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2012 Sailing and Camping on the Chesapeake Bay (May)

From Mr. Mulloy (Sunday, May 20, 2012)
 
What an exciting weekend on the beautiful waters of Eastern Virginia!
 
The weekend started right on-time as the troop gathered in the parking lot exactly at 5:00PM Friday evening.  CO-SPLs Noah and Eric wasted no time taking role of the extremely large group.  With everyone accounted for and a rolling flotilla of 20 kayaks, canoes,  inflatables and paddle boards, we departed exactly at 5:30 and made the relatively short drive to the Regents Point Marina and Boatyard. 
 
Our hosts could not have been more hospitable! We were allowed to camp in a huge, flat, grassy field behind the boat yard.  We quickly set up approximately 45 tents, our camp kitchen and dug a fire pit.  Once that was completed, we circled up and covered the “special” rules for the weekend relating to safety and courtesy toward the owners of the marina and the many people who live on their boats at the marina.  We enjoyed a cracker barrel of Chinese donuts followed by lights out at 10:00 PM.
 
We were up at 0600.  The weather was perfect for sailing!  Sunny and breezy with no chance of rain.  The patrols quickly made breakfast and cleaned up and we assembled in the pavilion for introductions and a safety briefing by the sail boat captains at 0830.
 
The plan was for the younger scouts and anyone who was prone to motion sickness to go out on the first sailing.  The wind was pretty strong at 18 knots, but it was expected to be even stronger in the afternoon.  While one group was out sailing, the other group could canoe, kayak or fish.  We divided the paddlers into 2 group following BSA Safety Afloat rules.  One team paddled out into the Rappahannock where they enjoyed some challenging paddling with winds and waves.  The other team enjoyed a calmer paddle back into the inlet where they were able to paddle within a few feet of a pair of Ospreys guarding their nest.  Fish were jumping around the boats as we paddled through crab trap buoys and watched the Ospreys.   The remaining boys tried their hands at fishing and caught several Croakers as well as some crabs!
 
After a healthy lunch with piles of fresh fruit, the groups switched activities and older boys headed for the sailboats while the younger boys went paddling.  The first years are a very impressive bunch and took to paddling quickly!  Unfortunately for the afternoon sailors, an unexpected change in the weather patterns caused the winds to be weaker instead of stronger in the afternoon and about 3:30 they became calm.  The afternoon crew enjoyed some quality sailing but not the wild ride that had been anticipated.
 
In appreciation to the marina, the troop completed two service projects this weekend.  For the first, we picked up trash and other debris out of the boat yard.  The second one was to remove all the rocks from the playground so that little children could enjoy the area barefoot without hurting their feet.  We made a game of this one, and divide into two teams.  The first years made up one team and all other scouts made up the other.  Whoever filled up the most buckets of rocks would win.  The first years’ enthusiasm took over and they smoked past the other team, 5 buckets to 3!
 
The scouts enjoyed patrol cooking for dinner and the adults invited the captains and their wives to a dinner of jambalaya, a southern boil and fresh fried fish.  Later that night for cracker barrel, the boys enjoyed apple and cherry cobbler made in the dutch oven while the adults enjoyed apple and cherry pie.
 
We arose Sunday morning to eminent rain, so the patrols quickly made breakfast, cleaned up and we broke camp a little early to avoid having to pack in the rain.  Vespers were led by Chaplains Aid Daniel and held at the pavilion.   Mr. Strickler shared a moving and exciting story about a young man, Steven Callahan, who encountered having to abandon ship while racing his sail boat in the middle of the ocean.  Steven survived thanks to his Boy Scout training.  He wrote a book about the experience and I encourage you to pick it up for your son’s summer reading.  It is titled Adrift: Seventy Six Days Lost at Sea By Steven Callahan.
 
I am extremely proud of the way the entire troop behaved this weekend.  We had 72 total participants at this sailing camp!  We did not have one single complaint and enjoyed many unsolicited compliments from the marina residents who observed our troop.   I especially want to thank Co-SPLs Noah and Eric who performed an exemplary job of leading the team and keeping control of this very large group of boys.  Their leadership at Regents Point contributed greatly to the success of our sailing camp.
 
Special thanks to Mr. Costin, Mr. Downing, Mr. Grabham, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Holder, Mr. McNeil, Mr. Teefey and Mr. Tench for being current with BSA Safety Afloat training.  It is due to dedicated Scouters like you that Troop 2860 is able to consistently execute High Adventure activities that seem routine to our scouts.
 
We had 16 BSA trained adults supporting this trip to ensure that adequate and trained adult leadership was present on every boat, with every paddle crew and with every boy fishing at all times.  When you consider each of the separate sailboats, 2 paddling crews and the boys fishing from shore, we had 8 aquatic events simultaneously being conducted during the morning and afternoon on Saturday.   My heartfelt appreciation goes out to each of you.
 
