Thursday, January 18, 2018

enough with the snow!

Three coats of varnish on the gaff jaws, four more to go.  Leather, whipping line and brass cut tacks in hand to finish the jaws.  Sodium hypochlorite arrived from Amazon for the last part of sail cleaning this weekend.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


hung out to dry

Mizzen and jib hung up to dry in the garage yesterday, main will be put up there today.  While in sail cleaning mode I decided to skip sailing this weekend and ordered the sodium hypochlorite solution to do the mildew work this weekend.  Not soaking the entire sails in the solution, just spot cleaning with a brush.  It's really just a few spots on the lower panels of the main and the jib.  Might as well get all the sail work done at once.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

drilled, doweled

Kind of messy with the epoxy.  Had to bring the resin and hardner inside to warm it up.  Then mixed inside and back out to the 20-some degree garage to put the dowels in place.  It will look good once the dowels are trimmed, coated with clear epoxy, sanded, varnished and leathered.  Pressure is on to get it done this week - there just might be a day with sailing weather next weekend.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

scary, trusting a compass

Began the winter maintenance today.  Washing sails, replacing the leather on the gaff jaw and doing some touchup epoxy and varnish work.  Not doing all that today, just getting started.  Above is the leather and bronze tacks off the gaff jaws.  Kinda scary looking.  That was the second piece of leather on there, the first one lasted five years, about the same with this one.  I've got to drill out the holes left by the tacks, tap in 1/4" hardwood dowels, trim the dowels, epoxy and varnish.  Hope to get that done over the next few days.  Putting the leather back on is easy, based on directions years ago from John Welsford.  Here is a post from the last time I did it.  

Because of space I am washing the sails in two batches.  Started with the mizzen and the jib today.  Put them in a 32 gallon trash can with 16 gallons of water, eight cups vinegar and two cups of woolite.  Will leave them in there for a couple of days, stirring two or three or more times a day.  This should clean up the sails but will not remove the mildew.  That will come in a couple of weeks.


Virginia inaugurated a new governor, Ralph Northam, today.  He is the state's second governor from the Eastern Shore, the first serving during the civil war.  Below is part of his inaugural address.  I think he will be a good governor.

As a kid I spent hours behind our house, crabbing and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. To this day that is where I find peace.

When I was just old enough to take to the water myself, my dad helped me build a rowboat and launch it, with strict instructions: stay close to home.

As I grew and became more comfortable, I began to take longer trips away from the shore, until I was ready to head out into the open water.

I remember standing with my father as I prepared to embark, and like all good Dads, he knew I was nervous even before I did.

He said, Ralph, remember—when you get out there, you can always trust your compass.

If things get dark or foggy, if you can’t find your way—keep your eye on the compass.

It’ll always bring you home safely.

He was right about that compass.

Friday, January 12, 2018

not gonna get political here, but....

Received a text from a friend, you'll find her photograph
at the bottom of this post, reminding me that eight years
ago we were headed to Haiti.  It as an experience that, 
for a lot of reasons, I will always remember.


Not here to argue, just sayin'.....

Thursday, January 11, 2018

stocked up, spring sail, so far away

Because of snow the package arrived five days late, but it did arrive.  A package from REI containing Christmas gifts from the oldest daughter, four self-heating OMEALS and three freeze dried Good To-Go meals.  Added to the supplies already on hand I have about 24 dinners which should see me through my cruises this year.  Courtesy of Webb and Graeme, I still have some New Zealand Back Country Cuisine dinners, plus I've got a nice supply of Mountain House dinners.  There will be some fine dining in my future.

The fall sail, as I mentioned recently, will be north from Cambridge to the Chester River and back down to St. Michaels.  The spring sail I've decided will be Tangier Sound, from Onancock in the south to the Honga River in the north.  I'll probably put in at Crisfield, but possibly Onancock.  Plenty of time to figure that out.

Looks like I'm losing January to weather and work.  SPARTINA'S maintenance - trailer work, some epoxy and painting, and possibly sail cleaning - will have to be in February.  I would like to have the boat in shape for those first few warm days that typically arrive late February/early March.  

Snow and ice still on the ground.  Sailing seems so far away....

Thursday, January 4, 2018

wish it was sea drift, not snow drift

I'm hearing about nine inches snow so far, 30 mph gusts.
Cold and colder this weekend so it will stick around.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

tomorrow morning

They are saying maybe eight inches of snow.  Photo below
is from yesterday, a sprinkler gone wild.