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...


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Rain On and Off

 Saturday, September 26

Up and out Hungars Creek to make early progress in inclement weather. Cleared entrance in fog and started WNW in 5-8 kt wind out of S. Original plan direct to Stingray Point but decided at the shipping channel to change course to SW and broad reach toward Wolf Trap Light off Mathews County. Rain started and continued until mid-morning. 


Fog in the early morning



Wing in wing through the fog




Oddly I could see better without glasses


Passed by Wolf Trap at 1130, tacked and broad reached NE as the tide started ebbing. Track took me offshore as I compensated with running downwind a few times. Downwind is not a Drascombe's best suit due to the boomless main and it is often a sloppy ride. Tacking downwind on alternating broad reaches helps to align the track at better angles to the wave pattern and thus a better ride with less slatting. The additional speed counteracts the longer distance. 


Reaching to Wolf Trap


Wolf Trap Light


Passing The Hole in the Wall below Gwynns Island the rain returned after a couple hours of mixed clouds and sun. I texted Vera and asked if tying up at the museum was available and she said sure and that there was a band on the hill. She said that she and John would be on the F D Crockett and that I was welcome to share their dinner. 

Rain started again in the mouth of the Piankatank River. Annie plied on, unfazed. We made the entrance to Jackson Creek at 1630 and wound through the narrow, reaching the museum dock and tying up for the night. The band was good as was the shrimp, hush puppies and getting to spend an evening with friends. I opted to sleep in the Crockett's dry forepeak. 

24.2 N Miles


Hard rain with Jackson Creek entrance veiled in mist ahead



Annie dockside with John's new deadrise-build ahead




Tuesday, October 13, 2020

A Good Vantage Point

 Friday, September 25

Up before dawn after a fitful sleep. Big meal the night before I guess. Spent the morning cleaning Annie and catching up on the log. Weighed anchor at 0845 and headed south. Windlessn motoring at half throttle, rain starting in earnest around 1030. With a SE wind predicted for Saturday I wanted to get down as far as possible to cross back over the southern Chesapeake, leaving early with Deltaville as my destination. 

The sky cleared but saw only three boats the entire day until the entrance to Hungars Creek where I anchored at 1700 in between oyster claims. A very tight creek with scores of visible and submerged pilings. Pretty good protection as the wind picked up from the south in the late evening.

28.1 n miles


Light airs pick up in the afternoon



Hungars


Friday, October 9, 2020

South

 Thursday, September 24


Up and out at sunrise. Steve and I headed out of the Pokomoke toward the Broad Creek cut north by Crisfield. I had considered continuing N to the Chester River but with the wind picking up and having new places to explore I said goodbye and turned south. Tacked close-hauled on SW 10-12. Motorsailed when needing to stay upwind and offshore, and made the Onancock Creek outbound buoy by taking several long and short tacks. Turned east and motored up the long creek. Anchored in South Branch with a number of large cruising boats.


Sunrise





Photo: S. Earley



Parting company




After a bit of sorting and a rest I went over and tied up to the town wharf and walked into town. A little bougie but pleasant. I ordered a fish sandwich and fries to go, took it back to Annie and returned to the anchorage for dinner. Calm, drizzly evening with early turn in.

21.5 n miles



Bald eagle nesting

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Pokomoke

 Wednesday September 23   

Up at first light and watched as Steve struck his tent. He sailed by and said he was headed east to the Pokomoke Sound. Wanting to rest up longer I stayed, cooking breakfast, sorting gear and let the cockpit tent dry before storing. These times down below looking at the calm water as the sun warms the deck are some of my favorite moments. It ties me to my personal sailing heritage that has given me much.

Cast off 0845. N wind and beam reach E across Tangier Sound. Crossed over bar south of Fox Island mapping coordinates between the GPS and the chart to miss shallows. Nice reach into Pokomoke Sound and on to the west end of Robin Hood Bay. Anchored for lunch and received text from Steve that he was working toward Ape Hole Creek on the north shore of the bay back to the W. Having planned previously to head N after wind changes I tacked WNW into the wind and tide. Made good progress but opted to motor sail the last mile in order to anchor in daylight. We rafted up for dinner and I noticed a snake wrapped around the outboard. We agreed that it was a nonvenomous water snake that was attracted to the warmth the motor. Released and anchored, played guitar and read.

23.9 n miles


at anchor




Guest



'catch and release'




Monday, October 5, 2020

Fall Sail on the Chesapeake

 Monday September 21, 2020

Drove Annie late morning to Smith Point Marina on Virginia's Northern Neck, on the south shore of the Potomac River where it opens into the Chesapeake. This accessible full-service marina has a good ramp with $10/launch and $10/ day for rig storage. I noticed after launching that my new GPS had discharged. Used the bathroom plug and recharged while sorting gear. Anchored in nearby creek off the Little Wicomico and slept well.

Tuesday September 22

Up at 0600, cold morning. Long underwear and foulies, double-reefed main. Rough chop outside the breakwater with wind SW 20 with gusts to 28. Made rough but good progress NE in short 2' chop toward Smith Island, MD at approx. 59˚, taking continuous water over the bow. Attempted to turn down to closer Tangier Island, VA but set parallel to wave trough, presenting possible broach; aborted and returned to previous course. Waves increasing to 2-3' with occasional 4', with breaking tops. Nearing Smith Island we were 5˚ off the cut to Ewell village and started tacking close hauled making slow progress due to wave action. Making little progress motor-sailed as the weather worsened.


Crossing shipping channel


Entered cut, passed by village and anchored 1130 in the Big Thorofare for lunch. Cast off at 1215 and continued along the Little Thorofare E into Tangier Sound. Headed S running under jib alone on to Cod Harbor at the south end of the island where I met Steve Earley anchored. Rafted, had a tipple and ate our respective dinners. Turned in around 2100 with wind piking up overnight. Woke once to let out additional rode. Scanty cellular coverage.   

34.6 N miles.


Deadrise and fish shack, Ewell, Smith Island





Anchor set