Two sailing parties from Richmond had a lot in common with medical institutions. Joe Karch brought his wife Paige. He’s a general surgeon and she’s a nurse. They knew a lot of the same hospital friends of the Grover family.
Joe and Paige spent the entire time on the bow, using the forward hatch to move in and out of the cabin for champagne and lunch. “I don’t want to leave,” she lamented afterward.
Stephanie’s dad Patrick had never sailed before. “I fish instead. I have a 300-acre farm in Sussex County, and I can take a kayak out or fish from shore on the Nottoway River. It’s only 50 to 70 yards across and you can walk it if you have to. Out on the open water, I fish for cobia, spot, croaker and sea bass.”
His family is proud that he remains athletic in retirement. “Besides fishing, I play golf, soccer and rugby.” Rugby? “It’s a slower version of what you’re thinking. Actually, it’s safer than football because we don’t have pads and don’t want to smash into each other.”
Pat experienced great wind on the helm and tacked several times before the wind simply died. It was eerie because the waves kept rocking for 20 minutes before calming down. Eventually the wind clocked around from south to east, but it took time. I asked if chop made a difference while fishing.
“I prefer not to fish in chop. Flat water is better. But if you have chop, that’s okay. It’s more than just about the fishing.” We went from 10 mph to zero, but sailing is more than just about the wind.
In the afternoon, the Rickabaugh family of Winston-Salem NC were a little late because they drove down from Washington. Sailing the York River was a pleasant relief. Older son Thomas was an experienced hand, having sailed a schooner in the inland waterways and Pamlico Sound of North Carolina. He ably handle the genoa sheets as we tacked across the river.
The family saw the Smithsonian museums on the Mall and got a tour of the White House. They also toured the newly restored U.S. Capitol, including the Rotunda.
Jeff and Thomas were happy to hear about the Siege of Yorktown and see the famous painting from the Rotunda, “The Surrender of Gen. Cornwallis at Yorktown, Oct. 19th, 1781.” The painting is wonderful for several reasons, and even though it’s named for Cornwallis he didn’t show up for the surrender. History is like that.
While I was cleaning up the boat, I heard a huge blast and looked around. Over on D Dock the Shadow L was weighing anchor for departure after several weeks at York River Yacht Haven. It was a sight to see a 143-foot mega-yacht turn around and head out of the channel, led by its $600,000 tender that they keep on board. The yacht cost $35 million. It rounded Red No. 8 in a curved 90 degrees and headed out to see with a small parade of admiring boats following in its wake.
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