During multiple sails, the cable-laying USNS Zeus returned to Cheatham Annex after many months at sea in the Atlantic. The Zeus lays hundreds of miles of intel cable as deep as 9,000 feet. It’s the only ship in its class because the sister ship never got built. It looks like an old hospital ship badly in need of a paint job, but only the latter is true.
Jay Maldonado has sailed with his wife on 60-foot catamarans off the coast of South Africa and South America. Now he’s looking to learn how to sail by himself with her. On this day he learned the points of sail in a light wind that kept shifting and gusting – great teaching moments. As an air traffic control operator at nearby Langley AFB, he quickly figured out the wind angles. He loved it and will be back for more when he takes ASA 101 training in Virginia Beach.
Sisters among Multiple Sails
Kathy Beers and Monico Swoboda are two sisters who vacationed with their husbands in Williamsburg. The men took them sailing on the York in brisk winds nearing 20 mph.
Mike Beers, who once aspired to becoming a pilot, distinguished himself on the wheel by controlling the boat in gusts topping 20 mph. They got to see four Coast Guard training boats up close as they threw lines to practice towing.
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.
The two couples got to sail up close to four Coastie boats with the US Coast Guard Training Center at Yorktown, where they watched the crew train on towing techniques. It’s not rocket science, but they have to be careful not to bump into each other. Note the Yorktown Monument in the background.
Windsurfers among Multiple Sails
To embellish on the theme of multiple sails, while we were coping under two reefs in 20 mph winds, two windsurfers came our way and sailed around the boat. Note how the board rises on a single foil to accelerate the board. The procedure to get up off the water is to pump the sail over his head. Instead of plunking through the waves, they flew right over them. At left, you can see one guy zipping past the Yorktown Monument.
Constitution Departs as a Multiple Sail
After a few days in Yorktown, the USS American Constitution sailed for Washington as the biggest of multiple sails. We spoke briefly by radio with the captain to ensure we didn’t get in his way. The ship spun around 180 degrees off the Yorktown dock before picking up speed to exit the river.
Caribbean Prep during Multiple Sails
Alisa and Bruce Clark have friends who are taking them on big catamaran in the Caribbean. While visiting Williamsburg, they chose Let’s Go Sail to brush up on their reaches: Close, Beam, Broad. Lucky for them, the wind died down so we could fly the spinnaker – for the first time this year.
The tugboat Annapols pushed a giant fuel barge from the Bay to the York and anchored out for the night before unloading at the old refinery pier. The barge carries 50,000 barrels, which at 42 gallons per works out to 2.1 million gallons.
As the big winds continued, Jeanne Kushubar took her beau Tom Roberson and four other friends from Ford’s Colony sailing on the York. “There are two things that I love, skiing and sailing,” she said. “I had a fantastic six weeks in Vermont last winter and now look at this.” She waved her arm over the river as the winds churned past 15 mph.
“And these people! These are my family, my best friends.” We sailed for three hours and the wind rarely let up as we went heeling to 20 degrees, to everyone’s delight. The wake off the bow as plowed downriver was spectacular.
While I was prepping the boat for a Sunday sail, a fellow walked down the dock to hail me. His name is John Rager.
“You may not remember me, but you took my wife and I sailing three years ago. We liked it so much that we bought a sailboat, over there.” He pointed to a Hunter 386 across the lane at F Dock. “We bought it in New York and sailed it down. It was difficult fighting the currents of the East River and then crossing the bar at Sandy Hook. But here we are, thanks to you.” I was stunned and delighted, and said so.
Lisa Jones took her husband James sailing for his birthday. They live and work in Richmond, but they used to work in Chicago. I mentioned my work with Tribune Co. and James said, “You may not know that someone bought the famous Tribune Tower and retrofitted it as expensive condos. The exterior is still preserved as a historic landmark. It’s right across the street from the Wrigley Building.
Golfing at Sea during Multiple Sails
Greg and Sally Witzky took a spontaneous sail in brisk winds while they were touring Yorktown. They live in Chesterfield County and own a timeshare at nearby King’s Creek Resort. Somehow we got on to golf during the fifth of multiple sails.
“I play maybe twice a week, not as much as I’d like,” Greg said. He seemed pretty laid back for a golfer, so I asked him if he ever hit a hole-in-one. Without hesitation he responded, “Twice actually. Once at Brainbridge near Richmond and once [here] at Brickshire-Stonehouse.”
Did you see it? “I saw one go right in. The other hit the green and I lost sight of it behind the pin. But there it was.”
I thought that was amazing since most golfers go their entire career without one. “Yeah, we had an old guy at the golf club who we only knew as Coach. He had 24 holes-in-one over the years. People would come in and say ‘Guy hit a hole-in-one!’ but it would be Coach, so we just shrugged. He seemed to hit two a year.” We laughed and sailed toward the setting sun.
Let’s Go for Multiple Sails
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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 & speed.
Look closely at this cloud over the York River and note the outline of a Lakeland terrier on the right side. It’s an uncanny likeness.
All kinds of action were highly visible on the York River during several windy days.
Capt. Bill O'Donovan
Williamsburg Charter Sails / Let's Go Sail