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    The Crew
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    At the Helm

    Course:   ASA#104
    Dates:     June 17-21, 2000
    Students: Dan Crane, Ron Rosen, Yvonne Reutlinger, and Jim Reutlinger
    Vessel:    IP32, SCHOLARSHIP
    CaptainTerry C. Griggs
    Destinations: Dividing Creek on the Wye River, Annapolis town dock, Corsica River off the Chester River, and Fairlee Creek

    Anchored at: Dividing Creek and Corsica River
    Students opted for 110v elec. for air-conditioning for two nights.

    Weather Conditions experienced included rain, severe storms with lightning, high winds of 25+ knots, as well as periods of no wind, with lots of high temperatures and sunshine. 

    Day 1  After I learned the sailing experience of the students and what they presently sail, we reviewed docking techniques and found two students were very experienced in these methods. The other two had not taken the ASA #101 and #103 courses and had little outside experience. We talked about suggested destinations and thus determined what provisions were needed. I handed out water saving and provisioning tips from Cruising World magazine. After provisioning the boat, we checked out the engine and safety items.

    We left the slip at approximately 1330 hrs. and practiced docking, with emphasis on the two students not experienced in docking. We sailed and motored to Dividing Creek during a major thunder, rain, and lightning storm. We paused at Kent Narrows to allow the weather front to pass before continuing on. We discussed weather, lightning, cone of protection, and electrical grounding of boats.

    I had one student call and speak with the Kent Narrows Bridge tender and reviewed important VHF channels on which to scan, listen and talk.  I discussed handling techniques while in a heavy current, which was occurring. We anchored after going through the process with all hands, and I explained how they could determine why they would anchor in this or other locations. 

    Day 2  In the morning, we discussed docking tests with much participation. We pulled anchor and sailed and then motored to Annapolis in some good winds, which later died. When we came across freighter traffic, we reviewed Navigation Rules as to why certain vessels have rights of way. After review, students participated in fixes, running fixes, dead reckoning, the buoy system, etc. One student was "marking" fixes with his GPS. Two students had taken and passed the 105 course, so I spent a good bit of time with the two who had not taken any ASA courses. In addition, one student was very good at teaching navigation, so I allowed him to work on the other two, with me looking over his shoulder and confirming his input.

    Students set up danger bearings, bearings on destinations, 60D=ST problems, times of arrival at buoys, and so on. We talked about wind and current effects. Students had concerns regarding docking bow in, as they had never done it, and as they were well versed on astern docking, I allowed bow first docking into the Town Dock slips. We toured the town, took showers, and enjoyed the air conditioning. The students reviewed test data and topics as listed in the ASA log. In addition, they reviewed questions from the Cruising Fundamentals guidebook.

    Day 3   In the morning, I took covers off the engine and reviewed and checked components with the students, i.e.: primer pump; filters; strainers; oil and transmission levels; log shaft; etc. I reviewed what to do to solve engine problems.

    We left at noon and sailed or motored to Corsica River, with much tacking as winds and current were heavy and kept us from progressing in direction needed. As usual, we had a good sail going into the Chester River. We again reviewed range markers, running fixes, buoy system and the problems with heavy current and winds. On the way, I asked students to find certain entrances to rivers on the Bay. 

    We anchored well back in the Corsica, and spent time reviewing again, including ASA log contents, Cruising Fundamentals, and the Reeds books. Since these students were very well versed in sailing and the 104 data and information, I expanded questions from the next class. Students took their tests the next morning and all had grades in the 90ís. We reviewed answers to missed questions and why they may have answered in the manner they did. The only lack of experience in these students appears to be the handling of larger boats. We discussed our next destination and determined that Great Oak Landing would permit air-conditioning; they wanted to be "cool" after a very hot day. 

    Day 4  We sailed to Fairlee Creek, again reviewing range lights and lateral aids, i.e.: clam lines, and possibilities of shoal or shallow waters. We checked out the entrance to Fairlee Creek and related areas on the charts and discussed methods of countering the heavy currents and close channel markers into the creek. After talking on VHF with the gas dock, we tied up at the bulkhead. We discussed lighting of boats and the buoy system on the bay at night. As this was a very experienced group, I decided to take boat out into the bay at night to show how they can determine their positions on the bay by the methods of flashes, colors, red sectors, and so on. We saw several types of boats, so they tried to determine the type, and what the vessels were doing, such as tows, freighters, dredges, and powerboats. This was a great educational experience, they thought. 

    Day 5  We encountered very high winds and initially much fog and haze to start back to home base and so we discussed possible fog solution problems, types of fog, etc. After setting sail, we tried to progress down bay under about 25 knots of winds and 3 foot seas. In two hours, we had progressed 1 mile by course made good and, therefore, chose to motor-sail. This was done after starting out with a deep reef and then adjusting systematically by putting up more sail a little at a time. We reviewed techniques of motoring in "heavy" seas, (relatively speaking), how the winds, current should be handled in relation to crab pots, buoys, and other boats, and how the jib helps to hold the bow down as opposed to flying over the waves. The students parallel docked at Haven Harbor to take on fuel and to pump out. We went over alternatives to docking with different wind conditions. We talked about pollution fines from fuel spillage. After using spring lines to pull out, we pulled into home slip in one pass, which I thought was very good for the conditions. I saved this docking maneuver for the most experienced of the group, so it worked well. We unloaded, cleaned the boat and took graduation pictures.

    All during the cruise, students practiced tying various required knots, as well as using them at the docks where we tied up. One student was well versed in knots, so he also taught various methods of tying the same knot. The students were constantly doing chart work each day, taking turns at the helm and experiencing all the different sailing conditions, including currents against; current with the direction of the boat; all points of sail; and different wind conditions.

    This group was probably the most experienced that I have taught in the last two years and, in turn, made for a most enjoyable cruise for me, as captain and instructor.

    Captain Terry C. Griggs
    aboard S/V SCHOLARSHIP
    Rock Hall, Maryland
    June 21, 2000 

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