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Carlita's next big adventure


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Every time I think OK now Graham is going to head outside I come back later and see that Carlita has wiggled past some narrow spot and is still meandering through all sorts of interesting places.


Is there a way to capture Graham's waypoints for future reference?


Some commentary or photos, trip report  would be incredibly interesting.


Some how I had forgotten about the trip report link!!!! What a treasure drove.



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The latest on Graham in case you can't see the Google Doc Trip report... Copy pasted here. 




Day 14 (6/8)- Exploring Chincoteague Island....

With the boat on the hook just south of the bascule bridge at the north end of the island Graham plans to inflate his “kayak dinghy”. Graham decided not to take his nesting catspaw dinghy specially made for Carlita because he didn’t think he would need it very much and since he’d rather not tow it it would have to be on deck the whole time blocking visibility and raising his center of gravity. He searched for an inflatable row boat but then stumbled on the kayaks. He was very impressed with this one and the paddle came apart into 4 pieces. It tracks well and has decent stability. Graham commented that the material feels sturdy and many people have used this kayak for multi day trips. And, the whole kit stows in his cockpit locker!


Below, Graham inflates the kayak for the first time at the shop before leaving (left). Shea (the dog) inspects the seams. Below right, Graham tests out the kayak in Chapel Creek.  


Here is a link to the kayak Graham is using. Note, this is an affiliate link.



Day 15 (6/9)- Welcome to Maryland. Chincoteague to Ocean City (27 NM)

Yesterday Graham hit up the island grocery store on Chincoteague and got some ice cream. When he got back to the boat he was high and dry with the tide down. 


This morning he got an early start on the tide and pushed on north under the bridge and into the Chincoteague Bay making about 4 knots and using the windvane.


Graham crossed into Maryland this morning. 



He continued on another 27NM to Ocean City where he stopped briefly as a small thunderstorm passed. When he got back underway the crew at the shop watched him sail past Ocean City Inlet on a webcam looking east toward the inlet. We could make out the distinctive cat ketch rig and red hull. He made it to the Route 50 bridge but decided to wait until tomorrow to tackle Isle of Wight and Assawoman bay. Instead he pulled off at a dock and refilled his gas tanks and filled his cooler with ice which usually lasts him about 4 days or so. There are more webcams with good views of the bay to his North so if you’re following closely you should be able to see him!

This webcam with a view to the west from the Aloft hotel should catch him sometime tomorrow morning as he sails through Isle of wight bay. Aloft hotel webcam.


We might also catch him on the Route 90 bridge cam


Day 16 (6/10)- Assawoman Canal BLOCKED!

This morning Graham was spotted going under the Route 90 bridge. xpOGtO2VrpwTco21cRlS22s0gDiT_oUF8EF3hwru3BVWK_lNe5osSOeFimDbzey4-l3gxb8SlVbfsln04rtVIeoUr8WhC6QJdhy7Ki4DQ-kccisLLNmScmrgzuuv0tFSY9qfpdTR





Graham sent in this picture of him motoring under the Lighthouse road bridge. Little Assawoman bay ahead.


At this rate he may make it to the Assawoman canal today. 


3pm update: Graham made it to the canal proper and called to say he’s blocked! Just past the Kent Avenue Bridge at the start of the Assawoman canal a fairly large tree is completely blocking the way. Graham has already made friends with some locals and I suspect he’ll have more help than he knows what to do with very soon. 


8pm Update. Graham sent this picture. “First Cut”. Unsurprisingly, Graham isn’t about to let some wood stop him. 




Day 17 (6/11)- Unblocked! And waiting for favorable wind. 

In the morning this picture was sent in by Nadena Ament of Graham in front of the cleared tree Nadena lent Graham “all of her saws” :) and he found a capable one to make 2 cuts in the tree. Thank you Nadena! Graham then removed the log to clear the way. Below, a happy Graham on the North side of the obstruction.



The canal is VERY reminiscent of our Harlowe Canal here on Clubfoot creek just across the Neuse River. 


Graham motored the rest of the canal after finishing with the tree and anchored in White Creek. He mentioned that his wind indicator suffered some minor damage during the lowering of his main mast and he was making a small repair to it. 


With the Assawoman Canal now in his wake but strong headwinds ahead Graham opted to spend the rest of the day on the hook in White Creek just on the north end of the canal. He is in the area of Ocean View Delaware. 


Graham sent in a video of the boat under windvane control in light wind in the Upper Chincoteague bay. The boat looks to be tracking very straight while Graham rests in the cabin monitoring.    Click here to see the video.


Day 18 (6/12)- Positioning for the Delaware Bay (15 NM)

Graham is just 15.5 NM from the Delaware Bay. Once he enters the Delaware Bay it’s a 50 NM sail to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal which he will use to cut across the top of the Delmarva peninsula and begin the second half of his circumnavigation. There Are still strong North East winds today with South East and South winds for the next 2 days after. 


Graham indicated this morning that his plan today is to move as far North as he can, which is about 15 NM away from the inlet at Lewes Beach. He’ll anchor there tonight and then do the Delaware Bay when the wind turns south again.  


Raising anchor: Graham mentioned the other day that he’s been able to do all of the foredeck work from either the forward hatch or the cockpit. He has led his anchor line back to the cockpit so he can drop and raise the hook without having to duck below and pop out of the fore hatch which is very nice on wet and rainy days so he doesn’t track water into the cabin. 


Below, Graham demonstrates the forward hatch on Carlita. 



