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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Crew Wanted/Available
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2011
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Willyd,

Not to distract from your quest for qualified crew, but I'm interested in why you want to head up the James river as opposed to heading up the York or spending some time in the rivers around Mobjack Bay, both of which are more scenic.

Chris
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  #12  
Old 03-14-2011
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I wanted to do the James since I'd like to see some of the plantations from the water and explore those squiggly areas upstream from Hopewell.

The York river looks very straight and full of shoals. Have you cruised up the York? How was it?

I'd also like to hear from anyone that's sailed straight down the bay in May. The wind data I've found shows very predominant southerly winds, which sounds like a lot of beating into wind and waves while going south. Has this been anyone's experience?
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  #13  
Old 03-15-2011
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Well, to me, the York is a prettier river. But if it's plantations you are after, then by all means check out the James. The James is much wider, but still has a fairly narrow navigable channel with a lot of tug and barge traffic to watch out for. You will have to be careful approaching close to shore in many areas due to shoals and fish traps. Don't let me scare you off of it though, there is a lot to see.

We spent last Labor Day weekend anchored off of Chippokes State Park, which is located in the bend just opposite Jamestown. It's an old plantation that has been turned into a park. Anchoring is free, and you can use the campground showers. They do tours of the old plantation house and that sort of thing.

Smithfield is also nice. It is located up the Pagan River, which branches off of the James just past the James River Bridge. The Pagan has a narrow twisty channel with a lot of current on the tide changes, so it provides a little adventure. The old town is good for a day of walking and sightseeing. The do a lot of music festivals and stuff there too, so check the events calendar for the days you'll be in the area to see if anything looks good to you. You can anchor in the river off of the marina and use the marina dinghy dock and showers for a small fee if you don't want to stay in the marina proper. Just be aware of the current, it really rips through there on the tide changes.

For the high rollers, you can stay in the marina at Kingsmill in Williamsburg. We've never stayed there, but have been told that it is very nice with access to all the amenities at Kingsmill plus hourly buses running to Busch Gardens.

Although much diminished from its heyday, the Ghost Fleet is still there in the James and is fun to sail past.

Have fun and let me know if you have any specific questions for me. Happy to help. I almost never find anybody on the forums coming down to the lower bay unless they are passing through Norfolk to the ICW, so it's good to have somebody coming down just to check it out.

Best regards,

Chris
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  #14  
Old 03-15-2011
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Thanks, I appreciate the information. I've tried a couple of times to google information on cruising up the James, and come up with little. One neat find, though, was the 1913 Coast Pilot which has really helpful stuff for sailboats heading up the river: United States coast pilot: Atlantic ... - Google Books
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Old 03-15-2011
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Thanks for the link, that's cool to see what has changed and what has stayed the same in the last 100 years. Even back then the Pagan river channel was narrow and crooked!

Jamestown Island is as far up the river as we have ever ventured, so I don't have any first hand information beyond that. I would like to make the trip all the way up to Richmond one of these days, but Chippokes is a favorite with my kids, so we usually don't get beyond that.

One other thing I should have mentioned in the earlier post is that being wide and fairly shallow, it doesn't take much wind to kick up a nasty chop on the James. I think the river narrows down past Jamestown, so it might not be as big of an issue up there.
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Old 03-15-2011
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I want to go!
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Old 03-17-2011
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Hey, so do I. I'm getting more excited about this trip as time goes on. I looked at some of your other posts, and if you're looking for tiller time, this may be your trip. If you're looking to motor between yacht clubs and waterfront restaurants, it ain't. The only non-emergency motoring I anticipate is MAYBE making it up river from City Point to Richmond, if we get that far, etc., etc. My boat is a double ender and only has a small outboard, and even that hits the rudder if you're not careful, so I avoid using it. I may not even bring it along at all.

But aren't you in one of those flat states in the middle of the country? How would you get out here?

Oh, and one other rule comes to mind: no listening to headphones while on watch. Bad idea.

You also started a thread on getting a bluewater boat for under $10,000. Check out the trip a couple did a few years ago in another Pacific Seacraft 25 - they sailed motorless from Hawaii to Australia in a boat nearly identical to mine except theirs had a full keel and my cabin is in much better shape. The photos are on Flickr.
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Old 03-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willyd View Post
He may be close, but he sounds kind of angry. Plus, I'd rather go for a short sail beforehand than have coffee or beer. It's cheaper, and I've found a lot of people (e.g., ones who've only taken ASA courses) can't steer worth a darn. And the crew should want to check the boat for holes and see what kind of a sailor I am. Perhaps I can't steer worth a darn, either.

Lol...I'm not angry, but I don't take $hit from people, so that's probably why I come across that way. Plenty of people want to sail with me, so maybe I'm not all bad.

I'm interested in your trip planning, it sounds like a lot of fun. My dance card is filling up though. I have a Wednesday night racing series I'll be crewing for, a few distance races in my own boat, lots of local cruising planned for the season, and then probably Frostbites in the West River with the PCRC.

Do keep posting about your planning, your intentions and your eventual results. I learn a lot from this stuff.
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Old 03-19-2011
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Would you mind other boats taging along, sounds like something I would like to do.
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  #20  
Old 03-20-2011
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Yes, I suppose, though I'm not sure how much "tagging" you will do - I'm pretty slow. And no sniggering at my paint job.
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