When I arrived at Assateague, Tony had been surfing for four hours straight. Cold and tired, but happy. After he built his Melonseed, a sailboat, he built several beautiful wooden surfboards. In case you’ve forgotten, he still lives in Montana.
I know, right? Nearest big water is coming out of glaciers. Dude has a serious geography problem. And he makes maps for a living!
It’s a 6 hour drive from here to there, and it means running the gauntlet of Hampton Roads – through perpetual traffic congestion, rough roads, backups at bridges and tunnels. For a traffic wimp like me it’s harrowing at best, and at worst, when there’s an accident or just rush hour mayhem, it can add hours to the trip. Sometimes I leave in the middle of the night just so I can sneak through when everyone else is asleep.
This was supposed to be my summer of sailing and house repairs, but turns out I’ve done little and none of either. Too much work. Much of it has been on fun projects, though, and continues to be. More on the others later, but one just finished up last week.
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge has been on my list of places to visit for a long time, even before the boats were started. Mike Wick tells me he’s very interested in a Back Bay trip, too. Maybe this Fall.
Wide and shallow behind Virginia’s southernmost barrier islands, it’s actually the northern end of the Carolina sounds of the Outer Banks, and a major stopover of the Atlantic Flyway. Every winter, hundreds of thousands of migrating shore birds, ducks, and geese move through here on their way south. I’ve always wanted to see that. Ideally, I would launch from the western shore, sail across exploring along the way, and camp on the barrier island to the east in False Cape State Park, where there are docks to tie up, and more cool places to explore.
A winter trip in a small open boat requires careful planning, though, so after leaving Steve Earley in Norfolk, I took the opportunity while in the area to make a scouting trip.