Schedule of topics:
- April 17, 2013 - Fishes near and far Graduate student Kathryn Sobocinski of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science will cast a net to see what’s swimming beneath the Alliance. A “show and tell” of preserved fishes from places near and far will be shared by VIMS’ Collections Manager Sarah Huber. You’ll also learn how fish are preserved and catalogued.
- May 1, 2013 - Underwater Vehicles Join researcher Rochelle Seitz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science for a hands-on look at remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and see how scientists use this technology for environmental monitoring and restoration.
- May 15, 2013 - “Ghost” Pots in the Bay Team up with marine researcher Kory Angstadt of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to learn how VIMS scientists and local watermen use sonar to locate derelict, “ghost” crab pots on the floor of Chesapeake Bay so they can be removed to protect marine life. We will be using a Side Scan Sonar.
- May 29, 2013 - Drifters and Jellies Professor Dr. Deb Steinberg of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science will use zooplankton netted from the York River to discuss the wonderful variety of Bay “drifters” and the important role these creatures play in marine ecology and food webs.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has a three-part mission to conduct interdisciplinary research in coastal ocean and estuarine science, educate students and citizens, and provide advisory service to policy makers, industry, and the public. VIMS provides these services to Virginia, the nation, and the world.
The School of Marine Science (SMS) at VIMS is the graduate school in marine science for the College of William & Mary. Chartered in 1940, VIMS is currently among the largest marine research and education centers in the United States.
Note that boxed lunches are available - please note whether you would like one during your purchase.
***Popular topics last year included Health of the Bay, Sea Turtles, Chesapeake Bay Seagrasses, Oysters, Jellyfish and other Zooplankton, Living Shorelines and Shoreline Management, and more.***
What Is Not Included?
- What kinds of topics do these special sails cover?
- Select Wednesdays at 2pm Alliance will be setting sail with a guest scientist from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. These guest speakers will discuss a variety of topics related to the Chesapeake Bay Tidewaters. Come learn about Oysters or Zooplankton while enjoying a scenic sail on the York River! Please check the schedule of topics below.
- ----------------------------------SCHEDULE OF TOPICS-----------------------------------
- April 17, 2013 - Fishes near and far
- May 1, 2013 - ROV Underwater Vehicles
- May 15, 2013 - Side Scan Sonar finds "Ghost" Pots in the Bay
- May 29, 2013 - Drifters and Jellies
- -----------------------------------END OF SCHEDULE-----------------------------------
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- Advance purchase is strongly recommended, and sails often sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please buy your tickets well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
- Which schooner will I be on?
- You will set sail on the Schooner Alliance for the Science Under Sail cruise. The Alliance is a 105' Tall Ship, offers an amazing sailing experience and will allow you to soak up the history and beauty of the York River.
- What happens if the sail is sold out?
- Unfortunately, we do not have a wait list for our sails, so please book well in advance. However, if you find the sail you are looking for is full, check out a sunset sail instead!
- Is there parking and how much is it?
- Yes, there is free parking at the meeting location. Details will be provided upon purchasing your tickets.
- What type of ticket should I buy if I'm bringing a very young child?
- Babies under 1 year of age can attend for free, but must have a free ticket due to Coast Guard regulations. Children between the ages of 1 and 12 have a special reduced priced ticket!
- Can pregnant women attend the sail?
- Yes! Because we sail in protected waters, the sail should be calm and easy for pregnant women. However, if you are in your last trimester, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor before purchasing tickets.
- Can I bring a pet?
- For the Science Under Sail cruises no pets are allowed, please.
- Is food served during the sails?
- Food and beverages are not included, but a variety of snacks and drinks will be available for purchase on board. Hot dogs ($3), chips and other bagged snacks ($1), sodas or water ($1), beer ($3-4), and wine ($5-7) will be available for purchase on board.
- What is the boxed lunch option?
- You can order a boxed lunch to eat on board during the sail - but a boxed lunch must be ordered by 9pm the day BEFORE the sail of your choice. Lunches include a deli sandwich, side pasta salad, pickle, brownie, and a beverage (either soda or water). Sandwich options include ham, turkey, vegetarian, chicken salad, tuna salad, or egg salad. Please let us know what you would like upon purchasing your tickets!
- How about drinks? Should I bring those?
