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    Course:   ASA course #106, around the Delmarva Peninsula
    Date:        May 19 - 26, 2000
    Vessel:     IP38, RIVERDANCE, owned by John and Connie Fifer
    Students: Dave and Anne Sharpe, Ronald Meister and the owners, 
                      John and Connie Fifer
    Captain:   Bill McClure

    Class Summary

    Day 1 After reviewing the safety issues and discussing Man Over Board and abandon ship routines, we discussed menus, log keeping, watch standing and other duties aboard. We left as the fog settled in, so we had opportunities to practice our horn signals and our navigation by using the depth sounder. After carefully picking our way out into the main channel, the fog lifted as the rain settled in and we motor sailed to the North River Park Marina where we tied up for the night.

    Day 2 The day started with rain and then it drizzled all day. We went down the Delaware Bay from one historical lighthouse to the next. Many of them are in ruins but still very interesting. We spent the night in Cape May and had time after dinner to discuss many of the objectives of the course.

    Day 3 We encountered more rain and increasing wind as we left Cape May for a point 60 miles off shore in the Atlantic, east of Ocean City, MD. We had practiced reefing on the way down the Delaware and now we needed those skills as the winds increased to 32 knots and the seas became very choppy. The crew took turns at the rail, chumming the Atlantic fishery. No studies were conducted but everyone made an entry in the log whenever they felt brave enough to venture below. We had a lively discussion about the necessity of harnesses and tethers and the advantages and disadvantages of different types. The wind blew all night and half the next day but it continued to clock, so the seas never built above 6 feet.

    Day 4 The winds died, and in the choppy seas, the boat rolled with a vengeance. As the seas moderated, everyone felt better and we were able to resume some of our lessons with most of the crew taking a turn at dead reckoning. That night found us entering the mouth of the Chesapeake and proceeding to Taylor's Landing in the wee hours.

    Day 5 A day and night run up the Bay, with chances to sail to all points of the wind, from wing and wing, to close hauled as the wind continued to clock around. This was a great learning opportunity to navigate by the lights and identify the shipping in the Bay.

    Day 6 After a brief stop at Solomon's Island in the morning, we had a great sail to Galesville where we anchored for the night and a much needed rest. A review of the lessons after the evening meal had the students ready to take the test when we got back to Rock Hall on Day 7.

    Day 7 After sailing into Rock Hall, we pumped out, cleaned up the boat, took the test, (everybody passed) and handed out congratulations and certificates. We all enjoyed the sunshine at last!!

    Captain Bill McClure
    Rock Hall, Maryland
    May 26, 2000

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