Posts Tagged ‘Chesapeake’

2011 Sailing Season on Schooner Heron is almost here!

Friday, March 18th, 2011

The 2011 charter season for Schooner Heron Charters out of Solomons Island will begin mid-April. You may visit our website www.schoonerheron.com and our new facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Schooner-Heron-Charters/203632606316106

Please “Like” the facebook page and join in to get the latest news, learn about events and special deals that we’ll be promoting through the Facebook page, read sailing stories and see photos from all our charters. Please share your own adventures in sailing, whether it’s out on the water, searching for a boat, asking questions, etc.

I’ve just started on a big project on Schooner Heron: prepping the decks and pilothouse for new Alwgrip paint and new non-skid surfaces. First, sections of the deck — where the paint and fairing compound has lifted from the aluminum — must be ground down to bare aluminum and primed with a special paint that stops the aluminum from oxidizing. Then, additional primers and fairing compound to bring the thickness of the material back to the same height as surrounding areas. That all gets sanded down, made smooth, then primed again before the topcoat (the shiny stuff) gets sprayed on. Finally, the sections of the deck where we walk will get taped off, and a special paint will be rolled on to give a rough surface for secure movement, even when wet.This is a big job and I hope to be finished by mid-April for the start of the season.

That’s about it for now. We’ll have updates on the progress of the work as we go.

Happy sailing!

June 20. A dignified (and fun) Anniversary Surprise!

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Cindy and Mohammad

Sometimes you sense the presence of dignity in a person, and that’s what I felt when I met Mohammad. There was just something quiet and strong about the man. But, I’m ahead of myself a little bit. Cindy booked the charter as a surprise for her husband to celebrate their 22nd wedding anniversary, and a surprise it was! The rest of the family: son Chaz, daughter Layla, and her fiance, Zach, were all in on it. But, Mohammad was clueless as to what was going on. They showed up at my house dressed like they were going to a 5-star restaurant for lunch. I came out to meet them. “You’re going sailing dressed like that?” Mohammad said, “Oh, we’re going sailing?” It was great. They came into the house, met my Zach (my 30-year old African Grey parrot), changed their clothes… and we were off to go sailing.

Chaz at wheel

On my schooner, Heron, I can promise you when you make the drive down to Calvert County and Solomons Island to go out for a sail, I’ll do everything I can to make your charter day as good as it can be. But, I can’t control the weather. I can’t make the sailing more or less exciting or peaceful. This particular day was a “variable” day, as they say… some wind… some movement of the boat… But, not terribly exciting. But, still, the sails had to go up, and as usual, I found a hearty soul willing to do the work. Chaz is a computer guy, still in school, but is also apparently quite the musician, piano being his specialty, and he also wants to make music be a big part of his life. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to hear him play on one of my keyboards.

Everyone sleeping

This was quite the peaceful day, and from the look of things, this was a well needed, relaxing day. It happens, all the time, that folks will find a spot with the amazingly comfortable blue cushions, and simply fall asleep. Ten minutes… half hour… an hour… Between the breeze, the motion of the boat, the gentle sounds of the water passing by the hull… they’ll have the deepest and most relaxing nap that they’ve had in ages! But, this was a first for me, to have everyone sleeping at the same time! Actually, I loved it. I love that I can give people the chance to relax, to leave “it” all behind for the several hours that we’re out on the Chesapeake Bay. If I could, I’d put the boat on autopilot and join in for a nap. I’ve been tempted…

Titanic shot

I suppose on boats worldwide, people do the “Titanic shot” and yet, this one, with Zach and Layla up forward, on such a pretty day, seemed especially poignant. THAT is a beautiful photograph, and THAT was a beautiful moment.

