This Summer – Two New Events & An Old Favorite

Summer Promo

The Salty Dawg Rally is hosting two new events on the Chesapeake this summer – the Rally to Maine, from the Southern Chesapeake to Newport and Maine, and a Southern Chesapeake Rendezvous open to all interested in blue water sailing.  This is in addition to the Rally’s 5th Annual Bristol, R.I. 4th of July Rendezvous.  It will be a busy and fun-filled Salty Dawg summer.

The Rally to Maine departs Indian Creek Yacht & Country Club in Virginia July 11th, and arrives in Maine for some great “downeast” cruising July 18th or shortly after, depending on weather and boat speeds.  The rally provides the usual solid rally preparation assistance, weather services, offshore coordination, camaraderie and fun events for which Salty Dawg Rallies are known.  Vessels may also join the rally in Newport/Jamestown.

The Rally to Maine will include great pre-departure events, exciting stops in Jamestown, RI (near Newport) and Mattapoisett Harbor, a transit through the Cape Cod Canal, and landfall in Rockland, Maine.  A special arrival reception is planned in Rockland to celebrate the fleet’s completion of its passage.  From there cruisers can visit the iconic villages of the area, and explore the numerous attractive anchorages, parks and isles of coastal Maine. This rally is a great way to gain offshore experience, as well as to sail with a fun group of sailors.

The Salty Dawg Rally is also hosting a one-day Southern Chesapeake Rendezvous July 9th at Indian Creek Yacht & Country Club, open to all interested in blue water sailing, with a full afternoon and evening of great activities.  These include an open house of several blue water sailing vessels, talks by experienced ocean sailors and circumnavigators, introduction of numerous blue water sailors to rub shoulders with, a superb happy hour, fun entertainment, and delicious dining offerings by Indian Creek Yacht & Country Club’s Master Chef.

Those planning to attend the Salty Dawg 5th Annual Bristol, R.I. 4th of July Rendezvous can stay in the area and link up with the Rally to Maine about July 14th.  The July 4th celebration in Bristol ( )is a fun, colorful and patriotic event.  This will be the 231st running of Bristol’s 4th of July celebration, America’s oldest, complete with a parade, drum and bugle competitions, continuous entertainment, and a lot of food offerings.  The Salty Dawg Rendezvous brings sailors together to enjoy these events, share happy hours and dinners together, and regale each other with tales of their sailing adventures.

Visit our website at for more details and to sign-up for these great Salty Dawg events.

Join the Salty Dawg Spring Rally to the US

The 2016 Spring Rally departs the BVI on May 15 to head to various ports on the East Coast of the US or to Bermuda. Salty Dawg Rallies place an emphasis on fun, safety and building lasting friendships. They are a great way to meet other cruisers, and to sail offshore in company.


You can register for the Rally and participate in all events at no fee. However, joining the Rally as a Member entitles you to many other benefits. Most participants also join as Members to support the Rally and to take advantage of these added benefits.

The Rally includes extensive planning and information prior to departure. Daily briefings by weather router and forecaster Chris Parker are provided to all who register, both before departure and offshore. For 2016 the Rally has expanded the set of activities at both Virgin Gorda North Sound and at Nanny Cay prior to departure. In North Sound, Virgin Gorda the Spring Rally will include a gathering for the Michael Beans pirate show, and on another day enjoy watching the Moko Jumbies perform at the Leverick bay Resort. Then Salty Dawgs can stretch their legs with a scavenger hunt and savor a great departure dinner at the Bitter End Yacht Club. This will be followed at Nanny Cay Marina with a pizza party, a beach BBQ, Chris Parker weather briefings, and final preparations before departure on May 15th. It is a full agenda before departure.

Offshore Dawgs stay in regular communication to assist each other if necessary, receive Chris Parker’s daily weather updates, and celebrate arrival for those whose destination is the Chesapeake Bay. Register now for the 2016 Salty Dawg Spring Rally!


VIDEO: Salty Dawg Raft-up January 2016

Ever notice how the Sargasso Seaweed clumps up and forms streaks in the open ocean? The wind just happens to form these streaks from independent clumps of weed growing and floating in the ocean. It attracts various sea life and becomes a floating ecosystem unto itself. Well, a funny thing happens, under very special conditions, when a group of Salty Dawg cruisers find themselves together in a bay. Much like the Sargasso weed, they form clumps of dinghies, just before sunset, usually loaded with cheese, crackers, bits of grilled vegetables, dips, chips, sausage, and other boater’s delights, accompanied with the liquid refreshments that the island’s bounty provides; in other words – a dingy raft up. It is a floating ecosystem of camaraderie and fun.

