May 27, 2015 How to, Sailing, Uncategorized, York River, Yorktown

Sailing from Deltaville



I helped Dave Dolloff of Gloucester County sail his newly acquired Cataline 320 from Deltaville to York River Yacht Haven Marina. We started on the Rappahannock River and sailed out into Chesapeake Bay. Because the wind was blowing from the south, we had to motor south past Milford Haven and Wolf Trap Lighthouse, past New Point Comfort Lighthouse. From there we sailed southwest across Mobjack Bay and into the York River. The last part involved a tricky passage through the Swash, where two large shoals open briefly to leave a narrow lane. The crux is marked with the customary red/green day markers, but as a retired US Coast Guard officer who holds a 100-ton master license, Dave was familiar with the peculiar markers at the Swash. The rule holds that you keep red markers on your right as you pass from the larger body into the smaller. Even though it looked as if we were passing from the larger Mobjack Bay into the smaller York River, we were in fact passing from the smaller Mobjack Bay into the larger Chesapeake Bay just before the York River. So the reds and greens were ostensibly reversed. As a result of similar confusion, the day markers have been pulled by the Coast Guard at the nearby Goodwin Island Pass. Dave followed two other sailboats as they properly wound between the reds and greens. Later he called his wife Cris, who could see us from their house on the York River, near Little England Plantation and across from Yorktown. Imagine living on such historic water, or any water for that matter. What a life.

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