Chesapeake Bay 2007 Trip! Including 5th
Annual Watkins Raft-up at
Yankee Point Marina!
Day 1 –Thursday, May 24th
- Left home approximately 8:30am. By the time we arrived
around Richmond Indiana, we stopped for gas and noticed that there was
splash-up of oil? Transmission fluid? –on the trailor. We stopped at a
Chevy Dealership and the transmission fluid was brown and the oil filter
needed tightening. We backed the boat in the back of the dealership in
the shade of a poplar tree. Would you believe there was a gravel pit
filled with water back there? Hehehe!
- We stopped to sleep for the night in the back of a hotel
parking lot around Charleston, W. Virginia. We climbed up on our boat,
then pulled the ladder up after us.
Day 2 – Friday, May 25th
- We started out early, after breakfast at Cracker-Barrel.
- We arrived at Yankee Point Marina approximately 3pm.
- We launched with no problems [though the ramp was at a
crazy position, and sand had washed over the pavement with no dock beside
- We even got the mast up, with just the 2 of us with no
- While we were raising the mast Marian arrived, single
–handed with her 29 ft Watkins!
- It is very hot so we take a break and tour Marion’s boat. Marion lends us a chart book and cruising guide to the Chesapeake which
proved invaluable during our cruise.
- Unable to place our boat in it’s assigned slip because
there is something already in it we stayed the night in the travel lift
Day 3 – Saturday May 26th - Watkins 2007
Raft-up Photos Click here then continue at Day 9 when you return.
- We placed our boat in it’s slip and finished setting it up
in the morning.
- People start showing up! Jim Brewer and Al, Paul LaPoint
single handing PFM. Susan Brewer comes by car and stays in a rented a
cottage that is very nice right next to the snack-bar.
- We spent the afternoon catching up on stories and touring
the large boatyard.
Day 4 – Sunday May 27th Ice Breaker Party
- Marion sails home due to bad weather forecast for Monday
early in the morning, but drives back for the Ice Breaker!
- Lou and Deb arrive and also rent another cottage. John
and Sharon Peterson and Kevin and Melissa arrive by car. Terry and Leena
arrived by their boat. Cindy and Rick come by their 36 ft Watkins “Misty
Blue” and Roy and Irene on their 32 ft. Watkins
- The “Ice-Breaker” dinner begins at 5 PM with a large
buffet by the pool!
- After supper Melissa passed out welcome gifts to everyone.
- Lou Spagna dolled out his stash of pirate loot to everyone.
- Everyone sat around and talked till dark, and then the
party moved to the Brewer cottage where more stories were told!
Day 5 – Monday May 28th Memorial Day
- Everyone met for breakfast at the snack bar and using
pirate’s rules, the consensus was to sail to Urbana for lunch and return
to Yankee Point for supper. Everyone doubled up so only 3 boats were
needed for the trip!
- Kevin and Melissa came with us! As we are leaving the
marina, we are on the wrong side of the RED markers and quickly go a-ground! Red-Right-Returning but how about leaving? Ouch on the pride!
- We have a nice sail over! And then the wind dies! Lou
and Deb crew for Terry and Lena. Cindy and Rick take Paul, and Roy and
Irene take John and Sharon. Roy and Irene have other plans for the
evening so, and John and Sharon join Cindy and Rick for the return trip.
- Some folk ate supper on their boats but eight of us in two
cars attempted to find a seafood restaurant called the Upper Deck. After
a couple attempts and bad directions we found the place only to have it
closed for the Holliday observance. We then drove to Irvington and ate at
the only restaurant open apparently for many miles. The service was
unusually slow, after a long wait to be seated so we did not get home
until after 11:PM. It rained on the drive home.
Day 6 Tuesday May 29th
- Several of the boats and the folks who came by car leave
in the morning.
- John really wants to see this Andy Wiley 3rd-World- Marina/Rigging Shop/Hand Wheel factory and Marine Salvage Yard in Irvington! Paul, Jim,
and Al and Cindi go along! Paul is looking for stainless steel bows to
build a bimini. We drive over in our suburban taking the ferry and have
lunch at an old gas station converted over…
- Irvington Marine was FABULOUS. We spent a couple of hours
poking around the grounds looking at all of his stuff. There were Ferro-cement boats, antique wood cabin cruiser and sailboats being restored, hopeless derelicts both
afloat and in the yard and buildings full of neat marine stuff to gape
at. The docks were in shambles and two hurricanes had hit since the main
building had been cleaned! There was a sea plane at the entrance to the
yard that Andy said he had flown in. It looked like it had not moved in
- The hand wheel factory looked liked something from a Hollywood horror movie. Andy said he is still making hand wheels for the Navy. The story
around town is that a few years ago an OSHA inspector came to inspect the
factory. He stepped one foot in the door and turned around and left. He
said he was retiring in 6 months and there was not enough time to fill out
all the paperwork that would be needed to list the violations.
