A unique idea for a girls’ weekend getaway is to go sailing. Many’s the time I’ve had pals show up spontaneously for three-hour afternoon sail. Mothers and daughters find sailing a bonding experience as well. Get out of the parking lot and on to the water.
The Adventure Cruise is the most popular, offering a chance to sit in the warm sun as the water zooms past. Some ladies like to run the helm. They get to interact with couples and families in a comfortable setting that is magnificently serene.
Lessons Cruise offers informal instruction for those who may want to buy or boat, or more frequently, are going on a Caribbean cruise and want to know how the boat works.
Here’s what we cover:
Learn the aerodynamics of sailing.
Differentiate the three sail “reaches” for power.
Learn how to “see” the wind.
Help deploy the spinnaker sail when going downwind.
Get the basics of preventative maintenance for diesel engines.
Follow up with ASA sanctioned sailing lessons.
History Cruise presents an informal lecture on the two key battles of 1781, the Capes and Yorktown Siege. The talk is geared from the point of view of the water, where considerable fighting took place. Women history faculty and armchair historians enjoy debating the finer points of the battles.
We sail to three key points: Mouth of the York, Moore House, Redoubt 10. Sometimes we can make it under the bridge to view from the water the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. From this angle, it resembles Lee’s Mansion at Arlington, though I imagine that was untended.
Appreciation Cruise for women usually entails a birthday or anniversary or other event. Often it’s a surprise, which is fun. Marriage proposals are the best.
Military Cruise offers a drive-by of US Navy ships in dock at the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. Destroyers and Cruisers usually come in on Mondays and depart Thursdays or Fridays.
Marine patrol boats hover offshore in a protective zone around the ships. They sometimes drift our way to spot the women on board. Every day we see US Coast Guard trainees on the York River. They practice towing, radio contact, man overboard and interdiction.
Finally, the Boat Buyer Cruise describes in detail the perils and joys of ownership. I try to talk the potential buyer down from the ledge, in favor of short-term renting or leasing. Women love this approach because it saves tens of thousands of dollars from going into a boat. Maintenance is a big factor for owners, so we cover that too.
Let’s go sail, together
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Author: Capt. Bill O'Donovan
Retired newspaper publisher is now in his sixth season as a sailing charter captain. Visitors and locals enjoy the scenery and the sailing on the historic York River.
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