The Choptank Cruise 2006

George Burke on Monday October 2, 2006 02:05PM

The fall Choptank cruise began on a crisp, dry, late summer day with a fresh breeze lifting our cruisers to Crisfield on a single tack, and ended one week later as autumn storm clouds scudded the horizon and a steady s’wester blew 25 knots into their faces, turning the homeward leg into an all out tacking duel with Mother Nature.

Seven boats (Pharos- Myra & Ted Bennett, American Pie- Jane & Vic DeNunzio, Miss Kate- Kate & Tony Sakowski, Wings- Fay & John Koedel, Sunstorm- Charlie Clough and crew, Silver Cloud- Sarah Carneal and Roger Gabey, and Reveille- George and Lyons Burke, with all but Pharos continuing north thereafter) sailed the initial leg to Somers Cove Marina where they grilled and shared potluck dishes. From Crisfield, a 12 knot south wind pushed the cruisers to Solomon’s Island, giving some the opportunity to bring their spinnakers out of mothballs. Because of a stiff northeast wind on their noses, most of the group motored to the Choptank the following day where the new floating docks at Oxford’s Tred Avon Yacht Club cradled their empty boats as they continued motoring, now by van, around Maryland’s Eastern Shore, emptying shop shelves as they went. A superb dinner at the Inn at Easton capped their stay.

However, the return cruise was less comfortable. The group used the remnants of the north breeze for a broad reach back to Solomon’s where an ominous NOAA forecast of south winds at 25 knots for 3 days awaited them. Thereafter unanimity crumbled, with some choosing to motor or sail a long leg home before the winds intensified, others to layover in Reedville until they subsided, and only American Pie staying on the original schedule of a homeward leg on Sunday. This diversity of sailing decisions did not prevent the cruisers from gathering in Reedville’s Fairport Marina Restaurant for a Saturday night crab fest. Some came by sailboat and some by car. Reflections- Nancy and Sam Stoakley and Diane and Ed O’Connor joined the celebrants for this final feast. After several hours of eating succulent steamed crabs, memories of heavy winds and rough seas faded and only the good remained.

Fishing Bay Yacht Club
Office Mail: Fishing Bay Yacht Club, 2711 Buford Road #309, Bon Air, 23235,
Clubhouse Address: 1525 Fishing Bay Road, Deltaville, VA 23043 (no mail delivery)

Phone Numbers: Club House 804-776-9636

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