Got to See a Man About a Boat

Claytor Lake, with Marvin Spencer


Went with Doug to help him pick up his new Marsh Cat, waaaaaay down in southwest Virginia. Marvin Spencer, of Brush Creek Yachts, did a beautiful job. I met Marvin many years ago at his shop in Plymouth, North Carolina. He had recently built his first Melonseed, and I had not yet started mine. When Amanda and I were driving back from Ocracoke I asked if we could stop in and have a look. Graciously, he not only said yes, but waited for us well after closing time.

He’s now built 10 Melonseeds, all beautiful, and many other boats, as well. When we went to pick up his latest creation, we invited him to come along for the first test sail, something he says he rarely gets to do.

Big fun, and great, drama-free first launching and sail. More photos and some video to come.


postcards from the road

Brown Pelicans


​Fripp Island, South Carolina

North in the morning.

South in the evening.


postcards from the road


Storm at Sunset ~ Water’s Edge

Fripp Island, South Carolina


A consistent summer weather pattern:

Morning is still and damp.

An hour after sunrise, the breeze stirs, roused from a dreamy sleep between dunes and surf. Clouds, exhausted with an overnight rain, have flattened and dispersed, forming a haze over the sea.

By noon the wind is steady and strong, the sky clear. The overheated land, takes deep inhales, sucking cooler air off the ocean. Clouds accumulate inland over marshes and wet live oak forests.

Late afternoon those clouds, over-crowded, pile into towering pillars that wobble about the skyline. Finally too top-heavy, at sunset they topple over and collapse upon themselves, like Castellers de Villafranca, tumbling out over the sea with thunder and sparks of lightning.

By midnight, the dark sea glimmers with intermittent flashes sinking over the horizon.

postcards from the road



Kinsale ~ Sailing the Yeocomico River Video

youtube link


Last post from the Kinsale trip. Eight boats down the Yeocomico River. Crabbers, oyster farming operations, grain silos loading grain at a dockside depot, and fine weather.




Kinsale Moonrise ~ Video

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From the first evening. The Sooty Tern and the Marsh Cat playing in light air with the ducks and the geese. At dusk we slid both Melonseeds off the beach at Kinsale, and went for a row on the Yeocomico.

Beautiful evening, capped by the rising full moon.



Kinsale ~ Sailing and History

In 1813, a handful of lightly armed vessels, sent down from defenses at Baltimore, confronted British warships out in the Bay and were cornered here in the Yeocomico. It did not go well.










Morning is clear and warm, with a light steady breeze out of the West.  It will be hot today.

Several of the boats are out in the creek already, or working their way downriver. Doug’s new Marsh Cat is not yet finished, so he’s sailing the second Melonseed. From the beach I can see Caesura’s tanbark sail glowing and gliding against the bluegreen treeline in the distance. Then I, too, am off.

Continue reading “Kinsale ~ Sailing and History”