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...

Monday, July 25, 2011

On the Road Again

I have foresaken St. Augustine for a while and headed north. But only from a directional standpoint. Have joined Ellie in Richmond, Virginia for an art escape. It is hot. Very hot. 108 F. apparent temp. Sticking to the chilly, free art museum ... and the pubs.

Before I left last week I put Annie and Becky Thatcher to bed and took a last morning walk on the beach, the last for a few weeks. A storm rushed in that afternoon from the west. I ran to catch it by the Bridge of Lions and barely outran it back home.

Wrapped Up

St. Augustine Beach 7 am

Cars stopped... shrimper underway

The waterbirds know when to leave

Looking forward to a day in Norfolk, Virginia (the world's largest naval base) in a few days. There is a new Waterman exhibit at the Mariners Museum and a possible sail with my friend Steve aboard Spartina. Sounds fun, right?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sailors Exchange

When Annie needs a replacement, a bit of bling or just a random screw we go to Sailors Exchange first. Located on West King Street this treasure trove is where the local and drifting boaties come to root around.

Oh I see the one I need!

Bilge 'colanders'

Sunbrella... cheap

I don't use one of these... but I hear some do 

Fence reinforcement

Just go ahead and dig

Sometimes you just can't think of a use

I wonder where they have been

Some pieces are in better condition than others

Fun for the whole family

What more can be said?

Oh yea

Wayfinding aid

I venture to say that you may never find another chest of cigarette lighters


Do you have any 1/8"?


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Paint, Mud and Pubs

Last summer I was fortunate to study with David Howell in East Anglia, England. David is the current president of the Royal Society of Marine Artists and, in my estimation, the best maritime watercolorist anywhere. Here is a sample of his work and a few photos I took on our outings.

Manon & Betula-Pin Mill by David Howell, RSMA

Thames River barge at Pin Mill

A work yard temporarily revealed

"'a drop of Adnams" at the Butt and Oyster

Nested, waiting to float... Wivenhoe

Boats for Hire... River Stour, Dedham

Burial grounds... St Osyth, Essex

Shelducks working the shore

Where do you keep your Drascombe?

reblogged from Port-na-Storm.... great site!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sailing at Home

 After a couple of weeks of hot, steamy weather we were past due for a couple days of sailing. It is the 4th of July (the birthday of US independence) weekend and I put Annie in at the Lighthouse Park ramp. I live about a mile NW at the top of Anastasia Island. 

I sailed out Salt Run, past the inlet and up North River. Terry checked in and said he and our friend Philip were heading out from downtown in his ODay Mariner. I sailed back south and waited inside the inlet. 

St. Augustine Inlet is due a good dredging. Sand has filled in the north side narrowing the flow in and out. The  wind was from the east onshore and the tide was streaming out at full ebb. The opposition created a ferocious chop. A larger sailboat running ahead of me peeled off and headed back in. Once we made the last breakers we bore off and found ourselves in a nice calm swell. Philip jumped on Annie and we continued down to St. Augustine Beach near the pier. Philip's daughter's graduation party was in a few hours so we tacked and headed back. The water was blue and the breeze about 10 knots. Terry left us in his lighter and faster Quest. We ran in the inlet with the tide and made our way through the marsh to Philip's house downtown. The party was a lot of fun and we took friends out for an early evening sail.  

Click me

Off St. Augustine Beach

Around 9:30 I motored over and anchored beside the Castillo de San Marcos. The fort was quite magical at night.

In the early morning (Sunday the 3rd) I awoke and set out south through the Bridge of Lions passing along the city's bayfront. St. Augustine, besides being the oldest continuously-occupied European settlement in the US, is arguably one of the nation's prettiest towns. With the Spanish, British Colonial, and Mediterranean Revival architecture and semi-tropical landscape, its beauty is hard to take for granted. Even if you have lived here for most of the past 30 years.

British-period St. Francis Barracks

The Bridge of Lions reopened last year after a complete restoration that took several years to complete. It was listed on the National Trust's Most Endangered list and through grassroots efforts was saved from being replaced by a larger, modern alternative.

Sailing south I entered the mouth of the San Sebastian River that runs along the west side of the historic downtown area. Passing the shrimp docks we slowly motored up the winding river in the early morning calm.

Apple Jack, one of the last wooden shrimpers on the San Sebastian

Hundreds of boats of every description dock along the river. I particularly like the more eccentric.

Steel meets salt

Beatin' the heat

I meandered around for another hour or so and headed back north. The east breeze returned and after passing the bayfront, the inlet and tacking south along Salt Run I anchored off a protected sandy beach for a swim and a nap in the cockpit. Decided to take out at the ramp and after waiting my turn with the holiday crowd I headed home. 33 miles by Google maps... I left the GPS at home. Happy 4th of July.

St. Augustine, Florida