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Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew Onboard

Sailing Past a Sub
While getting ready at the dock to host an AARP video crew, I heard the Navy announced over marine radio, “Attention all boats in the vicinity of the Coleman Bridge, this is the United States Navy announcing a submarine transiting the vicinity. All vessels are to stay 500 yards away in all directions. Repeat, 500 yards.”
Sailing Past a Sub
That was unusual for two reasons. We rarely see subs at the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station because they are super-secret and they train extensively to reload at sea. Of course, it boggles the mind to think they would need to reload at sea, given that they have a 154 Tomahawk missiles on board.
The second oddity was the announcement itself. It violated the stealthy behavior that subs maintain. A few minutes later came the announcement a second time. This was going to get exciting today.
Sailing Past a Sub
Three members of a freelance photo/video team out of New York arrived to board for a short trip to Yorktown. Our neighbors Sue and Mike Carruth joined Bonnie and me for the shoot. As we motored across the river, we could see the sub in the dock and two Moran tugboats departing back to Norfolk. Dustin Cohen, Matt Clegg and Austin Daniels spent hours shooting video and stills from all over the boat.
At Riverwalk Landing, dockmaster and USCG Capt. Sue Ripley caught the boat at perfect high tide. I try to avoid Yorktown because of the wicked mid-tide currents that can buffet the boat badly. As luck would have it, we took a rolling wake from the tugboats as they chugged past Yorktown. Two smaller Navy patrol boats left as well, with their .30 caliber guns on the bow.
Sailing Past a SubAt Yorktown, we did two shots of the Carruths boarding the boat for an afternoon sail. We motored under the bridge and passed the sub snug on the Navy pier. You had to look carefully to see the conn, or the “sail” as they call it in the Navy. By proceeding upriver just past the sub, we caught the sunlight bouncing off the hull. It was magnificent to see.
Meanwhile another Navy patrol boat ran interference between us and the sub. Mike asked if we knew the name, and I didn’t even know the class—either Los Angeles or Virginia. Mike knew about the Tomahawks.
Sailing Past a SubWe turned 180 degrees and flew the spinnaker all the way back to the bridge and under it. Eventually the wind shifted to the east and everyone got to sail the boat on multiple short tacks. Downriver we turned again and hoisted the spinnaker for the ride home. Never before have I run the spin twice in the same day.
Back at the dock, the video crew collected their formidable equipment. Matt said he had to double check his lenses because a few months ago he misplaced the case holding them. I asked Dustin what the lenses were worth, and he said $50,000.

AARP Second Careers

The AARP piece is part of a 22-part series of second careers pursued by retired people. They show how, in my case, a defrocked newspaper publisher can turn on a dime and change course productively. From the text AARP newslettter:
Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew OnboardWhy he did it: After 42 years with The Virginia Gazette newspaper, I was laid off at age 65. Fortunately, part of my job was to schmooze advertising clients and news sources, and I did that by taking them sailing on my boat on the York River. I was spending more than 100 days a year on the water, and that just happened to be what I needed to get Coast Guard certification and start sailing professionally.
How he succeeded: I printed up brochures and took out ads in the local papers. But what really helped was setting up a blog on my website. That helps with Google searches. Through my blogs and TripAdvisor, I’ve grown the business rapidly.
What you need to know: What matters is business strategy. I studied other sailing businesses, then copied their best practices.
Here’s a look at the others profiled, based on their previous and current lives. It’s fascinating how some people traded one challenging career for another—and quite lucratively as well. It seems logical for someone in law enforcement to shift over to air rescue. But take a look at the pharmacist who became an airline flight attendant. Or the art director with LEGO becoming a reference librarian. Wow.

