Soft Shackles

Soft Shackle made, ready to attach.


Earlier, I replaced the old Main and Jib Halyards with new ones made of Dyneema. Very nice. They’re slippery through the blocks and feel good in the hand. The first time I raised the Main, though, it was obvious the eye and carabiner arrangement, thrown together so quickly, was sub-optimal. Their combined length made the sail stop several inches short of fully raised. This left the sail hanging too long down at the deck – there was not enough sail track on the mast to pull the luff nice and tight. It worked, but not right.

Fixing it creates an opportunity to try something new – a Soft Shackle.

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Second Sail ~ Parrotts Creek

 T takes in the view on Parrotts Creek


The first time in the new old boat was just a taste. The original sails were too far gone to do much good. With Pete’s help, just finding that out, and that the boat would float (and still take on water), was progress.

The next time, on the Chickahominy with the newer good sails, told me more. Once away from the dock I found jib halyard was tangled. Since I was sailing alone I didn’t feel comfortable going forward to free it, so sailed again with the main only. This, too, was progress. I learned that within reasonable bounds I could easily handle the boat alone, and the newer sails make an amazing difference.

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“Is that you?”

“Barry Up Early” by Curt Bowman



An email from Steve contains the above subject line and not much more, other than a weblink. Following the link brings me to a page, which contains only the photo of a beautiful painting of a sailboat, with the title “Barry Up Early”.

My first thought is: “It can’t be me; I’m never up early.” Terri, who knows me well, said the same thing, Very skeptical of anything that uses the words “Barry” and “early” in the same sentence.

But it’s on Curt’s blog, and Curt is a friend and a very talented painter. He never said anything about doing a painting that contained either me or early in it as a subject. I tried to think of when he might have seen such a thing. Steve and I sailed with Curt on Annie last year, making a fine day of it circumnavigating Gwynn’s Island. But neither he nor I brought our boats that day. And I was late.

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Deltaville Maritime Museum ~ Chesapeake Float 2016

 John England’s Chesapeake Deadrise under construction.


The rain moved in overnight. However, “rain” does not adequately convey the phenomenon of water falling from the sky at the rate of 3 inches an hour. It’s like there’s a crew overhead bailing out the clouds with 5 gallon buckets.

Good news is the boom tent is keeping the interior dry. So there’s that. People slowly venture out in foulies and wellies, collect on the front porch of the old store with hot coffee to watch.

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Night Lights ~ Chesapeake Float 2016

The Green Monster 


It’s already growing dark when Doug gets my attention, says the crabs and oysters are ready and I’m missing them. Indeed, people are seated around long tables under the trees. Sounds of laughter and conversation, and crickets. Shadows seep from the woods and collect in pools beneath the sycamores and cypress. Fireflies lift off from the lawn, scribing arcs above the grass.


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Morning at Freeport Landing ~ Chesapeake Float 2016

direct Youtube link 


Some video from the first morning. Land critters raising a ruckuss, and some seafaring riffraff return. It’s pretty rough; wanted to get it posted before leaving town for a couple of days.

Kevin B thought it was hilarious when I told him about the rooster. In the video you’ll hear why I wasn’t laughing.