Schedule of Courses
Ocean Training Cruises
Destinations: the Wye River, Dividing Creek; St. Michaels, MD (Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum); South River, Harness Creek; Annapolis, MD, Town Dock, (Ego Alley); and the Corsica River.
Weather conditions were rain, cold, high and low winds, and one hour of a peeping sun!
Note: June and Preben Wulff purchased an IP-40 and contacted the Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship for training in a private program. We developed a plan for them to take ASA courses #101 and #103 aboard the School's boats and then take our classroom course, Coastal Navigation. Next, they took this course, ASA #104, aboard their own boat. They also plan to take ASA course #106 around the Delmarva Peninsula in the summer of 2000.
Day 1 As captain, I reviewed with June and Preben their sailing experience and what they intended to learn in this course. I shared provisioning and water saving tips collected from issues of "Cruising World." They had much of the provisioning finished and we agreed on menus. After discussing techniques of docking, we practiced stern docking with each student making three runs at the slip. (Note: A 12' dinghy was attached to the stern, increasing the length of the boat by about 5' and also the width considerably). Then we motored to Kent Narrows, using VHF to contact the bridge tender, and I explained proper use of VHF channels 13, 16, 22, and 09. They experienced the steerage effects of current going in the same direction as the boat. We motored to the Wye River, entering waypoints into their new Garmin 12 GPS. I showed them how to use some of its features, such as "go-to" and "m.o.b."
Following a review of anchoring techniques, we anchored in Dividing Creek, with June at the helm and Preben at anchor. We discussed various situations, such as heat, no wind, bugs, current, and wind direction, in which they would want to choose more desirable locations for anchoring. Later, the wind picked up, so we let out more anchor rode and I explained various methods of holding in heavy blows and in different bottom types.
Day 2 After breakfast, we again discussed docking, propeller wash and walk, and used the questions in the docking procedure handbook. Prior to weighing anchor, we reviewed techniques for getting underway and the responsibilities of each person in the process. We motored towards St. Michaels, going over chart work, including fixes, running fixes, and dead reckoning. We contacted the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on the VHF, requesting a slip and the opportunity to practice docking. The wind had built to 17-20 mph, so, naturally, we had to attempt stern docking several times, which was a perfect application to experience.
We toured the museum and the town, and ate at the Crab Claw Restaurant. We pumped out at the museum facility, which required reverse bulkhead docking (with starboard side to) due to wind. Heading for the South River, we experienced several points of sail, up the Miles River, down Eastern Bay and across the Chesapeake. The heeling was too severe for June, so I described methods of letting out the main and pinching to help her level out the boat and reviewed rounding up, reefing, and following seas. We took bearings of buoys and landmarks, and determined currents, effects and corrections of headings. Since several freighters were in our path, I took this opportunity to go through the rules of the road, estimating a ship's speed, stopping distances, wake, and their constrained drafts and restricted ability to maneuver. We anchored in Harness Creek off the South River, with June dropping anchor and Preben at the helm.
Day 3 After going over engine components, filters and primer pump, I explained emergency methods for shutting off fuel if a runaway engine occurs. I showed the correct dripping of water through the shaft log, which I had checked several times during periods of motoring. Next, the students took the docking test, and we reviewed the answers with quite a bit of interest by both participants. We discussed the docking techniques we would use at Fawcett's and what we could expect to see, i.e. traffic and amateur boaters, as we enter Ego Alley. As we motored to Annapolis, we took bearings and laid out courses to arrive at the Severn River entrance spider. When successfully tied up at Fawcett's, we checked in at the store. That evening, after dinner at Maria's and a short tour of the town, the students started taking the ASA#104 test, completing about half of it.
Day 4 After finishing their tests, we prepared for departure in wind and hard rain. We motored to approximately ½ mile beyond the Severn entrance spider and set sail. It was a close haul, so it was necessary to tack several times before making the Bay Bridge. They reviewed channel markings and range lights and correctly located the center of the channel and each took turns in handling lines and the helm. Our intentions were to sail to Fairlee Creek, but I suggested we tack up the Chester River to the Corsica River. We altered course and started using "go-to" waypoints we had previously entered in the GPS. They experienced great tacking conditions up to the Corsica. We checked our charts for buoy locations and marked new waypoints. For several days, we had been comparing the GPS to the compass headings to establish a deviation chart for possible use later.
Day 5 Following breakfast, we sailed back down the Chester River under various points of sail. We discussed areas in which the students felt they needed more practice and experience. June handled the docking at Haven Harbor for fuel and pump out and took the helm upon leaving. We entered Osprey Point marina and reviewed the most practical method of docking in their slip. Due to heavy winds, we ended up almost springing around into their slip. Finally, I showed them several knots, and after they practiced these knots, June and Preben came to the Maryland School office where we took graduation pictures. They are quite serious in learning all they can about sailing, and I would expect to see WULFF DEN on the Bay quite often.
Captain Terry C. Griggs