2006 DELMARVA Reports

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Course Advanced Coastal Cruising; DELMARVA Circumnavigation
Date September 22-29, 2006

Michael Austin, Paul Shabaz, George Siegal, James Smekal, Dan Van Winkle

Captain: Joe Kliment

Sept 22, Friday: After introductions, the students became familiar with the vessel and the goals of this cruise. We spent the day learning HALIMEDA’s systems, planning our course, selecting a watch schedule and assigning responsibilities. The crew took inventory of the galley supplies and developed a cruise menu before purchasing provisions. Dan, our first navigator, provided the course for the next day, complete with waypoints. Diner at Waterman’s was a satisfying finish to a successful day. 

Sept 23, Saturday: Our engineer checked boat systems and HALIMEDA departed the slip with George at the helm.  We motorsailed up the Chesapeake under light winds, with students taking one hour watches at the helm. A flood current assisted our progress and we arrived at Summit North Marina by 5 pm. Paul brought us to the pump out station, then we refueled and tied up for the night at a T dock. A few more provisions were added for this hungry crew and they dined at “Saints and Sinners” Restaurant overlooking the Marina. The crew had such good humor, the trip was destined to be a pleasant adventure. 

Sept 24, Sunday: George was at the helm as we left the dock and headed East on the C&D canal with SE winds and an agreeable current. We sailed down the Delaware River and Bay under cloudy skies and freshening winds from the SW. The crew was divided into three watch teams that were scheduled with a three hour on, six hour off rotation.  The crew successfully completed an unannounced man overboard drill during this leg. The weather forecast predicted a cold front passage during the evening hours with winds 20 to 30 knots with thunderstorms likely. The crew prepared for this blow by lightly reefing the main.  HALIMEDA entered the Atlantic Ocean about 6 pm while beating into a 10-15 knot SW wind.  We dined on chicken and vegetables as the crew settled in for an evening of rock and roll, with the boat pitching and the weather worsening.  A squall during the 9 pm watch reduced visibility. 

Sept 25, Monday: During the early hours, a cold front with squall lines of lightening and rain passed through with 25 knot NW winds.  Later, we motorsailed under full main, continuing our progress SW along the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia coast line. Dan guided us through the pinch points approaching Little Creek and we entered the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at 4 pm. We had completed the Atlantic Ocean leg of the cruise successfully, with the added educational experience that unpleasant weather conditions provide. George docked  HALIMEDA with skill and the crew stretched their legs during a hike to the local  store to add a few more provisions. Later, dinner was prepared on board. 

Sept 26, Tuesday: After engineer Paul checked boat systems, HALIMEDA departed Little Creek with Jim at the helm following Mike’s navigation. The winds freshened from the SW and we sailed on a broad reach most of the day, with our course set for Annapolis. Towards evening, the winds abated and we motorsailed again. This area of the Chesapeake is frequented with large commercial vessels, thus providing the students with experience with this traffic and communication with these ships using VHF radio channels 13 and 16.  The day ended under a blanket of stars with meteorites streaming across the horizon. 

Sept 27, Wednesday: Thomas Point light was off HALIMEDAs port beam before the end of the 0600 watch. Dan was at the helm for entering Ego Alley at Annapolis and executed a fine standing turn to starboard in front of scores of onlookers. We tied up to the dock at 0800 and mustered at Chic & Ruth’s for a hearty breakfast. The crew enjoyed showers and did some shopping before taking the ASA106 test. On successful completion by all, the crew celebrated their achievement with dinner at Pussers. 

Sept 28, Thursday: HALIMEDA cleared the Annapolis harbor at 0830 with favorable winds and seas increasing to three feet. Dan took the helm first on his watch while Michael kept the lookout. We proceeded up the Chesapeake on a beat around Kent Island and up the Chester River under sail until arrival at Langford Marina at 1530. Jim practiced his docking skills at the pump out station before backing HALIMEDA into her berth. The crew dined in Rock Hall that evening while storms ravaged the area. Later, upon returning to the boat, the crew found the dock underwater, causing two onshore man overboard drills in real life situations. Both were recovered quickly, with only a minor loss of dignity. 

Sept 29, Friday: After final clean up, certificates were presented to this fine student crew, who had safely completed the 420 mile journey with wonderful humor and skill. We all had a great time and we look forward to sailing together again.

Captain Joe Kliment
Rock Hall, MD
Sept 29, 2006

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