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Old 01-05-2010, 12:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 10

Hi all! A very special woman, Jeanne P, has been openly encourageing and friendly to me since I chance emailed her a question a while back. When I happend to mention to her that I had finally gotten to sail she wanted me to post my experiences here so here goes...... I had posted a request to sail in the crew listings. ughmo2000 responded cause he was looking for quick help, or so I thought, to relocate his boat SV Adventure Bound from Brunswick Georgia to Reesville VA on the Chesapeake. Turns out that he really needed me for Ballest, a duty which I performed exceptionally well. I somehow got to Brunswick marina with the help of the local poilce who seemed to be the only people that knew where the Marina was. I arrived in late afternoon, met Cliff and couple of other sailors. After a bit we went for a drive, getting lost (no charts) Finally after drifting for what seemed like days we finally were cast ashore into a parking lot that had a food facility. After availing ourselves of their larder we returned to our vessel. (a trip frought with hazzards lie red lights and such) Early the next morning we left the marina about noon time. High winds and rain on the way out. When we were finally "outside" we had 15 20 foot seas (cliff said about 6 foot but he lies) and howling headwinds at least 100 knots or 25 I can't remember. We had a current running north and a wind blowing south so it was really neat. SV Adventure Bound is a 37 ft Tayana and was long enough that we stayed right on the tips of the waves for 2 1/2 hours. At this time, as we creasted another 80 Ft wave Cliff says "this is what real sailing is like in the "big water". Then he spun the boat around and we went back "in" electing to travel on the ICW instead. The ICW is a must do for every sailor, novice or experienced. Though we had 80 knot or 20 knot winds at the mast head, waaaayyyy up there, down at water level it was a mild and serene 15 knots. or so, barely enough to ripple the water. Unfortunately we had winds dead on our nose for the next week or so, thus we had to motor up the ICW. Finally arriving in Charleston, Cliff let me out of the Cargo hold where I had been holding the ship down. The next morning we decided to to take our water tank out for exercise. Just because it was covered in oil from the bilge the other guys decided to drop it on my foot. I think they decided I should have taken better care of the bilge while I was down there holding the boat down. In any case, I was very stoic. I said "Oh my, this is somewhat discomforting" or words to that effect. Later in the day, I was taken to a local animal clinic where my foot, now about the size of a soft ball, was examined. It was determined that most of the pieces were still there and amputation wasn't necessary. A couple of days later, water tank back in, boat reprovisioned, we departed Charleston. Fineally we were able to go outside with winds that permitted sailing. Was great! we rock and rolled along for two full days and a night, splitting watches and such. Arriving at Cape Fear we went into the "Bald Head Island" Marina. WOW, Beautiful Marina! Quiet, peaceful with fuel and great showers. I wanted to stay the next morning but by now Cliff had me chained to the front of the mast cause he found out that I had good distance vision. We reentered the ICW at Cape Fear cause the wind wass unfavorable again. We boogied along for a few days Finally arriving at some big navy base in Virginia. (It was a Union Base taken from the Rebs a while back so probably Norfolk) We spent the night anchored and the next morning entered the Chesapeake. Whaa rough water and nippy! Two days later we arrived at our destination and tied up. The next morning we secured the boat "on the hard" and went our seperate ways. Great fun I want to do it again. I really think my most imprtant contribution is I made good coffee. The ICW up through Georgia and the Carolinas is picturesque. Miles of quiet salt marshes with Porpoises, and Brown Pelicans and numerous other sea birds all over. Entering the Carolinas the ICW became forested with stately trees draped in moss and swamps everywhere. Just Beautiful! Ohe cannot go through Norfolk without being touched by the might of the United States Navy. The Chesapeake, when I was on it, was chilly with strong winds and waves 4 to 6 ft and breaking at the tops. Altogether unpleasant. However, being an avid reader of American History I was overwellmed by the History I was travelng through. The Chesapeake is a big body of water. I think about 3 to 4 day day sail from one end to the other. Bigger than the waters here at home in Arizona.

