2005 Chesapeake Bay Cruise

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ASA 104 Intermediate Coastal Cruising:  Norfolk to Rock Hall


July 9 –13, 2005




Michael Austin, Tom Myers, Jim Schmalz & Charles Shipley


Joe Kliment

July 8, Friday
 The last trace of Hurricane Cindy had finished dumping on the East coast before Charlie & Joe arrived in Rock Hall to join Jim (& Su) for the drive to Norfolk and HALIMEDA. The Schmalz's had graciously offered to transport the crew in their large van, from Rock Hall to Little Creek VA, thus providing us the convenience of leaving a car parked in Rock Hall for our trip home. After stopping for lunch, we arrived at 6:30 to find Mike waiting for us. Su remained in our service, transporting the crew & provisions from the Food Lion to the dock. Tom arrived at 8:30 and this crew began to take shape as a team, becoming familiar with the ship and stowing provisions before going ashore for dinner.

July 9, Saturday
We left Little Creek at 11:30 after noting problems with electrical shore power cable and finding that the batteries were not fully charged. With Jim at the helm & Charlie navigating, we charged the ship's batteries as we motor sailed north, arriving at Deltaville VA at 8 PM. Tom easily parked in the slip and this Captain was pleasantly impressed with his first visit to Deltaville Marina.  Mike made the salad while Joe cooked burgers, then Joe went for a swim in the marina pool after dinner.

July 10, Sunday
With Tom at the helm, we left the marina at 8:40, to experience an unexpected and unwelcome adventure. While in the channel, we ran hard aground at low tide! Lacking the local knowledge that would have warned us to stay even further to the green side of the channel during low tide, our journey came to an abrupt halt. A nearby friendly fishing vessel pulled us off easily & we were again headed north. However, the delay prevented us from reaching Solomon's Island before dark, so we turned into the Potomac River then into Smith Creek, where Charlie had the crew set the anchor for the night. This beautiful anchorage was familiar to Jim, who had recommended the spot and thus guided us in, however seeing 10 jellyfish with long tentacles in the water brought no temptation to swim tonight! Jim and Tom prepared a delicious dinner of chicken & pasta, which was immediately followed by the arrival of dusk and swarms of mosquitoes, ready to dine on the crew. Cutter insect repellent worked well and we slept without problems!

July 11, Monday
We left Smith Creek at 6 AM, but rounding Point Lookout took an hour before we finally headed north, following our navigator Jim's course for the long run to Annapolis. Motor sailing at speeds up to 7 knots we covered 67 miles to arrive at Ego Alley at 6:30 PM with Mike at the helm, coached by the Captain. Bystanders (& crew) were absolutely amazed as he skillfully controlled our ship amidst the "city" boat traffic, carefully reversed direction with a standing turn, then brought her to the bulkhead dock by Faucett's as easily as threading a needle. We took shore leave for showers in the Harbor Master's Quarters then dinned at Pusser’s. Mike, who had spent several years teaching at the Naval Academy, posted a banner declaring that Navy defeated the U of DE (football '04) but this Captain, a loyal Blue Hen fan, wouldn't take such harassment on HIS ship - so down it came, but the good natured rivalry continues!! The weather had been remarkably dry with only 5 knot winds thus far, so the intense heat continued to dog us. It was a good decision to tie up on a bulkhead slip with electrical connections rather than a mooring, so we could all sleep comfortably with air conditioning on this HOT night!.

July 12, Tuesday
After our holding tank was pumped out, Mike took the helm and we exited Ego Alley and the Severn River to head up the Chessie once more. By 11:30 AM we were north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, following navigator Tom's course to the Magothy River. We practiced the MOB drill before arriving in the Magothy and Jim brought the ship in to anchorage at 2 PM., then Joe, Jim and Mike went swimming. Refreshed, the students studied & reviewed before taking their test, which everyone passed with excellent scores! Joe fixed pasta with soup & veggies plus salad for dinner. We spent a quiet & restful night in this idyllic anchorage.

July 13, Wednesday
The warm air temperature brought unwelcome FOG to our final day as a crew and we needed RADAR to leave the Magothy at 8 AM. With only 5 knots of wind, we motored again, following Tom's navigated course with Jim at the helm. Making our way through fishing boats, we headed east across the Bay, anxious to make landfall at Rock Hall before the predicted afternoon T-storms. Arriving safely at noon, we refueled and pumped out at Harbor Haven, then Jim expertly docked Halimeda in her home port, Spring Cove. We cleaned the ship and then the students were awarded their well earned certificates.  This crew headed home knowing they were far better sailors than when they began this journey and we will remember our good times together as we continue to stay in touch as good friends.

Captain Joe Kliment
Rock Hall, MD
July 13, 2005

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