Thank you to everyone who brought canoes and kayaks, especially Mr. Strickler, who brought a large fleet of them.  Everyone’s generosity to haul these boats to and from Regents Point made it possible for everyone at the camp to enjoy a quality paddling experience!
 
I want to thank and recognize Ms. Harrington who so generously piloted her sailboat from it’s home port to Regent Point so that we would be sure to have adequate boats and to provide some special training for our Sea Base scouts who are taking off on a sailing trip to the Bahamas in just 5 short weeks.  Ms. Harrington is a life long competitive sailor whose passion for the sport is very contagious!
 
Lastly, to the guy who really made this event come to life, Mr. Grabham!    His father docks his boat at Regents Point and he was one of the captains.  The senior Mr. Grabham invited several of his friends at Regents Point Marina to help introduce our scouts to sailing and generate some excitement and enthusiasm for the sport.  Two of these captains are sailing instructors.  Without Scott putting this network of expert sailors together, this trip would not have been possible.   If you had the opportunity to go sailing this weekend and enjoyed the experience, please take a moment the next time you see Mr. Grabham and thank him.
 
YIS
 
ASM Mr. Mulloy
 
 
From Mr. Mulloy (Wednesday, May 16, 2012)
 
Wow,what a turnout we have for our Sailing trip.  We have a total of 72 people going!  This is really awesome!    I hope everyone finalized their patrol meal plans, assigned grub master and are ready to get a lot of rank advancement cooking completed!  Tent buddies should be picked.  Don’t forget who is bringing your tent!

If you are not finished packing yet, get started on Thursday.  We are pulling out of the parking lot at 5:30 PM Shape.

For the sailing don’t forget:

Water bottle – at least a quart.  Keep it full and drink from it all weekend!

Sun Screen – apply it thickly before going out on the water

White sole or non-mark shoes (avail at Walmart for under $9.00)

Windbreaker

Hat

Sunglasses

Life vest – put your name on it

Dramamine – I recommend the non-drowsy type, if you have any inkling of motion sickness.

Fishing gear.

Travel will be Class A.  We want to look really sharp for our hosts at the marina.  When we pull into camp, please be relatively quiet and well behaved.  Set up camp quickly.  We will have a healthy cracker barrel Friday night.

Bring a sack dinner to eat on the road Friday night.  Please be courteous of your driver and be careful with drinks in the cars.  Travel time should be about 2 hours.

Usual electronics policy applies, you can bring for the ride but they stay in the cars.  This includes all cell phones.  They will be confiscated if seen outside of the cars.  If you have an emergency need to call someone, you can always borrow an adults phone.

Call or email with any questions!

Stay Safe! 

Best Regards,

Steve Mulloy

 

From Mr. Mulloy (Sunday, May 13, 2012)

Hope everyone’s weekend is going well!

I am getting some questions about the shoes.  Cheap white soled old style tennis shoes work great.  If it says the shoe is specifically “Non-marking” it should be OK.

Walmart has a line of OP brand water shoes for under $9 that have light grey non-marking soles.

Don’t forget windbreaker, sunscreen and your life jackets if you have them (for the canoeing and kayaking).  Fishing gear and bait for those who want to fish!

The permission slips said we are leaving the parking lot at 5:30 PM this Friday.  I do intend to have our wheels rolling by 5:30 so you should plan to get there by 5:00PM.  I want to get to the camp site in time to set up camp before dark and give all the boys an opportunity to get their bearing around the water and the marina as well.

One last point of clarification, my original permission slip had May 18-20 in two of three spots but December in a third (I recycled the Dec 2010 Antietam permission slip).  Here is an updated slip with all the correct dates in case anyone still need it.

Looks like we are at about 60 total scouts and adults attending so it is going to be a lot of fun!

Weather forecast for Sat and Sun is currently partly cloudy, 10% chance of rain and wind NE at 10-11 knots.  If this holds, we will have near perfect conditions!

Best Regards,

Steve Mulloy

 

From Mr. Mulloy (Saturday, May 12, 2012)

Good morning sailors and parents! 

Please read this in detail.  Sorry for a long one but this is a really special event and a first for Troop 2860!

I’ve had request for packing/equipment lists so I will provide some guidance below.  This is also a “regular” campout so you will need to bring all the usual gear you bring PLUS a few special items related to this trip.  This would include good sturdy shoes for the service projects and when NOT ON THE BOATS.

We are going to do a lot of patrol cooking so if you son needs any cooking rank advancements, read over the requirements and be sure he is aware of what he has to accomplish.  We are patrol cooking for Saturday and Sunday breakfast and also Saturday Dinner.  Troop is providing cracker barrel Friday and Saturday night and also Saturday Lunch.

