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, November 4, 2019


October 10, 2019

Cast off 0500 with lights set. Motored flashing buoys out the South River. It was our last day and I wanted to see it dawn. It turned out to be a good idea.

Returned to Backyard Boat at Shady Side at 1100. The sun was out and I leisurely pulled out, washed off and readied for the trip back south. It was a short but memorable trip. I got to sail with Steve and Spartina, and explore the Chester River. Annie never lets me down. Thanks Annie for another great run.

14.9 miles   181.6 trip miles

Annapolis Excess

October 9

After a quick breakfast I set sail to travel back east down the Magothey River and into the Bay. Wind somewhat lighter but again out of the NE making for a broad reach toward the Bay bridge that connects the western and eastern shores of Maryland. Leaving the Sandy Point to starboard Annie approached and easily made under the bridge. Hooking west again into the Severn River we approached Annapolis. I had been there often by land but this would be the first by water.

Sandy Point Light

Bay Bridge looking east

With the US Naval Academy and their No Tie Up bulkhead to starboard I looked for a welcoming dock. That was not to be found for every possible foot was packed with large, shiny, fiberglass yachts being readied by hopeful salespeople... rushing toward the annual boat show starting the upcoming weekend. I putted around, got a couple of nods but no success. 

I was quickly ready to high tail out. Retracing, I anchored with a group of cruising boats back up river and made lunch and had a short nap in the sun. At around 1300 started out the river and south again to the South River that flows parallel to the Severn a few miles south. Passed close to the Thomas Point Light. One of the last screwpile lighthouses, it was nice to see it close up.

Thomas Point Light

Made the river early afternoon and continued to Harness Creek on the north shore. A beautiful anchorage that was inhabited by a couple of cruising boats. In for an early night on a quiet hook. 29.8 miles

Harness Creek

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Hot Dog

October 8

A cold front came through in the night as I slept in Ditches Cove. I felt the tight-hauled mizzen flap a bit as it worked to keep Annie into the wind, but the protected spot let me sleep. It was cooler as I made coffee and the wind, now out of the NE bent the top of the trees above us. Set out at 0730 heading west with wind on the beam, double reefed tucked.

I saw Steve and Spartina running downwind far ahead toward Kent Narrows presumably on the way to St. Michaels. I found out later that he had not seen me. With the short chop building I set Annie north close-hauled to beat toward Love Point where we could clear to cross back over the Bay. Still behind a spit of land I was able to shoot a short video before meeting the Chesapeake's fetch.

With the Magothey River entrance as a target, I furled more of the jib and took two rolls in on the mizzen. She sails with just jib and mizzen but I prefer the driving power of all sails, albeit minimal, together. Now on a broad reach Annie shot west. The steep chop of 2-3 feet height with only a little more length, was running perfectly parallel to the course. To be less vulnerable I found myself alternating direction. Heading up to quarter the wave and turning down to quarter as the wave passed underneath. Somewhat like a surfer 'hotdogging' on a short board. Speed was up with a consistent 7 knots and more. The rig and rudder vibrated and groaned but I never felt in trouble.

Nearing the shipping channel the tide starting flowing north and the seas became confused. A wave broke over the cockpit coaming but the seas started subsiding as we made the river entrance at noon. Continuing on the Magothey I anchored in the lee of Dobbins Island to rest and eat. After a nice nap I explored the upper reaches of the river, watched dinghy racers and grabbed a crab cake at The Point restarant. Anchored up Mill Creek turning in at 2100.  25.1 miles

Baltimore arbor Light, mouth of the Magothy

Young sailors practicing

Hard to beat a Maryland crab cake

Mystery- when I checked the trip computer that had been reset the day before I noticed this reading. I doubt it but...

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Down River Close-Hauled

October 7

Left the Chestertown dock at 0700. Steve stayed behind to leave later after meeting with a friend. Steady southeast wind with many tacks down river. I was pleasantly suprised how close to the shore with full rudder we could make before each tack. 52 of them down to Queenstown. Negligible tide effect. Reached Queenstowne Creek 1830 anchoring in Ditches Cove. Quiet spot. 48.3 miles

Pound net

Canadian geese heading south

Buy-boat Thomas J passing in the distance

Peaceful tacks

Thursday, October 17, 2019


Sunday October 6

Steve came over as I was finishing breakfast, we rafted up for a bit and then sailed down the creek to start working up the Chester River. Reaching on the west wind we made good time... nearly matched in speed. We made the marina in Chestertown in early afternoon. Steve planned to take a slip and I agreed to do the same. He showed me around town and we ate lunch at Play It Again Sam's and later a crab cake dinner at the dock restaurant. A quiet night spent at the marina.  17.5 miles

Spartina heading up river

Buy-out AnnieD on the Chester

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Across and Up

October 5, 2019

I decided for a fall cruise I would head north to Maryland's Chesapeake western shore, cross over and explore the eastern shore north of my previous trips. Having Annie in Richmond made it easy to get away early, so I left out at 5am and trailed to Shady Side. I arrived at Backyard Boats and took my time to rig and ready Annie. The trailer repairs had held well and I was satisfied with the preparations. There was even a hose to rinse the trailer after launch.

