Rising Star Goes Back to Annapolis
We had been looking for the right boat for about a year, and had formed a good relationship with Bernie Jakits and Kate Christensen at RogueWave Yacht Sales in Annapolis. In early April, 2014, Bernie told us about the owners of a Valiant 40 who were in the Bahamas and had decided to sell. After seeing the specs and inventory, we made an offer sight unseen, contingent on a good survey. Fast forward a couple of months and Rising Star was ours, ready to sail from Ft. Pierce, Fl to Annapolis, MD where we planned to base her for at least a year. (Rising Star was the original name; she went through a couple of name changes over the years, then back to Rising Star. We eventually made her our own by re-naming her CAYUGA -- of course with the appropriate nautical rituals.)
The previous owners, Val and Lisa Tisdale, had based the boat in Annapolis while they made a number of upgrades before going cruising for three years. After we signed the paperwork, Val and Lisa were generous with their time and spent most of four days educating me about all the boat's systems.
Next step was to assemble the crew I had recruited to help me take her offshore to Hampton, VA at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. I had crewed for David Densmore on offshore passages on his Valiant 37, and he was the most experienced sailor of the group. Another Ithaca sailor friend, David Stilwell, signed on and he recruited David Kalbacker thus presenting the first challenge for the new skipper -- having the entire crew named "David".
It was a great group, and we had very benign weather except for having to penetrate one squall line that packed gusts up to 40 knots for about 45 minutes. At Hampton, all the Davids left, and Rhoda and Lauren came aboard for the three-day trip up the bay.