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.
The Storekeeper and the Boatswain bag the food in day-by-day bags under the
watchful eye of one of the Skipper's ancestors.
The transom of our vessel for this voyage displays her nameboard.
Willit Run?? shows off her new combination radar mast and signal flag hoist.
Loading gear aboard Willit Run??
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.
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.
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.
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
Friday, 19 July 2002
Day #2 - Bush River, MD to Annapolis, MD
The Willit Run?? provisioning department debating whether to stock up on
clam lips, eels, or fish heads for supper.
Ship 25 Medic Amanda Marie is exhausted by all the preparations to get
underway. Or is it the thought of clam lips for dinner?
Storekeeper Isaiah strikes his best "security guard" pose
at the Gabler's Shore Marina, Bush River, Maryland, our last stop before
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
Father John Brady blesses the Chesapeake ScoutFleet flotilla.
Ship 25, SSS YORKSHIRE, of York, PA provides the color detail for the
blessing of the ScoutFleet ceremony.
After the ceremony, it was time to "gam" with other Sea Scouts and
share the day's adventures.
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
The big morning - "ScoutFleet: set the special sea and anchor
detail. Single up all lines. Make all preparations for getting
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".
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?
Must be contagious. Boatswain's Mate Matt catches some Z's on the
The crew may sleep soundly, secure in the knowledge that "Ensign"
Amanda Marie is maintaining a vigilant bridge lookout.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The true friendships you make in Sea Scouting will last forever.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
No kidding! They really sell these things.
Yeoman Amanda Rose comforts Duke, the store watch dog, on the eve of our
Chessie hopes someone will throw a stick in the water so she can retrieve
A final topping off of the fuel tanks and we're good to go.
Underway again at last! Amanda Marie and Matt share a moment on the bow as
we head down Bush River.
Amanda Rose enjoys that "It's great to be at sea again" feeling
from the fantail.
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.
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.
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
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
Wednesday, 24 July 2002
Day # 7 - Bush River back to our Desert Island
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.
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
to go to ScoutFleet Report, Part 2.