- Andy said he was 89 I think. The placed looked like 30
years ago when Andy reached retirement age he kept working but stopped
doing any repair.
- On arriving back at Yankee Point Marina, John and Paul
leave with Paul’s boat to go back to Irvington Marine to get the stainless
steel bows for his bimini he wants to build which were too large to fit in
the Suburban truck… [the actual trip by water, was much faster than going
by car, due to the lack of bridges over all the water-ways…]
- In the evening Scott Murphy, [Murf-the-Surf, 36 ft Watkins owner from N.J.] arrives by car, and brings his tent. After several years
of attempting to come by water, he arrives by car! We give him a tour of
the remaining boats, ours, Jim Brewer’s, and Paul’s boat.
Day 7 Wednesday May 30th
- We take awhile cleaning up, and we get 8 gal of diesel
prior to leaving for Deltaville, on Jackson Creek in late morning.
- On the trip we didn’t sail until after getting out from
under the Rappahannock Bridge, at the mouth of the river, the wind was on
- Jim led the ‘pack’ motoring with his 3-cylinder Perkins.
- Upon arriving, it is a bit tricky as we are motoring up a
snaky channel to get to the marina, and at one point, it appears as if we
are going to be running up onto someone’s cottage-beach!
- John and I enjoyed Deltaville. There is a park, very
clean restrooms and showers, a pool, a lounge area for the guests with
coffee maker and microwave!
- But most of all it had a big ship yard, sail repair,
brokerage! We saw some very unusual boats!
- That night we rode the bikes provided for free at the
Deltaville marina, and ate with Paul and Scott at Toby’s. Jim and Al
consume some of their left over stores on board. Scott had driven from
Yankee point to join us of another day. Paul took Scott out sailing in
the late afternoon while the rest of us looked around the marina.
Day 8 Thursday May 31st
- Paul, Jim and Al, and Scott head for their home ports but
we decide to stayed at Deltaville an extra day to get our laundry done.
- In the afternoon we rode the free bikes to get provisions
at the grocery store, and of course, John had to check out West Marine! After
putting our groceries away, we rode the bikes to Cocomo’s Bar and Grill.
We liked the name since it sounds similar to our home town of Kokomo.
Day 9 Friday June 1st – Onancock
- We head over to Onancock, Virginia on the East Coast of
the Chesapeake Bay, about a 31 mile run.
- It was between Reaching and Close Hauled over, with 1-3 foot waves. This was the day we went from 1 reef, to eventually 3 reefs in the main, and
then shook them all out, and then ended up putting them back in again near
the end of our trip.
- Onancock is approximately 3 to 4 miles up a river. We
sailed up the first couple of miles, with Marshes on one side, and sandy
beach strip on the other side. Lots of crab-pots as well!
- We docked our boat on the bulkhead at the city docks next
to the office.
- Onancock is a fairly quaint old city, and we saw a church
building named Cokesbury UMC. The brochure said that Asbury himself
- After walking around, we finally decided to eat at an
- The next morning, we walk to The Corner Bakery, to have a
fresh Pecan roll and coffee at 7:10am before we head out.
Day 10 Saturday June 2 - Reedville
- After our roll and coffee, our original intent is to sail
to Tangier’s Island, stop for lunch and a quick walking tour to stretch
our legs then carry on to Reedville.
- We have 3 reefs in the main, and the waves are 2-4 feet, and after much discussion, we decide we better get over to the mainland, as there is
supposed to be a tropical storm coming up from Florida and we do not want
to be in Tangiers during a storm. Also the wind had changed and it would
have been impossible to make Reedville from Tangiers without tacking. We
now head directly for Reedville.
- It is pretty much Close-hauled all the way.
- At 2:PM we arrive at Reedville, at the Crazy Crab Shack
and marina, we do not like the way the waves are coming in. The boats are
rocking violently at the docks. With a storm coming, it just does not
seem secure enough.
