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...

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Over and Out

 Last week I sold Annie to a new friend Rob from Atlanta. He and his friend Steve came to Urbanna and spent the morning with John and I at John and Vera's house. Rob is a fine fellow and is thrilled with learning to sail, caring for Annie and taking her into the future. I was quite numb after they drove off but have popped back. At least enough to write this. 

Eleanor and I are planning to move to Portugal in October. There is much left to do and we are looking forward to making a go of it. I am interested in doing some sailing in England when we visit our daughter and boyfriend. And maybe there will be another boat on the horizon. But for now I'm signing off.

Thank you for sharing my log and maritime discoveries. Take care and remember to reef early.


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Moving Along

Due to life changes I have decided to sell Annie. If you are interested or have a friend that may be please fill out a Contact inquiry at    I will respond via email.

I look forward to finding 'that right person' to care for this wonderful boat that has taken me so many places and brought much joy. 

For Sale      S/V Annie

Wooden Drascombe Longboat Cruiser with Coaster design elements. 

Rigged and configured for single-handed or two-person expedition sailing. Will accommodate additional crew for day sailing.

21’9” LOA; 18’0’ LOW; 6’7” beam; 1’0” draft centerplate up, 3’6” plate down

Yawl rigged with tanbark sails. Mainsail with 2 reefs, roller-furling jib and mizzen. 172 sq. ft total.

Sails and standing rigging new 2018.

Construction: Built by East West Custom, 2007 in Elliot, Maine. Only and last built in the US. Bruynzeel sapele (African mahogany) ply, lapstrake with WEST epoxy, Honduran mahogany trim, recycled teak rails and grates. Stainless steel centerplate and rudder.

Auxiliary propulsion: 6hp Nissan Marine outboard, custom sculling oar

Load Rite trailer with radial tires. Reconditioned 2019

Custom full length storage cover, cockpit tent and dodger

Custom cockpit and salon cushions, ample storage and included equipment and amenities

Well found and maintained with several thousand miles of US cruising along the east coast, west coast and St. Johns River of Florida, the sounds and Outer Banks of North Carolina, and the western and eastern reaches of the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia and Maryland.

Viewing by appointment in Richmond, Virginia. Send request by Contact page at

Serious inquiries only.

References:        2012 issue #74

$28,000 obo


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

A Favorite

I've long been taken by this image of Sperwer, a wooden Drascombe Peterboat 6M. It was in my idea cache before I decided on Annie. Worth another look and a share.



Out and In

 Monday September 28

With plans at home over the next few days I had one more in the Bay. It was close to Smith Point so I had plenty of time to finish my trip. Poking out the Great Wicomico I was joined by a two large yachts. We all picked up the northerly and tacked NNE. It was another clear and fresh morning so I continued toward Smith Point Light. 

Smith Point Light

After rounding, we gybed back west and reached toward the breakwater. I felt sure I had enough wind to carry in so we approached high, close to the north side. When close I noticed a fishing boat anchored in the cut near the south bulkhead where I would most likely drift if the tree line broke the wind. It was all quick and they just gawked as I threaded between them as the wind slacked and my forward motion waned. I was glad the tide had slowed near high.

Passing the creek to my launch marina, I decided to explore the Little Wicomico. There was enough wind to continue reaching and making the markers without tacking. It was a warm meander on a beautiful, quiet river. We continued for the next hour until reaching the navigatible headwater where oyster processing plants and a large marina ended our west run.

Oyster shell

Returning downstream I turned south on Slough Creek to leisurely haul out at Smith Point Marina. A nice fall trip away from the Strange Times.

20.2 N Miles

Trip total  186.8 nautical miles

Thursday, October 29, 2020


Sunday September 27

I awoke snug in the Crockett's forepeak. It was extremely wet and muggy outside and the little bulkhead AC had somewhat dried me and my foulies. I climbed out, unlocked Annie and made ready for a crisp run north. We were heading out the entrance at 0830 and meandered east at 2 kts in a light breeze. Passing Windmill Point at the entrance to the Rappahannock a dense fog set in. It didn't last long to my liking. The SW wind picked up a few knots off Fleets Bay. The sun peaked out around 1300 and we slowly tracked on. 

The wind and sun came up and out beautifully, I started reaching aimlessly. Balancing the sails we wandered back and forth in the Bay. Leaving the tiller free, Annie moved along freely. Once we went for a half hour untended. Marvelous.

A long shoal running north and south to the east formed the tack point as I crossed over and back in this grand frivolity. On one outbound tack I saw a long noth-south wave coming at us. It looked like a miniture tsunami. Annie rose up and over as it moved landward. Then all at once the wave- possibly a hundred yards long- broke on the shoal. I thought of the 'Castaway' and the atoll where 'Wilson' was lost. I suppose it was a wake but I had not seen a boat in a half hour or so. Odd.

Hands free

A little more drying time

Around 1500 we rounded the shoal and started NE into the Great Wicomico River. A couple speedboats blew by and I noticed scores more on the upriver horizon. Then they were streaming by, many up the creek to Reedville and others out and into the Bay. It was a full-fledged flag-flying Trump rally. I was overcome, like stepping in a nest of ground bees.

Trump Patrol

Menhaden docks

It seemed to disperse more quickly than I feared it would and I found a quiet spot in the little Fleet Bay just south of the menhaden docks.             

32.3 NMiles

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


Friday, October 9, 2020


 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.


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


 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


'catch and release'

Monday, October 5, 2020

Rough Ride

 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

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Big Upgrade?

