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Thread: Around the Mobjack Bay

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Chesapeake Bay
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    271

    Default Around the Mobjack Bay

    Today's been a pretty dreary day so I thought I'd make a thread on my latest daysail in my 15' Ross Lillistone First Mate. Last Saturday I did a 34.3 mile trip around the Mobjack Bay. The wind was westerly and predicted to back southerly around midday, so my plan was to leave from the public boat ramp on the Ware River and sail through the marsh off Guinea. Then Iíd head over to the New Point Comfort lighthouse and hopefully return on a broad reach. Unfortunately the wind didnít shift so I had to beat upwind which was going well until it died altogether. After rowing/drifting for about 4 miles the wind came back when I was at the mouth of the Ware River. The entire trip took exactly 9 hours with an average speed of 3.8 mph and a max of 6.9.





    Heading down the Ware River. I set out reefed since I thought it might be rougher out on the Mobjack and I felt a little silly until I got out there. One unforeseen issue with reefing is the sprit is getting hung up in the main halyard on starboard tack. Maybe I should move it to the port side if I plan on reefing.





    Cutting across a shallow spot off Jarvis Point I saw a patch of crab pots that was denser than anything Iíve ever seen.





    I think youíd almost be able to walk from one to the next.





    Itíd be a good idea to stay out of this spot if youíre a crab!





    Out into the Mobjack and I was glad I started out reefed, although I still had to sit on the rail at times. There wasnít much in the way of waves since I was close to shore and I was making 5-6mph for the hour it took me to get down to the marsh.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Chesapeake Bay
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    271

    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    Heading for a cut through the marsh that would lead to the wider Monday Creek. I nearly missed it and had to tack back.





    My plan was to thread my way through the islands, but it was low tide and the wind was against me.





    There’s the narrow cut off to the right and it had about 6″ of water in it. I had zero centerboard and my rudder downhaul had long since popped out of the auto clam cleat so there wasn’t much hope of making it upwind. Somewhere along in here I surprised a northern diamondback terrapin who took a gulp of air and put his four flippers into high gear.





    Got stuck as I was trying to get turned around, so I took the opportunity to eat some lunch. Then I got out and pulled the boat to deeper water.





    Back in deeper water I hove to and shook out the reef since the wind had calmed down quite a bit. I’m always surprised by how gentle heaving to makes the boat feel. I drifted at about 1 mph and it took 7 minutes to get the reef out.





    Heading across the mouth of the Mobjack Bay towards the lighthouse.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    12,182

    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    Nice! I love that area. Thanks for sharing!
    Skip

    ---This post is delivered with righteous passion and with a solemn southern directness --
    ...........fighting against the deliberate polarization of politics...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    Cool Jeff. Iím renovating a farmhouse up the East River. Beautiful cruising grounds. Iíve a Sooty Tern I built several years ago. We should cross paths down there, if youíre in the area again-
    Eddie
    Last edited by EeBe4; 06-26-2021 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Grammar
    My Sooty and other boats: https://lingeringlunacy.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,726

    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    Thanks for the post. You're putting in some long high-mileage days. How's that working our for you? I love it, but others I've had out sailing get bored with just making miles under sail. I never seem to. Not sure what that says about me...

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    Skip, the tidewater is a beautiful area!

    Eddie, we definitely should meet up sometime. I've only been on the Mobjack twice, but I've kept my eye out for your Sooty Tern. The other time I launched from the ramp on the East River and went out to the lighthouse.

    Tom, right now I am enjoying making miles and collecting GPS data on how the boat performs in different situations. But it's also important for me to have a goal for the day, just doing laps or something would get boring real quick. Most of the people that ask about my adventures think I range from nuts to insane, and "but other people on the wooden boat forum do it!" doesn't seem to help.


    I saw this guy on a constant bearing, decreasing range situation a long ways off, but decided to keep on my course since I didnít want him to wonder what I was doing. As we got closer it was clear to me that Iíd pass in front, but he kept turning to point towards me. Eventually we passed at a safe, although closer than Iíd prefer distance. Not sure what his problem was... he didnít appear to be engaged in fishing, there was plenty of water, and Iíd been pointing the same direction for 4 miles.





    All day Iíd been thinking the lighthouse looked funny, and eventually I realized theyíve set scaffolding up around it. I climbed it in 2017 and it was in really rough shape.





    Theyíve taken the iron lantern room roof and windows off.





    From 2017 when my wife and I canoed out here. The railing was so wiggly a good shove would probably rip it off. There are more pictures of the inside here.





    It was definitely low tide! I should get some help on the way home.





    One last look as I rounded the island.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Chesapeake Bay
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    271

    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    Heading back up the bay. The wind was supposed to back around to the south, but it mostly stayed like it had all morning so it was all upwind.





    Eventually I made it to the mouth of the East River so I tacked to head for the other side of the bay.





    About halfway across all the sailboats around started dropping their sails and motoring off.





    That means I gotta start rowing. I left the sails up since I thought they were catching the barest hint of a breeze, but Iím not sure it was doing any good. Probably I was just trying to convince myself so I could be lazy and not have to take them down. I was making 2.5-3 mph.





    After rowing and drifting for 4 miles, I saw deliverance on the horizon heading towards me!


    Last edited by The Jeff; 06-27-2021 at 07:09 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Chesapeake Bay
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    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    It was so light at first I experimented with booming the sail out with an oar. I also realized I had the snotter set up too hard and I saw a noticeable boost in speed when I slacked it to get rid of the tack to peak crease.





    Eventually the wind picked up and I made ~4mph up the Ware River.





    Finally the ramp was in view. Along in here I saw a small school of minnows near the surface and a gull kept flying in an orbit around them, swooping down to grab one on each pass.





    Back to the rampÖ Iíve never been here before and it was pretty busy. I had to get in line to launch and the pressure was on to not look like a total fool. Iím also getting better at getting the sails down without dropping anything overboard. Today went really well and I got everything down in less than a minute and nothing got wet.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    Nice report! thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
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    21,825

    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jeff View Post


    I saw this guy on a constant bearing, decreasing range situation a long ways off, but decided to keep on my course since I didn’t want him to wonder what I was doing. As we got closer it was clear to me that I’d pass in front, but he kept turning to point towards me. Eventually we passed at a safe, although closer than I’d prefer distance. Not sure what his problem was... he didn’t appear to be engaged in fishing, there was plenty of water, and I’d been pointing the same direction for 4 miles.



    It's a Nordhavn, they have such poor directional stability that they are effectively forced to use the autopilot.

    Probably just turned the AP to port, numerous times to be sure to miss you.

    You get a much different perspective from an air conditioned wheelhouse
    Last edited by Hwyl; 06-29-2021 at 12:48 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Chesapeake Bay
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    271

    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    It's a Nordhavn, they have such poor directional stability that they are effectively forced to use the autopilot.

    Probably just turned the AP to port, numerous times to be sure to miss you.

    You get a much different perspective from an air conditioned wheelhouse
    Hmm, interesting. I was running dead downwind and he was approaching from my left, so I could see the wind and waves pushing him back to point at me. Even after I crossed his bow he was pointed at me for a bit. Whatever the reason, it was a little unnerving wondering how many tons he had to my 150 pounds of boat!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Around the Mobjack Bay

    Great report! Looks like some lovely sailing. I admire and envy these long sails with uncertain duration. I am hemmed in by a set of regular afternoon commitments. I don't think my kid's daycare would be too impressed by me showing up for pickup an hour after closing dripping from a sea journey and shouting "time and tide wait for no man!".
    Anyway thanks for all the great pictures!


    - James

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