




Sunday morning Doug suggested we slow motor the still reaches of the Severn. He was interested in future anchorages and I got a lot of workboat snaps for my painting 'clip file'. We were hauled and on the road by mid afternoon. It might the last trip of this hot summer on the Chesapeake. But I'm not so sure.

Could be a J Crew ad


Waiting out a storm in Pepper Creek



Large farm on the Severn



River 'Researcher'


Deadrise docks





Monday, June 1, 2015

Becky Thatcher (the first)

I have had two Becky Thatchers. My Drascombe Scaffie brought me back to small craft sailing. But the first was also my first build. She was a 12 ft sailing skiff. Recently uncovered old slides and was happy to find this image... 24 years later. How about that paint job!


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Breakin' Out

Traveled to Urbanna last weekend. It had been 'waterless' too long, with our trip to the West Coast and my studio work filling the hours and days. After a bit of maintenance and a slow start I put in at the Town Dock Saturday afternoon and headed for Corratoman River. Once across the Rappahanock I tucked in behind Ball Point and anchored as the sun set. It wasn't the stillest night. A southwest breeze picked up and even with the mizzen sheeted tight, the small waves continued to slap the starboard side pretty much until dawn. I guess I could have moved but didn't seem to care.

Next morning brought a nice sail and even though it was Memorial Day weekend there was surprisingly few boats on the rivers. Back for a big breakfast in town. Sometimes you just need to wash the brushes and lock the studio door.


Lunch on the dock


Looking for an anchorage


Hook down


Early morning traffic