Why is there basically only one handheld GPS company? Many have wondered. But as you might guess that when I went shop for a new model it would be a Garmin. Well there.

I have been happily using a MAP76 for the past 15+ years and several thousand miles of wandering. The unit is black & white, has only the base map and works great. Tides are dynamic and easy to access, waypoints work well and tracks save easily. And there is manual that is made of paper. 

I just thought it was time for an upgrade and after as much research as I could stand and a backup opinion from Steve, I shelled out the dough- ie charged it on PayPal- for a MAP86sc. When it came I open the quickstart manual that basically told how to turn on the unit and quickly (there's that word again) downloaded the obtuse full manual. It reminded me of when I would try to sort out how to record a movie on VHS. Ugh.

Well cut to the chase... the included Blue Charts are nice. The tide charts are not time dynamic but exist, charges like a phone (no removable batteries) and there is access to loads of internet-based features that I would have to pair my phone to. If there was service. And power bank recharge to spare.

I feel like I will learn to love it with use. So I'll hush and start planning a trip.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Time Alone

This past Sunday I repacked Annie and headed for the Chesapeake. With a stretch of cool, dry weather predicted it seemed like an open door. As I've mentioned before single-handed sailing has given me some of my most revealing and spiritual experiences. It is a place to be with myself and often it serves up answers that often allude me. With all the raw eruption around the George Floyd murder and the challenges of being progressive but simultaneously a privileged white Southerner, I yearned for more clarity. My daughter, a champion of social justice, had just encouraged Eleanor and I to download Ibram Kendi's How to Be An Antiracist. For three days I sailed, read, resisted social media as requested, sorted out and grew. A real gift for my 70th year around the sun.

Day 1
Trailed to Mathews County's Town Point ramp. Clear day with a fresh N wind. The ramp was more congested than I would have liked and everyone seemed to be in a hurry. With little to make off on, it was taking me more time and thought. I felt in the way.

I jibed downwind along the East River and into Mobjack Bay. It became clear that I had no plan. Annie pulled hard as we finally chose to head NW toward the North and Ware Rivers that partially feed the Bay. I heard what sounded like a steam relief valve and saw a pod of dolphin coming up from behind. One in particular swam right beside Annie's aft quarter. I noticed a scarred back and a split fin. Surely old encounters with props.

Skipping the North River we continued on slow but steady progress up the Ware and west on Wilson Creek. A quiet anchorage there made for good reading.

Day 2
Woke at 0500 but languished due to winds of 20 Kt +. At 0830 I weighed anchor, tacked out of the creek and beat into short chop across to the windward shore of the Ware. Anchored for a short reorganization and saw the same split fin dolphin. Strange indeed. Having left my iPhone charging cord in the truck, I decided to make my way back up the East River to fetch it. A long tack across the Mobjack near Pepper Creek and then a series of shorts back to the ramp. Charger on board a course was set SW to cross the Bay again and up the Severn. Anchoed up Thorton Creek. Read and decided not to post on social media. BLM.

Day 3
Feeling the urge to keep moving I crossed over the Mobjack again and up the North River. After a brief lunch off Mobjack Bay Marina on Backwater Creek I motored further up and anchored in complete calm.

Day 4
The weather was deteriorating. I left at dawn and closed back again and up the East for the second time. The tide was high at the ramp and all went well hauling and trailing home. Richmond was still in the throws of protest. I was more clear about my desire to actively practice antiracism. The local news read Time for Change. Long overdue.               Trip 83 nautical miles

Friday, June 5, 2020

What's that Sound?

Day 7

I weighed anchor and set off early on the short motor to Potters Marine ahead of Steve. Not long after I hauled out he joined me. We readied our rigs, reminisced and said goodbye. I headed north making my way west toward I95N. Near Rocky Mount, NC the trailer started vibrating. I pulled over near an exit and on inpection found that the drivers side tire had thrown a steel belt. Being Sunday and with the corona virus having closed many businesses, it seems Annie and I were in a tight spot. Slowly limping down the ramp and onto a local highway I found a tire store open. No tire to fit. I continued further to a Mr. Tire. They were busy but had a tire and got the job done. Good folks. Although it was an extra 2 1/2 hours I was thankful. The rest of the trip home was easy.


Day 6

(Note... A blog (web log) is an illustrative way I share Annie's ship log. The ship log is noted each night after anchor is dropped. But these online posts often happen a bit of time after its report actually happened. This trip is a good example. So much so that I have been on another trip on the Chesapeake since this post. A very different trip in many ways, but more about that later.)

We tied up our boats at the town dock and walked into Washington for a breakfast. The downtown was almost deserted. We sat on the porch of the closed visitor center and enjoyed coffee, tea and pastry. Then back to the river to start back east.

I sailed in a nice breeze that waned as the morning progressed. After lunch we entered Durham Creek on the river's south shore. Explored up creek until the shallows. Motoring back out the prop fouled a couple times in grass. AS I started tacking down stream I watched two bald eagles either in a mid-air fight or a mating action. Steve was well ahead on the tacks out that proved to be a few as the wind picked up from the SSE. The next couple hours were a set of long close-hauled tacks that took us back to North Creek. The last tack was a gift for the wind seemed to clock further south and we were able to pinch a good bit higher. In the earlier than it looked before.

Anchored on the creek's north arm and enjoyed a Tai Chicken dinner.    36.3 nautical miles

Crossing the Pamlico River from Durham Creek

Spartina in the distance

Always at the helm

Return to North Creek

The aftermath

Three lights on North Creek