Monday, September 30, 2013

Tices Shoal Revisited by Sandscraper

I have mentioned these two subjects, separately,  in previous Posts, however, this Post will combine the two in an attempt to recapture a great place and moments from the past.
In an earlier Post I provided pictures of my favorite sailboat that I had the pleasure of owning and sailing for twelve years. I purchased Sandscraper from Fred Weideke, an avid sailor and owner of the Stump Creek Slipways, on the Toms River. Fred had raced her for many years, doing very well on the local circuit, eventually he sold her and the new owner allowed her to slip into the state of disrepair. While looking for a sailboat to purchase, I happened onto Fred one day and we became fast friends. I was immediately drawn to a double ended sloop resting on a mooring in Fred's little cove, that was the first time that I knew Sandscraper, as she was called, was for me. Fred was quick to take me out in a dingy for the introduction to his "baby". Fred was quite annoyed with the present owner, who was not showing any intention of repairing Sandscraper much less ever sailing her.
It was not long after that initial meeting that Fred called the owner and threatened to throw him off the property unless he agreed to sell me Sandscraper, one week later, after a quick in the water survey, I owned her and was ready to tackle the arduous job of restoring her to her original condition. Fred was overjoyed as was I when, after a winter of countless hours of sanding, painting and replacing decayed wood returned Sandscraper to her once beautiful condition.
Sandscraper fully restored and sitting at anchor at Tices Shoal

A view from Sandscraper's cockpit looking across the main hatch. Sandscraper was a center cockpit, double ended sloop, built in 1947.

These pictures were taken at Tices Shosl,located just off Island Beach State Park, a quiet little anchorage to spend time reading, relaxing and crabbing. The fact that you could wade ashore and enjoy the beach was an added bonus. During this time there were not any barges that hosted concerts that drew thousands of boats from every corner of Barnegat Bay, only to provide a chaotic grand party that, in my humble opinion, has ruined this otherwise serene anchorage.

I will always cherish my time at The Shoal,anchored with a few good friends,rafted up for a nice social hour only to head back to our own space for a  quiet evening enjoying the night sky and peaceful sleep.

Alas, this is what Tices offers today, I guess that I am in the minority about feeling for it's demise.
Luckily, I have found a new Haven to visit, the Florida Keys and The Everglades National Park.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Time Spent At The Eastern Shore Of Virginia

Fran is preparing for her trip to Russia in two weeks, we thought that a few days at the Eastern Shore would be a good diversion from all the preparation she has been going through for her travel.
We left NJ on Friday morning and caught the Cape may-Lewes ferry to cross the Delaware River. The Ferry helps break up the driving time and provides for some nice maritime scenery. After landing in Lewes it was only a matter of two hours before we arrived in Onancock and our B&B, The Garden Inn. Settling in only took a few minutes, so we took the rest of the time before dinner to explore the town, make reservations for the Tangier Ferry and look through a few of the shops that dot Onancock's streets.
Our plan for the next few days was to take the Tangier Ferry, a Maine built lobster boat, out to Tangier Island and spend the day walking around the Island, have lunch then return in time for dinner at a nearby restaurant that some friends recommended. Fortunately for us the weather stayed clear and warm and the day went off without a hitch. The restaurant, The Charlotte Hotel was the choice for our first dinner away from the B&B, the hotel is an Historic Site, right in the middle of Onancock.
Fran a luscious Pork Chop and I went for the Soft Crab, both were good but I think that Fran's choice was the better of the two.
The third day found us heading for Chincoteague and Assateague Islands to see the wild Ponies and visit the National Seashore preserve. We never did get to see the Ponies but the drive and the Preserve we worth the trip. Dinner that night included Duck Breast for me and Rack of Lamb for Fran both were excellent dishes preceded by a very tasty Martini.
The next two days were spent with friends,, who live in the area, and invited us to stay in their beautiful home. Great meals, wine, a fantastic trip out onto the Bay in their boat were highlights of the visit. For our part, we treated them to a dinner at their favorite restaurant. They had the seared Mahi Mahi while Fran and I opted for the Sea Scallops, all were good and everyone went home smiling. The Perfect Manhattan before dinner contributed to the overall experience.

Fran pointing out the location of the Wild Ponies

Entrance into the visitors center at Assateague

The wily Fox, a long time resident of this area

Bald Eagle returning to the nest with food for the little ones.

The Little ones

Breakfast at the B&B, The Garden Inn.

Dining room

Meeting place for the complimentary glass of wine each night.

Garden sitting area

Enjoying a complimentary breakfast prepared by our Innkeeper each morning.

Happy guest

Leaving Onancock Harbor

Sailboats anchored in the Harbor

Very nice

Osprey nest and Inhabitant

Our Captain in the wheel house of his Maine built Lobster Boat, AKA Tangier Ferry

Arriving in Tangier Harbor

Docking with his aft steering station

One of the Inns on the Island, 500 occupy this island

Some Tangier History

Years ago it was common place to bury your family in the front yard, now the church cemetery is the proper place.
The heavy cement slabs keep the coffins from being lifted out of the ground by the high water table.

The Historic Charlotte Hotel

Menu of the Hotel

Frosty libation

Is Fran smiling at the glass of water or the Martini

I know why I'm smiling

Southern Pine on the property of our friends land

Beautiful home owned by our friends

View of the dock from the house.

Deep Creek looking South

Deep Creek, looking out to the Bay

Dock heading to the house.

View from the North, porch extends around three sides of the house, one large portion is screened to protect from insects.

Latest addition, Garage and work shop

Back of the house, entrance.

Dining room

One of several views of the TV/family room

Family room

Family room looking at the fireplace and game table.

Dining room looking into the spacious kitchen. Some people just know how to live.

Our guest room

View from the deck to the dock


Enjoying a boat ride out onto the Bay, fly swatter is for the pesky Green Heads while not moving.

Abandoned Crab Shedding shack

Returning home

House and dock on deep creek.