Zach and Layla

Zach is finishing up school, planning to be a financial adviser. Layla has a year left at UM dental hygiene school, and is already working as a hygienist this summer. If you look carefully… I know the photos are small… you can see some of the cleanest, whitest smiles…  It just feels really nice to meet a group of young people who are so obviously doing well in their lives, working hard to make things happen…

Mohammad cooling off

Now, I mentioned that I felt a tremendous sense of dignity in Mohammad. But, even dignified people can get warm on a hot Chesapeake Bay day. So, he cooled down with a fresh water spritz from my wash-down hose. This is primarily used to wash down the anchor chain before it is stored below, as you pull up the anchor from a muddy bottom. But, on hot days, the spritz of fresh water from my tanks is just what is needed to feel cooler and refreshed.

family shot

In most of my blog articles, I’ve used the expression, “Once again…” and this will be no different. Once again, this turned out to be a great family day, a way for a very close family to spend time together talking, laughing, sleeping, especially to celebrate 22 years of marriage. And once again, I felt honored to be able to share in this intimate time with a really nice group of people.

June 19th was a HOT HOT HOT day… (see first photo)

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Hot hot hot

What can I say? These ladies were a great fun time! You’re notice the husbands, Fermin and Miguel smiling in every shot. Our charter offering to take folks sailing on the Chesapeake Bay keeps bringing the coolest and nicest people down to Southern Maryland and Solomons Island.

group shot

These two families, husband Fermin, wife Kirstie and son Elias, and husband Miguel, wife Stacy, and daughter Naiya are great friends, and they let me share in a bit of that friendship on the day we went out for a sail on Schooner Heron, looking for wind.

moms and kids

This turned out to be a really great family day. These two children were just a joy to be around. You couldn’t find two better behaved and friendly children, anywhere. When they first pulled up in their car, and I went outside to meet them, little Elias jumped out, came running over, put his arms around me and said, “Are you the Captain? Thank you for taking us sailing.” Jeez…

Fermin and Elias at wheel

First Elias took a turn at the helm, helping his father Fermin figure out where to go…

Miguel and Naiya

Then, it was Naiya’s turn, with the help of father Miguel.

What great conversation we had all day, learning all about what we each did in our lives, what we had done, what we hoped to still do. Fermin is a chiropractor, and director of VA Family Chiropractic Health Center. He gave me some good tips during the day, about my health, and I’m still waiting for the bill to arrive in the mail. Stacy is a writer and Director of Legislative Grassroots for The National Treasury Employees Union, representing federal employees from many agencies. She has since sent me some contacts of literary agencies for my novel… a book which was almost published nine years ago, but which had to be shelved and became an “economic ripple” (because of its storyline) after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. I really appreciate her help with that. Miguel is an engineer for a major hotel chain, in charge of a huge staff which keeps EVERYTHING running right for their customers. And Kirstie, if I remember correctly, is a stay-at-home Mom… the hardest of all the jobs!

Fermin under bridge

The wind came up and it was a bit choppy out in the Bay, so we took advantage of the SW wind and came back into the Patuxent River, sailing under the Solomons Bridge.

Stacy and Naiya beauty shot

The calmer waters made little Naiya happier, and we were able to sail all the way up to Broome’s Island before having to turn around to head home.

Tennison

On the way back, we passed the Tennison, the tour boat for the Calvert Marine Museum. The Museum is a great place for adults and children, and the Tennison gives you a great ride around Solomons and the Patuxent River.

Kirstie Fermin at wheel

This was a really enjoyable day for me, and for the two families who came aboard. They’re coming again in August, and I’m really looking forward to spending more time with them. What a great benefit for me, meeting people like this… just from taking a simple afternoon sail on the Chesapeake Bay.

June 13. “No, Ashwin! We can’t go down the Bay and across to Portugal!”

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Ashwin at helm

Ashwin really got into our day sail charter on the Chesapeake Bay. He was ready for some open water. He was like a sponge, soaking in everything about Schooner Heron, the sails, the water and wind… He did a great job at the helm, when we got out into the Bay, but first…

Ashwin on main halyard

I put him to work, helping to get the mainsail up. This is one muscular guy. I understand from his friends that he spends a lot of time at the gym. “Dumbbells,” he said. The perfect form of weight resistance training, forcing each arm to do its own work, improving coordination, balance. Along with Ashwin came friends Mindy, Diana and Carl. They are friends through a social networking group which plans lots of interesting outings and get-togethers, and it was my luck that they chose to go sailing on Heron as one of their adventures.

