A couple recently relocated to Charlottesville took two sailing sessions on the York River. They got to see the USS Monterey at Yorktown, where it’s doing maneuvers for a month. Kyle and Madison Robinson were pretty ambitious, since she’s eight months pregnant.
“I’m due in a month and I’m ready,” she said midway through a mild Day 2 of warm breezes. Yesterday the baby kept moving, it was crazy. Talk about motion in the ocean.”
Kyle wore a warm-up jacket sporting a triathlon event that I would love to wear to say “as if.” He said, “I ran for Alabama in college. I did over 20 triathlons, which require a 25-mile bike ride, 6-mile run, and 1-mile swim.” He talked about it like it was a casual thing that anyone can do.
“I did only one triathlon,” he said almost apologetically. “That requires a 140-mile bike ride, 25-mile run and 3-mile swim.” He laughed, “Then you lie in bed for a week recovering.”
Madison chimed in. “When I ran my marathon, I had to catch a flight for business a few days later, and I was still hurting. “I had to run the ‘marathon hobble’ through the airport to make the through connection.” We turned to go downwind and flew the spinnaker with teamwork.
Women enjoy sailing today more than ever, and particularly a romantic cruise. Couples get to enjoy a romantic getaway as they sit up on the bow for privacy, and Let’s Go Sail provides professional photos for free. First-time or skilled mariners are welcome to sail a modern-32-foot sailboat in a unique setting of wildlife and Fall foliage or Spring bloom. It makes for an extraordinary anniversary idea.
On Day 2, we bobbed along with modest pitch and yaw, which led to a discovery. “I can feel the baby doing the Moro Effect,” Madison said. “They extend their arms and legs out quickly as if startled by something.” Someone interjected, “Like a cat?” “Yes!”
A local couple commemorated their wedding anniversary after an extremely challenging period. Heather Oman was ill from a kidney disease that eventually required a donation for a perfect fit. Her husband Nate matched the requirements, and they did the transplant at Georgetown University Hospital.
Heather spent several months in the hospital recovering and now they are celebrating — with purpose. “I gave her one of my kidneys,” Nate joked, “so that enabled me to get a boat in return as a gift.” We spent the time under mild winds discussing the pros and cons of ownership. Since they live and work in Williamsburg, they have multiple marinas to chose from on the James River or the York River.
Collision Course after Baby Sail
Leonard and Linda Gandy of Gaylesville GA have been on boats all their lives, but never a sailboat. They got the sail of a lifetime one afternoon when they saw two ships approach each other on the York River.
The USCG Cutter Escanaba was departing NWS Yorktown after several days of work, presumably reloading weapons. The bridge gave notice three times to the Coleman Bridge for a pending opening. Meanwhile, the US Army ship Monterey was doing circles at Yorktown during a month-long training session on docking. The Monterey and I radioed the Escanaba that we would stand down as the cutter transited the bridge. Yet inexplicably the Monterey shoved off the dock at Riverwalk Landing and set out north (albeit slowly) on a collision course with the Escanaba. Within minutes it became clear there would be no collision as the Monterey turned east, downriver in a parallel course. But still…
Leonard expounded on the mission of the Monterey, which carries combat equipment to land on beaches. Hence the platform ramp on the bow. “The gunwales are low to allow the waves to wash over the boat without tipping it. The arch is to lift things with chains and leverage heavy equipment onto the deck.”
The Gandys were delighted to see the osprey fly and pelicans dive in the tranquil York River. They are nature watchers in north Georgia, where they live. We talked about how eagles and osprey do not play well.
“I’ll tell you what else is mean,” Leonard said from the helm. “Blue herons are mean. They’ll eat a rabbit or a squirrel. Stay away from those birds.”
Yet the birds can also be gentle. Linda said, “We were in a nature preserve watching osprey bathe in shallow water with their young-ins. They were happy and having a fine old time splashing about, oblivious of us.”
Leonard is a history buff who does reenactments with his son at Revolutionary War and Civil War sites in the Carolinas. “My great-great-great-grandfather rode with Marion in the fight against Cornwallis.” He was referring to Francis Marion, the famous ‘Swamp Fox” who outfoxed the British throughout South Carolina in 1780-81. “They fought together at the Battle of Mingo Creek, which was nothing much, maybe two or three people killed. It was the British General Banister Tarleton who nicknamed him the Swamp Fox.”
“You need to know that Marion did not do that much fighting himself. He was more of a tactician, guiding the troops. Rumor was that his sword was rusted shut into his scabbard.”
On a clear but windy day, Tom Barry of Wilmington NC took his gal Jennie VanPeenen sailing into the York and under the Coleman Bridge to the lee shore, where it was quieter. They were fascinated by the rotating design of the bridge, on railroad wheels of all things.
“We’ve just seen those racing sailboats in Newport RI, where my son is in the War College,” Tom said proudly. “When he gets out, he’s scheduled to command a brand-new Navy destroyer.”
I asked about making admiral. “It’s hard to say. He has five years left to find out.” Can’t he stay more than five years? “Oh sure. He’ll only be 42 then, with 20 years in. So he has quite a future ahead of him.”
Let’s Go on a Baby Sail
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The best Williamsburg boat tour offers safe “social distance sailing” daily for up to 6 people. It’s an extraordinary experience for couples. Leave your worries behind. Enjoy the thrill of moving with the wind without a care in the world. Put life back on an even keel with a romantic experience for a birthday or anniversary. 3-hour sailboat cruise as a semi-private yachting charter lets you exhale and relax as you enjoy comfort, stability and speed.
baby sail baby sail baby sail
Couple took their first sail while she's eight months pregnant. "I'm ready," she insisted while describing the Moro Effect.
Capt. Bill O'Donovan
Williamsburg Charter Sails / Let's Go Sail