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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 02-16-2010
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Post Bay Stories Told Here

Hello everyone! Snow, snow, and more snow!! I'm sure everyone is experiencing the winter funk right now. In order to remedy that, I thought it would be fun to hear about some of your favorite sailing memories on the Chesapeake Bay...

Great day of sailing, sunsets, special times, good eats, fun moments... Let it fly!
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Old 02-20-2010
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I put in at Sandy Point park on Columbus day. Perfect weather as far as I'm concerned. 60 degrees and overcast (no glare) Winds were a little light and the tide wasn't in my favor but the chop was minimal and the little 17 footer did just fine. I sailed under the bay bridge, watching the big boats leave the Annapolis boat show which had ended the day before. Unforunately most of the biggest ones were only motoring. Stopped for lunch and had to motorsail much of the way back to get back to the ramp before dark. Tide was against me both ways. Still a great day! And being a "new" sailor I enjoyed using the GPS speed reading to get the best possible trim out of sails that are probably older than I am.

Late afternoon I had my buddy doing watch while I slid the port cockpit cushion back. Took a little break using the cushion-covered outboard as a back/head rest, right hand resting on the tiller, left hand hanging over the side, feet up.... smiling up at the sails and warm sun trickling through the thin cloud cover. That was nice.
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Old 02-21-2010
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Nice!

Sealover - Thanks for the post. Too bad the bigger boats were only motoring... That would have been awesome to see! I've moved permanently to the DC area and will be looking forward to enjoying the Chesapeake Bay in a few more months. This season will mark the first time on the Bay for sailing. So, the username is kind of misleading... That's why I started the post! More fuel for the day dreams for myself and others...

In order to share, my best memory of sailing in general was down in Central America. We were coming back from a day sail and entered the Bay of Panama kind of late. Panama City and the nearly full moon made a great backdrop as we made a run through the bay. The land breeze was blowing steady and the Bene was going steady at around 5 knots. The Captain was sipping a cold beer and flirting with some of the female guests. This left me at the helm and happy as a clam...

Last edited by BayWindRider; 02-21-2010 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 02-22-2010
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I don't know why this hasn't gotten more of a response but I suspect it has to do with trying to recover from a lost week due to digging out. At any rate here is my belated submission.

Labor Day weekend we joined several other boats from our marina in Deltaville for a cruise down to Mobjack Bay, continuing the next day day to York River Yacht Haven before turning to head back north. The day of departure winds were out of the NW and had been blowing 20 knots or better for a few days so there was a typical Chesapeake Chop and we'd be sailing a deep reach to DDW. Several boats opted to remain at the dock but 6 more intrepid crews headed out, many, like ourselves, running near hull speed under headsail alone, for a rather "animated" ride. We ran along making good time down the western shore past Wolf Trap and finally down to New Point Comfort where we turned west to a nice beam reach then motoring the last few miles as the winds abandoned us. After an enjoyable night on the hook we awoke to a dead calm and forecast for fluky winds out of the south, right on the nose. We motored on down to the York River to our reserved slip at York River Yacht Haven, where we enjoyed a swim in the pool and shared libations with friends prior to a wonderful meal and comraderie with the rest of our group.

The next morning was one of those days you don't forget. The winds were a steady 18 knots from the E/NE as we exited YRYH and set sail on a port tack, sailing straight out of the York River and keeping out heading until about mid bay before tacking to starboard to head towards home. That was the only tack we made that day. The wind hardly varied for many hours as we sailed on a close reach, again past Wolf Trap, again at hull speed or slightly less, relaxing in the cockpit, reading, enjoying snacks and generally just relaxing. We had considered finding a cove and anchoring out again, but with a forecast of rain the following day, decided to press on. As we neared home, the winds began to clock as if we commanded the shift and we headed up the Rappahannock. The shift allowing us to sail all the way up to the No. 1 mark at the entrance to our creek, sailing on starboard the entire way with just the one tack early in the morning. It was a great ending to a great long weekend trip.
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Old 02-22-2010
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Trying to decide: was it the misty silvery sunrise one day when I went along on one of Dan's training cruises with the Naval Academy? Or maybe a crisp October with a rainbow of colored leaves along the shores of Mill Creek? I suspect my "best" hasn't happened yet ... but high on the list is likely to be the moment I sight Annapolis as we're coming home from our 8-month trip away this winter.

