Two Reefs Two Rivers ~ video

 

direct youtube link

 

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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Because Who Doesn’t Need Another Boat

 

On the way to our local farmer’s market, we told ourselves, again, not to buy more vegetables than we can use. It worked this time.

After breakfast in town, we stopped to look at the river, part of the Saturday routine. We passed our friend Stuart out spreading mulch. Out the sidewalk on sawhorses he had a canoe with a for sale sign, and we stopped to chat. Said he’d only used it three times, and needs room for more toys. Comes with two nice wooden paddles and seats.

We realized we had not told ourselves not to buy more boats than we could use.

After a few minutes at the landing watching the river flow by, as the summer heat and the cicada buzz swelled, we agreed we should reward our temperance over vegetables with a new boat. Within the hour we had it on top of the car and were headed for the river.

After weeks of flooding the river is still a little murky, but nearly back to normal levels. We paddled upstream to what remains of an old island at the confluence of Totier Creek. After a swim to cool off, we left the main stem of the James, now flooded with tubers and fishermen, and paddled up into the quiet creek.

Immediately the raucous river party fell away, and was replaced by sun-dappled silence, Great Blue Herons, crows, song birds and gar fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around a few bends we came to the old colonial era aqueduct. A stone arch over the river that dates back almost to the Revolutionary War. The Kanawha Canal ran along the James, and every stream had to be crossed with one of these bridges for canal boats. We floated underneath on the creek – the canal boats floated across overhead, where now the railroad runs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very cool.

Returning to the James, another swim, and a float back home.

Who doesn’t need another boat?

 

 

East River ~ Mathews, Virginia

 

direct youtube link

 

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.

 

 

Mobjack, East River

 

Due west of Winter Harbor is the East River, also in Mathews County, near the little village of Mobjack. Just off a bay by the same name. The Old Bay Club gathered there last weekend for the season kickoff.

Not sure I could go at all, not even taking a boat, I got to the water mid-afternoon as the fleet was coming back from a day of sailing.

 

 

A small creek runs inland along the shore, making a safe harbor perfect for shallow water boats. The mouth of the creek forms a narrow neck with calm water inside.

The land and homes along this shore once belonged to one extended family. At the neck the creek was once spanned by a boardwalk, so you could stroll between houses for visiting, or walk to the village for church. Posts from the boardwalk still remain, and block the entrance like a portcullis. This keeps out the big boats; but again not a problem for little boats, which slip in between them to safety inside. They cruise through the gate like scouts on horseback riding into to a fort.

 

the gate

 

Kevin MacDonald built his Marsh Cat “Little T”, with Teresa. Jim Drake’s Coquina “Molly Malone” beyond.

 

 

 

Mike Wick in his John Brady designed Melonseed.

 

 

 

“Winkle”, a William Garden Eel built and owned by Randy Colker.

 

 

 

Bob Thompson’s Caledonia Yawl “Molly”

 

 

 

Another Caledonia Yawl, Harris Bucklin’s “Mabu”

 

They got the boats settled for the night. A few anchored out. Most camped ashore.

Sooty Tern “Una” built and owned by Eddie Breeden.

 

 

 

Jim Arthur bult and owns the Coquina “Ginger”

 

 

By evening there is a fire going, lots of food and drink. It’s till cold here. The wind off the water is around 50 degrees and dropping. I stay by the fire, a compulsive fire poker to stay warm. Frogmore Stew a la Low Country feels good in the hand and in the belly.