Ship Disaster

We got to talking with couple from Mechanicsville VA about the Key Bridge disaster. Drew Everhart owns a HVAC business that he got into when he left the Navy. He took his wife Lianna and their 11-year-old girl sailing after taking ASA 101 in Deltaville. He was brushing up.

Ship Disaster“I was stationed in Philadelphia once on an old clunker they were getting ready to retrofit,” he said while helming in a warm, steady breeze on the York. “They had to tow it to Norfolk.

“The CO was fired, the XO was fired, it was a wreck. We got nearly all the way to Norfolk when we ran aground and the boilers went out. Got within 200 yards of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. It was close. That was the USS Detroit. It’s probably scrap by now.”

The couple has a 21-foot center-console motorboat, but they’re thinking of moving up to sailing. Lianna asked about storms, so I explained that my wife doesn’t like to cross the Potomac because of the fetch. They nodded, having been there.

Drew said, “We were at a restaurant along the Potomac when we heard over marine radio of a small craft warning. We waited too long before departing, and as we got out there the seas were running four feet. I managed to find the trough and did a quick run along it to avoid getting washed over.”

Ship Disaster

He used to own a 1967 Bristol 24 sailboat, while in the Navy. “I kept it at a dock of the house of the guy I bought it from, on a bay in New Jersey. When I got deployed, I gave him eight months’ rent and forgot about the boat.

“Upon returning from deployment, a friend of mine and I went to retrieve the boat. As we departed the dock, a woman came running down from the house and yelled at me for stealing her boat. It was mine; I had the title, though not with me.

“The guy had sold his house and threw in the boat. We just motored away as she continued hollering. Two years later, I got a warrant that the boat was in violation of a lien. He had taken a lien out on it! I had to drive back to New Jersey to sort it out. What a mess.”

Sailing to Prison

A Georgia couple who had sailed on a family boat some time ago went out in a brisk breeze with another couple. Brian Ausburn is a former US Marine who eventually got into the Florida prison system.

I mentioned that a friend of mine didn’t last a year as a Virginia corrections officer because he felt imprisoned himself. “That’s quite true, Brian said. His wife Kelly added, “There’s a shortage of correction officers nationally. Police as well. People just don’t want to do the job.”

Sailing to PrisonI asked if they had heard about the legislation by Republicans in Congress to renamed Dulles Airport for Donald Trump. The Democrats responded by offering to rename a prison in Florida after him.

Eventually Brian took the helm as the winds shifted and gusted. He adroitly pinched the wind to keep the sails full without heeling too far over. It can take years to learn that, and he got it right away. Kelly was impressed.

Sailing the Great Lakes

Sailing the Great LakesMarch 12 proved breezy following a front that blew through earlier. A mother and daughter celebrated a birthday by sailing the York. A couple from Detroit advanced their experience of sailing the Great Lakes.

Doug Metzger and Lynne Hufnagle were proud to have sailed all five lakes. “And we did it in a 16-foot daysailer,” he said proudly.

“We’ve gone up and down the lakes, across 10-mile straits, you name it. Even Lake Superior up in Canada. Over the years I snapped off two centerboards and two rudders.”

Sailing the Great Lakes

We motored across the York in a steady 20 mph westerlies that produced numerous whitecaps. Once we got to the lee shore, I set the main to two-thirds reef and kept the jib packed.

We bobbed around without progress because there wasn’t enough sail. I opened the main to half-reefed, and that did the job. We set off quickly as we made short tacks to Yorktown. It was exhilarating.

Lynne said, “Once, when were younger, he wanted to go out on a windy day like this. But I said no way. I had a six-month-old baby to care for. I’m not sitting in that boat. He took it out anyway and had a lot of high water. When he got back, he practically kissed the ground.”

Sailing the Great LakesAmid the drama of sailing in two-foot seas, their old black lab Bess slept through it all.

Doug added, “Another time, we were among four couples renting a motorized houseboat. I thought, ‘I’ve got to try this,’ so I became the designated skipper. It was a dud because the engine was under-powered. I sat there for 10 hours trying to run 50 miles. I’m stuck.”

Let’s Go Sail

Check rates and pick a day for a sailboat charter. Scroll down reviews on Trip Advisor.  Go back to the home page of Williamsburg Charter Sails.   

The best Williamsburg boat tour offers safe “social distance sailing” daily for up to 6 people. It’s an extraordinary experience for couples. Leave your worries behind. Enjoy the thrill of moving with the wind without a care in the world.

Put life back on an even keel with a romantic experience for a birthday or anniversary. 3-hour sailboat cruise as a semi-private yachting charter lets you exhale and relax as you enjoy comfort, stability and speed.

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