We are going to have a blast!  We will be sailing, canoeing, kayaking and fishing.  We will have one group go out in the morning and the other in the afternoon.  Our group is too large to get everyone out at one time.  You do not have to go sailing if you do not want to.  There will be a lot of other stuff to do in case sailing is not your thing!

If you own a canoe or kayak and have a way to transport it, please bring it!  Be sure to bring the paddles and the life vests.  There will be opportunities for fishing.  If you want to fish, bring your gear.  Adults will need VA fishing licenses to fish legally.

SAILING ESSENTIALS

-          Bring a life jacket if you have one.  Bring extra’s if you have them.  Take a marker and put your name on the life jackets.

-          White soled shoes.  Dark soles are not allowed on the boats.  The walking surfaces are white and any dark soles will leave marks that will take the captains a long time to remove.  Cheap sneakers are fine.  Absolutely no hiking boots or anything with black Vibram soles.

-          A wind breaker.  It may be hot at the dock but can be 10 degrees cooler out to sea.

-          Hat that protects your face from the sun and helps with glare.

-          Sunscreen – bring it and use it!

-          Sunglasses.  Bring a cheap pair if you have them.  Sunglasses have a way of falling off and into the water.

SAFETY

-          When boarding the boats – avoid limbs between boat and dock.  These are large heavy boats and your hands, arms and feet are no match for the “pinching” power of the boat against the dock.

-          When walking on board, stay low and balanced.  Hold on to something and be prepared for unexpected bumps and movement.  This will help you from falling overboard.  The water will be pretty cold.

-          When the sails fill with wind, the boat will ‘heal” dramatically (lean to the side).  This is normal and how the boat is able to move forward but you need to be ready when it happens.  Hold on and stay low.

-          Stairs/companion way.  This is the walkway to the lower deck.  HOLD ON REALLY WELL when walking up and down.  ONE AT A TIME.  It is proper to ask the captain to before going below deck.

-          Motion Sickness – if you son has any tendency to get motion/car sick, it will probably happen on a large sail boat.  Even experienced sailors get motion sickness at times.  Here are some things you can do to prevent it.

    o   Get some non-drowsy Dramamine for you son to take about an hour before going out.

    o   Stay above deck where there is plenty of fresh air.  Going below deck makes it more difficult to avoid motion sickness.

    o   When above deck, keep your eyes focused on the horizon.  This will minimize the feeling of motion.

-          Sails/Boom/Sheets

    o   The front sail will be released and flutter about each time the boat changes course.  Stay out of the way when this happens so you don’t get smacked by the sail – it will really sting.

    o   The BOOM – how do you think it got the name Boom?  This is the long heavy beam that the main sail it attached.  When we change course it moves from one side of the boat to the other.  Anyone in the way will get hit hard and likely end up in the water.  Pay attention, when the captain yells “Coming about” be ready for the boom to swing.  There is plenty of room for the boom to pass over your head, you just have to duck and pay close attention.

    o   Safety Lines – these are the “rails” around the outside of the boat.  You should hold onto these when walking along the edge of the boat.  They are NOT for leaning on or sitting on.

    o   Man Overboard – If/when someone falls over the side, it will take a few minutes to turn the boat around and return to pick you up.  When someone falls in the water, you yell “man overboard”, you throw a flotation devise at the person to help mark the location and you keep your eyes on the person while the captain and crew turns the boat around to retrieve the swimmer.  We will cover all of this in detail during the safety briefing but it is a good idea to know this info in advance.

BOAT PARTS – Learn these terms before getting on the boat.  The captains will be impressed

-          Bow (front), Stern (back)

-          Main Sail (largest sail), Jib (smaller front sail)

-          Sheets – these are the lines on the boat

-          Boom – the big heavy beam that the mail sail is attached

-          Port (left), Starboard (right)

COURTESYPLEASE STRESS TO YOUR SONS THAT THEY NEED TO REALLY, REALLY BEHAVE ON THESE BOATS, NO HORSE PLAY AND ALWAYS RESPECT THE PROPERTY AND INSTRUCTIONS OF THE CAPTAINS

-          Have WHITE SOLED SHOES.  Any kind of deck shoe made for boating is fine.  Cheap light soled tennis shoes work great.  Dark marks on the boats left by dark soled shoes will truly be a “black mark” on our troop.

-          Trash – if you create any trash while sailing, either put it in your pocket and take it with you or ask the captain if he has a trash bag on board.  DO NOT leave trash laying anywhere on the boats and do not let it fall into the water.

-          We need to be on our best behavior, REALLY BEST BEHAVIOR.  This means the whole weekend, not just when on the boats.  Please have a serious talk with your son just before we leave.  We have been invited to be guests at a private sailing organization and will be guests aboard over a million dollars worth of sailing ships and equipment.   Please show your appreciation by acting like responsible, well behaved young men.

