2007 DELMARVA Reports

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Course Advanced Coastal Cruising; DELMARVA Circumnavigation
Date September 28-October 5, 2007
Students: Val Endicott, Chip Lohman, Bill Richards
Captain: Eric Petterson

Sept 27, Thursday
Captain Eric arrived at Lankford Bay Marina at 1230 to board HALIMEDA, an Island Packet 45.  He was there early to get his gear stowed and settle in before students started to arrive.  Val Ellicott, the first student arrived at 1900.  Dinner was at Baywolf Restaurant in Rock Hall.  

Sept 28, Friday
Bill Richards arrived at 0730 followed by Chip Lohman at 0830 completing the roster.  The day was very busy planning menus, buying provisions, reviewing boat systems and gear including going up the mast to check rigging at the masthead, checking weather, and planning navigation for the first day.  Watch schedules and underway responsibilities were assigned.  Dinner was at Ford's Restaurant before turning in for the night. 

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Sept 29, Saturday
Departure was early at 0555 allowing for a long day of travel up Chesapeake Bay to our destination of the C&D Canal.  Winds were N at 5-10 but were forecast to increase, which they most definitely did.  By the time
HALIMEDA reached the mouth of the Chester River and entered the Chesapeake Bay the wind had increased to 20-25 with 3 foot waves.  The crew had an exciting close-hauled sail with a double-reefed main tacking across the bay.  Within a very few hours the wind decreased to 5-10 and clocked around to the NE, so we motor-sailed to make better time.  Finally, the wind dropped to less than 5 as we approached the canal and motored into the marina in the dark tying up at 2015.  Dinner ashore at the marina's restaurant was enjoyed by all as a fitting end to a good but long day. 

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Sept 30, Sunday
The day began with navigational planning the route to Little Creek, Norfolk, VA over 220 nautical miles away.  Weather reports were obtained, tides calculated and predicted currents analyzed.  Captain Eric then checked in with the school office before getting underway.  At 1220 the crew pulled
HALIMEDA out of the marina and into the C&D canal.  Once in Delaware Bay, winds were SE at 5-8 as we motorsailed south.  The heavy shipping traffic that is always on the move in Delaware Bay kept everyone busy monitoring its movement as well as checking out the various types of ships and hailing ports.  At 2230 we passed Capt Henlopen, Delaware, and entered the Atlantic Ocean. 

Oct 1, Monday
Winds were SE at 5-10, providing adequate winds to help stabilize the boat as we initially sailed close hauled in a southerly direction in 3-5 feet seas.   As
HALIMEDA approached Cape Charles, VA, the winds dropped and we began motorsailing just after sunset.  At 2330 Halimeda passed through the Thimble Shoal Channel in the Chesapeake Bridge opening and entered Chesapeake Bay.  

Oct 2, Tuesday
At 0030 the crew brought HALIMEDA alongside the fuel dock at Taylor's Landing Marina in Little Creek.  The day was spent sleeping, moving
HALIMEDA to a slip, preparing the navigation for the trip up the bay, checking weather, and making some minor repairs. Captain Eric contacted the school office to confirm our arrival as a checkpoint on the float plan.  A celebratory dinner was ashore at the Surf Rider Restaurant.  

Oct 3, Wednesday
At 0945 we pulled out of the slip and motored out of Little Creek in dense fog of less than 1 nautical mile visibility and almost zero wind.  The fog gave the crew the opportunity to develop another important, seamanship skill of voyaging in limited visibility.  The fog lifted around 1400, but with the wind still calm motoring continued.  We passed Smith Point as night fell and the crew spotted a large tanker barely visible because it had NO running lights.  The students called on VHF to notify the captain of his ship's lack of navigation lights.  The captain was surprised and his crew found and replaced a blown circuit.  He radioed back to express his appreciation for the call.  

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Oct 4, Thursday
Fog redeveloped around 0100.  Amazingly, as we traveled north two different lighted buoys were found without lights!  These were both reported to the Coast Guard who quickly broadcast a "notice to mariners" over the VHF.  It was a strange night for lights, or the lack of them!!  Feeling their way down the Miles River in the persistent fog, the students safely guided
HALIMEDA to the fuel dock in St. Michaels and then to a slip at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where we tied up at 0930.  Students studied in the morning and took tests in the afternoon.  All passed.  Another celebratory dinner was held at the Steak & Crab restaurant! 

Oct 5, Friday
The morning found contrary winds for the dock exit, requiring much planning to execute the departure from the marina.  The students thoughtfully and carefully executed a difficult maneuver and safely left the dock at 1015.  Again in very light air
HALIMEDA's engine was put to use as we passed through Kent Narrows and the drawbridge.  Once into the Chester River in the continued light winds (E 3-6), the crew hoisted and set Halimeda's asymmetrical spinnaker for another varied experience in a memorable passage.  

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Finally, Halimeda was brought into a slip at Haven Harbor Marina in Rock Hall, MD, at 1530 after logging 424 nautical miles around the DELMARVA peninsula. 

Captain Eric Petterson
Aboard S/V
Lankford Bay Marina,
Rock Hall, MD

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