Home Port; on the Delaware River at Fox Grove Marina Essington PA.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 2008 Haul-Out

October 15, 2008
Haul-Out at Fox's Grove Marina

Monday, October 6, 2008

October 4 & 5, 2008

Saturday and Sunday morning sail.
UPenn sailing team at Corinthian
LNG/ATB off Chester Island
Tug escort for LNG

Monday, September 22, 2008

Saturday and Sunday 9-20 & 9-21, 2008

Weekend sail.
Mid 70's F, less than 5 knot breeze


North Wind from Glouchester NJ, taking part in the Delaware County River Ramble. Communities from Essington to Marcus Hook had a river front festival. The North Wind is owned by the town of Glouchester at the NJ side of the Walt Whitman bridge, and is a feature in an Irish themed town and port revival.
North Wind motors down river, Crowley barge on tug tow line up river to Pennsauken.


The mini-tug Gulliver at Essington

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday August 24, 2008

Sunday August 24, 2008

Midday sail around Little Tinicum with Vanessa, mid 80's F 5 knot or less breeze out of the west-south-west.

Tack the Tinicum Range shipping channel, island to Paulsboro from the Valero Terminal to Darby Creek. Mostly close hauled down river, retreating out of the 50 foot deep channel into the 20 and 30 foot waters of Little Tinicum for traffic to Valero and an OSG on its maiden voyage from Aker with bow cone out of the water.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wednesday August 20, 2008

August 20,2008
Mid 80's F, clear sky 5 to 10 knot from south.
A slow afternoon sail to Billingsport
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Sailing past Mifflin Bar Dike

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday August 16, 2008

Saturday August 16, 2008

Morning sail, 5 to 10 kmot breeze out of the north with gusts to 15.

Sail with the flood tide on a beam reach to the airport. Jib of Billingsport and close reach to Mifflin Dike. The wind direction changes from northwest then west with building gusts.

To pass between Mifflin Dike and Little Tinicum my course is northwest then west to the marina. Approaching Mifflin Dike with full sails the boat is now stationary against the maximum flood. Motor on and drop the genoa, pass Mifflin Dike, cut the motor and tack into the wind but after a few tacks I have not made any forward progress against the flood tide with respect to folks fishing at the UPS terminal.

Motor sail to the marina where the power boats are loading with beer for an afternoon at the island beach party off the mouth of the Schuylkill.

A LNG carrier at the airport dock, when in transit it will have a coast guard and marine police escort.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sunday August 3, 2008

Sunday August 3, 2008

Sunday morning sail, mid 80's F, 10 knot wind out of the northwest rising to 20 and gusts to 26 (NWS at PHL)

Leave the marina and wind changes to almost due west, tack against the flood tide to Eddystone. Wind builds with gusts out of the northwest and the boat develops good speed.

My competitor from the previous round the island informal race is tacking on the same course. Not a Hunter, a Compac 25

A coal bulk freighter is unloading at Eddystone and a tug with coal barge has entered the Eddystone channel. The Eddystone channel is the most direct exit down river from Tinicum, but with a tug and barge is not wise to enter. Today is a short sail for me, I need to return to Philadelphia by 1:00 PM, so come about "jib" at the Eddystone dock, the wind is now out of the north and I have a fast broad reach back the the marine with the flood tide.

My competitor continues into the Eddystone channel but jibes to the New Jersey side to clear the coal barge now be rotated by the tug.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday July 27, 2008

Sunday July 27, 2008
Low 80's F thunderstorms forecast for the afternoon.

Late morning sail with Katherine.
A slow departure with light winds 5 knots or less , out of the southwest, to Darby Creek, then winds pick up 10 to 15 for a speedy beam reach along the shipping channel side of Little Tinicum.
Storm clouds build over Delaware County and NWS on WX issues storm warning for Chester and Delaware County with 2" rain per hour.

Rather than take the long way around the island, come about and return to Darby Creek with building winds out of the west. The wind eases as we pass Piaseki, pole out the genoa, sail wing on wing with good speed.
The front approaches, drop the genoa, winds build to 30 knots out of the north in minutes, to close to the seaplane base slips to head into the the wind to drop the mainsail, so set a fisherman reef, mainsail against the spreaders and sail with the wind on port beam.
Boat speeds builds above 7 knots and we race to the marina.
Gusts develop to 40 knots (PHL reports 43), turn to windward past the marina and off the former Westinghouse sluice gate, mainsheet in as we come to windward, drop the main halyard and Katherine flakes the mainsail on the boom and secures with sail ties. Timing was good, the manoever was complete well clear of the mud flat.
Motor into the marina with 30 knot wind and 40 knots gusts.

