Chesapeake Flotilla Wardroom ScoutFleet 2002

Long Cruise - Part 1

Annapolis, Maryland  to Staten Island, New York

18 July to 25 July 2002

Updated 16 August 2002 09:19

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Click here to go to ScoutFleet Report, Part 2 - 25 July to 4 August 2002

Tuesday, 16 July 2002

Preliminary Day - York, PA to Bush River, MD and return

Skipper, Boatswain, Yeoman, and Storekeeper spent the day along with Drew bagging food and delivering the first 8 days of it from York, PA to the Willit Run?? and stowing it.  We also helped with further cleaning of the boat, wiring a second VHF antenna, and cleaning the carpets.  We did other last-minute preparations onboard the boat in preparation for going to sea on Friday.

  Our faithful yeoman, Amanda Rose, shows off her new rose-colored glasses.

DCP_0227.JPG (743385 bytes)  The Storekeeper and the Boatswain bag the food in day-by-day bags under the watchful eye of one of the Skipper's ancestors.

DCP_0233.JPG (796679 bytes)  The transom of our vessel for this voyage displays her nameboard.

DCP_0231.JPG (633367 bytes)  Willit Run?? shows off her new combination radar mast and signal flag hoist.

DCP_0234.JPG (1006524 bytes)  Loading gear aboard Willit Run??

DCP_0235.JPG (761079 bytes)  Drew does a "fantastic" job of cleaning the table, while the Boatswain vacuums the chart table.

Wednesday, 17 July 2002

This was a busy day - our last before reporting onboard for the voyage.  Skipper has been running around like crazy with last minute items.  Did a press release for the local paper.  Hope they'll print it.

Thursday, 18 July 2002

Day #1 - York, PA to Bush River, MD

Today is departure day!  Excitement prevails.  We are driving down Route 24 from York, PA towards Bush River when the Skipper gets a cell phone call from a newspaper reporter.  Could we all stop by the newspaper office for an interview about our upcoming trip?  Sure.

DCP_0240.JPG (496076 bytes)  Mr. Bugby of The York Dispatch interviews our intrepid crew about our ScoutFleet adventure and about Sea Scouting in general.  He is so interested, the interview lasts about an hour and a half.  We don't mind being late getting to the boat if it results in some good publicity for Sea Scouting.

DCP_0241.JPG (149141 bytes)  Amanda Marie holystones the deck - oops - that was the OLD Navy.  I guess she's just using a scrub brush.  In any event, the deck really looks good when she finishes.

DCP_0244.JPG (102062 bytes)  Boatswain's Mate Matt shows that Sea Scout ingenuity can overcome the rough spots in the road of life.

By the end of the day, the gear is stowed, the crew is onboard, the boat is ready, and we are "good to go" on the morning tide.

Friday, 19 July 2002

Day #2 - Bush River, MD to Annapolis, MD

DCP_0254.JPG (869242 bytes)  The Willit Run?? provisioning department debating whether to stock up on clam lips, eels, or fish heads for supper.

DCP_0246a.JPG (297977 bytes)  Ship 25 Medic Amanda Marie is exhausted by all the preparations to get underway.  Or is it the thought of clam lips for dinner?

DCP_0250a.JPG (182303 bytes)  Storekeeper Isaiah strikes his best "security guard" pose at the Gabler's Shore Marina, Bush River, Maryland, our last stop before getting underway.

DCP_0258.JPG (441327 bytes)  The infamous Bush River railroad bridge that Willit Run?? must get under before she can get out to sea.  This means folding down all radio antennas and the radar mast plus the fly bridge Bimini.  Then all fly bridge personnel have to duck down on the fly bridge.  Clearance is less than one foot at that point, and you can rub the bridge rivets with your hands as you pass underneath.  Is this any way to run a railroad?

DCP_0256.JPG (313646 bytes)  Captain Diamond and the bridge watch steer a careful course to get under the bridge without rubbing the gunwales on the bridge abutments.  Success!  Under way on the "open sea" at last.

DCP_0261.JPG (762870 bytes)  The run down to Annapolis from Bush River was largely uneventful.  A light fog limited visibility to less than 1.5 nautical miles at times.  Here we pass under the twin spans of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

DCP_0262.JPG (976468 bytes)  Upon arrival at Annapolis City Dock, we back into Berth 4.  Here our neighboring Sea Scout boat crew from SSS LONG RIDER, onboard 9 FEET SHORTER, gives each other a "do".  Other excitement included watching the dockmaster fall into the water head first trying to save his portable VHF radio.  He came up with a barnacle-encrusted cell phone instead!

DCP_0266.JPG (472962 bytes)  Monsignor John Brady, pastor of Holy Angels Church, Avenue, Maryland, is helped into his vestments by Julie of Ship 759 preparatory to Friday evening's main event - the blessing of the Chesapeake Sea Scout Fleet.

