A couple weekends ago I got the canoe out on Cherokee Marsh, which Friends of Cherokee Marsh tells us is “the largest wetland in Dane County, Wisconsin. The marsh is located just upstream from Lake Mendota, along the Yahara River and Token Creek.”

I put in at the park’s North Unit and paddled through massive lilies to the open, but very shallow, Yahara River. I had intended to follow the Yahara north even at it narrowed a bit, but with all the marshy junctions I took a branch of an unnamed-to-me creek, leading by and by through hairpin turns and tight squeezes between downed tree limbs, to the east. 

I had the good sense to screenshot my location on Google Maps when I could go not further and sat to enjoy the scene at a particularly obstructive tangle of fallen branches. Then, I promptly forgot about it. 

Having dug that map out again, it’s clear that I was in fact on Token Creek, and that the Friends of Cherokee Marsh must have been responsible for all those tight—but tenable—squeezes between creekshore and fallen branches. Hats off to the crews who maintain these routes through the thicket!

Glad to see the Chesapeake Maritime Museum featured in local news during my trip back home. Sad to see the paper misidentify the watercraft in question.

I see two masts, a double-ended hull and no hard chimes to speak of. That’s gotta be the bugeye Edna E. Lockwood.

You had one job, Star Dem!

S, G, Badger Sloop and the Mystic Sharpie off the bow. September 18, 2014 on Lake Mendota. 

Four day weekend on the Eastern Shore for a wedding, family and many friends. Can’t wait to taste the brackish water again, and to watch the tides.

Off Picnic Point, Lake Mendota. September 18, 2014.

I’ve been chasing this double-ended ketch around Mendota for a few years. I first saw it from across the lake, and spent a couple hours trying to interpect, but she took a more favorable tack when I was about a quarter mile away and I couldn’t get a closer look.

More recently, G and I were out for a sail in a UW Hoofers sloop and spotted her again. But we had to give up the chase a few hundred yards from her stern to meet the sunset curfew. 

Then last week I discovered her on her mooring in University Bay while biking around for my lunch break. Even up close, I though for sure she was a Crotch Island, Block Island or even Isles of Shoals boat, especially with that pinky stern. 

Yesterday, out on another Hoofers sail, we finally caught up with her off Picnif Point and talked to her skipper. Surprisingly, the boat is a flat-bottomed Ted Brewer sharpie (probably his Mystic Sharpie). The unnamed skipper built her in 1985 (same year I was built) plank on frame, by the looks of it. The design is for plywood, and this boat weighs twice as originally intended. That’s why, with stem and stern under the waterline, its hard to tell she’s a hard-chined boat. 

I love the lines, and that yellow hull. I hope I get to see more of both boat and skipper again, and from the cockpit of my own hard-chined DIY project. 

Elementary school in Maryland taught us all about sub-aquatic vegetation. I guess this is fresh water, though. On Cherokee Marsh, 2014.

This guy hitched a ride as I carried the canoe from the parking lot to the small dock at Cherokee Marsh. Anyone know what to call him?

On Cherokee Marsh today, north of Madison. I think I found a new favorite spot(s).

Mississippi picnic. Last day of August, 2014.

On Woodyard Slough, off the Mississippi River, near Wyalusing, Wi.

Dave and Caroline (not the namesake) visited in August.