Extended Cruise Completed for 2016

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We had a good time, absorbed a lot of history, met a lot of new people, and learned much about sailboat maintenance and cruising.  We sailed/motored ~1400 statute miles over a 10 week period.  The itinerary was from Charleston SC-Southport-Outer Banks-Norfolk-Washington DC, Solomons Island-East side of Chesapeake Bay, etc. and many ports in between.

Probably the most favorite parts of the trip for me were navigating the Potomac River and spending time visiting the sites in Washington DC.  However, our time spent on the York River visiting Yorktown and Jamestown were a close second.  We did have to rent a “land dinghy” from Enterprise to easily access these latter places.

Ragtime is now safe in her new home, New Bern, NC (Northwest Creek Marina).  We will miss Charleston SC and the shorter trip to the boat, but New Bern is much more affordable.  Being retired gives us more time than money!


Sometimes a Plan Comes Together-June 5, 2016

We docked in Southport Marina Friday morning around 10 am.  We were greeted with muggy hot sunny weather.  After little sleep I was somewhat grumpy as the sweat trickled down my back while we hooked up power cord, tidied the dock lines, and stowed equipment. Thankfully our blessed little A/C chugs away once we have shore power. The best improvement we made to Ragtime!

After a nap and shower, we had dinner with friends from Watauga Lake Sailing Club. Jennie and Kevin now live in Wilmington, NC. It was good to catch up even if we did had to wade to the restaurant through the high tide waters.  James advises to always check tide charts whether on or off boat!


Saturday we left Southport, motored up the Cape Fear River to Snows Cut to the ICW.  We saw very shallow water and you don’t need the GPS to tell you how shallow when you see beach umbrellas in the middle of the waterway! Fortunately we didn’t need Tow Boat US’s services, but they seemed to be busy enough without us.


At 6:15 pm we motored out of Masonboro Inlet into the ocean for another overnighter  Overnighters can be as different as night and day  We had a nice breeze and little waves on Thursday night which meant more sleep and a relaxing night of reading, listening to podcasts, light snacks, and star gazing while on watch.  Saturday night was hard from the get go.  The ocean swells were large and random which made for a rocky ride with 15 knots of wind steady.  We only sailed the jib reefed.  I kept thinking this was going to be the night I got sick.  I’ve only been seasick three times in over 30 years of sailing.  Before leaving Southport I had cooked chicken and noodles for supper with plans to reheat for supper.  We ate it cold which really wasn’t too bad.  I catnapped during my off watch, but it wasn’t restful with my body constantly moving.  Moving around was an ordeal, and I found myself slammed against the boat quite often with the bruises today to prove it.  Non-sailors think we are courageous and/or crazy.  We think it’s just part of the sailing life and as in life, there’s the highs and lows.  Without the mix, life would be mundane and we couldn’t truly appreciate the good times.  So it is for the life of a sailor.  Look at this man’s smile.  Sailing energizes him in the way that nothing else does and that energizes me.





Southern Collegiate Offshore Regatta, Feb 13, 14, Charleston, SC

Participating Schools:  Coast Guard, Navy, Maine Maritime, Eckerd College, Michigan, Queens College (Canada), Cal Maritime, and the College of Charleston

Dear James,

I am writing to invite you and your J 40 to be a part of the Southern Collegiate Offshore Regatta (SCOR) that will be run by the Charleston Ocean Racing Association(CORA) and will be sailed on Feb 13th and 14th 2016 at the Carolina Yacht Club.   The regatta is sailed in borrowed offshore yachts where the owners participate. Recognizing the importance of exposing the next generation of sailors to offshore racing, the Charleston Ocean Racing Association (a 501(c)3 charitable organization and the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association have joined forces to make the Southern Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta a major event. The goal is spreading the fun and team work of big boat racing to as many college sailors as possible. We can only do this with the help of boat owners like you. This is your chance to give back to the sport and help it grow.

CORA is not looking for you to lend the boat to a college team. In our regatta, the owners sail with the teams as the safety officer and coach. Each boat can have a second adult aboard who can be one of your regular crewmembers, the school’s coach, or someone appointed by CORA. We need you to keep things safe for the kids and the boats as well as to teach about how to handle and sail a big boat. The boat owner is still the skipper of record and we make it clear to the students that if the owner ever feels that something unsafe could happen, the owner is free to take the helm or to give a command to change course. The kids are very respectful of the boats and the owners. We cannot insure the fleet so all the boats sail under their own insurance.

The boat owner stays near the helm to insure the safety of the boat. The second adult can coach the kids in the front half of the boat. We encourage the adults to teach boat handling, sail trim and safety, but we ask that you let the kids call their own tactics. Everything about big boats can be new to dinghy sailors, but tactics are universal. If their starting plan is unsafe, then by all means tell them to guess again. To keep boats from pushing the rules too hard, we do not allow the two-turns penalty to exonerate fouls.

With last year’s event being canceled due to extreme bad weather, we are inviting the same schools back: Coast Guard, Navy, Maine Maritime, Eckerd College, Michigan, Queens College (Canada), Cal Maritime, and the College of Charleston.

Our goal is to have three to four windward/leeward races on Saturday and a distance race around the Charleston Harbor on Sunday.

Finally, this is a totally free event for the boat owners and college sailors thanks to the CORA Foundation, Carolina Yacht Club , and other sponsors. The kids bring food and drinks for themselves and the adults, and the Carolina Yacht Club throws a casual dinner for everyone on Saturday night and will provide overnight dockage on Friday and Saturday night.

A similar event is put on by the Storm Trysail Club at the Larchmont Yacht Club. Check out their video


One day we hope to have as many participants as they do. So, please consider in helping with our event. Contact me if you have any questions.


Tripp Fellabom , Organizing Committee

Time to Sail into Retirement

After 37 1/2 years at Eastman, I will join Sandra in retirement on Jan. 1st, 2016 and we will set sail.  We plan on leaving early May 2016 from Charleston, SC and sail north towards Long Island Sound.  I have no idea how long it will take, but no problem, we are retired!

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Here are our initial plans for next year:

-Participated in Southern Collegiate Offshore Regatta on Ragtime (see post)
-Participate in Charleston Race Week in April, three 23-mile races offshore in 3 days
-Leave Charleston early May 2016
-Sail to New Bern, NC to join our friends Rob and Minta Fannon who recently purchased a Catalina 42 sailboat
-Sail around the Outer Banks and Chesapeake Bay for an undetermined amount of time
-Possibly sail up the Potomac to Washington DC area
-Go up the Chesapeake Delaware Canal/Delaware River/Cape May
-Out along New Jersey Coast to New York Harbor and spend a few weeks in NY City
-Up the Hudson River
-Down the Hudson/New York City then to Long Island Sound