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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 10-18-2010
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Hello, I'm new...and what a day yesterday!!!

Good morning everyone,

I've been lurking for a while and have enjoyed reading about all your adventures and have learned so much that I felt it was time to join the conversation. First off, I don't own a boat...yet.

I live in Charlottesville, VA, which doesn't exactly enable easy sailing access. I have two young children (5.5 and 3) and am a single Dad. Needless to say, I don't have too much free time but when I can I crew on my Dad's boat whenever I get the chance. Kinja is docking at HHS. We used to be at Shipwright eight, nine years ago when he had a Beneteau 361. He had to sell it about five years ago and just purchased a Beneteau 46 this summer. I like the new boat. He's still getting used to the boat and how it handles and I every time I am aboard I go into sponge mode and try and learn as much as I can. I'm having a blast!

So, onto the story...we'd been trying to get to Oxford for a couple of weekends but time and the wind have not been on our side. We were hoping to go out on Saturday but from all accounts I heard is was a rough day. I awoke on-board yesterday morning to a nice breeze rustling the tree tops. After a walk down to the beach to get a view of the Bay and after we were fully caffeinated we cast off and set out for Galesville. We knew we couldn't make Oxford and my Dad really wanted to see the West River.

We hoisted the sails in Herring Bay and navigated the crab pot minefield successfully. It wasn't too bad but they were out in force. We managed to find the lines running N-S and ran parallel to them. The wind was at our backs and we made good time. It was so nice in fact that we decided to head for the Bay Bridge as we'd never been under it before.

There were a bunch of boats that appeared to be racing up near the bridge so we just headed to that HUGE container ship that was anchored just south of the bridge and turned around. Wow, those things are just amazingly large.

Once we were heading south we started hauling ass! What fun. My Mom doesn't exactly like it when the boat is healed over but the sailing was so good I just couldn't turn Kinja into the wind. Alas, to calm her down a bit and restore order I backed off a bit and headed for the West River. My Dad wanted to motor in since he had never been before. He's the Capitan so I went to work furling sails.

We took out time heading up the West River and came across another race, Hobie Cats I think. They were flying over the water. All was going well, we were proceeding up the channel from marker to marker but then something went wrong. My Dad was piloting, I was looking for crab pots or just being a tourist when my Mom glanced at the depth finder. "You're in FOUR FEET of wate.......oh sugar honey ice tea!!!" We'd hit the bottom but were able to cut hard to starboard and get back into the channel.

A way too close call for what was already proving to be a stressful journey up river as we didn't exactly know where we were going. We learned a valuable lesson. Go even slower then you think you should when somewhere new and if you have crew, make someone the navigator. We just weren't paying attention. Stupid rookie mistake that shouldn't have happened. We thought we were in the channel but we weren't. We were hugging the #3 Green buoy and should have been heading in a more westerly direction as opposed to a southerly one. Live and learn. No we know channel and we are not likely to make that mistake again.

Given the time we decided to grab a slip at Pirate's Cove for lunch. The wind was still blowing around 16 knots and right into the slip. It took a few tries to get in but we made it. It was a little exciting but we made it in unscathed. Had a wonderful and quick lunch and were back on-board and heading down the West in less then an hour.

My Dad wanted to motor home as the sun was starting to sink and he wanted to get home. It was too nice to motor even if the wind was only four knots in the West. However, the farther downriver we got the more the wind speed increased. I was able to convince him to raise the sails and once we rounded whatever point that is and were in the Bay proper we were ripping upwind at around 6.5 knots. The wind was steady around 12-15 and once I saw 18 for a few minutes. This is when my mother who is usually doesn't stop talking became very quite. Apparently I got so focused on harnessing all the wind I could I was near about putting the rail in the water and loving every second of it. The boat just kept asking for more. I obliged. We were heading out to sea and not getting any closer to home but my Dad and I were just enjoying the breeze while we had it.

My Mom finally spoke up and I realized that it would be best for everyone if I eased off a little. The boat settled down and she released her death grip from the ship's rail. I knew we couldn't keep running with the wind even if it was just one of those perfect moments. We had to go home. We tacked once but just weren't going to make it home before dark with the sails up. I hauled them in once more and we nosed Kinja directly into the wind and headed home.

It was a beautiful cruise back to HHS. The sun was very low on the horizon and just about lit the black water on fire. There was hardly a crap pot in all of Herring Bay. We cruised home without incident and watched the sun sink into the trees. We made it back to the slip just after dusk. Once everything was tidied up we melted into the cockpit and each one of us throughly enjoyed our whiskey and beers as the moon rose above our heads in the calm air of the evening.

We didn't make Oxford but we did have an amazing day on the water. We learned a lot and went somewhere new. It was a wonderful adventure and I can't wait to share the next one with y'all soon.

