Climb aboard and “Let’s Go Sail”

Looking for something fun to do outdoors on a Williamsburg Wednesday, even as the weather turns cooler? Grab a sweater and Let’s Go Sail on the York River.

Working out of the York River Yacht Haven just over the Coleman Bridge in Gloucester Point, Capt. Bill O’Donovan of Williamsburg Charter Sails offers his 32-foot Hunter sloop for a variety of Let’s Go Sail charters for up to six people. 

O’Donovan’s menu of offerings includes three-hour adventure cruises up the river, special event cruises for celebrations such as birthdays and graduations, staff appreciation and history cruises in which Capt. Bill regales his guests with tales of Revolutionary War naval battles that took place in the very same locations. O’Donovan also shares his years of experience with guests on cruises featuring sailing lessons for those who want to learn or broaden their sailing confidence, as well as giving things-to-know tips for guests in the market to buy their own sailboats.

Williamsburg Charter Sails operates twice daily at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Make reservations on the website or call 757-876-8654. Couples cruise for $150, families $250 and other groups $350, with discounts on Mondays and Tuesdays.

On a recent sunny Sunday morning, we met the engaging Capt. Bill on the dock and soon departed on the Hunter (which, yes, has a bathroom and is in pristine condition) along with a family visiting from Vienna, Va. Not long in, Capt. Bill handed me the wheel! Gulp! No worries, though. As the sails billowed, Capt. Bill stood nearby and pointed toward to the distant landmarks he wanted me to follow as he discussed the views along the river and shoreline, adjusted the sails as needed, shared sailing expertise and even radioed nearby vessels for safety precautions.

Soon enough, he had my husband, “first-mate” Tom, uncranking the huge spinaker and pulling ropes to help raise it high above the deck. And then as we headed home, several pods of dolphins escorted us along the way. Nice.

Let’s Go Sail is a fun and different way to spend a Williamsburg Wednesday, any day at all.

Thanks, Capt. Bill.

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