The notice of cruise can also be found in the event info on the cruising calendar.
Sixteen years ago, our Commodore at the time, Pete Emens, decided that the Cruising fleet
needed to get off their duff and get their boats in the water early. He established the Early Bird
Cruise, a sail across the Bay to St. Michaels for a weekend at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime
Museum docks in late April or early May. This cruise has occurred every year since Pete
established it. Unfortunately for the past 4 or more years we’ve had mostly cold, rainy days and very little nice spring weather. Last year, under rainy skies, a few cruisers, mostly as a lark, said that we should have the cruise in the Caribbean instead of St. Michaels. The idea took hold and the more we talked about it the better it sounded.
We have now come to full fruition and are committed to a cruise in the British Virgin Islands
(BVI’s) and, so far, a group of Cruisers have chartered three 45-foot sailing catamarans from The Moorings, one of the worlds largest chartering companies and the largest charter company in the BVI’s. These catamarans can each accommodate 4 couples and so far, we have 11 couples fully signed up and one more couple who are seriously considering signing.
This cruise is not just for the Cruising Fleet. Big Boat Racers and one design sailors may
also be interested and are encouraged to join. To date we have two Flying Scott couples:
Stoney and Cyrena Simons and Bob and Faith Ottenhoff as part of the crew of two of the
currently chartered boats. However, there is a complication. The Moorings requires that
the charterer of the boat (leader) has demonstrated experience sailing a vessel no smaller
than 10’ smaller than the boat being chartered. The good news is that once you serve as
crew on a Moorings Charter, Moorings says that you can then use that as sufficient
demonstrated experience assuming that your boat rotates all jobs so that everyone gets
experience in all tasks like mooring and docking and that you have had significant time
behind the wheel. You should keep a good log of your activity. So, One Design sailors and
other cruisers: If you have no big boat experience, team up with someone who does.