2003 DELMARVA Reports

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Course Advanced Coastal Cruising; DELMARVA Circumnavigation
Date September 7, 2003
Students: Peter Christis, John French, Peter Ford, Bill Reed, Katherine “Ann” & Craig “Jake” Jakus
Captain: Joe Kliment

Sept 7, Sunday
After introductions, the students became familiar with the course and the vessel. The ominous threat of Tropical Storm Henri approaching our area kept our departure plans tentative. We spent the day learning the ship’s systems, planning our course, selecting a watch schedule, assigning responsibilities, taking inventory of the galley supplies, and developing a cruise menu for purchasing provisions. After dinner we turned in early, hoping the weather would cooperate so that we could safely depart in the morning. This crew had 4 sailors who had taken previous classes at the MD school together, so they had already become a cooperative & disciplined crew, ready for the challenge.

 Sept 8, Monday
Weather forecasters predicted that the storm was veering east of our route, so with concurrance from Tom Tursi, we quickly left the slip about 10 AM, delighted that we were able to begin our adventure!  We motor sailed up the Bay with wind on the nose, following a 4 hour watch schedule, with the students and their selected partners manning the helm. The weather was pleasant and the students were able to practice fixes and determine the tidal current in the C&D Canal. Provisions were ordered by cell phone & were waiting at the dock when Jake skillfully brought HALIMEDA into the slip at Summit North Marina. The provisions were stowed but quickly utilized when we found that Captain’s Cove Restaurant was closed on Mondays.

 Sept 9, Tuesday
After our engineer checked the boat systems, our navigator checked the weather, tidal currents and planned our course. We left Summit North Marina about 8 AM to transit the canal with the current, and began motoring toward the Delaware River. A clockwise wind allowed us to sail down Delaware River, but in the lower Delaware Bay, south winds and confused seas forced us to motor sail again, and caused some motion sickness for the crew. Facing 25 knot east winds and 10 to12 ft seas, we opted to put in at Lewes about 5 pm and had dinner while secured at the city dock, providing a welcome respite for the crew. We were touched by the hospitality of friendly local residents who offered their adjacent homes should we need anything.

Sept 10, Wednesday
We departed Lewes at 8 AM, passing Indian River Inlet about noon, with 15 ft seas and 30 knot winds, progressing at 6 knots regardless of the rolling and pitching motion. A double reefed main and reefed genoa powered our ship for a GREAT ride down the Atlantic coast. The crew dined on pot luck soup, as it was too rough for much cooking. About 8 PM we passed Ocean city Maryland with seas becoming more settled. Since fixes were not possible, the students practiced dead reckoning and found their accuracy impressive, when compared to the GPS position.  Jeff was at the helm when we measured our record speed of 9.7 knots. It was truly an exhilarating ride thru the night for this adventuresome crew.

 Sept 11, Thursday
A beautiful sunrise greeted us off the Virginia Capes. About 10:30 AM, we entered the south channel passing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel, heading into Little Creek Virginia. We docked at Taylor’s Landing Marina about noon, where we pumped out, refilled our fuel and water tanks and took advantage of the showers & restaurant. A day of rest was well deserved for this hardy crew.

Sept 12, Friday
The morning weather forecast indicated 10 to 15 ft waves & 35 knot winds in the lower bay. At 9 AM we made an attempt to run up the Chesapeake. As we motored out of Little Creek Inlet, with reefed genoa, we found our headway was significantly reduced by close hauled winds & large swells. The Capt. decided to return to port and we returned to Taylor’s Landing Marina about noon, to wait for better conditions. To utilizing this time, all the students took their106 test, which everyone passed successfully. We celebrated with dinner ashore!

 Sept 13, Saturday
After heavy rainsqualls and thunderstorms at midnight, the winds became light from the SE and the visibility improved. The conditions and forecast were improved so our well rested crew departed at 3 AM under single reefed main. With freshening winds from the SE we headed up the bay. The students gained more good experience in night sailing that included commercial traffic. North of Tangiers Island, the Capt surprised the crew with a man overboard drill. With Jake at the helm, the crew performed flawlessly in recovering the PFD from the bay.

 Sept 14, Sunday
Good weather allowed us to sail up the bay, arriving at Gratitude about noon, where we pumped out & refilled our fuel & water tanks. Pete C. skillfully brought HALIMEDA to the slip in Spring Cove. The crew secured the ship with double dock lines in preparation for hurricane Isabel that was headed this way. After cleaning the ship, the students each received their certificates and we parted as good friends with wonderful memories of a MOST challenging cruise. The crew was already discussing taking ASA 108 together for their next sailing adventure. They were certainly a joy to sail with:  enthusiastic, cooperative, cheerful, and open to every challenge that occurred.

Captain Joe Kliment
Rock Hall, MD
Sept 15, 2003

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