Such was the case on January 18, 2016 when at 1700, dinghies and their captains, crew and guests from the sailing vessels: Flash, Sapphire, Kalunamoo, Allegro, Leahona, Casa Tu, Simplicity, Reality Check…found themselves clumped together in Francis Bay, USVI. 12 dinghies and 28 sailors in all. What a wonderful way to share “sundowners” with fellow Dawgs, guests and fellow cruisers! The big discussion may have been whether the “green flash” might be visible at sunset, but after Seale on Flash toasted the cruisers – “adventia before dementia” – it didn’t really matter if the green flash was seen or not. A dinghy raft up is a fun adventure that we all should experience when the wind and time conspire to clump us together.

Just another great Salty Dawg rendezvous!

The Fall 2015 Salty Dawg Rally Arrives in the BVI

2015 Arrival Party - Dawgs AllJPGNearly all of the 78 vessels and over 300 sailors in the Fall 2015 Salty Dawg fleet have now arrived in the BVI and Bahamas. With the unusual weather pattern this year offering limited windows for departure, several boats left around November 1st, a few cast off shortly after, most of the rest of the fleet departed around November 11th, and the final two boats left November 28th – a very broad window. The early boats had some windward work and a sporty crossing of the Gulf Stream, as Chris Parker warned them they would. Other vessels chose to wait for more favorable conditions, and departed later with mostly downwind sailing. And, the last boats are finding almost no wind, and a lot of motoring.

The 2015 Fall Rally was another successful and fun event by the Salty Dawg Rally, with wide acclaim from those who participated. The Fall Salty Dawg Rally was once again by far the largest rally from the east coast of the US, clearly the choice of blue water sailors. Read More…

2015 Fall Salty Dawg Rally™ Now Underway – 78 Boats Participating

Virgin GordaThe first group of 78 boats participating in the 2015 fall Salty Dawg Rally™ are now on their way to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands and other Caribbean destinations.
The experienced blue water sailors, some with 12 or more passages to the Caribbean from the US, many with ocean crossings under their keels and crews with circumnavigation experience, departed today from Hampton, Virginia, and other points along the US east coast. Most will arrive at their initial destinations within the next 10 days.
The fleet ranges in size from 34 to 70 feet and includes boats from the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. With an emphasis on safety, communication and camaraderie, over 470 boats and more than 1,890 sailors have now participated in the Salty Dawg rallies since the nonprofit organization was founded by blue water sailors Bill and Linda Knowles in 2011.
The Fall Rally included extensive planning and information prior to departure. Daily briefings by weather router and forecaster Chris Parker were provided to all, both before departure and offshore. Daily nets track location of vessels and offer help on any issues or questions that participants have. The Rally is able to provide this extensive range of support and services at no cost to participants due to the many seasoned blue water sailors who volunteer their time to staff the rally and the generous donated time, products, services and funds from over 40 sponsors.

Salty Dawg Annapolis Seminars – Well Received

UntitledThe Salty Dawg Rally Annapolis Seminars, now in their 3rd season, were attended by a full house of close to 100 sailors. The seminars were conducted on Wednesday October 7th at the Mears Marina Pavilion in Eastport, Annapolis, MD. This is the 4th year for these seminars on blue water sailing topics. Speakers included Dave Flynn of Quantum Sails with unique advice on offshore sail preparation, storm strategies and heavy weather tactics, Steve Madden of M-Yachts on rigging degradation and rig setup issues to look for, and Chris Parker discussing weather prediction services, weather patterns, and passage strategies. Also, Curtis Morris provided a very thorough review of SSB communications, Will Keene of Edson International offered sage advice on boat bilge pump and steering system issues and preparations for offshore sailing, USCG representatives addressed offshore emergencies and communications with the CG, Joan Conover discussed cooking offshore and use of the pressure cooker, Mark Andres of Sea Hawk addressed selection of bottom paints based on cruising locations and conditions, and Skip Yale of Bainbridge discussed attributes of different type lines and their best applications. An attentive audience asked thoughtful questions, gourmet sandwiches were offered for lunch, and with a sunny fall day most had plenty of input for their preparations to sail south. Reviews and subsequent testimonials by attendees were all positive about the learning experience provided by the seminars. The Salty Dawg Rally offers a series of seminars in Newport, Annapolis and Hampton to help blue water sailors better prepare themselves and their vessels for offshore passages.
It was great meeting all of you and the attendees at the Seminar in Newport…….a very good program with a lot of knowledgeable speakers as well as attendees!  The information shared among everyone and the networking were quite valuable to any avid sailor. Thank you for providing these beneficial opportunities to us. ……and happy sailing, Doug Stephens.


