Sunday, October 17, 2010

An update from the crew of the Windfall ll

It was a dark and stormy night.
The first mate said to the captain, "Cap, the men need to see you."
"Bring them up then," said the Captain.
The men huddled around the Captain.
He began.
"It was a dark and stormy night.
The first mate said to the Captain, 'Cap, the men need to see you.'
'Bring them up then,' said the Captain.
The men huddled around the Captain.
He began.
'It was a dark and stormy night....'

The journey of the Windfall ll in one short blog. The sail was a glorious and brilliant expedition of five men: Philip, Steve, Frank, Captain Rob Temple, and Rob's son Emmet. Each day brought blue skies and different forms of landscapes from small towns to larger cities, from small water crafts to barges. The evening sunsets and night skies were of great beauty and awe-inspiring as they anchored. After dinner and the galley was clean for the night, the crew pulled out their fiddles, penny whistles and harmonicas. Their music and voices also sailed across the sea just as they did a century ago when sailing was an occupation.

Morning coffee and sailing northward before the sun came up was the protocol as Captain Rob was always on the move. A week into the journey they were at the race site and greeted with music on the dock, festivals in the park, and a send off dinner with pirates and oysters.

The day of the sail, dark clouds began to role in and rumors of gale force winds began to swirl about the 45 schooners in the race. It was definitely time to batten down the hatches and prepare for the 82 miles scheduled for the Windfall ll. As the race began, pouring rain slashed these old schooners with a rain every sailor dreaded since the beginning of time. In an interview with Captain Rob this morning at 0900 he said, "The weather was much worse than expected. The gales in the night exceeded 40 knots and the darkness of the Potomac River made it so much worse." When the darkest of the night came, it was decided that for the safety of the crew and to keep the old schooner intact, sails would come down and a safe harbor would be found for a few hours.

The men waited out the storm and then continued on down to the finish line. Cheers went up from the crowd as each schooner came into Portsmouth.

Amazingly, not a crew member nor boat went down during the nor' easter than descended upon the men and women.

After a brief conversation with Philip and Rob this morning, all is well...still drying out clothing and re-arranging the galley after the storm's winds tossed about their belongings.

Sunny skies greeted them this morning as they begin their journey home to Ocracoke. Needless to say, these men, these sailors of ours will have stories to tell for years to come about the Great Schooner Race of 2010.

This is Lou Ann sending in the news from The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race of 2010. All is well.


  1. Anonymous8:34 PM

    Thanks for the update Lou Ann. I'm glad to hear everyone is safe!

  2. Anonymous10:37 AM

    Just clarify one point. Rob doesn't sail with a hatchet. They batten down the "hatches" when the weather arrives.

  3. I fixed the typo!

  4. Oops, sorry about that!