2013 DELMARVA Reports



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~ A Cut Above ~

Course Advanced Coastal Cruising; DELMARVA Circumnavigation
Date June 30-July 6, 2013
Students: John Fox, Lance Garms, Randy Harris, Ray Macy, Joe Minarick
Captain: Eric Petterson

June 28:
Captain Eric Petterson arrived to begin the class.  He was joined in the evening by student Ray Macy, who had come to Rock Hall to take his ASA105 exam, for dinner at “Bay Wolf”. 

June 29:
In the morning, students Randy Harris and Lance Garms arrived.  Captain Eric spent time reviewing the boat’s inventory to ensure that everything was ready for class, and also checking weather forecasts for the coming week.  He also filled the spare propane tank and purchased a few minor items to fill in the inventory.  In the afternoon students John Fox and Joe Minarick arrived, filling out the student crew for the class.  After dinner at “Harbor Shack”, the students planned the menu for the week and created a shopping list. 

June 30:
We started the morning with breakfast at “Pasta Plus”, followed by shopping at Bayside Foods to shop for our week’s provisions.  Once this was completed and everything was stowed away, the focus was on our boat, CELESTIAL and everyone went methodically through the boat from stem to stern in order  to identify and understand the various boat systems below decks and the rigging above decks.  Then the focus changed to setting the class objectives, organizing the ship’s tasks and individual assignments for the week to come.  Finally the focus shifted yet again to the navigational process that was to be followed for the week, and a complete and detailed navigation plan for the next day's cruise from Rock Hall to the C&D canal was completed.  With the provisions and personal gear stowed and responsibilities assigned for the week, all left for an excellent dinner at “Bay Wolf” restaurant in Rock Hall.

July 1:
At 0800 Celestial departed the slip at Osprey Point on our way to Summit North Marina in the C&D canal.  Once past Swan Point Bar, we set sail in winds of 10-20 from the south.  After a brief shower, the winds settled at 10-15, and still from the south.  A very pleasant sail was enjoyed on the way up the Bay to the C&D canal where the sails were furled for transiting the canal.  We pulled into Summit North Marina at 1800, only to find the restaurant closed.  Dinner was delivery from a local Italian restaurant recommended by the marina staff.

July 2, 3, and 4:
The first task in the morning was to complete the navigation plans to Hampton, VA and make final checks of the weather and tides.  Also a final review of the boat was held to ensure that everything was in working order.  This included a practice deployment of the storm trysail.  The next step was to finalize student assignments for the week (Captain, Navigator, etc.).  Finally at 1200 we left the marina.  The winds were light 5-10 knots from the south as we motored down the Delaware Bay.  Intermittent rain began in mid-afternoon, finally arriving near the mouth of the bay around 2200 on July 2nd as we entered the Atlantic Ocean. 

We progressed south just offshore of Delaware in very light air from the south.  In the early morning of the 3rd, fog set in just offshore of Ocean City, but cleared with the rising of the morning sun.   With the sun also came wind from the south at 10-12 knots, so we began sailing close-hauled to the southeast.  Winds picked up a bit more as the day progressed.  After several tacks we reached a position that was 36 nautical miles offshore and finally tacked back towards land.  We managed to continue sailing for the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening, before starting the engine again to motorsail. 

In the early hours of the morning of July 4, we again began motoring as we approached the southern entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, finally arriving at Downtown Hampton Public Piers at 1430 and tying up in our slip after 50 and one-half hours of being underway.  After showers, clean clothes and some rest, an excellent dinner ashore was enjoyed at “Marker 20’ in Hampton.

July 5 and 6:
The first order of business was to complete the navigational planning for our trip up the Chesapeake to Annapolis.  After this was completed we pulled out of our slip and left Hampton at 1205 on the 5th.  Sails were set for the northerly course in winds from the SW at 10-15 knots.  Conditions allowed for sailing most of this passage to Annapolis, even including one run of several hours under spinnaker.  As always, this passage also provides lots of opportunities to encounter shipping traffic on the bay, which was monitored on the radar screen and assisted by the AIS information available.   CELESTIAL arrived in Annapolis and picked up a mooring at 1330 on the 6th.  After showers and clean clothes, and study time for ASA106 Advanced Coastal Cruising tests, dinner ashore was enjoyed at “Galway Bay”

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July 6:
The first order of business this morning was to take ASA106 tests, which all of the students passed. Congratulations to all!!   Once this last order of business was taken care of, we cast off the mooring buoy and motored to the fuel dock where we filled the diesel tank and emptied the holding tank.  After completing these tasks we had a relaxing sail back to Rock Hall where each student had a chance to back CELESTIAL into her slip before finally tying up at the end of her voyage.  Overall, CELESTIAL’s log registered 469 nautical miles for the cruise.                    

Captain Eric Petterson
On board CELESTIAL IP440
Osprey Point Marina, Rock Hall, MD

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