DSCN3705People ask, “What’s it like to see the bridge open?” The opening of the Coleman Bridge is a nuisance for drivers, but from out on the water it looks fabulous.

Lois Anne and J.Q. Anders of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, joined Mary and Rob Yeager of Scottdale, Pennsylvania, on an afternoon sightseeing cruise in which a still air gave way to a delightful 10 mph breeze on the York River. Both fellows are Navy veterans, and by chance they got to see a warship transit the bridge to the Naval Weapons Station. Truth be told, the fellows were nonplussed. “It was a job,” Rob said of his Navy service. “I did it well and moved on.”

Sailing the High Seas
USS Stout transits the Coleman Bridge en route to NWS.

Allastair Jackson of England spent 50 years working on bridges and rigs all over the world. When he took his wife and son sailing on the York River in Virginia, he was intrigued to learn that the Coleman Bridge was rebuilt in a shipyard nearly 20 years ago and delivered on barges. It was supposed to take ten days to install, but the engineers did it in five.

“I spent three years in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where the fog rolls in because the temperatures change so rapidly. We installed oil rigs that were able to endure 90-foot waves. I never saw them that high, of course.

“I also helped with a bridge in South Korea over a river that had 10 knot current due to massive tides of 20 feet or more. It was a trick to get everything set in that water.”

Today he and his wife live in Yorkshire, which has its own set of bridges along the Ouse River.

Buy or Rent?

??????????Should you buy a sailboat or rent one? That question weighed on Alberto Villanueva as he took his wife Patricia and daughter Alexandria sailing in a light breeze on the York River. I pointed out the pitfalls of maintenance, annual slip fees and the inconvenience of being tied to one boat. Besides, now you can rent them easily and locally on websites like getmyboat.com, boatbound.com and norfolksailing.com. “Think of it as dating before you get married,” I offered. “I still want a boat,” Alberto replied.

Let’s Go Sailing into Port

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sailing into port sailing into port sailing into port

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