Text Box: Thank you Tony and Kim for your work on the t-shirts.  Tony and Kim, and John and Antoinette sailed Almost Crazy, a Saber 34, on the cruise. 

                Catalina 22  Fleet 10                                                                    2009 Cruise to Smith Island

Text Box: Catalina 22 Fleet 10, 2009 Summer Cruise  







This was an approximately 30-mile leg from Solomons, and one that helped make this cruise so ambitious.  The wind was really in our favor, since it was a run with plenty of wind.  Key Largo was surfing down the waves much of the time, and the maximum speed that we hit, (over the ground), was 7.1 knots.  Danny reported that he and Austin had First Draught up to 9 knots, but they had three sails up. 
Smith Island is Maryland’s only inhabited offshore island, first settled by British colonists in the early 1700s.   During one of the radio checks, Ragtime reported that they were about 2 hours from Smith Island, and that Mainstay was behind them.  This was exciting to hear.  We had received detailed instructions on exactly how to navigate the channel to Ewell from Pauli, the owner of the Marina and Bed and Breakfast where we would be staying at on Smith Island.  The watermen had driven white sticks into the channel where it had shoaled, and she told us which sticks to go between, and which one to go around to avoid going aground.  None of our boats had any problem with the channel, even though we entered near low tide.  We met Eric, Barb, and Sara from Ragtime, and Eric and Jennifer and their children, Ian age 5, and Emily, age 3, at the marina dock. 
Eric and Jennifer were friends of Eric and Barb’s, and this was the first time they were sailing their Catalina 25, Mainstay, with our fleet. 
It was interesting getting all our boats into the few big slips at Smith Island, but we managed with plenty of rope and fenders . 
After the boats were tied-up, we had crabs on the deck. 
Many of us visited the island’s museum that was just a short walk from the marina, as was everything else.
We had dinner at Ruke’s. 
Pauli had made special arrangements for them to open just for our dinner, and Alice took everyone’s order ahead of time, so that our dinners were prepared quickly.  The island’s pastor visited us at dinner.  He had visited Richard at his boat earlier, asking about the composition of our group, and where we had come from.  He was a Methodist minister, the only organized religion on the island, and he said that he went from island to island. 
After dinner, we had Smith Island Cake, the Official State Cake of Maryland, at the marina before sunset.
Danny demonstrated his roller furling main to Richard. 
On Tuesday morning, Pauli made pancakes for us before we sailed for Tangier Island.  The sail to Tangier Island was a fast and very exciting sail, this time into the wind.  We actually only made a few tacks.  Key Largo sailed close to Shaba, Ragtime, and August Moon. 
We stayed at Parks Marina on Tangier Island, and Mr. Parks helped us with the docking of our 11 boats.  Many members of the Fleet walked to the island’s beach on Tuesday afternoon, and on Wednesday morning.
Tangier Island seemed more thriving than Smith Island, and had three times the population of Smith Island.
Loretta prepared dinner on Energy. Her crab dip, bluefish, and pate’ were the appetizers, served on Almost Crazy.
Then, for the main course, she served veal parmesan, and several kinds of pasta, meatballs, and sausage. (We still don’t know how she does it!).  After dinner, many of us went for dessert to Spanky’s Place for ice cream. Almost all of the local residents on Tangier Island get around on golf cart like vehicles.  One of the local residents told us that they had Virginia laws that applied to the operation of them, and that licenses were required, and that it was possible to get a DUI ticket on one of the golf cart vehicles.  He said that accidents have occurred in the winter.  Some of the carts were driven rather fast around the island.  Some people also rode bicycles.  Many of us had breakfast at Mrs. Hilda Crockett’s house on Wednesday morning.  This was a well-known place to eat on Tangier Island. On Wednesday, we motored to Onancock.  We had no wind. 
We saw rays, and then dolphins near the first marker for the channel to Onancock.  The water near Onancock was light green, and noticeably different than the water in the upper Bay.  We knew that we were in the southern Bay, and the saltier water was coming from the ocean.  Many of the members of the Fleet had dinner at the Garden Inn. It started to rain late in the evening, and this wouldn’t have been a problem since most of us were already in our boats for the night, except for Phil and Josh.  They had taken their canoe from their boat which was anchored in a great anchorage just off from the marina. 
They started back to their boat, which was rafted to Bellefonte Lady, after the rain stopped, but the clouds opened-up again, and it started lightning and thundering.  They had a bright lantern on their canoe, and I watched them, from the window of Key Largo, paddle all the way back to their boat.  Once I saw their anchor light swaying back and forth, I knew that they had made it safely.  On Thursday, Alice and I sailed up Pocomoke Sound toward Crisfield, and then motored through the channel, taking one of the local waterman’s recommendations.  All of the other boats sailed up Tangier Sound.  Following the channel was interesting and a little challenging, like playing a video game with the GPS and tiller.  The channel had very low wetlands on both sides.  It really was a short cut, and the water was deep the whole way through, much deeper than the 3 ½ feet shown on the charts
The marina at Crisfield was very nice and clean, and was within easy walking distance of the town.
It had a nice pool where most of us had a swim.  We caught the “early bird special” at Waterman’s Restaurant, and then went back to the marina to say our goodbyes near the pool. 
Kim and Tony renewed their wedding vows again, (they had already renewed them on Wednesday night, but the youngsters missed hearing them), so they had a ceremony on Thursday night near sunset, complete with a boat hook arch.
On Friday, we started the long trip home.  We weren’t sure exactly where we were going to go, leaving that up to the wind.  The day started out very windy with a chop on Tangier Sound.  We took Kedges Strait to the Bay where the wind and current were not cooperating, and we ended-up motoring much of the way to Solomons.  We met many of the members of the fleet there near Zahniser’s, and rafted to August Moon and Almost Crazy for the night.   Richard and Pat joined us by dinghy.  Pat had prepared food for us. On Saturday, we dinghied to Spring Cove Marina to visit Dan and Grace, and also to top off our gas tanks.  Then, we sailed northward again, again unsure where the winds would take us.  We ended up in Annapolis for the fireworks. It was the 4th of July.  I knew that there would be many boats anchored in the Severn, but I still couldn’t believe how many there actually were.  August Moon went right to White Hall Bay, and recommended that we go there after the fireworks.  The fireworks were great.
I thought that the boat traffic would be crazy after the fireworks due to the large number of boats anchored, but it wasn’t at all.  On Sunday, we motored home to Middle River.  The wind was a little light.  The 20 miles seemed like nothing. The weather during the cruise was very nice.  It never got unbearably hot, and we all know that it certainly can during a summer cruise.  There were several days when it was comfortable to sail in a sweatshirt.
We only had rain on Wednesday night.  We had many days with very good winds for sailing, some running and some beating into the wind.  Our GPS showed that we had covered 285 nautical miles, when we returned to our marina in Middle River.  I estimate that Dan and Grace covered over 400 nautical miles on this year’s cruise.  We also had many youngsters on the cruise this year, which was very nice. 
This was certainly a memorable cruise.  I would like to thank Alice, Loretta, and Lori for all their work planning this year’s cruise.  I would also like to thank Dan Leonida, Kim, and Richard for sharing their photos with me for this write-up.  I had more great photos than ever to choose from.  (Next year we want some movies for the write-up).


