Summer of DolphinsDolphins showed up late in the season in the York River, with a pod of seven bobbing for 20 minutes near the entrance of the channel to Sarah Creek. Adrienne and Ben Johnson of St. Paul, Minnesota, took their family sailing on a breezy fall afternoon and were wowed by the sight.

They were in town for their son Andrew’s homecoming in Norfolk on the USS Arleigh Burke, back from a nine-month deployment in the Mediterranean. “He loves the Navy,” Adrienne said. His ship, namesake of an entire destroyer class in the US Navy, was the first to fire on Syria in the ISIS siege. “They left with a bang, after firing everything they had,” his grandfather Fred Johnson said. As it happened, we sailed past Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, where the sister ship USS Farragut was reloading missiles presumably for Syria.

Anniversary Sailing with Dolphins

Close to the boat

Shayna Maust took her beau Oliver Ross to lunch on their second anniversary of dating, and then she surprised him with a sail on the York River. They’re juniors at Christopher Newport University, where he took a break from the sailing team to coach his Smithfield High School sailing team, one of the few such sports at a public school in Virginia. Oliver sailed Bemis 420s in the Nationals qualifier in Annapolis and advanced to the next round in Marblehead, Mass. “My dream is to sail the Volvo race around the world, which is now in leg one.” Behind the wheel, Oliver had all the poise of a world yachtsman.

Family on the Move

Summer of DolphinsPeople ask, “Do guests come from abroad?” Carol Roehling took her husband Alex Shalash’s family sailing in brisk winds on the York River. The family fled Kuwait when Saddam Hussein invaded, and more recently they left Jordan during the Syrian uprising. She has 25 residential rentals in Cincinnati and is rehabilitating a house she bought for $14,000.

“It should have cost $50,000, but the economy is terrible.” He’s a successful barber who owns three cell phone stores on the side. “That’s nothing,” Alex said. “My cousin has 30 cell phone stores.” Alex had a great time racing the wind and heeling the boat.

Wounded Bird

sailing with dolphins
Walking wounded

This double-crested Cormorant was walking slowly on the bulkhead of York River Yacht Haven, apparently sick or wounded. He hardly looked like the elegant bird that dives for fish . He normally glides through the water with his head out of the water like a submarine. For a more active view of Cormorants, check out the video below. 

Let’s Go Sailing with Dolphins

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