Carl and Diana with cooler

The drinks are on the afterdeck, on Heron… easily accessible during the day. It’s getting warm out there, on these June afternoons, so it’s important to hydrate hydrate hydrate. Carl and Diana met for the first time on this charter, I think. It’s interesting to me when people meet for the first time when they come down to the boat because I’m meeting everyone for the first time. It doesn’t take too long before it seems like we’re all old friends.

Mindy's spot

Mindy is a marketing person for Geico. She’s even worn the gecko costume a few times in the past! She found her spot, and relaxed the day away. She might have even fallen asleep on and off. This is quite common, for folks to find a nice place and drift away for a while. The rocking and rolling of the boat, the breeze, the sounds of the water rushing by… It’s hard NOT to fall asleep!

Diana at genoa

Diana found that sweet spot up on the bow, holding onto the headstay, and enjoyed the view. She is a Lieutenant in the Army, a pediatric nurse currently working at Walter Reed. During the day, as we chatted about all kinds of things, I was impressed by her broad knowledge on so many subjects. A smart lady doing admirable work.

Ashwin the mighty hunter

And, Behold! Ashwin, the Mighty Hunter, doing his thing. We spotted several aluminum party balloons tied together, floating on the water. These ultimately pop or deflate, and the shiny material is attractive to fish and other marine life, so they eat it… and die. We needed to get these out of the water. Ashwin grabbed the boat pole with its pointy end… I brought the boat alongside… and Ashwin plunged the spear through the heart of those balloons and came away with his prize. And the animals in the Bay were the better off for it.

Ashwin helm lots of boat

The wind picked up and held up during the afternoon. Ashwin spent a lot of time at the helm. Heron is a lot of boat to handle, and he gradually became familiar with her motion through the water and was able to steer a “relatively” straight course. I wonder where the rest of the crew was when I shot this photo.

Carl sitting forward

Carl, in July, I believe, is going to run in a race that I had never heard of before. It’s a 24-hour race. You run on an 8-1/2 mile course (this one in Phili near the Schuylkill Parkway) for 24 hours,  and see how far you can get. 24 hours straight of running, walking, crawling, limping… Wow, what a challenge. I’m looking forward to hearing how he does on that. I wonder how you train for such a race?

Lots to watch out for

When you’re out on the Chesapeake Bay, there are always other boats around, “traffic,” that you need to be aware of. Heron is bigger than a lot of the boats, but there are plenty of large ships and tugs with barges around that dwarf my little schooner. And, it’s not about size. There are rules-of-the-road to follow, and you need to be constantly aware of who is around, and who has right-of-way.

This was a really nice time, with Ashwin and Carl and Mindy and Diana. I appreciated getting to know them and look forward to seeing them all again.

The Chesapeake Bay, then the Patuxent River… June 12

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Herb and Connie brought their friends Steve and Janice Lynn and Wayne and Linda along for a day sail aboard Schooner Heron on this breezy and sunny Saturday. It was blowing pretty well, as we made our way past Solomons Island, out the Pax River and into the Bay.

Herb at wheel

Me thinks Herb has a bit of the pirate in him. He had that “Show me that horizon,” look in his eyes as Heron took off in the fresh breeze with her full genoa, staysail and main, and he stood the helm for a good part of the day.

Connie in cockpit

As we sailed along, Connie was finding her sea legs and painted a pretty picture against the backdrop of the Bay.

Wayne standing amidships

Wayne is an ex-Navy Pilot, and ex-aerobatics instructor… I think he was hoping I’d be able to put Heron through a few barrel rolls or loop-dee-loops. Wasn’t gonna happen.

