Assateague Island: Day 1 Sailing Pix

Caesura on the sound behind Assateague


It’s great to have a friend with a nice camera and a nice boat who is also foolish enough to take the one onto the other. Even better if he knows how to use them.

My boats have been finished for over a year now, but I’ve never had a good look at them under sail. As a builder of a boat, you wonder all sorts of things you can only answer when you see them sailing – like how she rides on her lines, how does she heel under power, is the mast bending, and of course the general esthetics of the thing. What the heck does she look like in action?

I’ve received a few tantalizing shots sent from friends and family, taken from a distance, or from shore, or in very light wind. Ned Asplundh’s lovely shot of Terri and me in Caesura even made the cover of The Ash Breeze (pdf download – Winter 2011). Thanks to Tony, this is the first time I finally get a good look at what happens when these Melonseeds are truly in their element – under sail in a good breeze in open water – in both photos and video. Thanks man! So pardon me for indulging a bit.

By the time we finished up surfing on the ocean side of the island, it was getting dark and too late to launch the boats. Since I planned to sleep on Caesura, she simply got converted to a boat-camper-trailer for the night.

Maybe I’ve already become used to this oddity, but apparently it catches other people’s attention. Over coffee the following morning, we noticed Park staff and other campers stopping to look and take pictures.



The campsites on Assateague, on the sound side, are really nice. Quiet, spaced sufficiently far apart for privacy, and close enough to the water you can launch small boats directly from the beach in front. A brisk wind was still blowing out of the north from the night before, expected to swing gradually around to the west, then easing and southerly for next few days. This day would have the most wind. So after breakfast, no time was wasted getting them on the water.






My waterproof camera, several years old, is getting a bit worn out at this point, and conditions were sporty enough I didn’t want to risk trashing the good camera, so my shots from this day are not so great. Also, dragging Caesura across the beach was not a smart idea, as it packed a bunch of sand in around the centerboard (again), and once on the water I could only get it to drop about 6 inches. This meant I had to pay more attention to the task of sailing instead of taking pictures. Tony’s daggerboard, of course, doesn’t have this problem, and I spent most of my time trying to keep up with him.



He, on the other hand, had a good camera and no issues, so got some great shots.





Obviously, a stellar day on the water.

Back by early evening, we hauled the boats out, this time using rubber fenders as rollers to pull them up on the beach, and I left Caesura on a pad to avoid more jamming, both of which worked great.

Then dinner, a campfire, and nightfall.
















Kevin Brennan, Mike Wick, Doug Oeller, and the rest of the Delaware River Crew have been making trips like this to Assateague for years, and have often invited me along. This is the same bunch that organized the Chesapeake Float earlier this year. But this is the first time I’ve been able to make it. And of course, as it happens, this year they had things come up at the last minute and had to bail out. They missed a good one. The three Thatchers and I had a truly fine time.

Rather than say more, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:





7 Replies to “Assateague Island: Day 1 Sailing Pix”

    1. I’m a slow learner, apparently. But the fender rollers were awesome! I’m definitely going to fine tune the centerboard clearance this winter.

      You guys missed a great trip, I’m tellin’ ya.

  1. So Beautiful and peaceful! I have a few good shots of you and your beauty at Fripp. I will try to dig them out and send. Have a great Thanksgivng. Hugs to all,

  2. I dont really know who you guys are but weve been watching your videos for couple years. Bravo, good times. We built a Caledonia Yawl that was in small boats, Gypsy Soul. Love to sail with you.

    1. Thanks, Scotty. Hoping to get back on the water again in a couple of months. Not sure where you are, but we’re usually on the middle Chesapeake, western shore. Several Caledonias in the bunch.

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