Journey of the Snowgoose



Excerpt One ...

     Jackson Creek off the Piankatank River is our next destination with a course of 192 degrees. It is September 18 at eight in the morning with calm winds and fog. The great ships are ghosts gliding by. We are navigating buoy to buoy in this dense fog. On the Chesapeake every day we must go in for one or two hours from the shipping lanes to find a decent anchorage, which is tiresome. At Jackson Creek aground again no wonder the buoy took us within three feet of the Virginia shoreline. That wasn't right! 9 AM on September 19 and we are on our way to the Severn River. We are both disgusted aground again trying to reach the fuel dock. It took us much longer to get free this time and we left without fuel. At 1000 hours Bill writes in his logbook: Wind and waves are getting high. If Bill admits they are high then they are really high! At 1200 hours, slamming down, our fog bell rings of its own volition as we fall off these square wind-against-incoming-current ocean waves. The boat is reduced to three knots forward. There is not enough fuel to get to Norfolk so at Wolf Trap Light we reach west into Mobjack Bay. There is immediate relief inside the entrance. Without all that wind we realize that it is 92 degrees hot. At 1600 hours we thought a school of sharks were headed for us but we were delighted to discover the fins are porpoises, sighting them our reward for this hard day. But we immediately get out of sorts again when we saw the entrance to the Severn lots of day markers means going aground to us now. Picked our way in only one mile and we are out of markers. How can that be?! Our chart ended here, too. So we started following what looked like a path of fish stakes. When we finally got ourselves anchored the owners of the Glass Marina told us those stakes mark oyster beds. Bill says in his log: Prettiest anchorage yet and he means the people here, too. The marina owners, Whitey and Lee, invited us to their house this eve to use their phone to call Mike. Met the sailors on Ques, Drew and Chris, who have access to a local's car, so we shopped with them. Next day three bashful men came alongside, said they'd heard we like oyster and handed us two dozen of their catch. It took us two hours of not knowing what we were doing to open them. On September 22 Bill finished the antibiotic for his ear and it is still bad. Mary, who works at the marina, asked her mister, name of Buddy, to take us to the hospital where the doctor looked at both our ears. Seems I'd ruptured both ear drums from that foolish swim and ensuing infection in the Sassafras River. I'm okay now but Bill's infection in one ear won't heal. He has no ear drum in that ear because it was removed years ago to have a tumor excised alongside his brain. The doctor said to avoid meningitis take another round of medicine. We've stayed aboard for Bill to mend. We are beginning to be afraid.   . . .

by Barbary Chaapel

Home Page Bookmark these Excerpts Prior Excerpt Excerpt One  Excerpt Two  Excerpt Three  Excerpt Four Next Excerpt Listen to Excerpt - COMING SOON! Invite a Friend

     Journey Of The Snow Goose chronicles the spiritual and physical sojourn of Barbary and Bill Chaapel, who leave land and everything land represents behind them to sail away in a tiny sailboat 7 1/2 years; To leave the known luxury of home, career, friends and family for the vast and deep unknown, sailing long and hard on the wind, sea-salted eyes searching for glimpse of land.