Wayne and Linda

While Wayne and Linda found a nice spot forward of the pilot house on the starboard side, Steve found his spot on the port side of the boat, and (I have his permission to show this photo!!!) a few minutes of gentle rocking and rolling found him snoozing away… mouth open…

Steve Sleeping

In the cockpit, we were wondering if they make suntan lotion for tongues. When Steve woke, he told us that he was bleaching his teeth, the natural way.

Steve at pulpit

Steve found his way forward to that great spot on the bow. He enjoyed it so much, he was up there for about 20 minutes, regardless of the spray that was coming aboard each time we hit a wave.

small boat reefed

After about an hour of charging south down the Bay in a strong SW wind, we turned around and headed back towards the Pax River… the idea being, that we would sail up River, enjoying the strong breeze but making the boat more comfortable in the calm waters of the River. It was still blowing hard, so when we tacked north, I left the staysail wrapped up to make the boat more comfortable for the crew, and we sailed with full genoa and full main. Smaller boats were reefed well down, as the photo above shows. This boat was being well handled with a reefed main, and his genoa rolled in about half way.

small boat full and by

Other boats were having a good time running full and by, all sails up and out, burying their rails and holding on to their drinks. That old sailing adage: One hand for the boat, one hand for the beer!

The race is on!

Whenever there are two sailboats, there is a race. As we were making our way to the mouth of the Patuxent, a handsome sloop was coming up behind, trying to catch us. She was running full and by, and I had my staysail furled, so not only was I underpowered, but the hole in the middle of the sail plan — genoa/nothing/mainsail — was stalling the total airflow and power of the sails. But, Heron held her own, and the sloop was unable to catch us. I kept going back and forth, “I should pull out my staysail and blow his doors off,” and “I’ll keep the sail furled, to keep the boat more comfortable for my crew,” and “It’s just my ego at work, wanting to beat the guy,” and “I want the other captain to feel good about himself, creeping up on a larger boat.” In the end, as we got into the calmer waters of the River, I pulled the staysail out because the wind was being somewhat blanketed by the closeness of land. We indeed quickly pulled away from the sloop.

broad expansive deck

This shot shows the broad expanse of deck that Heron has, allowing her guests to lay about comfortably, in sun or shade, depending on which sails are up and which way we’re going. That sloop is still trying to catch us!

deck forward blue cushions

Here, Connie, Wayne, Linda and Steve are way forward, lounging in these great blue cushions. Available in any marine store, they’re so amazingly comfortable. Adjustable to any angle that you like, your weight provides the stability of the cushion, and the backrest gives you the most wonderful support. We have six of these aboard Heron and guests take them all over the boat to find a spot to relax and enjoy the sail. Nothing like a monster windlass to provide a good arm rest.

kids on banana

As we sailed up River, we saw many folks out on their boats, enjoying the day. In this photo, a boat was pulling a giant banana with six kids hanging on. That looked like a lot of fun.

Solomons Bridge

Coming back down the River, as we headed to the dock, we went under the Solomons Bridge for the second time. Beautiful perspective from down below. When I’m driving over this bridge, I’m always looking at the boats down below. When I sail under the bridge, I’m always thinking of the cars up above. “Where are all those people going?”

Janice Lynn

All in all, another nice day. The SSW wind allowed us to improvise and sail up the Patuxent River, to provide a more comfortable ride for the crew. We lounged around, we ate, we had some lively discussions… What more can you ask for?

What a difference a day makes!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

June 6th brought Peter and his wife, “birthday girl” Teresa, with their family and friends, down to Solomons Island in Southern Maryland for a charter aboard Schooner Heron, and unlike June 5th, this day we enjoyed strong winds gusting to 25 knots. Peter loved every minute of it. In clandestine emails the week before (hiding the surprise from Teresa), Peter confidently predicted excellent conditions for a sailing day, and sure enough, his predictions were accurate. I think I’m going to start having him buy me lottery tickets!