The 2009 Summer Cruise started on Saturday, June 27th at the Herrington Harbour South Marina.  The crews of Key Largo, First Draught, Wanderer III, and Shaba, met there for a swim in the pool, and dinner at the restaurant.  Key Largo and First Draught sailed from Middle River.  Dan and Grace sailed Wanderer III from north of Philadelphia.  Richard sailed Shaba from White Hall Creek.

On Sunday, we sailed to Zahniser’s Marina in Solomons.  It was a fast sail, a broad reach, with all four of the boats sailing close to each other.  Richard and Danny were single handing their boats.


At Zahniser’s, we met the crews of the other boats that would be sailing with us, except for the two that would be sailing from the Potomac River.  We also met several Fleet 10 members at the picnic who could not sail with us on this cruise, including Tom and Gina, who sailed there on Woodwind, and John and Laurie, and Pat.Austin was also dropped off by his parents to sail the remainder of the cruise with his cousin, Danny.  Kim and Tony passed out this year’s t-shirts at the picnic: 

Matt and Karen returned to cruise with us this year, and arrived on Bellefonte Lady after a two-day sail from Crisfield. 

Their friend, Phil, and his nephew, Josh, also joined us, sailing a Macgregor 26, Schatzi, towing a canoe, (more on the canoe later). This was their first cruise sailing with our Fleet.  

Augie, Lori, and Augie IV were joined again on August Moon by their young friend Louie, and sailed from their home in Severna Park.  Tom and Loretta keep Energy at Zahniser’s. Loretta arranged a wonderful picnic for us under a tent, where we had pasta and shrimp salad, fried chicken, and many side dishes and desserts.  Many of the dishes were prepared by Loretta.  At a meeting after the picnic, it was announced that Sunday was Kim and Tony’s 10th wedding anniversary, and Tony reminded us that they got married on a previous cruise.  On Monday, we sailed into the early morning sun for Smith Island.