Matt and Jen Fodor of suburban Philadelphia took their three strapping boys sailing in a fine easterly breeze on the York River. Dillon Fodor took the helm and held stead through three tacks before we saw darkening clouds ten miles to the north.

Sail Washed OutI checked the radar and a cell of thunderstorms had popped up. So we slowly headed in a different direction to see if we could outrun the storm. Within minutes I changed course to head back to port and beat the storm that way. We settled at a T-head and disembarked to the ship’s store as a gentle rain began to fall harder. Before long, we were washed out for the trip. The storm lingered for hours, forcing a cancellation of the second trip. Safety first.

I get questions about refunds on rain-outs. The occasional rain-out is one reason why I don’t require prepayment or down payment by guests days or weeks ahead of the trip. It becomes a hassle for everyone to do a refund because of a wash-out, but the more frequent event is simply a change in plans. The last thing I want to do is cause a problem on vacation. Once paid at the dock and under way, my policy is analogous to that of Major League Baseball. If they can get 7 of the 9 innings in, it’s an official game. If I can get nearly two hours in for a three=hour sail, it’s an official trip.

Matt offered to forgo the refund since I had taken the trouble to set the cruise and set up the boat for the day. But I insisted since we were only halfway and not two-thirds through the trip. Everyone was happy. And safe and dry.

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