Sailbot 2011 was held in Annapolis, MD at the United States Naval Academy. This page will discuss some of the travel logistics and planning and general thoughts/suggestions for the future. More technical information about the events can be found on the Competitions page.
Renting a CarEditThe car rental was done though the Enterprise at 600 Princess. We rented a Dodge Caravan, and managed to fit Gaelforce II, all equipement, luggage, and 4 people inside by folding down the seats on the left side of the van. It was set up so that Queen's was the renter, and the invoice was sent to the Mech Eng department and debited directly from our account, which is ideal so no one was on the hook for nearly a grand. This way, the insurance was also covered through Queen's. We went to speak to HR on the first floor of Fleming Hall, Stewart-Pollock Wing and got a bit of information about it, including being told not to purchase extra coverage.
Crossing the Canada-US border at Hill Island went as smoothly as could be. We stopped to get a Y38 customs form for the netbook and GoPro camera, since these did not belong to any individual person (see http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d2/d2-6-5-eng.pdffor what a Y38 form is, and why you want one). To add legitimacy, we also printed some info from the Sailbot 2011 website and hoped to have a letter from the USNA (Canada Post was striking so it didn't get to Kingston in time), though we didn't end up needing them.
Including stops for meals and bathroom breaks, the trip took about 9 hours. We took the I-81 to the I-83 in Harrisburg PA, to I-695 around Baltimore to I-97 to the 50 into Annapolis. We chose to detour around Syracuse on the I-481 to avoid traffic on the trip back since it was a Friday afternoon. AAA triptiks were much better than Google directions since the maps give you much better context. Be sure to get directions all the way to your first destination.
Due to lack of funds, the team chose to be billeted over booking a hotel. All four of us stayed with Joan and Capt. Dick Morin who were FANTASTIC hosts. If you are billeted don't forget to ask if you need to bring bedding or towels. Also, bring a cooler for lunches (they lent us one).
Team MembersEditCory (boat, SWEP), Valerie (S&H), Laszlo (H&S, summer hire) and Kevin (boat) attended. Bug them with more questions.
We were all just finished third year, but it would have been nice to bring some younger people along too. After having been, it really gives you new motivation!
The limiting factor for not taking more people was availability, but four seemed like a good number. One of the teams present had 7 members which seemed to lead to more arguments and tensions, but this many might be ok if there were defined leaders (which they did not seem to have). Another team had only 2 members but this was likely because they had to travel the farthest, but they also had their "supervisor" there to help. The other teams had 3 plus a professor.
Fantastic experience, and a great break from work in the middle of the summer (or a break from the ILC if you're working for MAST). If you have the opportunity, go to comp!
This info was written with the expectation that comp will be held at USNA again at some point in the future, and you'll wonder how it all went!