In the summer of 2011, nineteen boats ranging in size from 27 to 44 feet joined in a rally to circumnavigate the DelMarVa peninsula. This cruise is often the first opportunity for sailors to get some off-shore and nighttime sailing experience. The conditions, from sea state to watch schedules can be strikingly different from the more common cruising on the Chesapeake Bay.
Plans are now underway preparing for a similar cruise – this time going counter-clockwise. Next June we will head off from Annapolis on an overnight to Hampton, then off-shore to the entrance of the Delaware Bay at Lewes, up that Bay through the C&D Canal and back to Annapolis. For those interested, check in and follow the planning at http://www.delmarvarally.com/ .
It seemed a good thing to make one of the last sails this season with a fellow skipper from last year’s DelMarVa Rally. Bob skippered his Pearson 31 – Dorielle – in the same group of under 35ft boats that Valinor sailed with. Bob sold Dorielle, and we’re planning on joining forces on Valinor for the 2013 Rally. A short day sail on Sunday was a great beginning………and turned out to be the last sail of this season.
Winds were light and variable, but enough to enjoy a pleasant sail. Lots of other boats were out chasing the wind, and appreciating a beautiful day on the water.
Monday dawned with little or no wind and we chose to pass on another day sail rather than wait till the afternoon which promised increasing winds. Instead we set about the task of preparing the boat for winter – “winterization” is such an ugly word.
With Bob’s help, we got the sails down and dropped off at the loft for repairs.
Leaving Valinor for now with bare poles.
The rest of the work will wait till next week….
So it is with the sailing season, when you can’t go south as many of our friends are doing. Though it’s not quite over and another sail or two may be possible, the antifreeze is on the boat in preparation and assorted gear and supplies are being dragged grudgingly home.
Today I’m sitting on the boat in a borrowed slip waiting for the gusting winds to abate so I can move back to my own slip. TS Sandy managed to take down a tree that grazed the front of the boat, and a second ‘at risk’ tree was taken down in anticipation of its falling too. Otherwise we all weathered the storm with minimal or no damage.
In retrospect, it was a great sailing season. In seventeen sails (day sail or over-night) I logged about 1,000 nautical miles. What’s better is that well over half of that was sailing, not motoring – a much better average than previous years. Several sails were with SOS crew and others solo with CCYC. It was a good year for building single-handed sailing skills and confidence. That was especially true for an extended 10-day sail with a friend from Maine that covered over 200 nautical miles. Most of these sails are reported previously on this site.
Stay tuned for more news from the water, maybe even another sail or two!
Here’s a brief look back in picture…..
A fun way to see the end of the season coming….