DCP_0268a.JPG (569115 bytes)  Father John Brady blesses the Chesapeake ScoutFleet flotilla.

DCP_0269a.JPG (361322 bytes)  Ship 25, SSS YORKSHIRE, of York, PA provides the color detail for the blessing of the ScoutFleet ceremony.

DCP_0279.JPG (930262 bytes)  After the ceremony, it was time to "gam" with other Sea Scouts and share the day's adventures.

DCP_0280.JPG (369749 bytes)  Boatswain's Mate Matt doing his best Rodin's "the Thinker" imitation.  Thinking about adventures to come?

Saturday, 20 July 2002

Day #3 - Annapolis, MD to Bush River, MD

DCP_0277.JPG (754580 bytes)  The big morning - "ScoutFleet: set the special sea and anchor detail.  Single up all lines.  Make all preparations for getting under way!"

DCP_0281.JPG (800639 bytes)  Willit Run?? heading up the Chesapeake, and kicking up quite a rooster tail!  Could it be that she is too heavily loaded?  "But I need my hair dryer, my curling irons, and my five pairs of shoes!"  Captain Diamond orders all hands to lighten the load to "get 'er up on plane".  

DCP_0283.JPG (752934 bytes)  Sound asleep like two kittens in a box, tired Sea Scouts worn out by standing watches four on and eight off check their eyelids for light leaks.  Or might it be that they were put to sleep by the inspiring prose of that maritime classic, the Sea Scout Manual?

DCP_0285.JPG (623240 bytes)  Must be contagious.  Boatswain's Mate Matt catches some Z's on the fantail.

DCP_0286.JPG (375270 bytes)  The crew may sleep soundly, secure in the knowledge that "Ensign" Amanda Marie is maintaining a vigilant bridge lookout.

DCP_0290.JPG (735864 bytes)  We're losing speed!  The port engine is acting up.  Captain Diamond puts back in to Bush River to lighten the load by off-loading the dingy.  His expressed thoughts on crewmembers taking hair dryers, curling irons, and five pairs of shoes is something that can not be repeated in polite society.

DCP_0289.JPG (352263 bytes)  While Captain Diamond takes the dingy ashore, the duty section is put over the side to clean the water line and check for barnacles.  This is fun, as long as you are not being keel hauled.

DCP_0303.JPG (798277 bytes)  The port engine now absolutely refuses to start.  It is expressing it's own version of protest against overloading.  It appears the fuel pump has given up the ghost.  A new fuel pump "one size fits all" is procured at Gabler's Shore Marina Store.  "Yes, we have one of those somewhere - I think it's back behind the clam lips."  The claim that "one size fits all" is true - in a manner of speaking.  It fits Willit PROVIDED you first remove the water return hose, drain all the anti-freeze into the bilge, then borrow a torx wrench from a neighboring boat, disassemble and reassemble the pump halves with a 180 degree rotation, and then completely re-plumb the steel fuel lines with new twists and bends to reach obscured inlet and outlet ports.  Still no go!  Captain Diamond's UN- expressed thoughts on crewmembers taking hair dryers, curling irons, and five pairs of shoes is something that can not even be THOUGHT OF in polite society.

DCP_0292.JPG (823070 bytes)  While steam pressure is rising in Captain Diamond's boiler, the crew is busy on the beach assembling their new charcoal grill for a shore-side barbecue.

DCP_0298.JPG (635209 bytes)  The true friendships you make in Sea Scouting will last forever.

DCP_0300.JPG (817607 bytes)  Amanda Rose jots down reflections on the cruise to date in her journal.  Perhaps she may share some of her thoughts tonight in "Roses, Thorns, and Buds."

Sunday, 21 July 2002

Day #4 - Bush River, MD to a Desert Island

Captain Diamond recommends that while he spends Monday getting parts to fix the port engine, this would be a great time for the crew to have some guided discovery and reflection on what it means to "pack light".  The decision is made to made to off-load everything we brought originally, take it back to our Sea Base, and get re-organized, just bringing back on Tuesday morning only the food and gear we REALLY need for this cruise.  We agree, and decide to play the role that we have been shipwrecked on a desert island, have to offload the boat to live ashore for 48 hours until the next spring tide re-floats the boat, and then re-board her with just the true essentials.

DCP_0306.JPG (680063 bytes) Neat!  This desert island has an SUV to take us inland to where we will set up our camp.  The girls are tired.  Matt thinks he's died and gone to heaven.  Albert thinks some peanuts would be nice.

DCP_0311.JPG (1552920 bytes)  Upon arrival at our desert island camp, we improvise rustic furniture.   The next order of business is to re-evaluate our menus and our personal gear.

