Sailing War StoriesPeople ask while sailing the York River how Gen. George Washington could communicate with Admiral Francoise DeGrasse in the Caribbean to get the French fleet here. Much it transpired by letters sent by couriers on single-mast sloops that could go faster than conventional warships.

Frigates with two masts comprised sloops. The most famous early sloop was the USS Constitution, but not until 1854. The sloop could sail close to the wind, employing the scientific principle of pulling the boat through the wind instead of pushing it like boats of yore (think Godspeed). Today’s modern sailboats are sloops. 

Battle of the Capes & Sailing War Stories

Sailing War Stories
Battle of the Capes

Kevin and Kason Sookwah of Long Island reenacted the Battle of the Capes with their parents by pretending to shoot cannons from our sailboat at passing targets. Our boat had to be steady and not heeling as we targeted the opposition by hitting them broadside. Suddenly a US Navy submarine converged, escorted by Navy patrol boats with .50 caliber machineguns. We held our fire. Check out the video below for a recap on the Battle of the Capes.

Hail, Mary

Virginians have no idea how lucky we are, weather-wise. Melissa Olsen took her son Sam sailing near Williamsburg and got to talking about their weather in Missoula, Montana. “It gets cold, of course, and there’s a lot of snow usually. But the hail is awful, sometimes as big as golf balls. We drove over to Canada, and apparently it’s so bad there that they don’t even bother to get the dents hammered out of cars. Everybody’s car is pockmarked.”

Osprey Come and Go

Julie Gamez was intrigued to learn while sailing the York River that osprey migrate from Virginia to South America every fall. In our case on Sarah Creek, they go to Argentina. “While stationed in the Bavaria region of Germany, we saw storks who migrated to Morocco. I went to Casablanca once and found flocks of storks there. I wondered if any of them were ours.”

Let’s Hear Sailing War Stories

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