Evening update:
Graham made it as far as the US-9 Bridge which only opens once per day. He was able to call up the bridge operator and learned that it had just changed hands and was under new management starting TOMORROW. So Graham was put in touch with the new operator and they decided on 7am for an opening in the morning. Graham anchor in the canal for the night.

Day 19 (6/13) - Stretching his legs in the Delaware Bay  (49 NM *as of 8pm)

At 8pm Graham was just over 4 NM from the start of the C and D Canal having nearly completed the entire Delaware bay in a single day. 


This morning, Graham woke and started to get ready for the 7am bridge opening when he looked over to see the bridge OPENING! He called up the bridge tender and said what gives? But turns out he was just giving her a test run, it being his first day on the job. He opened again for Graham at 7am as planned and Graham was loose! Finally able to stretch his legs in the Bay. At first he had little wind but it picked up and Graham took full advantage today. 


Graham sent in this picture and caption no doubt looking east into the bay at the ship traffic coming down.  “We have plenty of company going up the bay”





I took the following screenshot from Marine traffic.com of the north end of the bay showing the train of boats coming down some pleasure craft but also large barges and ships. 




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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok Graham, you've been back from your amazing journey for a week.....I hope you are working on the novel! I think there was a lot of people following your adventure. My wife, who thinks I'm nuts watch the EC map every spring thought I was more nuts until I sat her down at my computer and showed her your trek and we went to Google Earth to click on photos to get more of an idea that what Alan had posted. About half way in she and my son Teddy were asking "where is Graham now?" You are an inspiration.


In one of Alan's write-ups he mentions you deploy the anchor from the cockpit. Can you tell me about that? I have a anchor roller similar to yours and I'd like to rig this on Skeena. 



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I would like to add my congratulations to Graham for his successful circumnavigation.  If his trip doesn't inspire you to get out and do some sailing then something is wrong with you.


If you guys haven't seen the drone video, check it out using the "photo album" link on the trip log; nice job to whomever took that footage.


Grahams track is going to useful when planning trips to the Chesapeake Bay; particularly on the ocean side of the peninsula.


We should have a late springtime sailing meetup on the Chesapeake Bay sometime; an informal mini-messabout would be awesome.  We could do a group sail to Tangier Island, or Smith Island, spend the night, and sail back the next day.

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Here is the first installment.


It was a grand adventure but as much fun as it was to leave, it was even better to return. The trip was everything that I hoped that it would be. People asked me why I rushed, I could have spent a year doing that trip but you cannot just abandon your home. We live in hurricane alley and I did not want to leave Carla to have to face one alone. I was able to get a good flavor of the area and I can drive to places in the future and I can do a section in as much depth as I like.


I did this trip for many reasons. It is obvious that my voyaging days are over so I made this like a mini voyage and I also wanted to prove the mk3’s as a valid coastal micro cruiser.


Carlita turned out to be close to perfect for me. The only improvement that I can think of would be to have a 20 mk3. Nothing wore out or broke except for the wind indicator when I scraped it against the mizzen mast while raising the main mast between bridges. I was able to glue it back together. Note to self, watch the indicator as it passes by the mizzen mast. Beside being fast and easy to sail, navigating in shallow water was where she excelled. She covered many miles in water less than a foot deep with no centerboard or rudder, steering and tacking with just the sails.


When aground I would walk around the boat, looking for deeper water. The bowsprit gave me the leverage to rotate the boat to face the deeper water. The boomkin was just the right height to lift and push. I usually got away with it, saving me from having to wait for the next tide. An electric pump for the water ballast would be handy so that you could lighten the boat quickly if the tide was falling.


I tested the water ballast several times. I naively thought that Delaware Bay was going to give me a break. The forecast was SE 10 to 15 knots, I ended up with 2 reefs in each sail and still surfed to 8 knots. I broached her twice, the first time I was concentrating too hard on the chart and got way off course at the wrong time. The second, I got slammed on the starboard quarter by a breaking wave. The rudder ventilated down the low pressure side and around we went. To my amazement we never heeled past about 20 degrees and suddenly we were safely laying a-hull. Several times I deliberately rounded up to reef or to tend to some business but with the luxury of picking my time. Single handing can be hard sometimes. Another test was on the last day: There was a small craft warning for Pamlico Sound with forecast SW winds gusting from 20 to 30 knots. I was only 28 miles from home. I decided to get underway at 5 am to beat down the Pungo River and cross the Pamlico River before the wind reached full strength. The plan worked well and just before the Hobucken Cut got narrow I decided that I could afford to put the anchor down and have breakfast. I left the sails up as it was going to be a short stop. It was hot down below with the vent and hatch dogged down. I opened the hatch to full wind scoop, forgetting about the sail. It was very pleasant. Suddenly a big gust blew the bow to port and the reefed foot of the main caught on the hatch and we were laying over. By the time I got on deck and realized what the problem was we were upright and it was over. I lowered the hatch to just a foot above the deck and life was good again. When I went to raise the anchor it felt like it was fouled. It was the hardest breakout of the whole trip. I have some other ballast ideas to try but I think that it is valid as is. 


Steve, yes I brought the anchor back to the cockpit and I am very pleased with it. There is nothing special except that I have a cleat about 18” forward of the sheer break. I left the bitter end tied to the bowsprit tube and the main part of the 100 ft rode in the anchor locker, the rest was just flaked on the cockpit forward. The Danforth self launches because it does not stow neatly. The Bruce/ claw stows neatly but I have to give it several flicks from the cockpit before it will launch.



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