Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Thankful Sail

For the two days before Thanksgiving, my daughter and I took what may be the last overnight in Luna as the season is closing. We had intended to start Monday, but weather (freezing temps) and schedules weren't encouraging.

To make the "log" short, we left the slip under sail on a gentle WSW breeze, slipped down River, crossed Mobjack, and nosed into Browns Bay. Our dinghy Gigi was in tow.

crossing Mobjack
Lunch was a good ale and turkey wraps prepped by "Matey".

galley work
The late Fall sun was low and brilliant, coloring the marsh grasses and evergreen pines. Once in Browns Bay, distracted by the view, we nudged Luna onto a mud bank as the ebb tide was 30 minutes from low. Two sailors on the bow and a winding outboard weren't sufficient to push the long keel towards deeper water. Pulling out the 16# claw, I rowed out 75 yards to set the anchor.

off to kedge an anchor *
laying the rode *
return trip *
Back at the boat, a firm tug on the rode set us free. Shortening the line, we decided to anchor for the evening. We had a good evening listening to music and watching the sun set.

I thought leaving the mizzen would allow Luna to follow Gigi, but the wind dropped to nothing and the dinghy began kissing the bigger boat. Therefore, we arrested the dink against the starboard side where it stayed quietly for the night.

dinghy, be still.
The evening was fine. Dinner with the new galley cabinets worked well. Sleep came around 8:00, way too early, but he freezing temps drive one to the warmth of the sleeping bags.

rising moon
jet trails
silouhette *

a hat in the making *
The next morning after some hot oatmeal and coffee, we motor back across the still bay to check out Pepper Creek. Loons, scoters and coot make their appearance as we slide along. 

outside Pepper Creek
Once in the creek we are greeted by a setter on a pier. Somewhat confused by our encouraging voices, he barks out warning while wagging his tail. As we turn around in front of him we stick bottom. Should have listened to Rover. This time the dinghy pulls Luna off by the tail.

Pepper Creek entrance
guard dog *
no wind *
The breeze freshens once we leave the creek. We raise all sails and pass a boat "drudging" for oysters as we begin the beat up into the East River home.

"drudging" and cat napping
Here's a short take on the smooth reach home.

Happy Thanksgiving!

* photos by A Girl Named Leney.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Jamestown's "Bed and Breakfast"

If you hadn't gathered, we typically sleep either in the bottom of our boats, or in a tent, and are forever rolling over because the sleeping bag has you notted up once again. Therefore, it can be quite disorienting to sail all day, enjoy cocktails, have a marvelous meal prepared for you and find yourself waking up in a queen sized bed. However, it was so for the inaugural cruise of The Old Bay Club. We're basically a confederation of not so daring sailors who love their comforts and detest rules. Why Harris and Barbara were so gracious to open up their beautiful home to this motley crew, I'll never know. For 2 1/2 days we were allowed to stay at their "bed and breakfast". To come home rested after a great weekend of sailing was an unusual pleasure.

Our hosts and fellow club members: Barbara and Harris in their Caledonia Yawl Mabu.
From their place on the James River we 4 boats sailed downriver to see replicas of the three ships that began the settlement of the colony.

The original Susan ConstantGodspeed and Discovery set sail from London on December 20, 1606, bound for Virginia. The ships carried 105 passengers and 39 crew members on the four-month transatlantic voyage. A 17th-century source noted that a total of 71 people were aboard the Susan Constant, 52 aboard the Godspeed and 21 aboard the Discovery. The expedition was sponsored by the Virginia Company of London, a business venture that had been organized to form a colony in Virginia. The fleet reached the Virginia coast in late April and, after two weeks of inland waterway exploration, arrived at the selected settlement site on May 13, 1607.

Our voyage was not so world changing nor daring, but we did complete ours successfully. Winds were westerly for an off wind sail to and an easy 2-3 tacks home to weather. We practically hit the tidal current perfectly coming and going. Fall's colors were near peak and the winds fairly gentle. Very nice.

UNA pushing the fleet.

1st mate
The sail downstream was maybe 1 1/2 hrs. We beached just upstream from the Jamestown ferry to stretch and have lunch. 
Some of the gang.
Here's an interesting contrast of boats and technologies. I wonder how the 3 ships stayed together as their sizes are so different.

The second day was spent drifting up the Chickahominy on the incoming tide. Now 5 boats, 4 of us even lost steerage at one point as Barry in his light Melonseed proceeded to sail away.

3 boats all headed for the same destination.
Winds never saw 5 mph, but the day was still a winner on such a beautiful river.

Barry before ...
And Barry after. Way up ahead is Caesura's red sail dead center in this pic.

We had a short lunch on a short beach among the cypress stumps. It was all other worldly.

The return faced the current and challenged the sailor. It demanded staying in the shallows and chasing stripes of wind on the water. The following day was grey with a drizzle. Some sailed. Some packed and went home. Great weekend. Thank you Barbara and Harris!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Simple Afternoon

About two weeks ago, my daughter and I finally coordinated schedules to sail Luna together. She was there last spring to help survey and haul Luna home, but hadn't seen her in the water, much less take a sail. Well, with a perfect 8-10 kt breeze, a camera and picnic lunch, we shoved off across Mobjack and into the Severn and back. Simple. Just right. I'll let the photos tell the rest.

a bow

the tack
lazy afternoon

lazy skipper

raising the pennant

a girl

watching the bow wake

All photos but the last 2 are hers.  Lastly, a short video of mine.