2007 Chesapeake Bay Cruise

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Course: ASA 104 Intermediate Coastal Cruising 
Date: September 14-21, 2007
Vessel: IP-32 MOXIE
Students: Jay Brin, Paul Gause, Bill Lovelace
Captain: Eric Petterson

Thursday, Sept 13
Captain Eric Petterson arrived at Lankford Bay Marina on board MOXIE (an Island Packet 32) to get settled prior to student arrival.  Bill Lovelace arrived at 1330 to take his ASA101 challenge test, which he passed easily.  For dinner Captain Eric and Jay Brin joined with MDS head instructor Captain David Appleton and MDSchool Manager Rita Hanson at the Harbor Shack.  Shortly after returning from dinner, Paul Gause arrived completing the crew roster for the class, and Eric led a discussion of plans for the week before turning in for the night. 

Friday, Sept 14
The day began at the Rock Hall Snack Bar, a local tradition for breakfast.  After breakfast, shopping was completed for provisions and we returned to the boat to stow our purchases.  After a thorough review of boat systems and rigging and some lessons on anchoring and docking, we departed the marina at 1300 to commence our cruise.  We began by conducting docking practice in marina slips.  At 1500 we motored up Langford Creek to spend the first night anchored out. 

Saturday, Sept 15
At 0720 the crew left the anchorage, stopping briefly at the marina dock before setting sail down the Chester River.  The forecast was for strong winds behind the passage of a cold front, and it wasn't wrong.  The day started with NW winds at about 15 providing for points of sail to practice and setting of a boom preventer line.  By the time we reached the mouth of the Chester River at Chesapeake Bay, the winds had built to 20-25 with gusts to 30.   The weather provided excellent practice in reefing sails as well as sailing close-hauled in strong winds.  Both MOXIE and the students handled the weather with no problems.  As time progressed the wind eventually dropped to 12-18 for our next leg into the Magothy River, where we anchored for the night at the north end of Gibson Island just off the green fields of a horse farm. 

Sunday, Sept 16
Morning broke with cool air and lighter winds, NNE at 8-12.  We weighed anchor at 0900 and set sail for Annapolis, arriving at 1330 after a pleasant sail and took a mooring in Annapolis Harbor.  Captain Eric held a Q&A and ASA103 study session, and the students spent the afternoon studying their texts.  After a water taxi ride to town, an excellent dinner was had at the Federal House. 

Monday, Sept 17
First thing in the morning, both Paul and Bill took their 103 tests and both passed.  The crew then dropped off the mooring to motor over to the pumpout dock at Annapolis City Marina, before setting sail to the Rhode River.  The winds were even lighter this day at NE 5-10, so the sail was peaceful, with timeout taken underway to practice man-overboard maneuvers.  Finally the anchor was down and set at 1500, after which Captain Eric held a session on knots.  

Tuesday, Sept 18
Anchor up this morning at a bright and early 0730 to set sail to scenic Dividing Creek off the Wye East River.  Winds were NE 9-13, which was just enough to push Moxie comfortably along.  Sailing up the Easter Bay presented nearly perfect conditions for tacking close hauled and creating challenging navigational exercises to determine our position for tacks.  Lines-of-positions, dead reckoning, and depth soundings were the navigational tools of finding out position since GPS was not used for any part of this week's navigation.  As the crew approached the Wye River, sails were dropped and we motored upstream to Dividing Creek to anchor at 1430 between picturesque banks of tall overhanging trees.  After relaxing and enjoying the scenery, students studied, and after dinner Captain Eric held a Q&A and study session for ASA104 subjects. 

Wednesday, Sept 19
First thing in the morning Captain Eric held a review of engine operation and troubleshooting.  We weighed anchor at 1030 and motored back down the Wye and into the Miles River for the short trip to St. Michaels and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.  After stopping at the pumpout dock the crew put MOXIE into a slip at the Museum, completing the tie-up at 1430.  Students spent the afternoon studying followed by dinner at the Crab Claw Restaurant. 

Thursday, Sept 20
At 0900 we were again underway and headed toward Kent Narrows, this time under motor in very light winds from the east at 2-5.  Making the VHF radio call to the drawbridge to request an opening and then passing through at 1200 was a fun challenge for the students, as was negotiating the shallow waters of the Narrows.  Once through we motored to the Corsica River where we dropped anchor at 1530.  All three students then took their ASA104 tests and all passed. 

Friday, Sept 21
For the last time of this class, the anchor was raised at 0830.  The short trip back to Lankford Bay Marina was under motor in virtually calm air.  At the marina students completed our last pumpout and conduct some additional docking maneuvers.  Finally MOXIE was  returned to her slip at 1200 after logging 133 nautical miles for the week.   

Captain Eric Petterson
Aboard S/V MOXIE
Lankford Bay Marina
September 21, 2007  

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