We get very few people from Oklahoma, so Melissa and R.T. Green of Leedey were a pleasant surprise. They took their grandson Brier out as part of a vast historical journey.

“We were in Washington yesterday,” Melissa said, “and we’re doing Williamsburg and Yorktown here.” The winds were light but steady, a refreshing change from the hot, flat days of August.

Farming SailLeedey has a population of 415 in the northwestern part of Oklahoma, just shy of the panhandle. R.T. does unique work. “I bail hay for farms within by rolling them into big rolls. I typically do 4,000 bails within 30 miles of home in Dewey County. If everything is perfect, I can roll 30 bails in an hour.

“I also do dozer work by digging out ponds and such for farms and homes. Mine is 10 years old and cost $100,000 used. I do the work alone now. My dad used to help but he’s 81 now and I can’t trust him [to avoid an accident].

“We did a job recently clearing burned cedar trees by spreading anchor chain between two dozers and mowing them down. Most people don’t know what anchor chain is, but you do. I also taught the procedure to students at OSU.”

History Sail

Ed and Nancy Murray of Rhode Island enjoyed brisk breezes on a hot day while talking about American History. He pointed out that the Gaspee Affair predated the Boston Tea Party, “but it wasn’t given credit in history.”

Farming SailWe talked about RFK Jr. running for President. Ed said, “My sister runs the JFK Museum in Quincy, and she said the guy is crazy, a real whack job. They had to stop selling KENNEDY FOR PRESIDENT T-shirts because they were meant to recall JFK and not RFK.”

Ed was quite the jokester. “Do you know the definition of Irish Dementia? They forget everything but a grudge.”

Flying SailFlying Sail

You never know about people’s hobbies. Take Linda Neimeier of Catlett in Northern Virginia, who brought her parents sailing with her.

Flying Sail“I’m into paragliding, also known as paraplaning,” she said before taking her mom up to the bow to chat in the sun on a bright and beautiful day. “It’s a chair in front of a 2-cylinder engine, spinning a big fan.

“I get a running start in our farm field and then soar up into the air with a parachute behind me. We live just outside the FAA circle of air compliance in Washington, so I don’t need any clearance.

Flying Sail“No, I don’t wear a helmet since it wouldn’t do any good in a crash anyway. One time, the engine conked out and I managed to glide down safely to land.

“They warn you not to try and get out of the chair to repull the start cord because you can’t get to it very easily while in the air. I’m a year into it. It costs $14,000 full in, and it’s great fun.”

Flying SailHer father Hank looked on, beaming. He was in full approval. What’s more, he was also in full mode on the helm, having not sailed in years. He stood for the entire three hours and loved running the boat.

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. 

Farming SailRussian Sail (not Farming Sail)

What better way to spend a wedding anniversary than to go sailing? Thus, Ben and Alicia Gromicko celebrated their 22nd with another couple with light winds and approaching storm. I whimsically asked Ben if he was related to Andre Gromyko, the famed Russian ambassador to the U.S. who played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

“Yes, actually,” Ben surprised me. “My great-grandfather had a cousin who was directly related. We eventually changed the spelling of our name. The Russian cousins used to enjoy coming to America to buy blue jeans, of all things.” Who knew.

Farming SailThe couple used to live in Boulder CO but relocated to Raleigh NC. “We got tired of the cold and the snow and wanted a warmer climate,” Alicia said. They sent their three daughters to a Waldorf School, which is notable for a rigorous academic plan.

“They aren’t allowed to use any electronic screens until 9th grade,” she said. “No phone, no tablets, no PCs or computers. Instead, they rely on books and learn to read quite well. I used to be a teacher, and I believe in Waldorf. Instead of reciting a curriculum for the children to recite back to the teacher, the students are taught to think.”

Ben added, “Their schools are all over the world. Our girls are now 17, 19 and 21. Two of them are now at North Carolina State University – with in-state tuition!”

As the wind died down, ominous clouds showed up in the southeast. Radar suggested a big storm. We motored back to port and safely disembarked before a squall with 50 mph winds sent copious rain sideways. Farming Sail.

Flight Sailing

Flight SailingHaving taken their ASA 101 course together in Virginia Beach, two FAA air traffic controllers set sail on the York River as big winds blew in from Tropical Storm Lee, offshore. Jonathan Maldonado and Stefan Corrado work at Newport News International and Andrews AFB, respectively. They enjoyed winds of 15-20 mph, which heeled the boat numerous times to 30 degrees. Wheeee!

I asked about Air Force One as it comes in overhead now and then for practice landings at Newport News. Jon said, “Yesterday, we had the real thing with Air Force Two. The Vice President was speaking at Hampton University. She didn’t stay long, perhaps two hours in entirety when the Secret Service said, ‘Okay, we’re out of here.”

Flight SailingHe added, “That was tame compared to President Trump. When he came here, he wanted two giant cranes out on the tarmac, raising a huge American Flag. We told him he couldn’t do that, that it posed a hazard. So they hung the flag off the building instead.”

Both fellows agreed that the biggest danger in flying is on the ground and taxiing around the airport. They’ve had their share of close calls, but they said that’s the nature of the industry. They said it take six months to train as a controller for a medium-sized airport such as theirs, but 18 months to work at LAC or LaGuardia. “More time for radar training.”

People always ask me about good sailing movies, so I reciprocated about flight movies. They agreed that “Pushing Tin” was their choice for most accurate and exciting. It starred John Cuscick and Billy Bob Thornton as competitive air traffic controllers. 

Buyboat Tour

Buyback TourBuyback TourBuy Boat Tour

A half-dozen restored buy boats blew into York River Yacht Haven to offer tours and explanations. These are the skipjacks and such that plied the Bay during the 1800s. They acted as a middleman for individual oyster and crab watermen by buying their catch and taking it to market in Baltimore, Deltaville and other ports where fish were processed for sale. The biggest was Mobjack, some 65 feet long and still operating commercially. 

From the Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Association:

The larger buyboats have a maximum draft of 6 feet with some having a maximum beam of 20 feet. The largest one is in Florida with an overall length of 84 feet to the smallest in Virginia with a length of 45 feet. Most of the buyboats on the Chesapeake are between 55 to 65 feet in length, with a draft of no more than 6 feet.

Buyboat TourTake the F.D. Crockett, which was originally designed to carry freight to market. It hauled farm crops, lumber and other goods to small and bigger ports. It’s one of the largest buyboats in the remaining fleet. It even used to dredge parts of the bay in the winter. The boat became obsolete with the expansion of roads and bridges as trucks took over the hauling mission. The Crockett was painstakingly restored and resides in Deltaville.

Buyboat TourBuyboat TourToday these restored buyboats are no longer the tractor-trailers of the Bay. Private owners have restored them or bought them restored. They sometime tour the Bay to show them off to landlubbers who have no idea of the commernce they provided on the highways of the sea. Several are found at the Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, Maryland.

Let’s Go with a Farming Sail

Check rates and pick a day for a sailboat charter. Scroll down reviews on Trip Advisor. Go back to the home page of Williamsburg Charter Sails.   

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.

farming sail farming sail farming sail farming sail farming sail

More from the Captain...