Sunday, May 2, 2010

There's no stopping this tough boat - or her crew!

Yesterday was our last training session for Conquer the Chesapeake 2010 - an event happening later this month where we will attempt to row and sail across Chesapeake Bay from Cape Henry to Cape Charles. The training sessions are meant to introduce new crew members to the boat, and exercise our skills, both in seamanship and teamwork. Yesterday was certainly the best training session we've had yet, providing both a great time and a fair share of challenges for the crew.

Getting underway from the MWR Marina at Naval Station Norfolk around 1000, we stood Northwest for Strawberry Banks in Hampton. Sailing well, we made about 6 knots as we entered Hampton Roads. However, it was there that we met our first challenge, when the yard sprung at the halyard tye. After unbending the sail from the yard, we bent it onto one of our oars, and hoisted that instead. The oar served well as a yard for the remainder of the trip, despite the unsightly oar blade protruding forward of the sail.

Our next challenge was on landing at Strawberry Banks, where our tandem anchor rig fouled and caused some confusion. Designed to moor our chase boat offshore, the messenger line became twisted at the buoy block. The monomoy crew re-embarked, got underweigh and fished the anchor and re-rig the messenger line, maneuvering without the aid of the steering oar with great success. Rack up one more victory for teamwork and good oarsmanship.

Getting underway from Strawberry Banks, we rowed Southwest into Hampton Roads and anchored for lunch. The transfer of stores from the chase boat to the Monomoy went much more smoothly than last weekend, the packages being securely sealed and tossed from boat to boat as the chase boat made a quick pass.

On the way back to Norfolk, we made good time until swept by the ebb tide over the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, where we stepped our mast and rowed back into Willoughby Bay under the East bridge. Again, some teamwork and a hard pull at the oars managed to get us the half-mile into the bay directly into the wind and a three knot current.

Hard rowing, great sailing, repairs on the fly - a great session.

So to all who came out, thanks for another great day on the water!


A new yard for the Monomoy (a solid piece this time) is being measured and trimmed from one of our spar blanks later today. The shop will be open from 3-7 pm, so come on out and lend a hand.


All Monomoy crew for Conquer the Chesapeake have been notified. Due to privacy concerns, we are not posting the names online. Stand by for more information about event preparation later this week.

That's all for now!



1 comment:

deasmone deven said...

This is a great post ! it was very informative.