- We eat supper there and then go on up to Buzzard Point.
Much more secure, but we feel like we are in a “Third-World Marina”. There is no Marine Electricity, no where to go.
- We meet new friends! A 24-ft Artic Nimble shows up. They
are from Washington State and have trailered their boat to Annapolis and put in. David and Vydia.
- It starts raining. The storm has begun.
Day 11 Sunday June 3rd
- The storm is bad enough, that the Tangier’s Cruise ship is
only going over to pick up those they took over the day before. They will
not be staying over.
- It is Sunday, so John and I read all of Jonah, and Acts
26, 27 where Paul gets ship-wrecked at Malta…seems appropriate. We pray
and praise God!
- Between rains we go for a walk, and David and Vydia come
over to our boat, and we later go over to their boat. [I like our boat…]
- This is one of the days where all 3 meals are prepared and
eaten on our boat.
- A Day OF REST.
Day 12 Monday June 4th - Chisman
We leave in the rain at 8:10am, and we have left the 3 reefs in
the main. The boat has yellowish-brown stains on the deck at every fitting.
Since we did not have it again, we decide it may have something to do with
pollution from the fish processing factory.
Our original idea is to go to Wind Mill Point but with good winds
we arrive there fairly early, around 11:30am, and decide it is too early to
quit. So we call Paul LaPointe, and we decide to go visit Jim Brewer!
We are having a wonderful sail, talking to Paul a lot on the
phone. He is going to sail up from Ft Monroe and meet up with us…but when he
finally gets in our site at the outer markers that lead up to Chisman Creek,
about 10 miles out, HE IS ANCHORED! His motor has quit. The time is 5pm!
After rafting together, and John going over and looking at his engine, we make
a few attempts to try and start his motor…we originally attempt to tow him side-to-side, but that didn’t work at all! We really grinded away…so, then John made a towing
bridle and we towed him bow to our stern.
Jim Brewer’s home and docks are up the creek, and as we continue
to tow, it gets profoundly dark, and we have never been to Jim’s before. Jim
is at the end of his pier with a flashlight, waving for us, and we finally see
him. [At one point, Paul yells: “Go starboard! At your Port, there is only 2
ft of water!” ahhhh, the joys of fancy GPS!]
We arrive about 9:45 PM at Jim’s dock. Jim’s Marina can actually
accommodate us both since he has three slips! With marine Electricity and
water hookup on the docks! WOW! Once we get all tied up we go in and order a
pizza! I swear that is the best tasting pizza we have ever had!
That day is a record for John and I! It is the longest day that
we have been on the water, and the most miles we have ever done! Over 13
hours, and over 50 miles! And we have never towed anyone with our sailboat
That night it storms very hard, with winds and rain, but we are
secure in “Jim’s Marina”!
Day 13 - Tuesday June 5th
- Jim’s home has a ‘sun-room’ overlooking the water with a
million dollar view! Jim’s pier and docks are marvelous!
- Paul and John work on the motor, and decide that they need
filters. They go over to the Marina that is just 2 houses over, but they
do not have the right filters. Paul orders it as it is to be there by
11am the next day.
- While ‘the guys’ drive around in Jim’s ‘gator’ I read
magazines and use Jim’s stationary bike for 25 minutes. I also go for a
walk, and try out Jim’s 3-wheeler bike.
- As soon as Susan comes home we eat out at Olivia’s. After
supper we drive around the old part of Yorktown. We have a nice tour.
- We do some provisioning and stop at a grocery store.
- It storms again that night! We are safe once more.
Day 14 – Wednesday June 6th
of sail to Hampton Roads
Paul replaces the fuel filter and bleeds the line and the engine
fires up and runs. We head out around noon.
Jim had cooked us a late breakfast. YUM!
We sail out for Fort Monroe which is where Paul docks his boat.
Paul’s motor quits 3 more times but he is able to bleed the line
and get it going.
The winds were light, and we had all the sails shook out, and we
also had to motor in the end. We park in Paul’s slip, and he goes to an empty
Then the long journey begins! PAUL TAKES US WITH HIS CAR, TO YANKEE POINT MARINA TO PICK UP OUR VEHICLE AND TRAILOR.
On the way we stop at Echard’s A German restaurant. We get back
to Fort Monroe 12:30 AM
Day 15 - Thursday June 7th
We got up early so we could tear down before it got hot. Paul
helped and we were able to strip the sails, lower the mast and get the boat
back on the trailer in just over 2 hours.