Plenty of windage on the side of the boat. Hold the boat in the slip with motor on forward gear at idle, while we secure the dock lines, then the deluge begins.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday July 26, 2008

Saturday July 26, 2008
Mid 80's F, 10 knots from southwest with gust to 15.

Morning close hauled sail at 3.5 knots to the casino then on a beam reach at 2 to 3 knots back to the marina against an ebb tide.

Historic marker at Governor Printz Park in Tinicum.

Sailing past Governor Printz park, from left to right;
Piasecki Aircraft, developer of the twin rotor helicopter (Chinook)
West End Boat Club
Corinthian Yacht club
Govenor Printz park
Lagoon marina and night club.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday July 20, 2008

Sunday July 20, 2008

Mid 90's F, winds 10 knots out off the southwest with gusting to 15.

Around Little Tinicum counter clockwise at flood after slack in an informal race against a new Hunter. I take the shoal wide at lower end of Little Tinicum in at least 9ft of water but slow and close to due southwest, the Hunter cuts across the shoal close to a bearing directly south with good speed.

I begin, once in the main shipping channel, to close the distance at 4.5 knots, but the Hunter staying close to the south shore of the island gets the 15 knot gusts at the east end of Little Tinicum by the airport and surges ahead. I pick up the gusts at the airport as the Hunter goes through the narrow channel between Mifflin Dike and the east shoal of Little Tinicum against the flood tide and into the wind. I stay in the main shipping channel until past the shoal before heading north on a beam reach to Mifflin Dike.

The flood tide is beginning peek flow as I enter the narrow channel, with the wind now out of the west and my heading due west, but I am not willing to risk a tack onto the shoal to gain forward speed, Motor on and drop the jib until I am clear of the shoal, then motor off and jib up again for a slow tack back to the marina.

The gulls are lined up on the shoal feasting on the fingerlings as the tide rises. The Hunter with a shallow draft drop or wing keel, anchors for lunch at the sandy beach on the Pennsylvania side of the island protected by the shoal.

The Hunter had a better sailor and faster boat.

Up river in the Tinicum Range, south side of Little Tinicum.

A tug pushing down river in the Tinicum Range off Thompson Point.

To clear the west end shoal of Little Tinicum I need to stay west of a line between Thompson Point and the bascule bridge on Darby Creek until close to the main channel.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday July 13, 2008

Sailing with Vanessa, low 90's F with 5 to 10 knots from the south with gusting to 15.
A float plane was getting ready to take off at the Corinthian Yacht Club, so motor down to Darby Creek with jib. Float planes due to restrictions on movement have priority over other vessels on the water, so we stay close to boat slips on our way down river until the plane took-off into the south wind coming from the NJ side.

Good steady winds take us on a beam reach up to 4 knots to Harrahs Casino then tack through the wind and beam reach over 4 knots at times against the ebb tide back to the marina.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thursday July 11, 2008

Afternoon sail, mid 80's F, with 10 knots wind out of the west, and gusting to 15. Slack after low tide.

Close hauled at 4 to 5 knots to Chester, then close reach back to Essington.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday July 8, 2008

Tuesday July 8, 2008
Afternoon sail at Essington, low 90's F high humidity, 5 to 10 knots breeze out of the southwest.
A dock neighbor sailing under spinnaker.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesday July 1, 2008

Tuesday July 1, 2008
Mid 80's F and 5 to 10 knots out off the southwest.

The sail track entry on the mast was located for the old sail slug locations, but this was to high above the goose neck for the lower slug of the new sail, so I made a new aluminum track slide retainer for the new sail slugs with an entry just above the goose neck. Now when I drop sails the slugs fall into the retainer track, and are stopped with a track stop slug, making it a lot easier to stack the sail on the boom and to hoist the sail.

Finished fine tuning the track entry with a file and went for an early afternoon sail. The new mainsail reaches well and makes good progress within 30 deg of the wind, but the old headsail produces weather helm on any wind between a-beam and bow, the former mainsail was porous enough to underpower the boat and produced less weather helm. Until I replace the headsail, sailing bow to wind will be with mainsail only.

Came about and raced with the wind off the aft starboard quarter against an ebb tide wing on wing with the jib headsail balanced starboard and mainsail on port.
A dock neighbor also with an older boat from the 70's, was crew on a larger race boat a few weeks ago and lost 2 finger in a winch. The accident left him with the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand, so today was his first sail to see how to adapt his sailing.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday June 28, 2008

Saturday mid morning sail down river against the flood after low tide slack.
Mid 90's with 5 to 8 knot breeze out of the southwest and at time no air stirring,

Watched a Boeing Chinook test flight, take-off fly to the New Jersey side, return land and repeat.

