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Quick visit to Urbanna on their way around the world

The Rodriguez family from England visited Urbanna last week on their 38-foot sailboat. Above, from left, are Jack, John, Nicola and James.(Photo by Larry Chowning)

by Larry S. Chowning

International sailors John and Nicola Rodriguez of England and their two children, Jack and James, found the port of Urbanna a splendid place to visit and spend their July 4th holiday.

In June, the family cruised into the Chesapeake Bay, completing a 2,500-mile trip from the Caribbean. Last week, the family sailed into Urbanna Creek on their Moody 38-foot sailboat “Seraphim.”

“We gave up our careers to sail around the world,” said John. 

John was a special effects photographer and Nicola was a television script writer.  They met at work, fell in love, married in 2002, and both had a desire to sail around the world. 

They have not yet made it. A couple of hurricanes named “Isabel” and “Ivan” and a couple of kids named Jack and James have slowed the quest.

“We’ve had a few things get in the way, but we are still working our way around the world,” said John as he lounged at the Urbanna Pool on Friday.

They have sailed from the Mediterranean Sea to the Bahamas to the Chesapeake Bay.

They survived Hurricane Isabel but Hurricane Ivan in 2004 trashed their previous boat, “Moonshiner.”

“Several things slowed us down. We had to go through an ugly insurance ordeal to get our new boat, and our children have come along since we started the trip,” said John. 

They sailed to Urbanna by chance. “We had been so fed up with being on a schedule that we decided to go where the wind blew us,” said John.  “The wind blew us to the mouth of the Rappahannock River and to Urbanna. 

“We were going to spend one night, but that’s been three nights ago,” he said. “Everyone has been very friendly so we decided to stay for the 4th of July celebration and we are having a great time here in town.

“This town makes it very convenient for sailors,” he said.  “The town dock has showers and bathrooms. The town has a swimming pool, a grocery store and other convenient stores.”

The family has a website for family, friends and other adventurers to follow its journey. Visit for trip updates. 

posted 07.08.2009

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