Two Reefs Two Rivers ~ video

 

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Video from both days of sailing. We stayed up the Corrotoman the first day to stay clear of the wind and chop. Second day we headed out into the Rappahannock.

 

 

Double-reefed Off Parrott Island

 

Sunday is better. A little at first, then a lot. The Small Craft Warning is downgraded to an Advisory. It will remain gusty for the first half of the day, big gusts, but they will be spaced further and further apart as the day progresses, and lose their punch. By late  in the day it is as close to perfect as sailing gets.

Our hotel in Warsaw is not far from the one where Paul Manafort is spending a few nights before his trial, and not that unlike it, apparently. Warsaw had the closest available rooms we could find. Kind of weird for such a remote and unassuming place to be part of such a big story. There’s a Hardee’s and a McDonald’s, a Tractor Supply, beauty parlors, a tire store. A pressure treated wood factory. And, clearly, a regional jail.

It’s a 30 minute drive back to the marina. For such a small boat, a slip is only $25 for the night, with showers, a pool, a cafe. Well worth it. Next time we’ll just stay on the boat and skip the hotel and the driving. With the kinks from yesterday all worked out, and the boat already in the water and ready to go, we’re back onboard and underway with little fuss.

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Double-reefed Off Yankee Point

photo by Doug Lawson

 

First sails for new boats are often troublesome affairs. Nothing has been tested or put under strain. Things go wrong. Little details left undone and  forgotten suddenly get remembered, always at inconvenient times. Knots come untied, screws come loose. It’s common enough that most builders take a “shakedown cruise” before the first official launch. Gives a chance for glitches to surface and get worked out under safe conditions, preferably without an audience.  So taking a new boat on its first real sail for two solid days, in a Small Craft Warning, is not a conservative move.

But that’s what we did.

Almost a  year has passed since Doug brought his new Marsh Cat back from the mountains of southwest Virgina.

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East River ~ Mathews, Virginia

 

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Beautiful early spring day, in beautiful country, with beautiful boats.

Video from the weekend in Mobjack, Virginia. A mix of drone footage, shots ashore, and on board a handmade rowboat and a William Garden Eel.

A couple of Coquinas, a Marsh Cat, a Melonseed, and a flock of Caledonia Yawls. Perfect boats for these shallow waters.

 

 

Brush Creek Yachts ~ Concentric Circles and Paradoxes

Doug, his son Ben, and Marvin Spencer, with the new Marsh Cat “Magpie”

 

(This is a post started last August; am just getting back to it.)

It will take nearly four hours of driving to get there, to get where the boat is, a boat built by hand in the loft of an old barn. We head out at sunrise while there’s still dew on the grass.

We don’t go east toward the coast, though, where most boats and builders of them live. Instead, we turn and go the other direction – to the southwest into the mountains. Instead of the land of crabs and oysters and skipjacks, we’re going deep into coal and bluegrass and moonshine country.

After 200 miles of driving we’ll still be in Virginia, though just barely. From south of Fries it’s just 10 miles as the crow flies to the Carolina line, and 20 to Mount Rogers, the highest peak in Virginia. This is where Marvin Spencer, proprietor and master craftsman of Brush Creek Yachts, lives and builds boats.

 

Buffalo Mountain

 

 

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Winter Harbor ~ Nocturnes

 

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It’s almost time to go. In the morning the Melonseed will get stuffed with gear, leaving a little room to skootch back and forth, tacking upwind all the way back. The tide will be out. Lots of short tacking. Another front is coming through, bringing rain. I’ll try to slip out ahead of it.

Most will wait another day to squeeze out the last few hours they can before heading back. A few plan to leave soon after I do. Beating my way out into the headwind, I see Wesley in his skiff on his way to the island to pick them up. He nods approval as he goes by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter Harbor ~ Ephemeral Arts

 

I made some things. Did you find them?

Terri had to go back early. We sailed over in the Melonseed and dropped her at the marina. When I got back, she texted clues to find things she’d hidden around the island.

It wasn’t that hard. I found her trail a few steps from the kitchen door, and easily followed her meandering path for a quarter mile through the dunes. With so few people on the island, a single series of footprints is like a story written in large print. Here she stopped to ponder a pile of bones, here at a clearing to take in the view of the marsh, enticed from here to wander in a grove of pines.

 

 

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