Sunday, September 28, 2014

Annie - A Drascombe Lugger

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to sail with new boat pal Curt Bowman in his Drascombe Lugger "Annie". His boat is a cousin to the Webb Chiles open boat he crossed oceans in. I remember attending a talk years ago in Norfolk where Webb presented his journeys crossing the Pacific in "Chidicock Tichborne". His talk made an impression on me then and no doubt was a contributor to my desires to build "Una". I was struck by the range of adventure that could be had in a small boat. While I've no desire to replicate his journeys, I do appreciate the independence and reward of traveling in a small boat.

Dodger with a view toward Urbanna
Curt's boat has lots of details to make her a good solo boat. She was built in Maine by a licensed builder (you apparently cannot obtain plans from the English designer). Curt had a very function cuddy added for "Annie". From details to color to shear, she is a fine little ship.

Comfortable cuddy
A surprising amount of room.
All in all it was a delightful sail on the Rappahannock. Thanks for the experience and conversation Curt!

The proud skipper.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

More Life, Better Style

This is simply a slide show of photos my daughter took on our little trip to Gwynn Island. She is a professional and has an artistic eye. These images reflect that and the good time we had. One of many memories I aspire to take with UNA. This is a top one for sure. Her site: A Girl Named Leney

my baby

Other baby

At the helm





Anchor prep

Hors d'oeuvres

radar weather check


Proud builder

Nice end

Perfect afternoon

A beauty

from the beach

in the reeds


that girl

there's Waldo

shelled beach

baby check

morning return


off watch


just a breath

lazy afternoon

tools of the trade

sweet lines

mizzen set

long boat

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Starry Starry Night

From virtually no wind to 15-20 kts, Una's first overnight was fantastic. Having my daughter along doubled the enjoyment. We left town last Sunday afternoon and put in at the public ramp next to the Seabreeze restaurant on Gwynn Island next to the draw bridge.

Sandy Point marked at Gwynn Island

Skies were bright, but little wisps of air seemed to elude us as we drifted along Milford Haven east to Sandy Point. The tide was with us as we took in the scenery.

The crew.

As we approached Sandy point, the breeze filled in and we had a good beat sounding with the centerboard as we rolled along.  Anchoring in 18" a water, we waded ashore and explored a nice little beach. Weather was now a perfect 72 with 10 kt breeze.

Bayside beach.

Glamor shot.

Aft view.

Una at anchor.

My girls.

My daughter is an accomplished photographer and we spent some time "walking" Una by her bowline to take photos. However, I don't have those pics yet so, the iPhone will have to do. The light was fantastic. After moving to a 3' depth, we made a toast to the sunset, made some simple hors d'oevres, and later broke out the cooker for a fine meal of black beans and rice.

Stars were infinite away from city lights. Shooters arched across the heavens.  At 2200 we were tucked in sleeping bags and staring at the constellations. Around midnight the winds kicked up near 20 kts. I gave the anchor more scope. Una pranced along. I don't know how much sleep I got. I may have awake 5 times through the night always amazed by the sky. 30 minutes before sunrise we made coffee and took note of the eastern horizon.

The cooker worked great though I may add a windscreen and the pezio ignition that came with the burner element. From the french press the coffee went to a thermos and was still hot late that night.

The wind had reversed over the night and the sail back to the ramp was in 12 kts gusting to 20. I had left a ratcheting block at home and lazily cleated the mainsheet as I stood in the cockpit steering. A good gust caught me flat footed and we shipped a little water,  maybe 3 gallons before I rounded up. I'll leave the report with two observations:
1. this little boat has reintroduced familiar waters in a whole new light. Areas remote to a 6' draft boat are now accessible to Una. Our cruising grounds have quadrupled!
2. "Square" sails must be sailed looser to windward. Una is not a Laser or Moth and her balanced lug needs breathing room.

We were back at the ramp by 0930 hating to leave. A great first cruise, a list of improved details and gear are already in the works. Now we are thinking about attending the Small Craft Festival in St. Michaels, MD. Should be a blast. Never been.