Organizational Trainer, 68 >> Dog Walker, $40,000

Corporate Philanthropist, 70 >> Company CEO, $100,000

Law Enforcement, 66 >> Air Rescue, $53,000

Media Professional, 67 >> Personal Trainer, $30,000

Pastor & Teacher, 74/70 >> Innkeepers, $160,000

Schoolteacher, 75 >> Real Estate Agent, up to $90,000

History Teacher, 67 >> Bicycle Tour Guide, $40-$100 hour

Artist & Attorney, 72/65 >> Organic Farmers, $100,000 sales

Oil Industry Product Manager, 59 >> Store Owner, $0 first year

Real Estate Broker, 52 >> Skin Care Entrepreneur, $100,000

Lobbyist & TV Producer, 57 >> Company Founder, $120,000

Attorney, 79 >> Photographer, $5,000

Electrician, 68 >> Park Ranger, $15,000

Pharmacist, 58 >> Flight Attendant, $38,000

Court Reporter, 67 >> Physician, $250,000

Lab Chemist, 63 >> Nurse, $70,000

Cafeteria Manager, 58 >> Massage Therapist, $30,000

IT Quality Assurance, 61 >> Voiceover Artist, $20,000

Art Director for LEGO, 57 >> Reference Librarian, $45,000

Flight Attendant, 66 >> Inventor, $100,000

Electrician, 65 >> Attorney, up to $30,000

 

23rd Anniversary Sail

Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew Onboard
Chantell Peatross took her husband Kevin for a brisk sail on their 23rd wedding anniversary. We shot out the river on 12 mph winds from the northeast, racing to the old refinery dock. Chantell was a natural on the helm, heeling to 20 and 25 degrees while trying to stay the course. I got her to remove her high heels for better traction, which she appreciated. 
She said, “All our children are grown, so now it’s time us to do something now. This is wonderful. I could do this all day.”
Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew OnboardOn the flip side, I put them up on the bow and took a beam reach to the bridge and under to get a closer look at another submarine that came in quietly overnight. We got close enough that they could see it with my binoculars, along with the Navy patrol boat. We also saw a barge replacing a longstanding Danger sign that someone crushed during the bridge transit.
Afterward, Chantell said, “I spent my youth on the water, fishing in Newport News and Topping. We got up at dark to go, and we got home at dark. Now I want to get back on the water. We’ll be back, with family, to sail again.”

Sail Hard

Two back-to-back sails totaling nearly 40 miles traced the same route under excellent winds.
Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew OnboardLaura Elizabeth Saunders and her husband Paul took her father Ed Mann and mom Rosa sailing to recapture earlier days on the water. Right off the bat, Rosa was pleased. “Oh look, a Hunter. We had 36, 38 and 44 Hunters. This is beautiful.” The helm was all-Ed since this was his birthday gift. “We used to sail out of Deltaville,” he said. “First, we were at Stingray Point and eventually Dozier’s. They had some big boats there.” We lamented the premature death of Jack Dozier and later the fire at Dozier’s Urbanna, which killed two people and destroyed the entire marina. “The secret to sailing,” Rosa joked, “is to keep  your eye on the destination. For four hours, we were headed to the same spot!”
Ed said, “We had friends at Stingray who named their Hunter 40 Kids R Gone I and then Kid R Gone II. He was very particular about the boat and was always giving advice.”We talked about crossing the Potomac, which is a big stretch and can be wicked if the fetch is wrong. “I was on Kids R Gone in a squall as we crossed the Potomac, and he was very good at the helm. Seas were running three feet.” Later I sent Ed a link to rental sailboats in Deltaville to get him back on the water.
Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew OnboardWe were joined by not one but two dogs belonging to Elizabeth and Paul. Their 3-year-old Beagle was rescued and eventually recovered from whatever trauma bothered him. Their 11-year-old Pomeranean stayed in Laura’s lap while the beagle rested on a special rug on board for dogs. They behaved better than everyone expected. 
Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew OnboardIn the afternoon we traced the same route out to the refinery dock, back under the bridge, and past the Naval Weapons Station. Ken Fox took his gal Kiertstan Hammer and his son Matt and Matt’s wife Alyssa out for a brisk sail in 12 mph winds. Alyssa asked if we ever see submarines, so we sailed to NWS where I gave her binoculars to see a sub up close. Steam was visible venting from the sub sail as a Navy patrol boat stood off to the right. It’s only the second time this year that a sub was in port. The American flag on the fantail was a new touch. Later we talked about Ken’s hobby of rock-climbing. He did it to overcome his fear of heights, and it worked. How’s that for a challenge?

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Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew Onboard

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Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew Onboard
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Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew Onboard
Description
We went to take out an AARP video crew for an article, only to hear that a Navy sub was coming into port. So we chased it down.
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Williamsburg Charter Sails
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