Manokin River ~ Janes Island to Teague Creek

Doug in his Cornish Shrimper Tidings 

 

Forecasts call for clearing skies and tempering wind overnight. But back at camp the rain has not yet dissipated. In the evening, in the Executive Conference Room, there is some disagreement regarding the direction the company should take in the morning. The destination is not disputed  – the Manokin River – just how best to get there. Wind will be out of the North, dead on the nose.

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Camping Out the Storm ~ Chesapeake Float 2015

 Crossing Tangier Sound

 

Getting out of Smith Island at low tide is proving a surprising challenge. A text comes through from home saying the storm knocked out the power, the same front heading our way. VHF weather says rain and high wind, with gusts to 30+. We dallied longer over lunch than prudent, we realize, and now dark clouds are filling the sky to the southwest.

Everyone ties in reefs and shoves off. We have three miles of sailing within Smith Island just to get out, and all dead into a wind still coming from the southeast. Beyond that it’s another 7 miles to across Tangier Sound. A couple of hours of sailing, at best. That’s a lot of time for wind and waves to build in the Sound.

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Tangier Sound Ahead of a Storm ~ Video 4 of 4

direct Youtube link

 

We dallied too long over lunch in Ewell. A message from home said the storm knocked out the power, and was coming our way. The radio said it was bringing rain and wind, with gusts to 30+.

Still calm on the way out, in the lee of the island. But the tide was out now, and we kept getting stuck and bumping bottom on the three mile trek out Big Thorofare. Short tacking across the narrow channel delayed us more. By the time we reached the Sound it was blowing pretty good and spitting rain.

Thanks to Kevin Brennan for the clips of Obadiah.

The companion article appears in the July 2015 issue of Small Boats Monthly, a WoodenBoat publication. A month of access to the current issue and the full archive is $2.99. You can cancel a subscription at any time.


Smith Island in Big Thorofare ~ Video 2 of 4

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Arriving at Smith Island from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, we enter Big Thorofare. A quarter mile wide and very shallow, this main channel into the heart of the island is over two miles long. Beautiful sailing as the sun was getting low.

Once inside at North End Bottom, we sailing up Tyler Ditch before the wind gave out, and the light. Then rafted up in the center of the island for the evening, before anchoring there for the night under clear skies.

Thanks to Kevin Brennan for the clips of Obadiah from across the water.

The companion article appears in the July 2015 issue of Small Boats Monthly, a WoodenBoat publication. A month of access to the current issue and the full archive is $2.99. You can cancel a subscription at any time.


 

To Smith Island ~ Video 1 of 4

direct Youtube link

 

Leaving Janes Island State Park, past Crisfield, and across Tangier Sound to Smith Island. A beautiful afternoon crossing in light but steady wind and warm sunshine for a mid-Spring day.

The companion article appears in the July 2015 issue of Small Boats Monthly, a WoodenBoat publication. A month of access to the current issue and the full archive is $2.99. You can cancel a subscription at any time.


 

 

Smith Island ~ American Venice

Sailing for Smith Island, Kevin Brennan in his Navigator Slip Jig 

 

From the ramp at Janes Island State Park it’s a half mile down a straight and narrow canal to open water. Separating Janes Island from the mainland, the canal is just wide enough for small boats to tack into a breeze. Tall pines line both banks, making a trough that channels the wind, so in the canal it blows only one way or the other. We have a light headwind, but the tide is with us.

 

Sail tracks for Days 1 & 2


 

Passing Crisfield aboard Obadiah 

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