2004 DELMARVA Reports
Schedule of Courses
Ocean Training Cruises
couple of weeks before departure all the students were contacted by Captain Andy
Prescott to discuss expectations; needed equipment and clothing; and any special
menu or other requirements. David Frese, Stuart Whiddon, Jim King and Pete Ickes
had completed ASA 101 through 105 and were looking for a taste of offshore while
pursuing ASA106 Certification. Sandy Curlett had completed the equivalent US
Sailing Courses but had heard good things about The Maryland School and wanted
to try us out. Sandy had recently purchased a Bristol 38; Jim had chartered
numerous 30-40’ boats from Haven Harbor; David had traveled all the way from
Denmark for the course; Stuart enjoyed chartering in the BVI’s; and this was
Pete’s third time aboard HALIMEDA.
Day One: Thoroughness,
clear communication, and detailed preparation and planning are essential
elements of an offshore endeavor. Prior to arrival each crew member had been
sent 17 references, texts, and eight handouts in preparation for the trip.
carefully reviewed and utilized much of this material to examine the Island
Packet 45 HALIMEDA
and her systems. The team discussed possible itineraries and the sailing
opportunities that would challenge us. Pre-departure assignments were made for
navigator, boatswain, engineer, and emergency coordinator. We rigged the storm
sail and checked out safety equipment. Watch section assignments were posted and
discussed. Daily responsibilities for the week were also assigned with each
person being given the opportunity to serve for at least a 24 hour period as
Student Skipper, Navigator / Radar person, Engineer, Cook, and Deckhand. Each
role and the related responsibilities were carefully discussed.
a very informative day David and Sandy shopped for provisions at Bayside Market
before we gathered for an excellent dinner at Pruitt’s.
Day Two: After
a hearty breakfast at “The Snack Bar” we returned to Spring Cove to find
that Pete had finally arrived and was asleep on the dock alongside HALIMEDA.
A nightmarish tale of cancelled flights and being stuck in Chicago overnight
ensued before he napped for a few hours. Sandy
“let me manage your money” had reviewed his findings on HALIMEDA’s
conformance to Coast Guard, ASA and ORC requirements and recommendations. “Mr.
Navigation Trivia” Jim was carefully hoisted up the mast to inspect the
rigging.” Boy Scout” Stuart gave the engineer’s report.
reviewed tide and current information for our course north to Chesapeake City.
Skipper David who had just returned from an ASA 104 aboard HALIMEDA
smartly directed the crew and we departed the dock at just past noon.
Before heading up the Bay on a broad reach we did some maneuvers to
determine deviation. Just before nightfall we entered the C&D Canal with
three knots of flood current. This presented the crew with a docking challenge
which was skillfully met as we pulled alongside behind the six piece outdoor
band at Schaeffer’s in Chesapeake City. Spring lines were properly set while
the welcoming committee of locals danced up a storm. Over drinks we discussed
the day’s accomplishments before dining inside.
Day Three: We
awoke to rain and fog. Soon afterward we departed the dock and headed east in
the canal. By noon still in heavy rain and fog with a bow lookout posted we
reached the Delaware River and headed downstream. The radar was watched
carefully as there was considerable ship traffic. In fact talking to a barge and
tow captain on VHF13 we agreed to circle around behind him despite the fact that
we were well out of the channel. We practiced reefing and also reviewed abandon
the trip we would pass through 18 NOAA weather zones and utilized the on board
weather fax for review and study of weather patterns. Each navigator used this
information as he plotted our course for the next 24 hours.
hearty spaghetti dinner by David was enjoyed on deck. As darkness fell the
excitement was high crossing the COLREGS Demarcation Line out into the Atlantic.
We began recording our DR data and by midnight we were four miles off the coast
NNE of Ocean City. Each two person team enjoyed their nighttime three hour watch
while others “hot bunked” below.
Day Four: The
sails were raised early in the morning as the wind started to build.
Sunrise eventually brought clear skies and moderate northwesterly winds.
We tried a variety of sail combinations noting the differences between each and
making good use of the preventer. Pete kept the crew well fed.
As the wind died we calculated how far we might go given the fuel on
the afternoon we enjoyed the company of several groups of dolphins and skates
who frolicked in our wake while a variety of birds flew overhead. David planned
our landfall arrival as we talked to a submarine and warship which past us as we
entered Thimble Shoal Channel. Soon Sandy had brought us gingerly across the
tunnel past hovercraft and Navy Seals working with experimental underwater
2100 we were tied up at the fuel dock of Taylor’s Landing. After
“hitchhiking” a boat ride across the cove we enjoyed an excellent dinner on
shore at The Blue Crab. Showers on land were enjoyed by all before an exhausted
crew slept soundly to the harmonic music of four part snoring!
headed up the Bay. While underway a text book review was conducted in
preparation for the 106 written exams. Abandon ship drills were practiced.
Attention was paid to weather and reading the clouds. Pete directed the crew
through properly negotiating the entrance into Tangiers Island. Jim was adept as
skipper having to make some last minute decisions when it was discovered that
the slip we had reserved had been taken by another sailboat. Of course he,
Captain Andy, and the rest of the crew had the expert direction of Park
Marina’s Dockmaster Milton – an old salt who engaged us in vivid
descriptions of the islands pleasures. They included how to avoid being run over
by golf carts and bicycles – the islands primary means of transportation.
Stuart cooked up a storm in the galley allowing us to feast on a fine chicken
dinner with Sandy’s investment tip of outstanding éclairs for dessert!
enjoying Jim’s terrific breakfast we motored out via the west channel. Jim,
Pete, David, and Stuart took the written test as Sandy piloted us up the Bay.
Sandy skillfully navigated skipper Stuart into Solomons and up Back Creek to
Town Center Marina. All candidates successfully passed the 106 written resulting
in an evening of celebration as the “Old School” crew requested Peter Paul
and Mary music from the guitar player at a local Italian Restaurant.
we continued up the Bay the winds built to 15-20. We took advantage of the situation and reached along at a
good clip. Everyone practiced crew overboard drills before we headed into
Tilghman and docked at Knapp’s Narrows Marina Inn. Just in time as s strong
summer squall with strong winds and rain hit as we went to dinner. Much to
everyone’s amusement a special quiz was prepared and given by Stuart over
turned into Eastern Bay and then north to Kent Narrows. Passing under the bridge
is always a challenging thrill. The crew did a fine job negotiating the passage.
We fueled and pumped out at Haven Harbor following the Maryland School’s
strict guidelines. Finally the high performing team arrived at Spring Cove. All
agreed it was a terrific week and headed home having successfully completed the