2009 Chesapeake Bay Cruise

Course Descriptions
School Yachts
Schedule of Courses
Ocean Training Cruises
ASA Certification
Registration Info
Our Location
Our People
Contact Us
Course: ASA 104 Intermediate Coastal Cruising 
Date: October 20 to 25, 2009
Vessel: CELESTIAL, IP440
Students: Fred and Jenny Hooper, Christie O’Leary, Justin Tuerk
Captain: Jochen Hoffmann


Monday, 19 October, 2009

I arrived early to survey CELESTIAL after the terrific haul-out job performed by our yard crew. The boat shows off new varnish, paint, and many maintenance improvements. By mid-afternoon all students are on hand for a thorough introduction to systems below deck. Over dinner on shore, we become acquainted and share our various boating experiences.


Tuesday, 20 October, 2009. Day 1, Rock Hall to Annapolis

Our morning activities began with introductions to lines, sails, winches, and safe movement on a potentially rolling deck while tethered to jack (safety) lines. A recalcitrant main sail – furled poorly previously - provided a lesson on unfurling canvass stuck inside the mast. Meal planning and provisioning came next, followed by sea stowing all gear. By 1430 we cast off to fetch our dinghy from a nearby marina. Christie is at the helm doing an excellent job getting us first to the pump-out dock and then into a slip where our dinghy is waiting. Thereafter, Fred takes us out of the slip and (later) to a mooring for the night. Instruction includes safely towing a dinghy, laying and sailing a course to our mooring in Annapolis, and VHF communication. A well deserved dinner at Pussers Restaurant is a welcome conclusion to our first leg on the Bay.


Day 2, Annapolis to Solomons Island

After a good breakfast, Christie as skipper for the day, we study the engine plus electrical systems by zeroing in on the many components that power the boat, electronics, lights, etc. Next we go over procedures and methods that allow us to fix our position on a chart while underway. Navigation practice follows as we make our way South under sunny skies but no wind. A beautiful sunset, delicious dinner, and quiet night at anchor round out the day.


Day 3, Solomons Island to Tangier Island

Today, following morning training of deciphering charts, nav planning, and learning about engine trouble shooting, we have to say good bye to Christie. A funeral the next day had called her away. With Jenny as skipper for the day, Justin maneuvers CELESTIAL gently to Spring Cove Marina where we drop Christie off. At the mouth of the Patuxent River, we raise the main sail in a 5-8 knot SW breeze and motor sail to the fascinating Tangier Island. After docking in a strong current, Mr. Parks, of Parks Marina, a retired waterman gives the crew a wonderful sunset tour in his golf cart. That is followed by a tasty crab cake dinner ashore.


Day 4 Tangier Island to Cape Charles Harbor

Jenny, having taken us expertly off the dock and out into the Bay, sails CELESTIAL down a range as the crew learns to calibrate our ship’s compass – first by range, then using our hand-held magnetic compass. It’s Fred’s turn to be skipper. Conversion procedures from Compass course to True North course - and vice versa – become now part of our navigation, as we motor sail in moderate SE winds to make landfall in Cape Charles Harbor. The forecast calls for S 15 to 20 knots during the night which is perfect for practicing Bahamian mooring and spending the night inside the jetty with two anchors off the bow.



Day 5 Cape Charles Harbor to Little Creek, Norfolk

After breakfast, and with Jenny at the helm, Justin as skipper, we retrieve both anchors and practice Mediterranean mooring off a seawall next to a commercial fishing vessel. Well done, Jenny! The forecast is for S 15 to 20 knots with gusts to 25 knots late. Once clear of the harbor, CELESTIAL is powering through building waves, tacking up wind under full sails. As the flood current is setting us North, the captain phones the Marina to verify docking arrangements and closing hours. To ensure on-time arrival, we take in the genoa, add the engine, and – coming off a steep wave in open water – the engine sound and vibration change suddenly. Our speed drops from five to two knots. After inconclusive trouble shooting and maneuvers to take in the remaining sail, the speed is inexplicably returning to normal. Safely at the dock, Justin spots a diver working nearby who reports that a floating fishing line had wrapped around the shaft. Fortunately, he sees no damage. Now we can enjoy our dinner and toast our adventures.


Day 6 Little Creek, Norfolk

We rise early, and following a review of the ASA test (all passed) and boat close down activities, it is clear that this crew will be ready to charter and sail to unfamiliar shores. Well done; and bon voyage from your captain.


Captain Jochen Hoffmann

Vinings Landing Marina, Norfolk

to Ocean Reports

Return to Home

© Copyright The Maryland School of Sailing & Seamanship, Inc., All rights reserved.
Web site design by F. Hayden Designs, Inc.