We have left Velocir for a larger ship! Well, only temporarily to crew the tall ship Bounty. Bounty was built in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia in 1960 for the 1962 Marlon Brando movie Mutiny on the Bounty. A wooden ship- she is 180 feet long overall. The height of the main mast is 115 feet. (www.tallshipbounty.org)
This ship is significant to us because it is how we met! Grant was a professional crew member and Amelia was a volunteer when they crossed the Atlantic together on Bounty in 2009. Being back on the ship three years later is a fun experience. It is also a lot of work! Bounty has over 18 sails to hoist, furl and many projects to attend to.
Our watch the first morning was from 4-8 am, so we enjoyed the beautiful sunrise on the calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay as the anchor was hauled up and we got underway. We had spent the night near Turkey Point, where the C&D Canal and Susquehanna River part. There was a lot more current here then we expected, and moving into the Delaware River the current picked up even more.
During the day, the barque rigged tall ship Guayas from Ecuador (launched in 1976) moved past us in the channel just before the entrance to the C&D Canal. Many crew members were aloft in orange work suits and waved to us.
From 12-4 pm is work party! During this time the Bosun gives the off-watch crew (crew not on watch) maintenance projects to do around the ship. Today all the lines were taken off the pin rails so that the wood could be oiled. Amelia and other crew also went up to the top of the rigging to tar the shrouds while Grant hung off the side of Bounty to do some painting. We’ve tried to highlight these interesting and unique projects in our videos!
Amelia stood bow watch as we came into our anchorage. Just for a fun challenge, the mates turned off the GPS and used traditional navigation (compass bearings and paper charts) to get us near shore. We were only .2 miles from our intended destination, so we did rather well. Dodging crab pots was also a challenge but we managed to avoid them all!
Later in the day privateer Lynx anchored near us. (www.privateerlynx.com) After we are at anchor Bounty goes into a rotation called “anchor watch.” One person spends each hour on watch logging our GPS position, writing down the compass bearings of three specific buildings on shore, completing a boat check and pumping the bilges. We spent the night off Newcastle, DE in anticipation of our next stop, Philadephia!
Check out more tallship activities at: www.sailtraining.org
Tuesday at 1:00 pm we left our homey slip in St. Michaels, MD to head back to Annapolis on our Albin Vega Velocir. The wind was forecast to be out of the north 15-20 kts and dying throughout the afternoon. Friends and coworkers cast us off and we set sail in the Miles river, heading north into the wind. We had a blast putting our new sails to the test, going to weather in a decent breeze and 3ft. chop. We were sure glad to have our new dodger on and looking forward to the day when we had some canvas on it to stop the spray!
We rounded Tilghman Point and turned southwest for Bloody Point on a starboard tack. The sail was a lot nicer on a deep reach on a warm sunny day. We discussed our options if the wind was still howling out of the North building ugly chop. As we would have to beat to weather all the way to Annapolis we toyed with the idea of anchoring out tonight if it was nasty. We saw no reason to push it.
As we rounded Bloody Point and sailed past the rusty old lighthouse tilting forlornly to the side we found the wind had died down on the bay to 10 kts. Close hauled on a starboard tack we sailed right up the bay, getting lifted again and again until we made it all the way to Annapolis! It was a beautiful sail past Thomas Point lighthouse as we turned on the music and just hummed right along.
As we doused sail and motored into our home river entrance we spotted a dinghy adrift in very shallow water where not even the runabout will go. We had time before sunset so I stripped down, threw on a life jacket and dove into the water while Amelia kept the boat nearby. I swam a lot farther than it looked and finally made it to the derelict dinghy. I could see an older couple near shore and shouted to them asking if this was their dinghy and did they need help getting it. I got back an angry response telling me it was not theirs but it was registered and I could not steal it.
Steal it?! That’s what I get for coming out to help. I found 4 feet of anchor rhode tied to the head of a danforth with 4 feet of chain attached to nothing. I retied the rhode to the chain, reset the thing as best I could and swam back to the boat. We later learned the boat was leftover from two drunks who ran their sailboat aground on the rocks there a couple night prior.
We motored the rest of the way up the creek and made it to the dock as the sun was going down. A beautiful day, a wonderful sail, and an incredible way to end an unforgettable chapter in our lives.