Monday, 22 July 2002

Day #5 - In Port, on a Desert Island

DCP_0319.JPG (944736 bytes) To keep up "morale" during our desert island encampment, the girls take a break between classes on watch standing, radio telephone procedure, log keeping, rules of the road, etc.

DCP_0323.JPG (760324 bytes)  It's all starting to come together now!  The Skipper brought out a scale and weighed his personal gear in our presence.  30.5 pounds.  Skipper says we must take our uniforms, our life preservers, and whatever else we deem essential, but not more that the 30.5 pound weight of his personal duffel in any event. Menus are pared to the bone, and shifted towards dehydrated food.  Dinner is served on time, grace is said before the meal, the watches are being relieved on time, and we're feeling more confident that we're now much more ready for the rigors of the sea.  Captain Diamond calls to report Willit Run?? will in fact run.  Repairs have been effected, sea trials have been conducted, and we are to report back onboard tomorrow morning at 0830.  So it's off to the sack at 2200 to get a good night's sleep for the morrow.  We feel confident we are now truly as ready as we'll ever be.  We look forward to catching up with the fleet.

Tuesday, 23 July 2002

Day # 6 - Desert Island to Bush River

Today started out well - we got up early, arrived early, stowed our minimal gear quickly, and were ready for sea quickly.

DCP_0329.JPG (400773 bytes)  The store at Gabler's Shore Marina - if they don't have it, you don't need it.  The owner was kind enough to give us free bags of ice to top off our cooler, and wished us well.

DCP_0324.JPG (399801 bytes)  Storekeeper Isaiah appears delighted with the bargains to be had on eels and clam snouts - he considers stocking up for the cruise.  The crew considers impeaching the storekeeper.

DCP_0326.JPG (214143 bytes)  No kidding!  They really sell these things.

DCP_0325.JPG (420485 bytes)  Yeoman Amanda Rose comforts Duke, the store watch dog, on the eve of our departure.

DCP_0328.JPG (186225 bytes)  Chessie hopes someone will throw a stick in the water so she can retrieve it.

DCP_0327.JPG (140475 bytes)  A final topping off of the fuel tanks and we're good to go.

DCP_0331.JPG (400182 bytes)  Underway again at last!  Amanda Marie and Matt share a moment on the bow as we head down Bush River.

DCP_0330.JPG (264164 bytes)  Amanda Rose enjoys that "It's great to be at sea again" feeling from the fantail.

DCP_0332.JPG (375424 bytes)  Alas, WILLIT RUN?? didn't share Amanda Rose's enthusiasm for being at sea again and decided it WOULDN'T RUN!!  Back for the second time at the dock, Acting Boatswain Matt joins the Sea Scout Roving Reporter Action News team to investigate why.  It's a rusted-through port engine exhaust riser this time.  Repair date unknown.

DCP_0336.JPG (726970 bytes)  When you're still friends after close quarters for days and after the disappointment of twice having to put back to shore for engine repairs, you know you'll be friends for life.

DCP_0337.JPG (745163 bytes)  The cast and crew of the hit TV series "FRIENDS" pose for a candid shot on the bow of a boat while taking a break from the set in scenic Bush River, Maryland. Is morale a problem?  Enlarge this photo, and you be the judge.

DCP_0339.JPG (764003 bytes)  It's close quarters for our final night on the boat during a rain storm, but we can do it and survive.  In fact, morale is so good we feel we can survive anything.

Wednesday, 24 July 2002

Day # 7 - Bush River back to our Desert Island

DCP_0341.JPG (564710 bytes)  Since there is no boat ride now in our future, we spent the day at the Baltimore County Sailing Center and Rocky Point Park beach swimming before returning to our desert island.

DCP_0342.JPG (780456 bytes)  Our crew got friendly with the life guards at the beach, who recommended a great restaurant for dinner.

Back at our desert island, we watched the DVD "White Squall" and revised our plans.  We will drive up to Great Kills on Staten Island tomorrow and meet the Chesapeake ScoutFleet vessels as they arrive at their staging point for the final push onto the INTREPID pier.  Even though our vessel is now out of action for ScoutFleet, we've still been doing our duty of acting as the Chesapeake ScoutFleet Communications Information Center. We know from monitoring the message traffic that our sister Chesapeake ScoutFleet vessels have had a rough time of it, too.  They're all on track, but each has had its share of difficulties.  We look forward to being of service to them in Great Kills by running grocery errands, etc. After all, "Service" is the middle "S" in our name SSS YORKSHIRE.

Thursday, 25 July 2002

Day #8 - Desert Island to Great Kills, NY

Click here to go to ScoutFleet Report, Part 2

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This page is from the website of SSS YORKSHIRE - Sea Scout Ship 25, York, PA, USA -