Cheers and thanks for reading. My name is Sean and my folks are Don and Anne Marie. If you're ever over at HHS please stop by and say hello!

Right, back to work...

Sean
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2010
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Welcome to sailnet! Yall could have reefed the main and used less head sail to be kinder to your Mom and let her get used to just being on the boat and sailing nice and easy.
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2010
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welcome

Now, that was a very nice story and it seems you really have enjoyed your ride on the new boat. It is a new Oceanis 46? The wind was true or apparent?

Regards

Paulo
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Old 10-18-2010
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I agree - yesterday was about the most perfect sailing day I could imagine. We're much farther south in the Chesapeake, though.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Sean, welcome to SN!
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Old 10-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Welcome to sailnet! Yall could have reefed the main and used less head sail to be kinder to your Mom and let her get used to just being on the boat and sailing nice and easy.
Hi Denise,

I would have loved to have done that but it was just easier to turn into the wind a little and slow 'er down. Not to mention we were going the wrong way and I knew I had to change course soon anyway. I spent a lot of yesterday adjusting/tweaking the sails just trying to figure stuff out but don't know all the terminology yet. This will come with time and practice. I'm signing up for a class in April in Deltaville. Also, I wasn't trying to scare her, promise. Just got caught up in moment. She has been out many, many times and she still doesn't like when the boat is healed over. Nevertheless, it's wise to be kind to your Mom.

Ola Paulo,

Yes, it's a new Oceanis 46 but in the States Beneteau dropped the Oceanis moniker for some marketing reason. I'm still trying to figure out the whole true/apparent wind thing. I'm just not sure. The wind was pretty steady all day out of the WSW around 10-15 so I'm guessing it was true but since we were going into the wind it could have been apparent. I need to study this a whole lot more.

All I know is that we were going fast and there was a lot of wind in my face.

Hi Eryka, Thanks. Glad to be here!

Hi Bill, Just read your post from yesterday. I couldn't agree more. I just didn't want to put the sails away. Glad you had such a great day.

Sean
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Last edited by Skidhbladhnir; 10-18-2010 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidhbladhnir View Post

Yes, it's a new Oceanis 46 but in the States Beneteau dropped the Oceanis moniker for some marketing reason. I'm still trying to figure out the whole true/apparent wind thing. I'm just not sure. The wind was pretty steady all day out of the WSW around 10-15 so I'm guessing it was true but since we were going into the wind it could have been apparent. I need to study this a whole lot more.

All I know is that we were going fast and there was a lot of wind in my face.

Sean
No, I believe it was real wind (that means that if you went close to the wind doing 6.5k with 18K of true wind you would have about 23K of apparent wind). I believe Beneteaus come with Raymarine. On the wind instrument you have several buttons. One of them just alternates between real and apparent wind.

Congratulations for the new boat. I bet your mother had a word in the choice . The 46 has a great interior design. My wife likes it a lot

I was asking about the speed because new Benes, with large transoms are designed to obtain the best performance with little heel. With 23K of apparent wind (that's the one that matters) you would be faster and less stressful with a reef on the main. I believe that boat should take the first reef at around 20 K wind. The boat can stand full sail with more wind, but that is not just the right thing to do.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 10-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
No, I believe it was real wind (that means that if you went close to the wind doing 6.5k with 18K of true wind you would have about 23K of apparent wind). I believe Beneteaus come with Raymarine. On the wind instrument you have several buttons. One of them just alternates between real and apparent wind.

Congratulations for the new boat. I bet your mother had a word in the choice . The 46 has a great interior design. My wife likes it a lot

I was asking about the speed because new Benes, with large transoms are designed to obtain the best performance with little heel. With 23K of apparent wind (that's the one that matters) you would be faster and less stressful with a reef on the main. I believe that boat should take the first reef at around 20 K wind. The boat can stand full sail with more wind, but that is not just the right thing to do.

Regards

Paulo
Hi Paulo,

The boat does have the Raymarine gauge which switches between True and Apparent I'm just not sure which it was set to.

This is a great discussion because I'm learning new things about the boat and sailing technique. So, would that be 20 K of true or apparent? And why is reefing the main the right thing to do? Both from a performance and safety standpoint?

Thanks,

Sean
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Old 10-18-2010
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Hey skid - welcome to SN dude. You sound like you've been bit!

Great story. Oh, and your mom will get used to it. Heh-heh.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Hey skid - welcome to SN dude. You sound like you've been bit!

Great story. Oh, and your mom will get used to it. Heh-heh.
Thanks Smackdaddy. I've been seriously bit. Trying to figure out how I can get my kids sailing on the little lakes close to home. We don't have any sailing clubs around.
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