Wilmington Sail and Power
Each year in June, members of Wilmington Power Squadron (both power and sail, and even folks with no boat will drive to some land-based activities) get together and cruise for one week to various destinations around the Chesapeake Bay. The cruise usually includes marina, stays along with raft-ups and on the hook nights. This caters to everyone's favorites, and makes sure we all get some shore leave! Dinners are a mix of ashore in a restaurant, or potluck style.
The following is a recap of our 2017 annual cruise:
The 2017 cruise added more such memories to our tradition. Solomons Island - we went the farthest south on any squadron cruise. Going to the Solomons for two days worked out very well. Many enjoyed quiet Mill Creek and a chance to go to the Calvert Marine Museum, ride bikes provided by Zahniser’s or just relaxing in the pool. Only two boats participated in the day’s rallye which in part is testimony to the other options that were available.
Raft-ups, a best way to connect. Boats rafted in the Rhode River, Mill Creek and Hudson Creek in the Little Choptank River. It could be argued that raft-ups are the best part of the cruise outside of the boating - it’s a great way to share the events of the day, enjoy a meal and talk about what interests us. For example, Jubilee, Brio and Eau de Vie rafted together in Mill Creek. Sandy and Dave Netting, guests of Jubilee, shared stories of past USPS Cruises. This was their 50th Cruise!! The raft ups helped us get to know our new member Dave Turley, Captain of Justice - he is certainly going to be a contender in future rallyes.
We set up a dingy drift in Hudson creek and from a distance we probably looked like some hungry motley crew focusing on exchanging food and hanging together. The extra propulsion provided by Bill Zimmerman and John Ingram helped us stay out the channel.
On three successive days we had up to 29 kts of wind; making this cruise the windiest cruise, except the one during hurricane Agnes in 1972 when a couple of sailboats washed up on the Strand in Oxford.
Weather is always a factor. We had lots of wind, little wind, great wind, rain, sun and some clouds - and it did not affect our fun. We had 25 knot plus winds on the nose from Herrington Harbor to the Solomon's, some of us burying our bows several times. We had a very calm “no rally” day going to Hudson Creek.
Our rallye from Hudson Creek to Oxford was our best day - some said it was the best sailing they have done in a long time. Most used only their head sails and we enjoyed a fast - challenging sprint to Oxford. The high winds continued and most of group stayed at Oxford an extra day to return with better weather. We made the best of it by watching the “cardboard” boat races, checking out the town (finding ice cream) and eating leftovers at the same tent we used the evening before.
Mechanical breakdowns were a challenge. We had broken water pumps, transmission problems, windlass failures - more challenges than usual. We helped each other out - when Novus lost its water pump - Star Reacher stayed back to assist and make sure the transition for a tow went smoothly. Star Reacher also pitched in to start Brio’s outboard motor.
The cruise committee did a very good job. Cruise Chairman Dennis Wallace and Co-Chair Terry Butler did a great job pushing the Solomon envelope and lining up the plans. Dennis was in rare form on Friday night - we all looked forward to his cruise presentation. It is a valued tradition. Bill Zimmerman, John Ingram and Dennis Wallace did a fine organizing the rallyes.
What pulls all this work together? - the cruise book. Thank you Barbara Sharpless. What a job! From the picture of Rock Hall harbor to the photos and graphics our cruise book distinguishes WSPS from other Squadrons. Barbara’s work made a big difference!
- Cdr. Bruce Wyngaard, AP
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