Hampton Virginia to Eleuthera Part 1 Shore

November 1 to November 4

Up until the
most recent gathering the Salty Dawg organization  was
sponsored by one couple, Bill and Linda Knowles. They started the
group three years ago and this season the number of participants
grew beyond their wildest expectations. They were under stress
because the logistics of dealing with the crews of over 100 boats
was beyond their planning. During the shore component of this rally
a board of directors was formed to take the rally forward. Good
luck to them and the future of the salty dawg event. The premise of
the salty dawgs is to bring together boats with a common
destination and provide them with information and seminars to help
prepare them to make some decisions: When do we go? Is our boat
ready to go? Do we have the required equipment to go? Do we have
the ability to go? Should we do this? All of these questions must
be answered by the individual boats. The proof of this premise is
evident. Boats left at various times and dates. We left on the
fourth with other boats heading specifically for the Bahamas.
Several of our group did not make it. Half made it to the 
U.S. Coast and continued down the ICW (intercoastal waterway) and
may be in the Bahamas now. Nov 1 crew arricving greg Me shown here attending
one of the twice daily weather briefings We heard that
the Caribbean 1500 folks were leaving a day earlier than they
planned and Chris Parker (the weather guy) explained their
reasoning although he thought it wasn’t a wise decision. Dawson
started to organize the folks going to the Bahamas and we
discovered that there were at least 10 boats with either the
Bahamas or Florida as their destinations. Our group had several
productive meetings and it kept boiling down to leaving by noon on
Monday and getting to the Gulf Stream south of Hatteras by
Wednesday at 6am. In the last couple of days ashore we listened to
the BVI group work out their strategy which still involved personal
decisions about going and it was boiling down to a Wednesday
departure for them. You would think that our two days at sea would
have put us 2 days ahead of the coming weather . However for the
two days we traveled parallel to the coast to meet up with the
infamous Gulf Stream entry point. The ultimate difference would be
where you were on Thursday. We had crossed the washing machine that
is the gulf stream and the Wednesday folks were caught in it. The
onshore activities were well attended and the sponsors should be
commended. Thursday was Goslings dark n stormy night and I missed
it. Friday was pork bbq. Saturday was chicken all free or included
for boats and crew. nov 1 riley young salty dawg Riley from the sailing
vessel Catherine
photo by Faye There was
entertainment and then there was Riley. Riley was a mobile smile a
smile that never left her face. She romped, danced and smiled when
she wasn’t laughing. Riley is one of the crew of ‘Catherine’ a
C&C 44 owned by a couple of musicians who lost everything
in Hurricane Sandy. When they reach the BVI they hope to live,
raise the girls and make some bucks playing music at various
locations in the BVI. Good luck to them and I hope that they are
safe. The Salty Dawg rally has taken some heat and criticism in the
press and on the web. In defense of the rally, they made frequent
reference to the disclaimer that Captains make decisions about
their own vessels. Rule 4 of the sail racing rules says it clearly,
the captain is responsible for the safety of the vessel and the
decision to race or in this case sail is his or hers alone.

The responsibility for a
boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is
hers alone.

There was no group
dynamic to leave en mass, evidenced by the boats that left on their own
at various times over the three or four days. It is likely that the
120 boats in the rally may have left individually rally or no rally, to go south and a similar number of that number of boats might have gotten into
trouble…who knows. Was Jazzebelle ready? see part 2 coming soon

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