2012 Watkins Rendezvous – Deltaville, VA

On Wednesday, the third day of our travels south, we arrived at Fishing Bay Harbor in Deltaville .  We tied up at about 1900 and were received warmly by Paul and Silvia, who had arrived the day before.

We tidied up the boat and had dinner with Paul and Silvia that evening in the cockpit of their Watkins 33.  What fantastically hospitable people.  We seemed to hit it off right away.

A day on the water – even a calm, uneventful day – is exhausting.  We went to bed and slept hard, as we had been doing every night on board.  Constant motion, constant exposure to wind, air and sun – it’s wonderful, but wears you right out by the end of the day.

The next day we went sailing with Paul (Silvia elected to stay ashore in the club house lounge) and had a vigorous 4-5 hours in winds 15-20.  Paul’s larger boat managed the chop much handier than ours would have – his longer waterline and several-thousand-pounds-greater displacement made a huge difference in comfort underway in those conditions.  We had a fantastic time together.

Paul coaching me: okay, to go right, turn the wheel right…

I did have a problem, though.  You would think that 40 years of driving a car with a steering wheel would make me take to a wheel on a boat naturally.  However, all the sailing I’ve ever done has been on a boat with a tiller.  I had to remind myself to not turn the wheel in the opposite direction from the desired heading!  Weird.

Paul checking sail trim

Paul enjoyed being rail meat, and not being lashed to the helm every minute. You can see how lumpy the water was that day.

Sailing keeps us aging people active and moving around

Definitely a ‘one hand for the ship, one hand for yourself’ situation that day

I think I’m getting the hang of this ‘turn the wheel right, the boat goes right’ thing

We returned to the marina, where Paul made a perfect landing into the slip, backing in and finessing his boat perfectly without so much as touching a piling.  Absolutely no emergency, no panic, no worries as he masterfully eased his boat backwards into the slip.  However, he was very disappointed to find that he was in the wrong slip.  He wound up in the space next to the slip he was aiming for, so he had to do it a second time in the correct parking place.  Twice in a row is really impressive:  Paul really has figured out how to handle his boat in tight quarters.

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