Friday Full Moon Cruise: Reds, Whites and Shades of Orange
ANSA members Dick Gavlak, Nina McGarry, Cathy Spedden and Dale Mayes (and her guest Shelley)
joined skipper Jim Openshaw on September 16 aboard S/V Fantasea for a cruise with the harvest
Jim and crew enjoyed brisk southeast winds and mild temperatures on the trip across the mouth of the
South River and out to Thomas Point Light. We left the slip at twilight, and once clear of Selby Bay
and the shoal bottleneck at Turkey Point, we raised our sails. Then Dick called our attention to a slight
dome of salmon-colored light, the harvest moon, on the eastern horizon. We watched the moon rise
full and orange before it disappeared behind a curtain of clouds, filtering through just enough to
highlight the whitecaps around us.
All hands worked to reef the mainsail in the freshening wind at the mouth of the river. Twice Dick
moved to the bow, tethered to the jack line, and scanned with a spotlight our path through crab pot
fields. The others took turns at the helm, even our guest Shelley, who proved herself a knowledgeable
and able sailor. Jim kept us looking for red markers flashing in the distance, as he periodically dropped
below to check our course under the steady red glow of the chart table light.
We furled the Genoa long enough to enjoy the excellent spread of food on the galley table, then
resumed full sail power to make Thomas Point Light. And that light did keep us oriented in the
darkness, a small point of white blinking on the horizon, seeming to come by turns from each quarter
during the night. It fooled us briefly when it’s white light vanished, leaving us faintly uneasy. Jim
relieved our bafflement, explaining that we had entered its red sector. In no time, it seemed, the white
house emerged from the dark to loom beside us. Time to head home.
Back we went through the crab pots and shoals, following the blinking reds, rounding the turn to the
dock, where Jim took the helm to easily thread S/V Fantasea back into her slip. Thank you skipper Jim
and first mate Dick for a cruise of fun and learning! And thanks to the whole crew for the great