Best Regards,

Steve Mulloy

 

From Mr. Mulloy (Thursday, May 3, 2012)
 
AHOUY MATIES!

Wow, we had a lot of interest in the sailing trip tonight. We had 30 permission slips printed and most all were taken!  I have attached the form for anyone who was not at the meeting tonight or if we ran out of forms.  Be sure to fill one out and turn it in next week!

I have learned we now have another captain who has volunteered to share his ship so we have either 6 or 7, 40+ foot sailing ships with experienced captains who are going to provide us with an experience of a life time!  Do you have any idea what these types of ships cost?!!

I can’t stress enough how exciting and fun the sailing experience will be!

What else does this weekend offer?  More water activities!  We will have a tributary that we can paddle canoes and kayaks that goes about ½ mile inland.  If you have canoes and kayaks and a way to transport them, please bring them!  I believe fishing will also be available so bring your gear if you like to fish.

IMPORTANT – WE NEED LIFE JACKETS FOR ALL THE PADDLING ACTIVITIES.  If you have any extra life jackets, please PUT YOUR NAME ON THEM FIRST, and then bring them with you to the campout.  Even if you are not bringing your canoe or kayak, bring your vests!

Everyone will need to have passed the annual swimming test or they will not be able to go out on the water.  No exceptions.  We are offering an chance to test this Sunday night at Woodlake Aquatic Club (right across the street from the parking lot where we depart for our campouts).  The test only takes about 10 minutes each, so anyone who just wants to test and go, we can get you out of there quickly.  Be on time at 7PM and ready to get in the water (there are changing rooms at the pool).  For those who want to complete 2nd class and 1st class swimming rank work, we will do that after the swim test.

STAY WITH ME, MORE IMPORTANT STUFF………

We are more than “very privileged” to have this opportunity to share the Regents Point Marine and the exceptionally fine sailing vessels, all at no charge to the troop.  They are asking us for only one thing in return and that is respect for their property and to at all time, act respectively and responsibly while on this campout.  There are exceptionally nice bathrooms and showers that are for the marina members.  We also need to especially respect them (keep them clean and do nothing to deface or mess them up!).

To be clear and specific ….. this means all scouts MUST

1.        OBEY ALL INSTRUCTIONS AT ALL TIMES.  I WILL NOT HAVE ANY PATIENCE NOR WILL I TOLERATE ANYONE WHO ACTS IN A WAY THAT REFLECTS POORLY ON TROOP 2860 OR THE MEMBERS WHO INVITED US TO THE MARINA. 

2.       YOU ARE TO BE POLITE AND RESPECTFUL TO THE SAILING CAPTAINS AT ALL TIMES.  WAIT FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO HANDLE LINES OR OTHER NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT ON THE BOATS.

3.       KEEP  ALL AREAS CLEAN AT ALL TIMES.  WE WILL OFFER A SERVICE PROJECT THAT WILL LIKELY INVOLVE CLEANING THE GROUNDS – YOU WILL GET CREDIT FOR THE SERVICE HOURS!

4.       NO HORSE PLAY ON OR AROUND THE BOATS OR WATER.

5.       FISHING AND PADDLING ONLY IN DESIGNATED AREAS AND AT DESIGNATED TIMES – MUST BE SUPERVISISED AND BSA SAFETY POLICYS FOLLOWED ALWAYS.

6.       KEEP REASONABLY QUIET AROUND THE MARINA AT ALL TIMES.  THERE WILL LIKELY BE BOAT OWNER STAYING ON THEIR BOATS AT THE DOCKS, WE ARE NOT GOING TO DISTRACT FROM THEIR QUITE ENJOYMENT IN THE EVENING OR NIGHTTIME.  COVER THIS WITH YOU SONS SO THEY CLEARLY KNOW WE NEED MORE DISCIPLINE THAT NORMAL ON THIS CAMPOUT PLEASE.

We will have a lot of fun but need to be aware that we are special guest and the marina has made an exception to their “No tent camping on grounds” for our scout troop.  Let’s show our appreciation by earning that exception and showing troop 2860 pride by being extra polite and quiet when appropriate.

Last item – all adults who are going need to go on line to www.scouting.org log in and go to the training section.  Take the following courses prior to the trip:  Safety Afloat, Safe Swim Defense and Weather hazards.  Each will take about 20 minutes.  Once you have completed each, let Mrs. Godon know and she will record your training.  This will help you better be aware of the  BSA policies and will make you a safer Scouter for this and any other water related future trip.  I will need responsible trained adults to assist with leading groups of paddlers upstream and to supervise them fishing.  Thanks so much!

Sorry for the long message.  This is a true adventure trip and I want everyone to be prepared and get the most enjoyment possible out of the weekend!

Best Regards,

Steve Mulloy – ASM

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Aj Mezynski,
May 15, 2012, 5:03 PM
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