We headed out the cove around 10 am and across the bay. Wind 8-10 NE overcast. Long reach ESE around Kent Point and long tacks up the Eastern Bay to Kent Narrows. Entering the Chester River in the late afternoon my friend Steve, who had been out for a week, communicated about the possibility of a rendezvous in the East Fork of Langford Creek. I had decided to tuck in earlier but with the sky clearing and a nice ENE breeze I forged on. It was almost dark as Annie approached Steve's Spartina, buttoned up for the night. I dropped anchor down the way and turned in after a long day.  46.0 miles

Spartina in for the night

Friday, September 13, 2019


Annie's trailer came with her when I took delivery 12 years ago. It has hauled her a couple thousand miles and has been a good one for sure. But as you probably know galvanized steel fittings don't last forever.

The roller pins were shot and the bunk supports were rusting through. I deduced that the front rollers were taking the brunt and that by repositioning her a foot aft, the load would be better balanced. So a lot of metal grinding, sawzalling (there's a word for you) and online and store shopping commenced.

John England, who is in my opinion the best for just about anything 'boat', lifted and chocked Annie. I was then able to pull out the trailer and start disassembling. I have another day in Urbanna to finish but it has turned out to be an enjoyable, albeit dirty, job that is going to make a lot of difference and open up another adventure later this fall.

Trailer extraction


The bunk came off to easy

Left: old, right: new

Monday, May 27, 2019

Old Article

Looking through the bookcase I found this old article that reminded me of good times. Thought I would add it to this log so as not to misplace again...

Sunday, May 26, 2019


May 20 Thursday

We pulled out around 0800 just as Steve Earley was pulling up to launch Spartina. We all chatted and he rigged as we made ready for the road. With a goodbye to Conway, Noah drove us back to Richmond. I opted for the backroads and to head home so I could have my workshop to make a number of repairs. It was a good week with near perfect weather. Looking forward to another adventure with Noah. I think he might be up for it.

Loaded for the Tow Home
(photo by Steve Earley)
Trip total 248 SMiles, 216 NM

Friday, May 24, 2019

Stretching Out the Glide

May 20 Thursday     5th day on water

Out Bath Creek at 0900. Caught ESE breeze up Pamlico River. Made Little Washington at 1400, hungry. Tied up at city dock and went into town for lunch of fish and crab cakes. Full house and quite noisy. We walked north to find engine oil and returned to Annie to cast off. Had dropped off appreciably and needed to motor 1/3 of the return. Wind picked up again from SSE 10-12 kts. Made the creek entrance at twilight and anchored in the creek past Potters Marine for the night.

A great place to be

Across from our anchorage

Daily total 39 NMiles, 45 SMiles

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Sleigh Ride

May 19 Thursday     4th day on water

0800 North on Broad Creek and through Turnagain Bay. Wind ESE light. Reached out east of Prohibited Area. Considered another attempt at Ocracoke, thought better of it and anchored mid- Pamlico Sound for a nice swim at 1200.

Noah at the helm

Broad reach NW toward mouth of Pamlico River. Wind increased to 15 with 20 gusts. Ran up the river full sail, wing and wing as the tide turned in our favor. Surfing down 2-3 ft waves with the rig humming. Recorded  8.9 knot max over the bottom.

Up the Pamlico River

Wing and wing

Chose Durham Creek on the south shore to anchor for the night but decided not due to adjacent paper mill. Continued west to Bath Creek and dropped inside at 2015 hrs. Katmandu Curry for dinner. Quite a snappy day.

Daily total 47 NMiles , 54 SMiles

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Colorless Markers

Wednesday May 8

Another still morning. I look down into clear blue water and then pan across a long ribbon of sand. Fifty yards or so away a small tent is set up. It's early but the two young inhabitants are alternately walking back and forth from the site to the inlet edge with fish they are pulling in one after another. Before long, small boats are anchoring nearby their spot to get in on the action.

We heated up Breakfast Skillet and have a cup of coffee with a dash of Irish. Determined to not run aground we start back to the entrance buoy and begin winding into the bight south toward anchored sailboats in the distance. Having read that there were channel changes after the somewhat recent hurricanes, I asked a fisherman if it was clear through to Core Banks. He affirmed and we pressed on.

Motored until turning north by the lighthouse then caught the ESE breeze that was picking up. Moved into Core Sound and saw that all the charted markers on the seaward side were bare except for a black and white sign stating Danger Shoaling. The reds and greens had been removed. We were making good way and keeping well to port just in case. Broad reach and close-hauled the entire sound. Intense sun encouraged us to cover up, towels coming in handy.

Cape Lookout Light

Core Sound

By 1500 we had passed the fishing village of Atlantic and decided to abort a previous idea to continue NNE to Ocracoke. It would be dark by the time we would make our approach and that seemed risky. Instead we ran up into Thorofare Bay and the canals by Cedar Island. The SE wind funneled up the route and only needed to motor through the short Old Canal. Anchored far up Broad Creek at 1900 and enjoyed a beautiful night.

Along Old Canal

Time out

Day total  42 NM, 48 SM