- You may bring one bottle of water per passenger but other than that, personal beverages are prohibited. There will be beer and wine available for purchase during the sail (beer for $3-4, and wine for $5-7). Bring extra cash and valid id with you if you'd like to purchase alcoholic beverages on board. Non-alcoholic options include sodas and water ($1 each).
- Is the Schooner Alliance safe?
- Absolutely. The Schooner Alliance is Coast Guard Certified and fully equipped with modern safety equipment.
- How steady is the sailing? Am I likely to get seasick?
- The Schooner Alliance is a steady, gentle vessel. It is very rare for our guests to become seasick since we stay on the York River in protected waters. While most people do not experience any sea sickness on the schooner, you may want to consider light medication if you normally take it for motion sickness. We cannot officially advise you to take any medication, however!
- Is there a bathroom on the boat?
- Yes, there will be a clean marine head on board. That unisex bathroom is accessible at the bottom of a steep ladder on board. There are also men's and women's bathrooms at the head of the dock at our meeting location, and we strongly encourage you to use the bathrooms before boarding, especially if you have limited mobility.
- Is there an age limit for these sails?
- While there is no age limit for the sails, we definitely recommend families with children under 12 years of age attend a day sail in the morning or afternoon rather than a sunset sail. The Science Under Sail cruises are geared towards adults and not young children. The Schooner Serenity offers an educational sail geared towards youngsters. Please consider signing up for one of the Serenity cruises if you have children under 12.
- Can I stow anything (eg, my briefcase) during the sail?
- There is limited room on board to stow personal belongings. Please do not bring any heavy or large items such as luggage on board - leave them in your car!
- What should I wear?
- Please wear flat soled shoes and avoid heels or platform shoes. Also bring a jacket in the spring or fall seasons!
- Where does the sail finish?
- Our sails will end at the same pier from which they departed.
- Do you ever cancel sails due to bad weather?
- The sail usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather situations. The only time we cancel a trip is in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. Our captains monitor the radar to watch fronts and cells in the area on days when inclement weather is possible. Cancellations are made on the day of the sail, by the Captain, up to 1 hour prior to sail time. If you have purchased tickets for a sail that is cancelled, you will have the opportunity to to reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit towards a future event.
- What happens if it starts raining when we're out on our sail?
- In the event of mild rain, we'll still continue the sail! We have covering on the boat and a little rain never hurt anyone.
- Is gratuity included in the price of the sail?
- Gratuity is not included in the price of the sail. If you've enjoyed your experience, tips for our hardworking crew are greatly appreciated!
- Is the Alliance handicapped accessible?
- Our schooner may be handicapped/wheelchair accessible depending upon your situation. There is an 8 foot gangway with two steps at the end, but we can help you on board as long as you have limited mobility and can make it up the steps with assistance. If you have a small, non-motorized wheelchair, we may be able to bring it on board with us. If you have a large or motorized wheelchair, you may leave it on the dock under the supervision of the dockmaster. For any additional questions, please click on the "Contact SailYorktown" link.
- Is there an easy way to get there from Williamsburg?
- Yes! There are convenient and frequent shuttles that run between Williamsburg and Yorktown - details will be provided upon purchasing tickets.
- Is there assigned seating on the sails?
- No, seating is first come first served on the day sails. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the sail is scheduled to depart, as we will begin boarding exactly 10 minutes beforehand.
- Can I book a private charter sail?
- Private sails are available on the Schooner Alliance or Serenity, out of Yorktown Virginia. If you're interested in a private charter, please click on the "Contact SailYorktown" link to make a request!
- Are gift certificates available for this sail?
- Yes, gift certificates are available and make a great unique gift for any special occasion! Please click on the "Contact SailYorktown" link if you're interested in purchasing a gift certificate.
- Non-refundable, cannot be rescheduled.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded and cannot be rescheduled because your space is being guaranteed at the event.
- Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
- The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
- Boxed Lunches must be purchased before 9pm the evening before the sail.
- If you would like to order a boxed lunch for the sail it must be purchased (along with your tickets) by 9pm on the evening before the sail.
Schooners Alliance & Serenity
Their two schooners include the gaff-rigged 105' schooner the Alliance, and the 65' gaff topsail schooner the Serenity. Both boats give you the opportunity to explore the Chesapeake Bay tidewaters!
For those who love history, yearn for romance, or have dreamed of experiencing a true sailing adventure, your ship has just come in!