Barge traffic picked up with the flood pushing up river.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saturday June 21, 2008

A slow Saturday morning on the Delaware river, low 90's F almost no wind out of the southwest, against a flood tide. The Boeing plant at Ridley was taxi testing a Chinook twin rotor heavy lift helicopter at their dock, the twin rotor technology was developed by Piasecki Aviation across Darby Creek in Essington. At Eddystone the power plant was off-loading a coal train, and freighter, tug and barge traffic starting to move up river with the flood tide.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monday June 9, 2008

Monday June 9, 2008, high 90's F, 5 to 10 knot breeze out of the west with periods of still air.
Go for an evening sail with Katherine, just passing through with a flight out tomorrow morning.

Sail to the Valero terminal at Billingsport NJ, then back across the river to Mifflin Dike but not enough wind to gain speed over the flood tide, so motor back to the marine.

Expansion of the Valero terminal has been delayed due to new archeological finds at Billingsport the site of a companion insurgent fort to Fort Mifflin PA, protecting the approach to Philadelphia from the British. Further up river above the Ben Franklin Bridge archeological finds have delayed the Sugar House Casino on the site of a British Fort protecting Philadelphia during the French and Indian war, that has uncovered a Lenape settlement at least 5,000 years old.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Saturday June 7, 2008

Saturday June 7, 2008, high 90's F with high humidity, the first day of a 5 day heat wave.

5 knot breeze with gusting to 10 knots out of the southwest

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday midday sail off Little Tinicum

Slack after high tide, low 80's with 5 to 10 knots breeze out of the northwest.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Morning Sail

Sunday June 1, 2008. A morning sail from Darby Creek to PHL, 15 knots out of the west, gusting to 25 at slack before high tide.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Delaware River sailing off Essington PA

Thursday May 29, 2008. Mid 70's F with 10 to 15 knots from the northwest, against an ebb tide, under jib only.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sailing at Essington May 25, 2008

Sunday afternoon sail with Vanessa, 70's F, slack after low tide. Sailing past the marinas in Essington, east to PHL with a gentle breeze from the southeast. Spinnaker pole holding out the jib, probably would have been better with the genoa.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

May 16, 2008

Another day of rain, stopped at the marina on the way back from Chester, the planes landing at PHL dropped under the cloud cover just at the marina, streaming water vapor from the wings.

May 14, 2008

Sail to PHL, wing-on-wing with a gentle breeze against an ebb tide, after 5 days of rain. Not visible in the video but lots of debris washing down-river.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Motor to the marina Delaware River

Wednesday 7th, 2008.

Low 80's F, slack before high tide, but no wind. Take a lunch break from my Chester project meetings and go for a sail. In reality a drift with the incoming tide to the airport with just enough air stirring to maintain steerage. Not enough wind to sail back to the marina against the tide so drop sails and motor. The old Volvo MD1 chugs reliably, but maybe not much longer, the water jacket has several cracks and leaks that I have plugged with Gorilla glue. This year I think it will be time for a new motor.

Monday, May 5, 2008

February 2008
Essington PA


Ulladh pronounced "ul-la" (null lad).

Uladh the gaelic spelling for the territory of the U-Nail chieftains in the ancient Irish province of Ulster (English/Norse), originally the counties of Down and Antrim, but now including Derry, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, also referred to as Ulidia (Greek/Roman),.

Uladh was the home of a pre-celtic, cruithne (crew-en-ya) pictish tribe, who may have been descendants of prehistoric tribes indigenous to the British Isles since the retreat of the last ice age.

Archeological finds date first inhabitants to about 6,000 BC and trade goods from Rathlin Island, County Antrim off the northeast coast of Ireland made from porcellanite stone appearing in Egypt and Crete by 2,500 BC.

The early tribes of Ireland where displaced by later waves of migrants from mainland Europe; about 1700 BC by bronze age tribes, celtic tribes about 500 BC, and in the past two millenia; Roman trading posts, Viking settlements, English plantations... and in the 21st century a welcome increasing diversity from the European Union and the world.

SV Ulladh (for vhf clarity I use "sailing vessel ul-la") is named for the territory of the first peoples to settle in Ireland after the retreat of the last ice age.


Since 1949 Fisksatra Varv in the coastal town of Fisksatra Sweden, built fiberglass boats from dinghies to a 300 ton minesweeper for the Swedish Navy.

The Havsfidra 20's were built between 1968 and the late 1970's to Swedish Navy and Lloyd's certification standards.

The Havsfidra 20 and a larger version the Storfidra 26 where sold in the United States by Continental Yachts and Trawler Agency of Atlantic City NJ.

Havsfidra; sea-feather?
(fidra; to touch or tickle with a feather -Icelandic-English Dictionary, Clarendon Press 1874)