Thanks to Cliff UGHMOO2000 I had the experience of my life, want to do it again, and would love to someday get a boat. Unfortunately that may never come to pass cause I am existing on a VA disability and that leaves very little extra money for things like sailboats. However, perhaps someone else wants a cook/cribbage player/coffe maker and I will get invited again. Sailing people, I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which I have pretty much learned to deal with. I found the trip with Cliff, with little or no outside contact, to be an extremely theraputic experience for which I will always be greatful. That said, There are Vets coming home from a nasty dirty war that could use simalar experiences. Perhaps you could get a Husband and wife to go aboard your boats for the opportunity to relearn themselves. Or a couple of tired burned up guys that just need to escape. However, a word to the wise, don't try to perform therapy. Talk about anything you want but not politics or war. The men and women you help will "come out" when they are ready. If they don't ---so what? Just being there and knowing someone reached out to them is a very healing experience.

Al Voisine

Phoenix, AZ

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Old 01-05-2010, 06:06 AM   #2
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Thanks - great reading.


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Old 01-05-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
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Al, that was great stuff, and thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us. I work with the Military, and being an ex Naval Officer, I very much enjoy being in the company of our vets....one question though, why weren't you taking care of the bilge...I mean, you were already down there, right?? Any able bodied (or not) seaman knows that!

Just kidding! I'll never forget the first time I took out a greenie, 20 knots, seas 3-5,...and after getting most of his color back, and with his hands firmly on the helm, I will never forget the HUGE grin on his face (now a fabulous pasty lime color) exclaiming, I'm sailing!! I'm sailing!!! Now, anytime he sees us, he grins big, and wants to go out again...yesterday!

That was totally unlike the one girl that wanted to sail with me from Lauderale to the Abacos...had to turn back not two miles offshore....not sure her color ever came back...saw her two years later....and I don't know, maybe it was me!

S/V Boomerang!

1980 Cal 39 Mark II

St Michaels, MD
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:34 PM   #4
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Now I didn't keep Al in the bilge all the time!

Actually Al was a pleasure to have aboard. Always helpful, never complained, upbeat and always ready to jump in with whatever needed to be done. He told good stories too!

If anyone is looking for novice crew I'd highly recommend Al.

It's a great day, I woke up!!
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:10 AM   #5
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I am so pleased. Cliff, one takes a chance with an unknown and admitted novice, I'm happy that it worked out for you. And Al, how great that your first trip brought you to shore wanting to do it again.

Part of my personal joy in cruising is meeting new people, new cultures, new experiences. And that can even be done without leaving the US.

So, when is the next trip, Al?

Fair winds to you both,

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:06 PM   #6
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Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
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I'm so glad that you had a great time Al! Also glad that Cliff took a chance on a newbie sailor and it went well.

The previous owner of our boat suffered from PTSD. He was a Navy Seal during the Vietnam war (well, back then I think they still called them "frog men") and had some horrific times which linger with him to this day. He left the Navy on a disability retirement--owning a boat was great therapy for him. Both my father and my father-in-law are disabled veterans from World War II and my husband, David, is a retired Navy pilot.

The issues which veterans of war face are near and dear to us. In these post-draft years, the needs of the active duty military and the sacrifices which are made are very, very far from the minds of most Americans.

Knowing that active duty military are often far from home and friends who can provide assistance, everywhere we've lived, we've tried to engage in volunteer activities in support of the military community. Right now, David and I volunteer to spend one day each week at the nearby military base's woodworking hobby shop. This keeps us in touch with today's active duty Navy as well as numerous retired military folks who come in to use the equipment for their own projects.

Where we are located now, the Navy Yacht Club San Diego (NYCSD) is involved in the Wounded Warriors Project Link via a program with the local Veterans Administration Hospital. Club members take groups of Wounded Warriers out for a daysail on club member boats and at the end of the day enjoy a barbecue together. At this time, it is an annual event for NYCSD and I understand that other similar events occur around the country. I believe any yacht club or sailing club could volunteer to organize an event.

There are many ways for private citizens to support war veterans. Contacting the local Veterans Administration Hospital to find out what the needs are in your area is one way to do it. Also for war veterans, presently, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is losing active members as the WWII members pass on. A local chapter may appreciate your membership if you are eligible to join.

In the meanwhile, I hope that Al, you are able to link up with other cruisers to enjoy some more sailing in the near future!

Fair winds,

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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