Sailing is a great bonding experience for spouses, family, in-laws and employees. Sailing is a unique way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, engagement or bar mitzvah. Bring up to five people with you to celebrate the occasion with lasting memories.
Pick a day
You can sail any day this week or farther out. Weekends fill up fast, especially three-day weekends. Posted rates prevail all season, without a higher rate for the three summer holiday weekends. Mondays and Tuesdays offer discounts of 15% and 10% respectively as those are slower periods. The best time to sail is 11 am, which is followed by the late afternoon cruise at 2:30 pm. Rates are $150 Couples, $250 Families up to six, $350 Groups up to six. Solos are also welcome. Threesomes run $225.
Also wine, and lunch or snacks. Enjoy the sunny breeze like it’s a picnic—with a 360 degree view of the water. You can eat outside in the cockpit or below in the salon. Many people use the salon to set up food in the galley and then bring it out. We’ve got a cooler on board with bottled water and ice. Some people still like to smoke, and we have two catbird seats for that. But no drugs!
Ask lots of questions about history, Williamsburg, restaurants, and how to sail. Once you’ve seen where the 1781 Battle of the Capes ended up, you’ll be intrigued to connect the dots to the battle on land known as the Siege of Yorktown. We sail close to key locations and field all questions. Colonial Williamsburg gets explained for those who desire. Restaurants are recommended, based on crowd-sourcing. And everyone enjoys learning the basics of how to sail.
Bookings are done days or weeks in advance. But call anyway in case of a cancellation today. People’s plans change on vacation.
DON’T DO THIS
Worry about it
Sailing is exciting fun but safe. A certified USCG Captain with a 50-ton license runs the boat and keeps things on an even keel—literally. You’ll have fun without anxiety.
Fret the weather
Capt. Bill watches the weather closely and will postpone if things look dicey. You’ll get a weather report the night before we sail. If there’s any doubt, you’ll get another report early in the morning of the sail. If we are sailing and it starts to rain, we’ll probably head into port for everyone’s comfort. The rule of thumb parallels the 7-inning rule in Major League Baseball: If we’re out for two hours, it’s considered a valid sail. If not, you get a refund.
Pay in advance
To keep transactions simple, there’s no pre-pay or down payment. You’re on vacation, so just make a reservation and don’t worry about it. We’ll settle dockside with cash, Visa, MasterCard or personal check.
Let’s Go Sail is safety-obsessed. Everyone sits in a comfortable cockpit that is spacious and has a low center-of-gravity. Some people prefer to wear life preservers, so they get official USCG PFDs. Children 12 and under have to wear them, so we have child sizes. A safety drill beforehand encourages guests to go up to the bow for a private cruise. Lean into the boat to avoid hitting the lifeline.
Not a problem on the relatively calm York River. What makes people seasick is the pitch and yaw of the boat, up-and-down continuously. We don’t do that. If you’re prone to seasickness, take a Dramamine the night before, not the day of. We also have preventatives on board. These consist of acupuncture bands and Dramamine pills. They are very effective stuff. Among thousands of people who have enjoyed Let’s Go Sail, only two got sick. One person was heavily medicated and the other had a hangover.
Let’s Go Sail, with enthusiasm
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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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