Friday, September 29, 2017
After three days of strong northerlies which forced us to motor, we finally found a fair breeze that was not blowing near gale force. And, what a beautiful place to sail!
This morning we made our way under power out into the Chesapeake Bay from our anchorage on the Great Wicomico River, around Smith Point, and into the mouth of the Potomac River with a strong north-northeasterly blowing down the Bay. By early afternoon the wind finally began to lay down and we made our way into the St. Mary’s River in Maryland. This scenic river was chosen as the site for Maryland’s first English settlement in 1634. Today, the museum at Historic St. Mary’s City operates the MARYLAND DOVE. The recreated DOVE is almost identical in size to GODSPEED and has sailed with the ships from Jamestown on numerous photo and movie shoots. Our captain was captain of the DOVE for five years before coming to Jamestown and friendship runs deep between the two crews.
After a quick tour of GODSPEED for some of the museum staff who could not play hookie for the afternoon, we got off the dock with several St. Mary City’s maritime staff. With canvas spread allow and aloft, we showed off GODSPEED’s sailing attributes while putting our guests through the paces of tacking and wearing a slightly foreign square rigger. They had a blast and we appreciated having a few additional and eager hands aboard for a spectacular afternoon of sailing.
Connections like these are important in the museum world. They allow for an exchange of ideas and professional development for both our staff’s. St. Mary’s City is in the preliminary planning stages of replacing their current replica. Their maritime and administrative staff saw GODSPEED set up for voyaging, learned about the process our museum used in building our recreated ships, how we use them for outreach programs, and (most importantly) experienced how well GODSPEED sails. In return, our crew toured DOVE, sailed on their gorgeous small boat PARROT, and our interpretive staff learned about another museum’s teaching curriculum.
All told, it was an excellent day. Tomorrow, we hope to take advantage of more northerly winds to sail down to Reedville, VA, where we will be open for public tours on Sunday and school programs on Monday.