I spent last week cruising aboard my Sabre 402 Whirlwind in Maine with my 23-year-old daughter, Kristi, and her steady, Brian. Both are recent Harvard grads. Brian had never been on a sailboat. It was fascinating to be with two young people and listen to their thoughts about life and observe their reactions to sailing in Maine.
After four straight days of easy sailing, the wind came in at 25 knots and generated thick fog. It was a perfect time to set sail. We left Frenchboro on Maine's mid Coast, sailed through the Casco Passage, and then west through Eggemoggin Reach and finally a long beat south for 20 miles out Penobscot Bay. Brian is a natural at the helm.
I think he is hooked on sailing now.
Both of my young crewmates reflect the attitude of their peers, that the world is a confusing place. It makes me think back to my time at their age 34 years ago, with Vietnam, inflation race issues, and Nixon causing strife. Clearly they are looking to making things better. At least sailing around the Maine coast helped clear the head. We need the next generation to be smart, and I came away thinking there is real hope that they'll do well.
Block Island to Annapolis Delivery
Two days after leaving my young sailors enthused about cruising, I joined a new crew for the delivery of Whirlwind from Block Island to Annapolis. There were four of us to enjoy a 319-mile passage, witness a rare lunar eclipse, get some great spinnaker sailing in, and enjoy favorable currents all the way up Delaware Bay.
What a wonderful coast we have between Maine and the Chesapeake. I have spent a lifetime on these waters, and it all seems to get nicer. Out in the ocean we had a great 24-hour race with a cruising catamaran. Conversation never tired. One reason is that every 30 minutes our environment seemed to change out on the water. We arrived last night at 010- and had a nice cold beer to celebrate the passage.
So with 11 days of cruising behind me, I join our crew Friday aboard a new NYYC Swan 42 for the Stamford-Vineyard Race. This 236-mile classic takes the fleet out Long Island Sound around Vineyard Tower and Block Island and back to Stamford, Conn. I will be sailing with Norwood Davis, the new commodore of the Great Harbor YC on Nantucket, Art Ellis, the navigator who orchestrated Bella Mente's first to finish in the Bermuda Race last year, Jeff Neuberth, a veteran of the Boomerang campaigns, Steve Lirakis, who created the Lirakis safety harness, and five 20-something-year-olds. Two of our younger crew, Russ O'Reilly and Brandon Healy, won the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Nationals in June for the College of Charleston.
The wind is forecast to be light, but we are going to give it a try. My last Vineyard Race was 30 years ago with Ted Turner in between the Final Trials and the America's Cup.