Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Crossing the Chesapeake with Rene Potvin

Rene Potvin is on a personal challenge sailing a Hobie Adventure Island from Miami to Montreal. I have been following his travels on his Web Site: miami2montreal

This weekend he arrived at Willoughby Marina in Norfolk, Virginia. I took this opportunity to meet with him. Landing in the Navy part of town, I took him to a Willoughby landmark, The Thirsty Camel for dinner. This is a true sailor bar with a old guy band and much too friendly waitress. The more beer that you drink, the better the band sounds and the better the waitress looks...
We made plans to meet up in the morning and cross the Chesapeake together.

I had to sail first sail the 13 miles from Lynnhaven to Willoughby. The wind was ideal 15-20 from the South. The crossing was smooth broad reach until we got to the other side when the wind shifted to the east.

Rene will not be going through the Chesapeake Bay. There is too much private, military and industrial development. The Chesapeake-Delaware canal dumps you high up the Delaware so you have to go south to round Cape May. He will be using the road less traveled up the east coast of the DelMarVa Peninsula. I escorted him to the start of that waterway.

He carries a lot of gear so his boat sits lower and runs slower. I had to reef and zigzag to stay broad side of him. The standard Hobie seat is replaced with a Wal-Mart fishing seat so that he does not have to deal with sitting in the water that constantly splashes up into the cockpit.

On my way back to Lynnhaven I was hit by a thunderstorm with 40 knots including hail and total whiteout. For about a half a hour it was survival weather with the sail rolled down to 1 foot trying to ride out the storm. I know now why there are handles on each side of the cockpit: Some place to bury your fingernails into, while trying to hold on. Total trip for me was 46 miles. Not a bad performance for the second time on the water in this new Hobie Adventure Island....

I have much more Video that I have taken during this trip that I will eventually be posting once i have time to produce it...


  1. I sure hope to have the opportunity to meet you in the Ocean City, Maryland area. I've been following your journey with no small amount of envy.
    I'm in Ocean City every weekend sailing my TI in the Isle of Wight Bay just south of the Route 90 bridges, so maybe our paths will cross!


  2. Paul,

    I think your comment is meant for Rene. You can leave a comment on Rene's website:

  3. Your correct - it was. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed sailing with Rene. Quite an adventure!

  4. Paul,

    I talked to Rene. If you send me your e-mail I can send you his cell number so that you can meet him in Ocean City. Currently he is in Chincoteague.

    Dogs life

  5. Great videos and pictures!

    Do contact me Paul. This is going to get confusing, too many Pauls. 954-501-9735
    I'll be in Ocean City in two or three days.