2006 DELMARVA Reports
Schedule of Courses
Ocean Training Cruises
Captain Eric Petterson boarded HALIMEDA at Lankford Bay Marina at
1130, followed by Mac & Vicky Hall at 1700 and Scott Turpin about an hour
and a half later. Dinner that evening was at the Harbor Shack, as the
winds increased in anticipation of the forecasted arrival of Tropical Storm
Ernesto, scheduled for the late the next day.
The morning started with blustery winds but no rain. Breakfast was at the
famous Rock Hall Snack Bar and when we returned to HALIMEDA we
found our fourth student/crew, Clyde Kunst, had arrived. We began by
reviewing general operational procedures that would be followed, watch
schedules, individual responsibilities, our tentative itinerary and navigational
planning. Next the students began a systematic review of the boat systems
and stowage from stem to stern, uncovering lockers and inspecting all the
equipment including the engine. This was followed by a similar review on
deck, which was completed just before the rain began. Next it was time to
plan menus, inventory the food on board, prepare a shopping list, head off to
the grocery to shop and finally to stow the new purchases on board. After
this very full day we enjoyed dinner at Waterman's Restaurant. Lastly
we returned to HALIMEDA at the slip where the winds were
approaching 40 knots and rain was heavy. We were very glad that we had
doubled-up the critical lines earlier in the day so all had a good (but
bouncy) night's sleep, content that when we waked in the morning Ernesto would
have passed to our north and would be moving well out of the area.
We awoke to much calmer conditions in the morning, but with winds out of the SE
that weren't appropriate for being south of the storm. A quick review of
the weather reports confirmed that indeed Ernesto was still near the southern
end of the Chesapeake and had stalled. After careful consideration of the
new forecasts, which suggested that Ernesto was seriously weakening, we made the
decision to depart and head for the C&D canal. At 0830 we pulled out of the
slip, sailing south down the Chester River to where we could turn north to the
put the wind on our starboard quarter/beam for a nice sail up the bay.
However at about the time we reached our turning point the wind had dropped
significantly and after a short time it was down to 5 knots with occasional
puffs to 10 knots, so we motor-sailed up the bay to the C&D in light rain.
We arrived at Summit North Marina in the canal at 1710 eager for a warm shower
and dinner ashore, with hopes of better winds as forecasted for the next day.
We left the marina at 1050, allowing time for our trip in the ocean for light
winds and a two day passage down the coast. As we exited the C&D canal
and raised sail we found again light air, but favorable current and set sail.
However the wind was short lived, dropping again to the 5 knot range so we spent
the day motorsailing and motoring. At about 2200 we reached the Atlantic
Ocean, still with very little wind but all the remaining swells stirred up by
the previous high winds. Welcome to the "bumpy" North Atlantic!
Morning broke with mostly clear skies, but wind now below 5 knots with
occasional puffs to 8! As we continued south the waves and swells became
more gentle and the boat's motion improved. By afternoon, the crew, even
the one who had gotten slightly seasick, were becoming old salts at moving about
the boat in the swells, and properly steering to anticipate the wave action.
Everyone also got a taste of what it feels like to be out of sight of land.
We began to close on the coast as night fell, navigating by dead reckoning to a
buoy located off the coast of Virginia north of the Chesapeake entrance. It was
to be a flashing red every four seconds but it was not to be found. Our
dead reckoning navigation was checked again, but no errors were found.
Finally we saw on the radar what might be a buoy about a 1.5 miles off, so we
headed there and found our buoy but with no light! So we made a radio call
to the Coast Guard to report the problem and continued our journey to the mouth
of the bay.
We continued our nighttime entrance to the Chesapeake, watching for other
vessels in the heavy traffic and monitoring our navigation via dead reckoning to
the critical buoys in our approach. Finally we arrived at the entrance to
Little Creek following the entrance range lights through the jetties and made
our way to Taylor's Landing Marina. We tied up at the fuel dock at 0450!
After short naps, the marina opened so we fueled up and moved the boat to a
slip. Everyone showered and slept. After lunch we spent the
afternoon talking about our journey offshore and lessons learned, then reviewed
other key ASA106 instructional material in preparation for the written test.
Dinner ashore was at the Surf Rider Restaurant at the marina.
At 0900 we departed Taylor's Landing in sunshine, heading north and actually set
sail in a nice 10 knot wind from the NE. We managed to sail until 1130 as
the wind finally died to the point of glossy water. Later in the day winds
picked up to about 5 and we were able to motor sail. At midnight we passed
Point Lookout in Maryland.
Our progress up the bay was good in spite of the lack of wind. Navigation
was checked using LOPs off of lights and traffic was monitored using compass
bearings and radar. As the sun began to rise we found ourselves just west
of Poplar Island in a light fog, which quickly burned away with the sun's rays.
At 1030 we arrived at Annapolis and picked up a mooring. After showers,
naps and more study time, the students seeking certification took their ASA106
written tests and all passed. Our celebratory dinner was ashore at
The last day began with casting off the mooring at 0750. We hoped, in spite of
the forecast, for some wind on the way back to Rock Hall, but it was not to be.
We arrived at the marina and were tied up in the slip at 1400. Our arrival
provided final opportunities for docking, first at the pump-out dock, then at
the fuel dock and finally at the slip. We covered 435 nautical miles for
the week, had no really inclement weather, and experienced a myriad of
navigational and traffic exercises. The students received their diplomas
and left for their homes.
Captain Eric Petterson