Salient Saline ~ video

 

direct youtube link

 

Some video from sailing with Steve near Gwynn’s Island, with a snip from the night before as he was motoring off to anchor under a full moon for the night.

 

 

Salient Saline

Steve alongside in Spartina

 

Steve and I have been trying to get together again for over a year. Work or weather always interfered. An unexpected cool front brought clear skies and gentle breezes this weekend, unusual for August, and we finally managed to pull it off. I wrapped work stuff up Friday at noon and threw some gear in the back of the car, hooked up a boat to head for the coast.

For a change we met in Tidewater, on the Rappahannock at Gwynn’s Island, where he and Curt and I spent a day on Curt’s Drascombe Lugger, Annie. It’s also where Doug and I sailed both my Melonseeds when he was visiting from California.

 

 

Apparently the posts I’ve shared about a restaurant on the water nearby peaked Steve’s interest, so we met there, I hopped aboard, and we sailed around a bit on Spartina,

Funny thing about when Steve and I go sailing: we don’t talk much about boats. He’s well-read, and we have similar tastes, but different enough that I always learn something new or get a good recommendation. In a couple of hours on the water, the conversation ranges from books, to writer friends, books, artist friends, history, sailmaker friends, films, family, books, seafood, etc..

In Norfolk, where he usually sails, these conversations are interrupted every few minutes by a barge or freighter trying to run us down. A few tense moments pass until we get out of danger’s way and can carry on. Here, no such problem. I catch Steve a couple of times realize he hasn’t looked up in a while, and reflexively snap up for quick look about. Makes me smile, because I know exactly what he’s looking for and why. By the end of the sail the lazy pace has settled in, and we realize we forgot to decide where we’re going.

Doesn’t matter, as long as it ends at the restaurant for a seafood dinner. Or more to the point, for three dozen oysters with some other food on the side. Oysters, like the waters where we sail, are ranked by their salt content. Sweet is nice, but salty is better.

 

 

 

It’s dusk by the time we finish. Steve then motored out to anchor across the water under a full moon. I didn’t have time to get camping gear together, so secured a room in a house across the river in Irvington.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irvington, Virgina

 

 

 

Carter’s Creek, Irvington

 

Continue reading “Salient Saline”

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.

 

 

Winter Harbor ~ Marsh Sailing video

 

direct youtube link

A compilation of sailing clips taken over several days. A cold north wind made for some blustery conditions at first, then calmed down as the front moved through.

Really lovely stuff, marsh sailing.

If you watch to the end, there’s an explanation of how I smashed the stem nose back in October at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival in Saint Michaels. I still haven’t quite got over a wave of nervousness when trying to sail and take photos at the same time.

Surprised it took this long to have a mishap, but definitely shifts the balance from taking photos back to more attention to sailing.

 

 

 

Winter Harbor ~ Marsh Sailing in November

 

Melsoneeds are designed for these marshes. Even with me aboard, both Aeon and Ceasura will float free in just 3 inches of water, and can sail in 6 with the board up. This place is their playground.

 

 

Even so, I got stuck on three separate occasions. Mostly due to inattention. Tacking right up to the grass at the edge of a creek, the boat would slow a little. Then, the centerboard deep in the mud, she would decline to come about. We’d get blown into the marsh grass. Looking behind I could see the graceful path cut through the mud by the centerboard, like a finger through chocolate pudding. Raise the board, push off with an oar, and away again.

 

 

I sail into the marsh, alone or with others, five times in 7 days. The camera only came out a couple of times, though, and only once when the wind was up. I’m still gun shy from a little mishap in St. Michaels, soon explained, when I should have paid more attention to sailing and less to taking pictures. So I only have a few photos. Video is coming.

But this I can tell you: There’s nothing like hissing through a salt marsh creek on a fresh breeze in a pretty little wooden boat – tall grass rushing by on both sides, past duck blinds and oyster bars, bow wave giggling along the rails.

Or gliding along at sunset, silent as a cloud, and rounding a bend into a flock of hidden ducks. The sudden explosive thunder of flapping wings and cackling calls sets your heart pounding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Harbor ~ The Island, West

 

Everything west of the island is wetlands – half sea of grass, half open water barely a foot deep, a 4000 acre living mirror of the sun. Every single stalk of spartina, rooted in black mud, refracts light like a prism.  Luminous green, orange, yellow, russet, gold. The whole marsh changes color with a shift in the wind, passing of a cloud, the slow arc of the sun, like the wave of a wand.

 

Spartina Alterniflora, aka Marsh Grass

 

 

 

Continue reading “Winter Harbor ~ The Island, West”