On Labor Day we took Moga back out to the sandbar at Gwynn’s Island. There were quite a few boats, although not as many as last time.
I think Henry enjoys sitting in the boat wiggling the tiller back and forth more than he likes the beach. Another favorite pastime is climbing forward and getting the excess anchor and dock line all tangled together around the belaying pins on the mast partner.
He did have a great time playing in the water though. He’s pretty fearless which makes it difficult to do anything but keep an eye on him. The first time we introduced him to water at a lake he just started walking out and would have kept on going if we didn’t stop him once the water was up to his torso.
Around midday I noticed a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk doing laps in the Bay off the side of Gwynn’s Island. After a while it started doing long back and forth runs up past Stingray Point. I assumed they were looking for someone, or possibly doing a training exercise.
Here’s the track from a flight tracker. The sandbar we’re at is between the two most southerly runs.
Eventually I learned someone found a floating life jacket and the helicopter came all the way up from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. It’s both insane and comforting to know the Coast Guard will spend thousands of dollars an hour flying around just to investigate a life jacket that had in all likelihood been blown out of a boat.
Heading back after a long day. Every crab pot buoy we passed Henry would point and was sure it was a “baaaallll!”
Going out the trolling motor consumed 151 wh over 2.62 miles for an average of 57.6 wh per mile at an average speed of 3.5 mph. On the return trip it consumed 177 wh for an average of 67.6 wh per mile at an average speed of 3.7 mph.
Friday night on a bit of a whim my wife and I decided to take the boat around to the sandy beach below Gwynn’s Island for the day. We got launched around 11:30 am and Henry had an absolute blast in the boat. The last time we took him out all he did was scream and try to climb overboard! Once we got there the beach was packed with probably a good 30 boats at times and it was fun to compare and contrast the $50,000 and 310hp boat that pulled up and anchored beside me. Henry had a great time splashing around in the edge of the water, we caught some moon jellies, saw a fiddler crab, and made a friend with Palmer who wanted to play with his beach toys. My trolling motor setup consumed 272 Wh over the 5.3 mile trip for an average of 51.3 Wh per mile which matches nicely with my estimate of 50 Wh per mile from the motor testing.
Headed out to the sandbar. We had coolers, beach chairs, two tents, toys, and who knows what else! Everything with a kid takes twice as long and twice as much stuff as you’d think.
Tucked up by the beach. Recently I melted 6.5 pounds of lead into the stock on my three piece fisherman anchor and capped the ends. It really sets firmly and the lead replaces the need for chain which at this scale wouldn’t weigh enough to do much of anything but chew up the finish on the boat.
I tied a stern line to the beach umbrella to pull the boat close to shore and Henry had a great time swinging the rudder back and forth.
Helping me steer on the way home. I told him all about how starboard and port came to be and how daymarks are red triangles or green squares. Not sure much of it stuck though.
I recently got back from a vacation down to Kure Beach, North Carolina where I practiced with my sextant and had one of the best long daysails yet. I went 27.8 miles in 8 hours, 11.5 of which were motoring with my trolling motor setup I’ve been working on. And I made it through the wake of a container ship with nothing more than a few drops of spray coming aboard!
After working on the tent I took it out for two overnight trips. I found a few new bugs to fix, but it’s working pretty well!
Back in August I attempted a 50 mile daysail from the Piankatank River down the Chesapeake to Fort Monroe at the mouth of the James. It didn’t go so great, but all’s well that ends well! 24.1 miles, top speed of 10.3 mph (new record!) and an average of 4.6 mph.
We had some friends come visit the day after New Years and the weather was nice enough to go for a trolling motor cruise in the afternoon. It was a really low tide and I had to row the first hundred yards away from our dock and have the girls sit up on the bow deck to trim the boat out. Eventually we plowed our way through the mud and into deeper water where I could lower the motor. Coming back the tide had risen enough to where I could slowly drift/motor to the dock with the propeller half out of the water. We went 3.4 miles in an hour and ten minutes. This was the last hurrah for the ~6 year old lead acid starting battery as I’ve since bought a 50Ah LiFePO4 which is amazing.
And here’s the second of my two trips while I was in New Jersey. I launched at the top of Barnegat Bay and sailed my way down 29 miles south to just past the inlet. I made a diversion through the marsh over to the lighthouse and would have continued 17 miles to a public ramp, but I called it quits since I was relying on my father in law for transportation and didn’t want to be too late. I tested out my electric trolling motor setup for the first time as well.
Recently my wife and I went up to New Jersey to help her parents move and I brought my sailboat along. The first of my two daysails was on the Shrewsbury River with a friend who helped me fiberglass the hull. It’s a pretty protected area and we stopped at an island for lunch and saw a pod of dolphins.
My first long daysail was in a 1977 Sunfish to a little island that’s since washed away. Here’s a recap as best I can remember.