Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun yarns
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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sailboats fair and Fine#13: read oldest posts first

The above pictures are Jacksons Creek Deltaville Va. as seen from Deltaville marina. I was later on one of several Dockmasters here.

We left our buoy to port and was steady picking up speed we sailed a quarter of a mile and headed off toward New Point Light which we could see in the distance. We weren't heading South yet, but going North To Deltaville, Urbana, and Parrot creek, where our son lived.

We were sailing down wind and sailing about four knots with a breeze picking up. I raised the centerboard as it wasn't needed on this point of sail. We picked up another half a knot. The fog was almost gone now and we began stripping down to lighter cloths and our shorts came out as we took turns going below and steering. Georgene put on our second pot of coffee and in a few minutes I could smell it's wonderful aroma. We were skimming over the flats now with the muddy bottom just under the keel. We turned on the marine radio for the first time and listened to some weather.

There was resistantly a little more water under the keel now so we hoisted our Mizzen staysail. There was now a little chop running as we got farther off shore and the breeze picked up. We were now making a full six knots and climbing. We were soon off the flats and heading across the Mobjack bay Channel with the fish traps coming up quick. Wolftrap was now throwing spray and pushing seven knots.

LOOKING GOOD DOUG came over the radio. I went below and answered, Yeah Ginnea who are you. WHISH MY DADDY COULD SEE YOU, was the comeback in a quick staccato of fast and heavy Guinneaeze. It was Edmund a local fisher man. His father now eighty six had recently turned over his boat and gear to him. The old man a fisherman from the age of sail had much admired our boat when we were building her and had stopped by often to talk and watched as had many of the local Guinneamen did. We were building her as a cat yawl and he told me on every visit she needed to be a schooner. You have to remember that the age of sail lasted in the lower bay a long time after all the sailboats had been replaced in other places. There were still schooners going to Baltimore around 1950 carrying produce, seafood and often timber out of the Chicahominy swamp down on the James River.

Pow, pow gunshots rang out then over the radio accompanied by the high pitched wine of an outboard motor screaming at high speed came the words help, “Help help” some guy is shooting at me. Then we heard, “Ain't nobody shooting at you but but your gonna wish I had if I catch you. Pow Pow Pow came across the water. The Coast guard came on the radio wanting to know the name of the boat in distress and what is your location. No answer. The coast guard said Mathews county men come back. And then came the Coast Guard we have boats on the way.

Cost Guard, Coast Guard this Ginny one, Ginny one. This is Coast Guard Yorktown what is you position Ginny one . Ginny one gave a position and then stated we caught that fellow stealing crabs from our crab pots but we ain't a shooten at'im.

Next on the air was “You did so and all we wanted was a crab or two for bait”. Your gonna get bait If I catch you was replied by Ginny one. This is Coast Guard Yorktown hold your positions a Vessel is on the way. We ain't gotta gun was Ginnie's reply. This is Coast guard Yorktown all vessels concerned lets take this traffic to a working channel.

Ginny one probably threw the gun over board in a plastic bay wit a crab pot buoy on it. Theres a jillion crab pot buoys out there so the coast guard would most likely not find any gun. The fellow stealing crabs probably learned a good lesson as did every one he knows. I know one thing I sure wouldn't want to get caught stealing crabs . Justice could be swift.

We didn't switch and there were no more gun shots. I figured nobody got shot so it was the Coastguards problem. By now we had passed New Point light and were headed up the bay. With the wind nearly behind us and now up pretty good our knot meter was reading seven and a half knots steady. There was land one quarter of a mile up wind and the waves had dropped down some, and Wolftrap light house was getting bigger all the time just off our Starboard bow. In an hour we had Wolftrap light house to the east of us and had turned a little westward heading for Stingray Point and Deltaville. The wind was coming around more to the west and was dropping out a little. In a short time we were leaving The Hole in the wall at the south end of Gwen's Island aft of our beam. Cherry point was off our port bow and dead ahead Stingray Point. The wind was dropping light and we were sailing just under four knots. With small swells running and were were enjoying our sail. The sun was warm and Georgene was working on a suntan. We had the centerboard down about half way so we stayed out side the Green dolphin at the north end of Gwen's Island.

We turned in some and lined up with Jacksons creek in Deltaville. The breeze fell out to nothing so we started the engine. We worked our way through the horse shoe bend in the channel and headed into the creek We found a good spot just off the yacht club and run the anchor in hard. In a few minutes we were in the Dingy rowed to Ruark's dock and walked into Taylors restaurant to eat and found our selves among friends we had known for years. A couple of hours were spent in conversation. It was a pleasant evening.

back at Wolftrap we ran the anchor light up drank coffee, read, listen to music and turn in about ten oclock for a really good night's sleep.

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