On Thursday, May 5 the husband and wife team, Captain Steve Spencer and Libbey Seigars stopped along their 10 month long boating journey to tour the Rappahannock’s historic Fones Cliffs. Members of the Chesapeake Conservancy and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation led the tour.
Spencer and Seigars, along with their pet cat, have spent the last 10 months on their 24’ Seaway workboat, Laughing Gull. The started their journey in Whitefield, Maine and worked their way down through America’s Great Loop, circumnavigating Eastern North America by water.
The couple asked their friend, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Senior Naturalist John Page Williams, for recommendations of where to stop while along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Williams suggested Fones Cliffs because of its pristine historical value and beauty. This location is currently at risk of major development.
Seigars explained, “We regularly use the boat in the spring and the fall in Maine, but we’re usually out for a few days, a week, two weeks. And for years we were working and taking a two or three week vacation and go to Florida. The longest we’ve been on the boat was a month or six weeks, so this was the trip of a lifetime to be on the water for ten months. It was intimidating sometimes to think at the beginning of it, ‘Will we get bored? How will this work?’ But it’s been nice, just enjoying the mornings where you are, having coffee. We’re in these gorgeous locations. It’s been fun. Just a couple of days ago we saw a bear swimming.”
Libbey Seigars commented that on their journey, she’s been able to study the migration patterns of many different birds.
“You always wonder, ‘where do the birds go on land?’ And now, they’re just popping up. I was looking around in Alabama and I saw this mysterious bird with this pale orange front and I said, ‘I wonder what they are’ and one landed on the front of the boat like ‘hey dummy, we’re robins. We’re the ones on your lawn in the spring’. It was just interesting to see them pop up in unexpected places. I’m a very novice birdwatcher, so things caught me by surprise.”
Read the full story in the May 11 edition of the Northern Neck News.