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Old 10-10-2012, 08:09   #1
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Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race

Heading out to get on board a schooner to sail in the Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race this week. Over 35 wooden boats will be participating in the race. You can google the race site for more information but the schooners will race from Baltimore to Portsmouth, VA down the bay.

Should be quite a sight to see all these boats decked out in their full sails as a group. If you are anywhere along the bay Thursday you should be able to see the race. Start line is just below the Bay Bridge in Annapolis and the race starts at 1:00 tomorrow.

Finish is Friday in Portsmouth, Va.

If you are in Baltimore today there is a parade of boats this evening at 5:00 PM.

Festivities are also planned for Friday evening and Saturday in Portsmouth if you are near there.

Will take photos!


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Old 10-10-2012, 18:10   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast
Boat: SOLD moving aboard something bigger soon
Posts: 166
Re: Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race

I've been working on the Biloxi Schooner Glenn L. Swetman for the past two months. They are fascinating sailboats. We are missing a wooden boat show in Madisonville LA this year.

Look forward to seeing your photos!

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Old 16-10-2012, 10:40   #3
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Re: Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race

OK, back from the race. We left Baltimore last Thursday morning heading to the start line just south of the Bay Bridge. Gun went off at 1:00 and everyone sat there floating around with no wind. Hours went by and we sat and sat. Eventually we got some wind---right on the nose!! We then spent much of Thursday night tacking east and west down the bay. Took us 7 hours to go 10 miles. I think I could have walked there faster, but that is sailing for you.

Friday brought a weather report for more wind and we did get a good breeze that came around to our stern and allowed us to go on a run down the bay. By afternoon the wind had increased and we were doing 9-10 knots so it started to look like a race. Unfortunately, the wind continued to increase and came around to our beam so for safety sake, we took a double reef in the sails. Friday evening during dinner we got hit by some very heavy wind and the dishes went flying as everyone scrambled to get sails under control. The decision was made to completely drop the sails and turn on the engine as the sea had gotten very turbulent and the wind was howling. With turning on the motor, we forfeited the race, but were glad we made that decision when we later heard sad news that one of the other schooners in the race had lost a sailor overboard who drowned. First fatality in a race that has been held since 1990.

I sailed on the AJ Meerwald from New Jersey, a historic wooden vessel. The quarters were basically just wooden bunks built into the sides of the hull. Pretty rustic. It was cold and standing watch during the night was freezing.

It was something I had always wanted to do, and am glad I can cross it off my list! But, I don't think I'll do it again!

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Old 17-10-2012, 04:59   #4
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Location: Southern Chesapeake
Boat: Sabre 42
Posts: 170
We were considering sailing out to meet the schooners Friday... but the forecast kept us away. I heard about the tragedy, and I'm very sorry for that.
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chesapeake bay, race

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