2007 Chesapeake Bay Cruise
Schedule of Courses
Ocean Training Cruises
Sunday, October 21
After completing those tasks we
had dinner at Waterman's Restaurant and discussed the overall voyage plans.
Returning to the boat, we checked weather forecasts, which predicted south
winds building to 20 knots during the day for our first day of southbound
travel! This was forecast to be followed on the second day by 25 knots,
still from the south! An early start was agreed upon for the first day of
the cruise to allow for the maximum travel southwards before the higher winds
Monday, October 22
By the time we arrived at Eastern
Bay and turned to the southwest, the winds had increased to around 15 the
crew set sail for the first time enjoying a very pleasant sail.
Finally as we entered the main body of the Chesapeake winds had increased to
over 20 knots with waves of around 3 feet, making our remaining sail to
Knapps Narrows a robust adventure. Upon entering Knapps Narrows the sails
were lowered and we motored through the second drawbridge of the day, leaving
the narrows just in time for a beautiful sunset as we continued to Dun Cove for
the night. The anchor was down and set at 1900, just as darkness was
settling in. It was a long but good day, logging 40 nautical miles.
Tuesday, October 23
Finally we made our way into Back
Creek at Solomons Island, MD and tied up at Spring Cove Marina at 1815
just as the sun was setting. Another great day of experiences, covering
the 29 nautical miles of planned passage by logging 47 actual miles due to the
closehauled tacking. Weather forecasts for the next day promised strong
winds and afternoon rain behind the passage of a cold front, so we planned for
another early start for the Great Wicomico River in Virginia.
Wednesday, October 24
Just as we began approaching the
entrance to the Great Wicomico River the light rain turned into very heavy rain, testing
the navigator's plans as we entered in limited visibility.
After a safe entrance due to well done navigational plans, the anchor
was down and set behind Sandy Point in the river at 1555. Total miles
for the day were 41. After resting and drying out, lessons were held on
overall ASA104 knowledge skills as outlined in the ASA log book.
Thursday, October 25
For another experience it was
decided to sail under genoa alone for the run southward in the north wind.
This worked quite well in the intermittent rain and the winds, which were
actually nearer to 30 knots. Seas built to 3-6 feet providing an
experience in higher seas and challenging the navigators skills at obtaining
sighting LOPs in these conditions. The anchor was down and set at
1430 in a well protected and relatively peaceful anchorage in Fishing Bay
off the Piankatank River after a 25 mile day. The students spent the
afternoon studying and then took their ASA104 tests. . .and everyone passed!
Friday, October 26
The day's mileage was the longest
day yet at 49 miles, bringing the total cruise mileage to 202 for the five days.
After warm showers and in clean dry clothes, Captain and crew had a
celebratory dinner at the marina's Surf Rider Restaurant. As the week was
discussed and "relived" the students agreed it had been a great
experience, and made them more confident about handling adverse
conditions on their own. It was a successful "school".
Captain Eric Petterson