Members of a charity auction cruise got to see a mega-yacht in port before they went sailing for three hours on the historic York River.
Amanda Redfern took friends out and spent much of the time chatting on the bow.
The Shadow L mega-yacht is staying for three weeks on the end of D Dock, at a cost estimated at $2,000 a day. The boat runs 142 feet and cost $35 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. The boat used to be in a charter fleet but is now owned by a private person and is based in Nassau, Bahamas. It arrived from Fort Lauderdale.
The builder is Burger, whose website lists the following information:
Shadow L has an aluminum hull and aluminum superstructure with a beam of 8.53m (27’11″ft) and a 2.13m (6’11″ft) draft. This custom yacht is equipped with an ultra-modern stabilization system which reduces roll motion effect and results in a smoother and more enjoyable cruising experience. She also features bow thrusters making her more maneuverable at low speeds.
Shadow L draws a surprisingly low 7 feet and has a cruising speed of 12 knots. The boat is so massive as to require the crew to rappel from the top deck downward to wash the sides.
Memories of Grandpa
Amanda and her girlfriends got to talking about memories of their grandparents. One story drew gales of laughter for the sheer imagery.
She said, “My grandmother got the idea of molding a cast of my grandfather’s face, though I’m not sure why. She forgot to apply Vaseline on his face, and the plaster stuck to his skin and eyebrows and eyelashes. When she went to take the mask off, it pulled everything with it. They had to crack the plaster to break it up. He was not happy.”
Her friend Tom Archibald learned to surf in Hawaii and thus had no trouble on the helm in gusty winds that frustrated Amanda somewhat. He got to talking and it turned out he’s in the Naval Reserves.
“Our Navy group toured the Ford last week,” he said quietly. What! The USS Gerald R. Ford is the prototype for the next fleet of aircraft carriers. It’s very controversial for cost overruns and sheer size. I’ve never met anyone who’s been on board in the ten years it’s been under construction in nearby Newport News.
“I’m in the Naval Reserves but have never served on a ship, so I found the tour fascinating. I work in Intel.” I asked if he thought we were safe as a nation and he assured me of that. “There are things you don’t know that be very reassuring.” I asked about North Korea and if it’s true that we cyber-attack the missile launches to fail. He looked benignly at me. Then I wondered if we let some missiles go up because they’ll only go plop a few hundred miles away.
He was blank and yet reassuring. I turned to his friend Greg Johnson and said, “Well, I guess your response is better than saying, “Yes, as a nation we’re fucked!” We all laughed.
Later we sailed to the USNS Robert E. Peary, in port a week now to load up munitions at the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. I explained how the orange lifeboats gave away the fact the ship is quasi-civilian, part of the Military Sealift Command.
Vicki Johnson came back from a cruise last fall with Let’s Go Sail, this time with her husband and parents.
Jean and Marvin Nicholson are avid boaters from St. Louis who kept a 31-foot motorboat on Lake of the Ozarks.
He recalled: “We were on a cruise in the Virgin Islands one time sailing on one of those Jolly Roger excursions. As one ship went out, another in the fleet came in to pass. Kids were on small Hobie Cats sailing back and forth between us.”
This memory may have been inspired by a fellow on a large catamaran who was maneuvering near us. Yet Vicki did an admirable job avoiding him and eventually beat him in a short race toward the bridge.
Marvin continued: “We were drinking what I thought was a sweet juice and it tasted pretty good. As the sister ship of the Jolly Roger passed us, everyone on that side mooned us! Anyway, Jean and I got back to port and got off. She was anxious to get back to the cruise ship because it was Steak & Lobster Night and she loves lobster. Whatever we drank made us so drunk we could hardly walk the 500 yards to the ship. She missed the lobster.”
Everyone laughed except Jean.
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