Taking Valkyr out

We took Valkyr (a Downeaster 38, Mast head sloop cutter rig) out a couple of Sundays ago. It was supposed to be Angela, Zsanic, Jay, Eva, Barbara and me on the boat but a few days before we were scheduled to go out Angela found out she had to work. When she did she offered to let me captain the boat and take everyone out anyways. To be honest I have several people that have made similar offers of letting me take out their boats and I never have felt comfortable being responsible for their boats. Up till now I have always just said thank you for the offer but never taken them up on it. However, in this case, there were a lot of people looking forward to going out on Valkyr and it would be the only chance Eva would have to go sailing before she went back home to Slovakia. I have probably sailed as crew on Valkyr more than just about any other boat other than my own so I am very comfortable with how she handles and sails. The next positive is that Jay was going to be onboard and I knew that I had a very experienced boater and sailor to give a hand if I needed it.

We all met at the marina at about 9pm and quickly got the boat ready to leave the dock and away we went. Well, away we went to Jay’s marina to pick up another GPS unit as the Garmin on Valkyr was on the blink. I’m not sure if it was just corroded contacts or something more serious. We did a couple of touch and goes at the face dock of Jays marina to drop him off and pick him up a few minutes later after he had retrieved the gps from his boat. (ironically his gps wouldn’t turn on either)

We decided to press on anyways.. we were not going far and were in waters that we know quite well so.. off we went. We ran out  the Cape Fear Inlet and hung a left and sailed up the coast in front of Bald Head Island for about an hour and half before turning back. The waters were close to flat and we had some very good wind.. Easy 12 to 15 knots. Coming back in the wind was dead on our nose as we entered the inlet but we were feeling lazy but not so lazy that we wanted to hear the engine. We rolled the head sail up and just used the main and the self tacking staysail to sail back in. I was very impressed we were able to tack against the current and wind all the way back in the inlet and actually up the river till we were past southport.

All in all everyone had a great time.

and pictures were taken so.. here we go.

Eva posing for the camera 🙂

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Me and Zsanic.. I didn’t know I was getting my picture taken 🙂

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Jay helping with a line that got wrapped up on the fore deck


Zsanic and Eva.. don’t they look like their having fun.


Eva liked this part.. Capt. Eva steers the ship 🙂

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Zsanic… 🙂 hugs, hugs, hugs to you.


Barbara.. what troopers her and Jay are. they had just gotten back from 5 days at Sea in 10+ feet seas and 30+ knots of wind near the gulf stream.. im not sure I would have volunteered to go sailing just 2 days after getting back from a trip like that.

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As you can see I was at the helm a lot. 🙂 not that I’m complaining. As Zsanic tells me my job is to Live to Serve the Ship 🙂 I feel very pirates of the Caribbean when she informs me of that.


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