Salty Dawg Newport Seminars a Hit

SDR SeminarThe Salty Dawg Rally’s inaugural blue water sailing seminars held September 16th at the historic Edward King House in Newport were a big hit. These seminars held just prior to the Newport International Boat Show join the Salty Dawg Rally quality seminars held in Annapolis and Hampton each year.

The sailors who attended the Newport seminars raved about the depth and quality of the information presented by the noted speakers. Topics included preparations for an offshore blue water passage by George Day of Blue Water Sailing Magazine and Multihulls Quarterly, bottom paint selection and characteristics by Mark Andres of Sea Hawk Paint, planning your cruising sail inventory by Dave Flynn of Quantum Sails, selection and performance of different types of sailing lines by Skip Yale of Bainbridge, steering and pump systems by Will Keene of Edson International, and care, maintenance and selection of emergency equipment by Jim Connors of LRSE. Bill and Linda Knowles of the Salty Dawg Rally were also on hand to help in answering questions by attendees on blue water sailing and the Salty Dawg Rally.

All who attended were complimentary of the speakers and of the Rally for conducting the seminars. The word is spreading about the high quality of the seminars offered by the Salty Dawg Rally, with the next seminars to be held October 7th in Annapolis, Md. at Mears Marina.

Dorothy Mammen, winner of PLB at Newport Seminar

Dorothy Mammen, winner of PLB at Newport Seminar

Selection of PR and Marketing Firm

HomePortLogoThe Salty Dawg Rally™ announced on July 23rd it has chosen Home Port Marine Marketing to provide marketing and PR services. Bill Knowles, President of the Salty Dawg Rally, said “We are very excited to welcome aboard Home Port Marine Marketing. They will be handling communications and marketing of the Rally’s Seminars, Boat Show booths, Fall and Spring Rallies, and the various Rally-related events held throughout the year. We feel this is a very important step up for the Salty Dawg Rally as it continues to grow.” With an emphasis on safety, communication and camaraderie, over 390 boats and 1,560 sailors have participated in the Salty Dawg Rallies since 2011. Established in 2001, Home Port Marine Marketing is headed by former BoatU.S. product marketing executives Jim Georgiadis and David Pilvelait. For more information about Home Port’s marine product marketing, publicity and promotion services, visit

NOAA 2015 Seasonal Hurricane Outlook Announced

named-hurricane-franThe numbers are in! Take a look at the 2015 Seasonal Hurricane Outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NOAA’s Atlantic hurricane season forecast agrees with earlier forecasts of a season with fewer named storms than historical averages in 2015.  NOAA, which released it forecast in June, calls for a 70 percent likelihood of:

• 6 to11 named storms (including May’s Tropical Storm Ana)
• 3 to 6 of which would become hurricanes
• 0 to 2 major hurricanes – those of at least Category 3 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

This is below the 30-year average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes, and slightly above 2014’s numbers of 8 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 2 of which were Major hurricanes.

The Colorado State University (CSU) forecast issued June 1 called for eight named storms, including three hurricanes, one of which is predicted to attain major hurricane status.  The CSU outlook is headed by Dr. Phil Klotzbach in consultation with long-time hurricane expert Dr. William Gray and is based on a combination of 29 years of statistical predictors.

Hopefully, this will make things easier for Salty Dawgs as they work their way south to the Hampton, VA in preparation for an early November departure.

Video: Salty Dawg Dinghy Drift

Salty Dawg’s across the Caribbean are regularly holding local, impromptu gatherings with Dawgs they met in one of the rallies. These happen in one of the Dawg’s cockpits, on a local beach, in a waterfront restaurant, or one of the many nearby bars. It can be a gathering of 3 to 30. In mid-January 12 Salty Dawgs and 6 Dawg-wannabe’s from 9 yachts gathered for a dinghy drift (let’s call it a ‘Dawg Drift’) in Francis Bay, St. John, USVI. Salty Dawgs from Dream Chaser, Flash, Kalunamoo, Rum Runner, Sapphire, and Zipporah participated, as well as guests from Lonestar, Reality Check, and Unicorn. Pleasant easterly winds, tasty snacks, refreshing drinks, and good company made for a delightful time. Passing boats honked horns in appreciation of the strange craft passing by, maybe never having seen a drift of dinghies lashed together into one, bobbing mass of fun. The pack broke up at sunset so all could arrive back at their home yachts before the twilight disappeared. It was a hit and will be repeated, we’re sure. Click on the YouTube video to see some of the highlights.