Jon, welcome to the Chesapeake!
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Old 02-22-2010
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"set it and forget it" the whole way home! And without the smell and noise of an engine. I love it.
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Old 02-22-2010
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My alltime best, wasn't in the Chesapeake (yet!!!) but in the N. Atlantic, nighttime magic, we were being escorted by a couple of dolphins and every time they jumped they were completely covered in green phophorescence.
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Old 02-22-2010
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We all take some calculated risks now and then. This was just a nice night sail I did with some friends out of the Rhode River and crossing 'the Bay'.
I was to join 3 old high school sailing buddies on a friends Endeavor 32' for a sail on the Chessy last Friday (7/10/09). The only problem was that the diesel engine was not working but with a crew of 4 experienced sailors we were determined to do it the old fashioned way - with canvas and wind only.
After provisioning the boat we finally began wrestling the boat out of it's slip around 9 PM in a southerly breeze which was not a helpful direction for getting out. A line was used to help pull the bow into the wind and we set sail in the narrow creek of the Rhode River trying to tack out towards the bay. We found the bottom fairly quickly and quickly got off again.
The full moon this July was on the 7th so since this was the 10th the moon rose around 9:30 PM as we reached the open waters of the Bay. We were ostensibly headed for St. Michael's so we sailed east across some bouncy waves under a rising waning moon. The temperature was perfect and the wind was quite willing to push us along but it began to get late and my other 3 companions began to sneak away from the cockpit, one at a time, to grab some shut eye.
I was using my GPS to get our coordinates and plot them on the charts we had. This was the not the only way we could find our position on the chart but it was the easiest way as it was fairly dark in spite of the nearly full moon.
By the time it started getting light towards the east we were dropping the hook near the mouth of the Wye River. I snoozed in the cockpit until nearly noon before we got back under way again.
The wx forecast was sounding a bit ominous and they did get some hail and bad storms around Philly but all we got was some 20 - 25 knot southerly winds as we pounded back over the Bay. We thought we would anchor in the Rhode River for the night just in case things got nasty, we would be close to our slip.
I have to admit that I was a bit exhausted from staying up for nearly 21 hours so I let the other guys wrestle with the wheel as we pounded over the waves. The hail, rain and thunderstorms predicted by the wx failed to materialize and we spent a pleasant night on the hook.
The next afternoon we were able to sail perfectly back into our slip in light airs.
True to form, we debugged the engine after getting back from our excursion and the fresh water cooling pump was shot at the bearings. That will have to be replaced before the I-ron genny will work on this boat again.
Sailing at night with the moon up is a sheer joy. Sailing at night without a working engine on a 32' boat was a challenge that we met and happily enjoyed. Lot's to enjoy on the Chessy.
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Old 02-22-2010
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Thumbs up Great posts~~

Midlife - It's funny how camaraderie and sailing go hand in hand. That ranks high on my list as far as why I love sailing. I seem to meet so many full-time cruisers that always enjoyed having people over for dinner. You never felt like a guest, but a part of an extended family. Great post by the way!

Eryka - Thanks for the welcome... I hope you're enjoying yourself down in the Bahamas. Sip some libations for the guys up north!! Also, I love the comment about the dolphins... It must have been a beautiful thing to see!

CalebD- Was this the same trip that you talked about in the FC? Where you had to momentarily jump into the water... Hilarious!! Really though, nice sailing! My instructor for ASA 101 told me he crewed a boat for six months without an engine. He said it was a great learning experience, but being caught in the doldrums was horrible. When he mentioned sitting for days without air, it reminded me of the scene from Master and Commander...
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Old 01-18-2011
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Thumbs up 2010 Sailing Season

Did anyone have any notable stories from the summer of 2010? I ended up getting deployed to Afghanistan this past summer so my sailing time was obviously cut short. I did have a number of great sailing books to read though via the advice given in this forum.

I would be interested in hearing some stories, notable adventures, or any experience you're willing to share about last the last sailing season.
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