2008 Chesapeake Bay Cruise

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Course: ASA 104 Intermediate Coastal Cruising 
Date: July 2-9, 2008 
Vessel: IP-32 ACADAME
Students: Barry and Louise Kearns, Bruce Harrison
Captain: Eric Petterson

July 1, 2008 – Tuesday:  Captain Eric Petterson arrived at the school at 1200 to finalize preparations for the class.  At 1330 students Barry and Louise Kearns arrived to take their ASA101 challenge tests.  Their tests successfully completed, everyone moved on board IP-32 ACADAME at 1630.  Bruce Harrison, the third student arrived at 1730 and everyone left for a great local dinner at Waterman’s.  The fourth student, Susan Darrell, arrived as planned at 2100.  We had a brief discussion of the coming week’s activities before everyone turned in for the night. 

July 2, 2008 – Wednesday:  First thing in the morning, a brief review of the ship’s stores was made, and everyone left for breakfast at the Rock Hall Snack Bar.  At breakfast the students planned the week's menu of meals and put together a shopping list.  We then left to complete the shopping for provisions, as well as quick stops at Walgreens and West Marine for last minute purchases.  After everything was stowed away on the boat, a thorough review of ship’s systems, stowage, instruments and rigging was conducted, followed by completion of the navigation for the day’s passage.  Lastly lessons were given on maneuvering under power and anchoring.  At 1445 ACADAME pulled out of her slip, followed by practice power maneuvers and docking, before leaving Lankford Bay Marina for an anchorage 5 nautical miles away in the Corsica River.  The anchor was down and set at 1715. 

July 3, 2008 – Thursday:  After breakfast lessons were held on points of sail, sail trim, rules of the road and MOB.  After planning the day’s navigation, the anchor was raised at 1015 and we motored and sailed out to the Chester River.  In winds of 5-10 from the southwest, we held sailing exercises on all the points of sail, setting a preventer, heave-to, and MOB.  After completion of these exercises we sailed back to Lankford Bay Marina for a pump-out, and then motored a couple of miles farther up Langford Creek to an anchorage off Lovely Bay.  Anchor was down and set at 1700.  After dinner students planned the next day’s navigation, as would be done for the remainder of the class. 

July 4, 2008 – Friday:  Raised anchor at 0735 and motored down Langford Creek.  Set sail in the Chester River, sailing wing-on-wing in a light wind of 4 knots from the north.  Sailed on to a point near Kent Narrows when the wind finally dropped even further.  From this point we motorsailed on to Swan Creek where we dropped anchor at 1430.  Here we discussed the day’s sail, held lessons on VHF procedures, and practiced knots as required for ASA101, 103 and 104.  

July 5, 2008 – Saturday:  After lessons on rafting, dinghy operations, and anchoring with two anchors, we picked up our single anchor at 0930 and drove to the pump-out dock at Haven Harbour.  Later, we motored out of Swan Creek and set sail across the Chesapeake to the Magothy River in light winds of less than 4 knots from the north as well as light sprinkles.  The anchor was down on the north end of Gibson Island across from a picturesque horse farm at 1420.  This afternoon was spent reviewing ASA103 knowledge skills with the students, after which they studied the ASA texts.  In the evening we were treated to a spectacle of a private fireworks display, put on by the owners of the horse farm for a private Independence Day party.  We felt extremely privileged, along with the other boats in the anchorage, to have a front row seat to such a first class display. 

July 6, 2008 – Sunday:  First thing in the morning everyone was ready to take their ASA103 written tests, and all passed.  After that we took the covers off the engine and had lessons on diesel engine operation and maintenance.  After lessons on picking up a mooring, the anchor was raised at 1130.  We then set sail in southeast winds of 4-8 for a delightful sail to Annapolis.  In Annapolis harbor, we first stopped for a pump out and water before tying off on a mooring at 1630.  Here we caught the water taxi to town for a dinner ashore at Pusser’s. 

July 7, 2008 – Monday:  In the morning we held an ASA104 knowledge skills review and study session.  Also lessons were held on weather radio information and light lists.  At 1115 the dropped off the mooring for another great sail in south winds of 10-15.  This was a day of close-hauled sailing for the southerly trip past historic Thomas Point Light to the Rhode River.  We arrived and had the anchor down at 1530 just off Big Island and the pristine woods of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.  Students spent the afternoon reviewing lessons. 

July 8, 2008 – Tuesday:  As before, students took their ASA written tests first thing in the morning and all passed for their certifications.  At 0920 we raised anchor and set sail to St. Michaels in southwest 5-10, sailing across the bay, past Bloody Point, and up the Eastern Bay before turning south down the Miles River.  We arrived at our slip in St. Michaels Marina at 1520.  After a short time for sightseeing, a celebratory dinner was enjoyed at Town Dock Café. 

July 9, 2008 – Wednesday:  Pulled out of the slip at 0635 and motored northwards to Kent Narrows in hazy skies and virtually no wind.  The navigator had timed our arrival at the narrows perfectly to meet the 30 minute opening schedule of the drawbridge and to arrive just before high tide.  However as we approached we found the bridge stuck half-open due to a sailboat that had hit the bridge in the fast current.  We slowed down to bare steerage to stay well away from the bridge and ensure that we didn’t join the boat already in a jam.  Our wait was not too long as a helpful waterman managed to pull the boat free and the bridge operator allowed us to go through well ahead of the next scheduled opening so that we wouldn’t have to hold station in the current off the bridge.  We arrived back at Lankford Bay Marina at 1130, after pumping out and filling the diesel tank.  Students packed and departed at 1330. 

Captain Eric Petterson
Aboard IP-32 ACADAME

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