Teresa

Now, how’s this for romance? 25 years ago, when they were married, Peter told Teresa that he would take her sailing someday. Well… fast forward, 25 years, and here they were. Yes, they’ve been all over the world together in various adventures, but never sailing. This was a surprise for Teresa, right up until the last moment. The rest of the family knew what was going on, but she was in the dark. “Why are we driving to Solomons?” “Whose house is this?” She walked up to my front door, came into my house, and STILL didn’t know who I was or why she was there. Then she was able to look through my back windows and see the boat docked out back, and Peter told her, “We’re going to go for a sail!” You don’t find this kind of romance and creative expression of caring very often in today’s world, and it was really nice to be a part of it all.

Peter at helm

I mean, look at Peter. He’s a big guy, an Administrator at a prison, in charge of the guards… He’s a tough guy. But inside… he’s just a big softy! (Sorry Peter… I didn’t mean to say that! Don’t hurt me!)

I love my job

Once again, I have to say, I love my job.

Justin and Jessica

Peter’s son Justin and his girlfriend Jessica had just come back from a week at the ocean, so they were all tanned up nicely. The hot sun we had on Sunday during the sail was no problem for them.

Paige and Teresa

Daughter Paige, on the other hand, started out the day very white. We all kept an eye on her and made sure she was well coated with sunscreen all day. By day’s end, she had all these weird pink shapes where different things had gotten in the way of the sun. Well, give that a day or two and it all evens out. :)

Justin at main halyard

Once again, with a strong, young man aboard, I got some help in getting up the mainsail. Jeez… with Justin’s muscles, we didn’t really even need to use the winch.

sailboat going past

When we’re out on the Bay, inevitably we have some beautiful boats passing us. Here’s a shot of a beautiful sloop lifting her skirts (my expression for a boat that is heeling way over) as she goes on past.

Peter and Abby

Here’s Peter with his daughter Abby. I’ve said it in blog articles before, and I’ll repeat it every single time, getting out on Schooner Heron for a daysail is a great way for families to spend time together. It just is. Maybe I’ll have a charter later in the season that proves me wrong, but so far, every single charter involving families has been a wonderful time for them to be together.

darkening skies

Towards the end of the day, a day which included a bit of seasickness (but we won’t mention who) (or go into any descriptions), we were chased back to the dock by some very ominous looking clouds and thunderstorm cells. We had come in from the Bay to sail in the calmer waters of the Patuxent River, for the benefit of those who were a wee bit under the weather, but we only got as far as the Solomons Bridge before the dark skies had us shooting back to my dock.

Peter and Aram cropped

And once again, I’ve had to chance to meet some really nice folks whom, without this charter opportunity, I would have never met. I think this is the best part of the whole charter process for me… meeting people like Peter and his family.

June 5th provided little wind. Sailboat!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

June 5th brought a nice group of friends down to the boat, but they didn’t bring any wind with them! It was a sunny day, pretty humid… Sailing on Schooner Heron works better if there’s some good wind. Or any wind at all! Well, there was a little breeze, now and then, and we made some headway out into the Chesapeake Bay, but this wasn’t like a few of the more exciting day sails we’ve had so far this season. I would love to be able to promise perfect conditions, every time, but alas, I don’t have those powers. Still, we did move about a bit, and Sean did a good job at the wheel.

Sean at wheel

But, that didn’t stop these folks from having a great time and enjoying their time together on the Bay. Look at this photo and tell me if I don’t have a great job! :)

5 women hanging amidships

The flush deck of Heron provides a lot of room for people to spread out and be comfortable. With the sails up, there is usually a sunny side of the deck, and a shaded side, so you get to choose.

Eric and Christine dancing

The broad flush deck amidships also turns out to be quite a good dance floor, as we found out. Several of these friends belong to a Cuban dance group, and Eric and Christine got up and showed us their moves to some music by Putumayo.

