Thursday, November 15, 2012

What Sup

This pass weekend went out and played on a new toy. Sunny and warm fall day in the southern chesapeake bay. Put on the spring suit and went for a SUP, Stand Up PaddleBoarding.  Just another great way to explore the more shallow areas of the Chesapeake Bay, inlets and waterways. This model is a Michael Dolsey 10'6" Big Bamboo. Great for flat water and surf. Video and pic shot with GoPro Hero2.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hold Fast 2007 Full Documentary

Days are shorter, prevailing winds out of the N-NW, and water temp in the low 50's.   In the Southern Chesapeake  Bay winter is coming. There is still plenty of sailing to be had. It just wont be in shorts and bathing suites.  So with warm Caribbean water, white sandy beaches and tropical breezes on my mind,  I spent some time cruising the WWW and came across this interesting video.  So grab a cup of hot chocolate, curl up next to a warm fire,  then sit back and enjoy.  I think you will find this video as entertaining as I did.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sail Away

What a great summer. Lots of sailing on Janus and our Force Five. A few trips to the outerbanks of North Carolina to play in the surf. All the fun documented with a Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS and a a GoPro Hero 2.  Here it is all wrapped up for you to view in this 5 minute video.  More about the cameras we used in an upcomming post.   Hope you enjoy.

Happy Sailing Nikki and Ray

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Janus is a 1970 Alberg
30.  Anyone who knows boats knows the Alberg and the unmistakable classic design. She sports a full keel, a long overhang, and a narrow beam. Put it all together and you have a serious boat capable of crossing the oceans of the world.  

In rough conditions the Alberg really shines.  The narrow beam allows her to slice though each and every wave with ease.  Unlike newer boats, with higher freeboard and greater beam, the ride tends to be very forgiving.  

The cabin is quite cozy. The forward V-berth with room for two, followed by the portside head and on starboard is a closet. The main cabin  has two bench seats and a removable table which is stored in the V-berth when not in use.  The narrow beam( of only 8.9’)  makes aisle traffic somewhat difficult, but we make do.  

Then there is the galley to Starboard with a two-burner alcohol stove, sink with pressure water and a large ice box to port.  

Electronics include a perminant mounted VHF radio and GPS, hand held VHF, and a 406-GPIRP. For entertainment we have a Stereo and a 13 inch LCD TV for movie night.  A solar panel keeps the battery banks energized.

Sail inventory includes a double reef main, two hank on head sails and a symetrical spinnaker. Simple and effective. An Autohelm tiller auto pilot performs most of the stearing and this is one piece of equipment we could not live without. Then there is the trusty 40 year old atomic-four to get us in and out of slips, marinas, and harbours.  A 30 year old Avon Dinghy and an inflatable Sea Eagle two person kayak gets us to shore when anchored out. Two folding bikes and longboard style skateboards are used for shoreside transportation.

Here are a few more pics of Janus.

Happy Sailing  from Nikki and Ray

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Chesapeake Bay- Our current cruising ground

A few facts about the Chesapeake Bay  

  1. It is the largest estuary in the United States. Estuaries are important  biologically diverse ecosystems where thousands of species of birds, mammals, fish and other wildlife depend on the habitat provided.  The habitat provides the place for the animals  to live, feed and reproduce. The protected waters of the estuaries are called the "nurseries of the sea" for the protection provided for the young developing animals.  
  2. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia.  This has a huge important economic benefit for the areas around the Bay.  The areas around the Bay benefit from tourism, fisheries, and recreational activities.  The protected waters of the Bay allow for ports/harbors  which are important for shipping and transportation.  
  3. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin includes more than 150 rivers/streams and  covers  an area of over 64,000 square miles. The rivers and streams provide the fresh water input for the estuary.  Without the the freshwater the estuary would increase in salinity.  The increased salinity would have a negative impact (death) on aquatic life which have adapted to the conditions present.  
  4. Chesapeake Bay is over 200 miles long. At its narrowest point it is 2.8 miles wide and 30 miles at its widest.  The length of Bay and the varied width of the Bay allow for a very unique sailing experience that some may even call epic.  The winds are dynamic and ever changing, winds funnel down the rivers and explode over open water. The southern Bay has the benefit of  sea breezes which often provide great sailing conditions even in the summer when winds tend to be the lightest.  
  5. And most importantly: The Chesapeake Bay  has 11,684 miles of shoreline.  All that shoreline means a plethora of cruising grounds to explore.  The Bay offers quite anchorages with access to local towns and villages, where local watermen carry on the Bay's tradition.  Also worth mentioning is the treasure trove of historic places located within the Bay such as Jamestown and Tangier Island

The Wikipedia link if interested in more detail's about this great body of water.

Janus Anchored off of downtown Hampton, VA
The city of Hampton is located in the Hampton roads area of the Chesapeake bay.  It is one of our favorite places to visit in the southern Chesapeake Bay.  The anchorage is well protected and after a short dinghy ride you have access to all the fun the city has to offer.  A few worth while events include Hampton Bay Days,  The Black Beards Festival, and for the racing sailor there is Southern Bay Race week.   All summer there is the Saturday Summer Street Fest with free live music and more.  Did I mention there is  free Wifi, and one dollar showers at the city pier for those anchoring out.  For more info check out Hampton public pier

Happy Sailing  from Nikki and Ray

Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Time

Time to start updating on the Summer time adventures. Lots of sailing on Janus and the Force 5 we bought at the start of summer. Made some trips to the outerbanks of  NC and had a great time surfing.   Can't forget to mention about the night we were caught out in a major thunderstorm with wind speed close to 60 mph.  OpSail 2012 was spectacular as well.  New video coming soon and details on all the fun we had over the summer.    In the mean time enjoy this video we found.

Happy Sailing  from Nikki and Ray

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Sailing- Local Sailing News

Today was sunny, temps in the mid 60s, and blowing NNE 20-25knots.  Seasonal sailors dust off the cobwebs and throw off the bowlines and begin to play in the southern Bay. Unfortunately this time of year accidents on the water tend to be fairly common.  Today brought the news of a local sailing vessel experiencing problems at Little Creek inlet.  The inlet has rock jetties but the approach is pretty straight forward.  In today's case it is assumed the vessel lost power and the wind pushed the vessel into shallow water and the rocks.  Luckily the three people on board were uninjured and rescued.

Our approach when entering an inlet is to always have at least one sail up.  If engine trouble develop we can still maneuver the boat and hopefully sail her out of harms way.  We practice this often by usually sailing the boat all the way to the marina slip.  This practice has come in handy on more than one occasion.  One event I can recall we were entering Little Creek Inlet on a breezy summer day.  Ray went to start the engine and it did not turn over.  We already had full sails up so without panicking we continued our approach as we have done numerous time before under sail.  We made a turn to port toward the marina and then dropped our head sail. This allowed our boat speed to be reduced, and with the main still up we were able to keep Janus moving and maintain steering control. We then made another turn to port and began heading into the marina.  Now in tight quarters we dropped the main sail and using our tiller moving it back and forth we were able to scull Janus safely into her slip.

Here I am with Janus on a typical spring day. Hope you enjoy the short video.

Happy Sailing  from Nikki and Ray