We then ate breakfast at Thumpers, a restaurant overlooking the
marina. It had already started to get hot and the AC was welcome.
We showered and got cleaned up. Paul checked and the Tall ship
parade was not scheduled until Friday.
We left around eleven to drive up and visit the Jamestown
Settlement. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the founding
of Jamestown by the Virginia Company.
The exhibit consisted of an indoor museum chronicling the history
and life of the time, an outdoor recreation of a small Indian village, a
recreation of the stockade, and three full size ships that are modern replicas
of the original ships that brought the settlers to Jamestown.
The park closed before we had time to visit the archeological
site where they are excavating the original Jamestown site.
Paul drove back to Hampton and we ate in a Thai Restaurant near
the docks. We then walked over to the harbor to visit Rick Jerkins on his
Watkins 36 and to pick up some stainless steel parts Rick had made for Paul’s
bimini. From the dock we spied David and Vydia’s Artic Nimble at anchor in the
Harbor. We hollered over to them and they rowed over in their dingy and joined
the party. Rick’s Cindi came over later and we all sat on the dock or boat and
swapped lies until about 11. We slept on our boat in the parking lot of the
marina at Fort Monroe.
Day 16 – Friday June 8th,
Tall Ships Festival Photos
- We rose about 7 and started making preparations, packing
food and getting cameras ready for the day.
- We set sail on Paul’s boat about 9:30 AM and joined an
armada in Hampton Roads of hundreds of vessels including an aircraft
carrier waiting the arrival of the tall ships. The tall ships had set
sail about 9 from Little Creek, the boats were to come in the roads, pass
closely by the anchored aircraft carrier and then sail up the river to Portsmouth. Grandstands and tents had been erected on the flight deck of the carrier for
dignitaries to watch the parade from. Our vantage point was just as good
or better from Paul’s boat sailing along slowly parallel with the parade
as it passed by. There were also about 50 sailboats who paid for the
privilege to be an honor escort to the tall ships and escorted them
alongside as they sailed up the river.
- There were approximately 12 or more large three masted
square riggers. Some were navy training vessels from other countries
including France, Brazil, Great Brittan and Uruguay. Our favorite was the
ship from Brazil. The ships was three masted with 4 yard arms per mast
and every yardarm had 3 to 6 men standing on top of them. There were also
6 or more smaller two masted schooners, gaff and some square rigged.
- The parade ended with a US Navy Frigate as the rear
guard. During the parade a submarine cruised by in the opposite
direction. The submarine was escorted by two inflatable boats keeping
other boats away.
- After the end of the parade, Paul followed the boats
across Hampton Roads, by the aircraft carrier and up the river past the US
Naval Docks. Before we got to down town Portsmouth where the boats were
tied up, the wind died and we got hot and tired so we turned around and headed
back to Fort Monroe.
- We headed North toward Richmond in our truck pulling the Y
KNOT. As soon as we were on the road, we called Marion in Richmond and arranged to meet her to return the Chart book and Chesapeake Bay Cruising
guide. We had a nice supper at O’Charlies with Marion and told her of all
of our adventures since the Raft-Up.
- We then carried on another 2.5 hours to Lexington, WV. There we parked in the back of the Wal Mart and after a walk and some shopping we
slept on the boat.
Day 17 Saturday June 9th
- We left by 7:30 after Cindi walked across the parking lot
to a Burger King and brought back two cups of coffee while I dressed. The
drive through the mountains was uneventful and by 4:30 P.M we pulled into
the St Mary’s Boat Club driveway. We first pressure washed the boat to
remove salt and grime then moved it to a shady spot in the back parking
lot to step the mast. By 9:30 we had the Y KNOT in her slip and we were
heading for a much needed shower.
Day 18 Sunday June 10th
- We arose early and went to our favorite breakfast place - , then off to early church. Afterwards we bent on the sails and stripped the boat of all of
the cruising gear and food we had not eaten. Although there was a good
wind and we could have sailed, we were anxious to get home so we left
about 2:30 and arrive home safe and sound about 4:30 PM to start unpacking
We met and swapped stories with lots of interesting folks,
we sailed in some heavy weather and holed up during a tropical storm. We visited
several interesting towns and saw more boats: sail, power, commercial, and
military than can be counted. We also ate a lot of crab and learned a lot
about the areas fishing industry.