Diana with fixin's

As usual, the food was good and enjoyed by all. Here Diana is handing out some goodies. I’m not sure why that is, but things in general seem to be enjoyed more on a boat. A fresh shower on a boat, for example, seems so much more refreshing than stepping into your shower at home. Why? Don’t know. You even have to conserve water, so you wet down, shut off the water… do your hair, rinse that… then wet down your body and shut off the water… then soap up and quickly rinse… You don’t have the luxury of running hot water over your body for twenty minutes, but for some reason, after you’ve been working the boat all day, sweating in the sun, or swimming in the salt water, a boat shower with warm or cool fresh water at the end of the day really sets you right up. Same with food. Maybe it’s the expectation that “it’s a boat” so you won’t have good food. But, I’ll tell you, I can cook a helluva great meal on my propane stove in the galley, or on a grill hung over the stern pulpit. Add a little good wine, some candlelight… and voila! You have a great meal while sitting at anchor somewhere beautiful, with the sun setting… the birds settling down for the night… and the stars popping out by the time you’ve finished your meal and come up on deck. But, I digress. During our charter daysails, I provide the fixin’s for sandwiches, snacks, and softdrinks, and I contact you before the sailing day to see exactly what your preferences are for coldcuts, breads, etc. So, on board during your sailing day, you get exactly what you most enjoy… and I call that having a good time!

Kim and Ronaldo

Dr. Kim (PhD in Wildlife Ecology and Management), here with friend Ronaldo, brought this group of friends together for a charter. They dance together, go out together, party together… so why not sail together? They were a great bunch of folks and I appreciate her efforts to make the charter day happen.

Eric advertising Mojito

It was a hot day, and it was important to stay hydrated. Eric worked hard at that… all day long!

Christine and Caridad close

All in all, it was a really nice day. More wind would have been better, but that’s sailing on the Chesapeake. If you want to get someplace fast, go on a powerboat. But when you’re sailing, you sort of take what you get and make something out of it. We took the gentle breezes that were out on the Bay and made a great time of it. I enjoyed meeting everyone who was aboard this day, and I hope to see them all again sometime soon.

May 30th brought light airs, but a good time!

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Tim Young brought his family and a couple of friends down to Solomons Island for a charter aboard Schooner Heron on a day that provided fairly light air. It was the kind of summertime day that turns white skin pink, so we had to be careful about that.

Tim at wheel

Tim spend most of his time at the wheel, and we managed to have at least three hours where the boat moved well through the water. Tim is thinking of joining the ranks of “boat owner,” so we enjoyed chatting about different kinds of sailboats, pros and cons…It’s pretty exciting to go out, looking for a boat. There are so many options, so many offerings, when looking at sailboats. More interior space, less interior space, better sailing characteristics, sacrificing sailing characteristics for more creature comforts… Where will you be sailing? Around the world? Around the Chesapeake Bay? Up and down the coast? Down the Islands? There is lots to think about and take into consideration before taking the plunge. And of course, no matter what you buy, you’re always thinking of your next boat! But in my case, I think I’ve settled down with my schooner, Heron. I’ve owned her for about 14 years, and I can’t think of another boat I’d like to have over her. What can I say? I’m committed. :)

Zoraida lounging

Tim’s wife Zoraida is from Panama, and it was very interesting chatting with her. She’s wicked smart (can you tell that I’ve lived in Maine?), an engineer, and full of surprises. And, she was a bit of a hero during the charter, but it had nothing to do at all with her noticing another boat close ahead of us while one of us (it wasn’t me, it wasn’t Jennifer, it wasn’t Tim, it wasn’t Michelle, and it wasn’t Zoraida…) was at the helm.

Jennifer and Dan

Tim’s daughter Jennifer and boyfriend Dan were aboard. Jennifer was also wicked smart, and totally into her career, working towards becoming an occupational therapist. She’s just finishing school, but has been working with challenged children already, for a long time. What a pleasure to see a young person doing such fine work, helping others in such a big way.

Dan which way is the beach

Dan, the Man… doing marketing and planning at Lansdowne Resort near Leesburg, VA… He really enjoyed himself on the boat, even though, as I said, we had light airs. When the wind picked up and we started moving along nicely, he really got into it. I asked him, as one point, “Where is the beach?”  This was his reply.

