2007 Chesapeake Bay Cruise

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Course: ASA 104 Intermediate Coastal Cruising 
Date: October 5-9, 2007
Vessel: IP-32 MOXIE
Students: Forrest Mahon, Dan Barry, Jim Spilbor
Captain: Steve Runals

Oct 4, Thursday
At 1330 Captain Steve Runals boarded IP-32 MOXIE and stowed his personal gear and later completed a review of the boat’s equipment and systems with Maintenance Manager Tom Fulton. By 1600 Dan Barry and Jim Spilbor had arrived and stowed their gear; Forrest would not arrive till the next day.  After stowing gear, we discussed class objectives and developed a tentative cruise itinerary for the week.  Jim then headed off to spend night with his mother who lived in local area and Dan and I headed into town for dinner. 

Oct 5, Friday
Dan and I met Jim for a traditional Rock Hall breakfast at the Rock Hall Snack Bar.  We then headed back to boat to await Forrest’s arrival and begin work on a cruise menu.  Forrest arrived at 0900 and after stowing his gear, we reviewed course objectives, conducted a stem-to-stern inspection of boat, its systems, lockers and rigging followed by a review of navigation charts and plotting.  After finalizing our cruise plan, we completed our provision list and headed to Bayside Foods for provisions. Returning to the boat and stowing the provisions and having lunch, we conducted lessons on maneuvering under power and practiced a variety of docking and mooring drills while towing the dingy.  By 1530 we departed the Marina for an anchorage on the Corsica River.  The forecast light winds proved a reality allowing limited sailing but a chance to raise and trim the sails, work on in route navigations skills and review anchoring.   At anchor by 1700 and dinner cooked, eaten and cleaned up before the heading to bed under a blanket of fog.  Prior to turning in, Dan completed the navigation planning for the next day’s passage to Wye East River.

Oct 6, Saturday
After an easy breakfast and boat system checks, which included cleaning the knot meter, weighed anchor and underway by 0830 for Kent Island Narrows and Wye East River.  Confirmed the bilge pump worked.  Forrest preformed as Captain, Dan as Navigator and Jim as Boatswain.  Fog and haze made keeping an accurate plot of position both a challenge and essential to make a 1030 bridge opening at the Narrows.  Crew preformed well, taking fixes and confirming their position by GPS – all were very close - while motor sailing down the Chester River.  Arrived that the Kent Island Narrows bridge, just missing the 1030 opening but had the opportunity to practice holding station against the flooding tide.  Passage thru the bridge was delayed because a northbound 40 ft sailboat had underestimated the speed of the flooding current and timing of the bridge opening and had been pinned against the bridge abutment getting its rigging caught in the bridge lighting.  

Once through the bridge, the trip down Eastern Bay provided multiple opportunities to practice right-of-way for both power and sail with the crowd of boats head to St Michaels.  The light and variable wind did fill in for a short time allowing the crew to raise sail, practice tacking and jibing and conducting MOB exercises.  The light wind gave way to no wind so we motored up the Wye East River to an anchorage in Quarter Cove by 1530.   Dan, Jim and I used the dingy at various times to explore the area and take pictures.  We had the opportunity to closely observe rafting up when three large sailboats decided our anchorage was the place to be.  After an excellent dinner prepared by Forrest, Dan, a professional part time singer and guitar player, provided some unexpected entertainment. The students spent the rest of the evening studying for the ASA104 course material.

Oct 7, Sunday
Awakening to the sounds of hundreds of geese, the Captain prepared a breakfast of omelets, toast and corn beef hash. The students then took and passed the 104 test without problem. Light wind again resulted in motor sailing the 9 miles to St Michaels.  Dan did a great job docking the boat while the remainder of the crew controlled the dingy and set up dock lines.  Tied up at the Maritime Museum by 1330.  This was the first time at St Michaels for several of the crew so the remainder of the afternoon was spent taking showers, exploring the museum and area, and some minor provisioning.  After an excellent dinner at the Crab Claw, the crew spent the night enjoying the area and planning the next day’s trip to Annapolis.  

Oct 8, Monday
After a pancake breakfast, we motored over to St Michaels Marina for pump out and topping off the water.  By 0900 we were on our way to Annapolis.  Light winds with sometimes heavy fog and haze made for a long motor sail down Eastern Bay and across the Chesapeake Bay.  It again emphasized the need for accurate position keeping and provided multiple opportunities to take and plot fixes using a hand bearing compass.  We also had the opportunity to introduce the students to some advanced navigation using radar.  Once we arrived in the vicinity of the Thomas Pt Light, the wind finally picked up to around 10-12 knots providing an opportunity to practice reefing and heaving too. 

Sailed into the crowed Annapolis Harbor under sail, dropped sails and picking up one of the very few empty moorings by 1600.  Taking advantage of Monday being the last day of the Boat Show, we were able to pick up a mooring right at the head of Ego Alley.  After securing the boat, all went ashore to catch the last hour of the Boat Show.  Later all returned to the boat for a front row seat watching the choreographed breakdown of the Sail Boat and set up of the Power Boat shows, a very impressive parade of boats right past our bow.  After a great pasta meal prepared by Dan, several of the crew dingied ashore to walk around town.  

Oct 9, Tuesday
After completing boat and systems check, departed Annapolis under power with the early morning sun at 0700.  Another light to no wind day made for long motor under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and up the Chester River.  Forrest prepared a great omelet breakfast underway. Jim kept an accurate plot of our position, allowing us to arrive back at Langford Bay Marina as planned by 1300.  Forrest docked us at the pump out, Dan brought us around to the fuel dock and Jim had us back in the slip by 1330.  Boat clean up and course review followed the crew’s determining fuel consumption at 7 0.45 GPH based on engine hours for the 90 mile trip.  All agreed that, despite the lack of wind and record breaking heat, the course had accomplished and exceeded all expectations, wetting  appetites for more. 

Captain Steve Runals
aboard IP-32 MOXIE
Lankford Bay Marina
Oct 10, 2007


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