Salt Marsh Diaries

The Great Pause

Geologic events sometimes disrupt the ecologic landscape. Volcanoes explode and bury river valleys with mudslides. Earthquakes rearrange entire coastlines with tsunamis. Meteor impacts cause mass extinctions. Post-event, the affected environment reaches a new state of equilibrium. We're in the midst of a human disruption, a virus-driven pandemic, that has mostly shut down the human world. … Continue reading The Great Pause

Manjack to Great Sale

Anchored in north-facing Manjack Lagoon, Spartina began to roll occasionally on random ocean swells. By midnight, the rolling became regular. Swells, from tropical storm Chris off the Carolina Coast, had found us in Abaco. It was mid-July and time to leave the hurricane-prone northern Bahamas. Statistically, July hurricanes seldom occur, but we still had almost … Continue reading Manjack to Great Sale

Alligator River to Adams Creek

By day's end, we'd motor-sailed Spartina 74 miles along the intracoastal waterway (ICW) from Blackwater Creek in Virginia to the lower Alligator River. Under a twilight December sky, I set the anchor in 10 ft. of water just south of Tuckahoe Point. Here we slept soundly all night. At first light the next morning, we … Continue reading Alligator River to Adams Creek

Oystering in South Carolina

I collected oysters today at low tide. The Folly River was flat- no wind at all. A light fog and a misting rain muted the marsh colors to hues of blue and gray. Here near Folly Beach (and most of coastal South Carolina), an ebbing tide exposes our oysters. Cold water tends to plump these … Continue reading Oystering in South Carolina

Leak evaluation

Saying "my boat has no leaks" equals saying "I've never lied". Some leaks show up soon after the topside gets wet. Other leaks take time to show up. Aboard Spartina, water collecting on the cabin sole below the mast collar meant it's time to replace the mast boot. Water stains around port lights and deadlights … Continue reading Leak evaluation