Tim and Michelle

Once again, the daysail was a good way for family and friends to spend time together. Daughter Michelle brought her friend Leanne, and the two hung out together for the day, stopping rays. Leanne was VERY white at the start of the day, but she slathered on plenty of sunscreen and went home sporting a mild pinkish color.

Leanne

And for me, another chance to meet and hang out with some really nice folks. What can I say? I guess the whole concept of a relaxing, personalized, charter aboard a beautiful boat like Schooner Heron really pulls the nice folks out of the woodwork. I’m just enjoying myself meeting interesting and friendly people from all walks of life, all ages, with different backgrounds… and what are we doing? We’re going sailing on the Chesapeake Bay! Whoo Hoo!!!

Tim and Capn

Really nice conditions, and a really nice family!

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Ashley and Charles

Once again, a daysail charter on Schooner Heron proved to be a really great way for a family to spend time together. Whatever is going on back at home, all the trials and tribulations of life that we all have… they’re all left behind while we share a sail on the Chesapeake Bay aboard Heron. Don’t get me wrong. “It’s” all waiting for you, when you get back to the dock. But, for those five or so hours that we’re off and running, you’re able to simply luxuriate in the natural world around you, and spend really good time with the people you care most about.

Charles and Jean

It was a pleasure for me to see Charles Jeffress again. Charlie had booked a seat aboard Heron for last year’s Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. At the last moment, for personal reasons, he had to bail out. But, he said, “I’ll be back,” and true to his word, he booked a charter for his family on May 29th.

Jean having fun

It was really nice for me to spend time with his lovely wife, Jean, whom I had met briefly last year. She certainly enjoyed the sail, and enjoyed watching her family spend the day on the water together.

Ashley and Peyton

Daughter Ashley and husband Peyton joined in, and I was quick to put Peyton to work, helping to get the main sail up. It’s great to have help running the boat. He was breathing a little hard when I took this photo.

Peyton on the main halyard

Son Berkeley found it easy to relax with such ideal conditions. That “front seat,” as I call it, is such a great place to hang out. If only it had a little more padding.

Berkeley relaxing on pulpit

And Charlie’s sister Elise joined the group for the sail, right at home on the boat, as she spends half of her time up in Martha’s Vineyard and is no stranger to the world of boating. It was a lot of fun to spend the day with her, as she brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm along for the ride. Every second, she was helping out, running all over the boat. I was able to catch her during a few moments of relaxation for this beauty shot.

Elise beauty shot

We all made it through the wonderful day, nobody fell overboard!, Charlie even got in a good snooze on deck. Another good charter on Schooner Heron.

Great Conditions Once Again

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

We’ve had some good luck, down here in Southern Maryland, with Schooner Heron Charters. We’ve had lots of wind, lots of sun… and great people coming down for a sailing charters aboard Heron.

Oris the happy boy

On May 22, we once again had good breezes and bright blue skies on the Chesapeake Bay. Good friends Oris and Noble brought their wives and sister and friend down for a sail. Oris and Noble both are in love with the idea of sailing, with being on the water, and they enjoyed themselves as we talked about boating, sailing “how to’s,” and boat ownership all day. I don’t think either of them had been sailing on a big boat before, yet they were both steering, handling winches under load, and trimming sails like pros.

The boys up front

There was a lot of sun, and we were reminded to protect ourselves against too much of a good thing. Covering up and using sunscreen were the rules of the day, but being early in the season, we tend to forget… so a few of us turned a little pink in spots. Damian finally put a hat over his very red forehead.

Nice shot Damian and Patsy

We really did luck out with conditions, and it’s kinda hard not be all smiles when you’re out on a schooner, sailing out of Solomons Island into the Chesapeake Bay, on such a nice day.

Great shot Noble

For me, tremendous pleasure comes from meeting new folks who are enjoying themselves aboard Heron, sharing bits of our lives… where we’ve been, where we’re going… what do we see in our minds’ eyes for our futures… This type of camaraderie, enjoyed while slicing through the waters of the Bay with the wind in our faces… this is what it’s all about.

Romey, Noble, and Me

Once again, another really enjoyable day aboard Heron.