Saturday, April 16, 2011

Answering Your Questions

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Many of you have asked interesting questions so I thought I would take the time to respond. So here we go...
  • Where did you anchor overnight on the way to the BVI from Virginia?  Well, there is no anchoring on the way to the BVI! At least we don't carry THAT much anchor rode. We only have 300 feet of stainless steel chain so it doesn't begin to reach the floor of the ocean. You just don't stop! That's right, you sail 24 hours a day and it took us eight days to get there.

    Dennis with Bob and Stuart
  • Was it just the two of you on the boat?  There were four of us as we had two crew members. Bob and Stuart are both experienced sailors and had made the trip before. That was most helpful since we are not nearly as experienced and this was our first trip. Since you have to sail all night long, each person takes a 2-3 hour watch. That is, you sit in the cockpit alone in the dark and keep an eye out for things that might go bump in the night! That would not be a good thing if you hit something or someone 200-300 miles out in the ocean.

  • Will the same crew members be sailing back to Virginia with you in May?  No, we will have two different crew members - maybe even three. Although we would be very happy to have the same ones, but most people don't take that much time off to sail unless they have their own boat. As part of the Caribbean 1500 Rally and the Atlantic Cup Rally, there are sailors who volunteer to be crew on the various vessels. Each crew member provides their own transportation, gear, etc. and the Captain provides the meals and a ride. It has been a great way to meet good sailors and learn a lot from them.

    The sun is setting and it will soon be very dark
  • Did you have any close calls or scary moments during the trip down?  At first, I thought the whole thing was going to be scary; however, I soon learned that it was a wonderful adventure. I was concerned about the big (15-20') waves. They are awesome, but very different than Great Lake waves as they are much further apart so you ride up, over and down the wave. It is not choppy, except in the Gulf Stream where water is moving in different directions. Dennis and I did have one close call in the night: we were enjoying a peaceful sail when I happened to check the chart plotter and saw that we were passing between two markers of some type in the middle of the Atlantic! There were no lights, bells or whistles and fortunately we did not hit anything. The lesson: don't assume that you are in the wide open ocean and only need to watch for other vessels! Since it was dark, we still don't know what we nearly hit!

  • Where will you go for the summer months?  We will leave from Nanny Cay, Tortola, British Virgin Island with the Atlantic Cup Rally on May 1. The Rally sails to Bermuda in 5-7 days depending on the winds and weather. We then wait in Bermuda for the right weather window to cross over to the east coast of the USA. We will enter the Chesapeake Bay at Norfolk, VA and probably rest for a day or two in Hampton, VA (where we started the Caribbean 1500 Rally last fall). From Hampton, we will sail north up the Chesapeake Bay to Herrington Harbor at Tracy's Landing, MD ( about 15 miles south of Annapolis). We will take the boat out of the water for cleaning and any needed repairs and get her ready to sail back down next November! We will do some Chesapeake Bay sailing in the fall prior to the Caribbean 1500 Rally departure on November 7.

    S/V Trillium is lifted out of the water to be stored on land
  • Why don't you sail in the summer?  Unfortunately, the sailing in the Chesapeake Bay isn't that wonderful in the summer: hot, humid and not much wind. We enjoy Michigan summers more! And if your next question is "why don't you take the boat to Michigan?", I will explain: 1) it is a salt water boat, 2) it a long trip from the Atlantic Ocean to Michigan and you have to take the standing rigging (mast, halyards, etc.) down to get under the bridges and 3) you have to motor and it is a very long way at only 7-8 knots per hour! And besides, Trillium will need a rest before we set off again! And so will we!

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