In this season of cancelled events, one offshore rally figured out how to run their event while keeping the crews and volunteers as safe as possible. The Salty Dawg Dog Fall Rally from Hampton, VA to Antigua in the Caribbean and Harbour Town in the Bahamas, got underway on Tuesday, after a week of social distancing and limited partying before the start. As always with a SD rally, skippers choose their own departure time and date governed by their own best assessment of the weather window ahead of them. This being the North Atlantic in the fall, weather windows open and close rapidly. But the ralliers are aided by the services of weather guru Chris Parker who gives detailed weather briefings for a couple of days prior to the start and then gives the fleet daily and highly specific weather briefings as the boats sail south. To make the rally possible, the volunteer management team under the direction of board president Hank George and VP and rally co-founder Linda Knowles, arranged for detailed instructions for how all crews could be tested for Covid-19 prior to the rally and how to take care of pre-rally business in Hampton and elsewhere as safely as possible. This was no small feat and the Salty Dawg board and volunteers should be congratulated for achieving what most other sailing event organizers deemed impossible. If you recall, this is the same team that organized last spring’s Homeward Bound Flotilla that shepherded 184 cruising boats from the Caribbean to the U.S. while countries around the world were closing down due to the virus and causing havoc in the Caribbean cruising fleet. For those of us who are not sailing south this winter, but wanted to, you can follow the progress of the Fall Rally here and sign up for membership in the Salty Dawg Sailing Association here.