2005 DELMARVA Reports

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Course Advanced Coastal Cruising; DELMARVA Circumnavigation
Date October 14-21, 2005
Students: Peter Bonta, Rick Koubek, Jim Schmalz, Dominick Timpone 
Captain: Eric Petterson

October 13, Thursday
Captain Eric Petterson and students Jim Schmalz and Dominick Timpone arrived at Halimeda.

Day 1 - 10/14 Friday
Students Rick Koubek and Peter Bonta arrived in the morning. After breakfast the first order of business was to move HALIMEDA to an alternate slip in order to ensure adequate depth for a low tide departure early the next day. A great lesson in warping out of the slip in contrary winds was an added benefit. After this the students familiarized themselves with HALIMEDA's systems, rigging, gear and stowage. Weather was checked on the internet and SSB. Watch schedules were agreed to and daily navigator and engineer/bosun assignments were set. The final day's activity was to purchase food provisions, and this crew set a new standard with a total grocery bill only 4 cents off the target amount! The day concluded with dinner at Waterman's.

Day 2 - 10/15 Saturday
We left Spring Cove at 0900 in 15-25 knot winds from the NNW, tacking our way up the bay towards the C&D canal. After a brisk day underway we arrived at Summit North Marina at 1630, having transformed underway to an efficient sailing team.  A quick check of the weather confirmed (as prior forecasts suggested) a windy but acceptable day for the next day's travel. Dinner was at Captain's Cove to celebrate the first day of the voyage. After dinner another check of weather forecasts found a severe deterioration of the outlook. Gale warnings had been issued with winds to 40 knots in Delaware Bay and the Delmarva coast. It was decided to spend another day in Summit North, focusing on lessons and the ASA106 tests.

Day 3 - 10/16 Sunday
As planned the day was spent reviewing 106 lessons in the morning and testing in the afternoon for Jim Schmalz and Rick Koubek. To make up for the lost day, plans were changed to sail non-stop down Delaware Bay, down the coast, reenter Chesapeake Bay at Norfolk and head about 50 NM up the Bay to Deltaville, VA. Departure was also planned for 0300, which was as early as possible based on the forecast of decreasing gale force winds.

Day 4 - 10/17 Monday
As planned, we departed the marina at 0300, providing great lessons in nighttime navigation and traffic identification in the upper Delaware Bay. Sailing was good in 20-25 knot winds gusting to 30 knots from the NW and dropping to 15-20 knots as darkness fell. Dinner underway was enjoyed by all.

Day 5 - 10/18 Tuesday
As the day progressed the winds backed to the SW, requiring multiple tacks to make our way down the Delmarva coast. Winds also decreased to 10-15 knots and finally to under 5 knots as we made the turn around Cape Charles and into Chesapeake Bay. With HALIMEDA under engine power, at 2030 a "thump" was heard from the engine/propeller and a vibration developed. We surmised that we either hit something with the prop or picked up a line. Luckily winds had improved to 5-10 knots and we were able to sail slowly towards Deltaville where several boat yards are located.

Day 6 - 10/19 Wednesday
Our arrival at Jackson Creek at 0330 provided yet another lesson opportunity: nighttime port arrival. First thing in the morning HALIMEDA was lifted from the water to reveal a huge bundle of polypropylene line wrapped around the shaft and prop. After it was cut away and the prop checked for damage we were underway again at 1100, headed for another overnight passage. This time our new destination was Annapolis and we sailed in comfortable winds of 10-15 knots from the SW.

Day 7 - 10/20 Thursday
Arrived in Annapolis and picked up a mooring at 0845. After showers, breakfast at Chick & Ruth's was a hit. In the afternoon Dominick Timpone took his ASA104 test. Others spent the time sleeping or sightseeing. Dinner at Galway Bay was a fitting celebration to a varied but great voyage.

Day 8 - 10/21 Friday
At 0730 we left our mooring in light NE winds and misting rain. After fuel and pump-out at Haven Harbor Marina, HALIMEDA arrived back at Spring Cove at 1145. Total mileage logged was 475 miles. We were underway for 83 hours of which 47 hours were daytime and 36 hours at night.

Captain Eric Petterson
Rock Hall, MD
October 22, 2005

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