Policy Sail

Four family members from Richmond took a well-deserved day off to go sailing on the York. Temperatures in the 90s were offset by winds blowing a steady 15 mph and gusting over 20. It was so delightful and the conversation so intense that no one noticed the boat heeling past 20 degrees. We sailed around a fuel barge that had just come in that morning. It had 50,000 barrels of gas or diesel, comprising 2.1 million gallons.

Policy SailDana Wiggins did a superb job on the helm in stiff conditions. She is an executive with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, which she assured me has no connection with the scandal-ridden Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Actually ours used to be called the Big Pickle because of the acronym VASILC for Virginia State Institute for Legal Care sounded just like Vlasic Pickles. The name got changed when Newt Gingrich’s Contract for America eliminated legal aid under federal funding. It was a cute name, and they’re thinking of reinstating it.”

We talked about the Virginia General Assembly and how incompetent and ignorant so many members are. It was so depressing that I kept an eye for dolphins to cheer things up.

And the lobbyists! Dana got animated. “There is almost nobody as a paid lobbyist for the underserved community. The reason it took so long to get payday loans under control was the payday lenders who contribute heavily to the legislators. There are 20 payday lobbyists, plus the banks. The banks like payday loans because the credit charges go through them. As for the NRA, they have 15 lobbyists. And Dominion Energy has 40! Imagine that, 40 lobbyists representing an essentially unregulated utility that charges whatever it likes.”

Plumbing Sail

A Virginia Beach family went sailing earlier in the day to get pointers ahead of ASA classes. Deborah Albero-Darata and her husband Brian Poole own a plumbing franchise that spans all of Southside Virginia.

Plumbing Sail“We specialize in disasters,” Brian said, “sewer backups, overflows and such. Perhaps 80% of our business is one disaster or another. They say in plumbing that the real money is underground, not above ground. One client just sent us $15,000.”

In the early days, things were smaller. Deb said, “We were at a party when a woman called me to complain: ‘All five of my toilets are backed up!’ I told her we didn’t have anyone available, but she persisted. ‘Oh my God, the 2-year-old just took a dump in the back yard! Help me. My husband is on deployment and I’m all alone.” So, I managed to find one of the guys and sent him over.”

Plumbing SailI sent Deb’s daughter and boyfriend up to the bow for some romance privacy, and Deb continued. “One time, an elderly lady called and I couldn’t understand what she was saying. Her toilet was backed up, but I couldn’t make out anything else she was saying. It turned out she had food poisoning and had been vomiting for hours and lost her dentures down the pipe. So we sent someone out to find them.”

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. 

Arizona Sail

Arizona SailI always wondered about retiring to the Southwest. A couple from Arizona retired to nearby Deltaville because they couldn’t stand the intense and prolonged heat of the desert. “It’s so much nicer here,” said Susan Liebherr as we cruised on breezy day with temps in the 80s. “The weather is great, and you have the four seasons too. We just love it here.” Her son-in-law Brian Murphy ran an excellent helm for hours as the winds built to 18 mph. He works for a company that recruits diesel engine mechanics. “I just got off a call with a big client who needs a thousand new techs every year. Right now, he has only 20. That’s a big problem.”

Somalia Sail

Somalia SailLater that afternoon, Cody and Kristen Burnside took a romantic sail now that he has returned from Navy deployment in Somalia. He works with drones and was circumspect about the mission. “But I will tell you about the Captain Phillips situation,” ie. the cargo ship hijacked by terrorists off of Yemen, and whose part in the movie was played by Tom Hanks. “We saw it right away and followed the entire situation from beginning to end.” As for the Navy ship that deployed the three snipers, “I was there.”

A few hours earlier, we welcomed the USS Philippine Sea to the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. Everyone on board Let’s Go Sail was dazzled.

Somalia Sail

Farming Sail

A couple from Southside Virginia took their granddaughter sailing in crisp breezes on a beautiful summer day in the 80s. We got to talking about snakes, of all things.

Farming Sail“We own a small farm in Clarksville,” said Jimmy Harris, “and I can tell you it’s easy to spot a copperhead and other poisonous snakes. They have slitted eyes and a triangular head, while a harmless black snake has more rounded eyes and a rounded head.”

He and his wife Renee have had boats on Kerr Lake, which he explained. “Kerr is the largest lake in Virginia and it borders North Carolina. There was great controversy over water going to Virginia Beach from Kerr Lake, but in the end it worked out because the water is already in Virginia.”

Farming SailHe’s seen his share of follies there, which he related while Renee and the girl enjoyed hanging out on the bow. “I have videos of people trying to put in on the boat ramps. It makes for great entertainment on any Saturday or Sunday morning. I’ll find you the one of a fellow who drove his Mercedes right down the ramp into the water.”

Let’s Go 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.

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