2005 DELMARVA Reports

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Course Advanced Coastal Cruising; DELMARVA Circumnavigation
Date July 16-23, 2005
Students: Dean Decker, Tom Dickson, Matt Kelly & Dan Stuhlman
Captain: Joe Kliment

July 16, Saturday
After introductions, the students became familiar with the vessel and the goals of this cruise. We spent the day learning the ship’s systems, planning our course, selecting a watch schedule, assigning responsibilities, taking inventory of the galley supplies, developing a cruise menu and purchasing provisions. The crew began to gel as a team as they moved the dinghy from the davits on HALIMEDA‘s stern to storage on shore.  The crew meal at Waterman's Restaurant was punctuated with thunder, lightning and drenching rain from a passing storm.

July 17, Sunday
HALIMEDA departed Rock Hall at 8:30 AM with Dean at the helm and Tom navigating. Plodding along at 5 knots, with no wind, we motored with bare poles up the bay against the tide until 2 PM, when a slack tide allowed faster progress as we approached the C&D canal. The current increased our speed to 7 knots as we passed the Bohemia River at 3:15 and we entered the canal with the current flooding east to arrive at Summit North Marina at 5 pm. Matt easily brought HALIMEDA to the end of Dock D and the first leg of our journey was successfully completed. This Captain could already see that the crew was an able and willing team with such good humor, that the voyage would be a pleasant adventure regardless of the lack of wind. The marina pool provided a welcome and refreshing break before dinner at the Captain's Cove Restaurant.

July 18, Monday
A light fog did not prevent our 8 AM departure from the marina to exit the canal and catch a favorable current for the long ride down the Delaware River.  The east end of the canal provided an immediate learning experience as we approached the Rail Road bridge. This Captain has traversed the C&D canal many times, always finding the RR bridge in the "UP" position, but this morning it was lowered to the “DOWN” position, leaving only 48' of clearance for HALIMEDA's 58' mast. Tom was extremely vigilant in noticing the disparity and we immediately took evasive action before the ship was in danger. We also learned that constant monitoring of channel 16 is inadequate while in the canal, as the bridge staff uses channel 13 for canal control communication.  The rest of the day was spent motoring down the Delaware River with no wind, then wind on the nose at 3 knots when we passed the Brandywine light, NE of Lewes. Joe prepared a meal of  chicken and pasta and the crew ate while continuing on our course south. By 5:30 we had passed the final buoy and entered the Atlantic Ocean, offshore from Rehoboth Beach, with wind continuing on the nose. Through the night, we took advantage of the S SW 10-15 knot wind to sail beating southeast out into the ocean. An attempt to pump out the full holding tank proved futile as we found the macerator pump was not operative. Head through-hulls were opened to allow discharge into the ocean.

July 10, Tuesday
We continued to sail southeasterly through the day, reaching 70 miles offshore. The crew practiced dead reckoning navigation, competing against each other and the GPS for their position. In late afternoon, we tacked towards the coast of VA, but found we were digressing northwest. Thus we decided to motor sail to proceed southwest toward our destination. We motor sailed under full main through the night.

July 20, Wednesday
All sails were furled for an approaching storm, which produced neither wind nor rain, but showed an astounding display of severe lightening from 11 PM to 2 AM.  We were abeam the Cape Charles light at 8 AM, approaching Cape Henry, before we turned into Thimble Shoals Channel at the south tunnel of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Motoring north, we were humbled by patriotism as a huge aircraft carrier passed by, heading back to Norfolk with full crew on deck in uniform. We arrived at Taylor's Landing Marina in Little Creek VA at 10 AM, successfully following navigator Matt's course. Tom's docking skill in tight quarters allowed us to ease into a narrow slip between a huge sport fishing boat and a large houseboat, with very little room for maneuvering. We went for a swim in the marina pool, then we cleaned the ship and the crew studied the course material. We bought fresh provisions (ground transportation provided by the Marina) and dined at Marina restaurant. The Captain found this group of students to be a very dedicated team! 

July 21, Thursday
HALIMEDA left the slip at 8 AM with Tom at the helm, then we stopped at Cobb’s Creek Marina to pump out the holding tank before heading up the bay.  Winds were light from the SSE, thus we motor sailed. A surprise MOB drill, with Dan at the wheel, proved easy for this crew. With continuing light winds we unfurled the spinnaker for several hours of broad reaching. When the wind clocked to the SW, we doused the spinnaker to run with Genoa and mainsail on a broad reach.  At 6:30 with freshening winds from the SW, we were doing 6 knots as we passed Smith Point at the mouth of Potomac River. Tom prepared spaghetti with sauce from “scratch” - very good! An impending storm dictated one reef in the main, but it was a dry front with no additional wind, so we continued sailing & motor sailing through the night. The students gained valuable experience from their encounters with large commercial vessels in the bay at night.

July 22, Friday
In the early hours, the wind increased to a brisk 12-15K from the WNW, and we were able to use full sail complement and progress at speeds of 6 to 8 knots for an hour.  Later, with wind on the nose, we motor sailed again, arriving in Annapolis at 8 AM. Dan expertly brought HALIMEDA to a bulkhead on Ego Alley, after a short wait for a vacancy. Since Matt was not testing, and his business details needed his attention, he parted company with the cruise. We cleaned up the boat, finished our logs and reviewed the course material before the three remaining students took their test. All passed with excellent grades and we dined at Pusser's to celebrate.

July 23, Saturday
We left Annapolis at 8 AM, with Dan at the helm and Tom navigating. The north wind on the nose brought large swells as we passed under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. We continued to motor sail up the bay, with Tom at the helm, as we arrived at Haven Harbor to replenish fuel & water and also pump out. Dean expertly moved HALIMEDA from Haven Harbor to her slip in Spring Cove at noon. After final clean up, certificates were presented to these excellent students, who had completed the 420 mile journey safely and with great vigilance. We all had such a good time that we look forward to sailing together again, with more wind and less oppressive hot weather.

Captain Joe Kliment
Rock Hall, MD
July 25, 2005

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