Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ted Kennedy with novice crew in a storm - Part 1

John Culver, Ted Kennedy's college buddy, recounts his first, terrifying voyage with Teddy on Jack's sailboat The Victura, a Wianno Senior, which now rests outside the JFK Presidential Library on Boston Harbor.

Ted Kennedy with novice crew - Part 2

John Culver, Ted Kennedy's college buddy, recounts the return voyage:

Hitchhiking up the Hudson - following Henry's path

400 years ago Henry Hudson, the son of a London Alderman, got financing from the Dutch East India Company. Aboard the Halv Maan he set out in 1609 seeking a passage to the Orient. It was his fourth attempt. Northern routes had failed so he went south: Chesapeake Bay: dead end, Delaware River (once known as the South River) - another cul de sac; the Hudson (North River) showed promise. But it too was a long cul de sac. And a great ride.

Times Reporter Corey Kilgallon started out from Times Square with a kayak and hitched rides all the way to the Troy Locks - where Hudson ran out of water. Here's his VIDEO

Thursday, August 27, 2009

1997 - Ted and Eunice Kennedy aboard Mya win the Mayor's Cup

It was September 1997. The South Street Seaport sponsored the 31st annual Mayor's Cup race in New York harbor for Schooners and wooden boats. We were there (John Collins and I) aboard my 16' North River, a Herreshoff 12 1/2.

Ted and Eunice were there. They had brought Mya down to New York for the occasion. (Here at the Liberty Landing dock in the Morris Canal Jersey City). There was a fleet of Star boats racing. (They walked away from everyone in light air.) Ted and Eunice and I chatted about the Star boats. They reminisced about sailing their Star as kids with Jack.

As the north wind died the current turned south. The fleet, in parade formation, was stalled by the building ebb tide. I turned on the motor and crawled through the fleet to get up river of the line before the first gun. We heard a diesel motor kick in and Kennedy charged through the fleet at about 8 knots to get upwind of the line.

The schooners started first and Kennedy was first over the line, with Eunice at the helm. Halsey Herreshoff in the Neith got caught below the line - and anchored. We passed him on our way south. As we neared the leeward mark a big cat boat and a small steel schooner (which had passed us) miscalculated and were stalled by a northbound tanker. With a better angle of sail we passed both of them!

In a 22 boat fleet we were the smallest boat by 10 feet yet we finished 15/22 on elapsed time (well ahead of Neith) and 10/22 on corrected time. My best performance ever in the Mayor's Cup.

Kennedy - first over the starting line never lost the lead - winning the Mayor's Cup.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy - O Captain, My Captain

Two days after he received the diagnosis that spelled doom Senator Edward M. Kennedy was back at the helm of his wooden schooner Mya. "That's all it takes", he said.

With his wife, Victoria, Sen. Edward Kennedy sits at the helm of their sailboat Mya at the Hyannis Port, Mass., Yacht Club, one day after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart! 5
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills; 10
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck, 15
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won; 20
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Walt Whitman - Leaves of Grass

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Brooklin Maine - Wooden Boat Capital of the World

Brooklin, Me.
August - when Times reporters report from their vacation destinations on Cape Cod, the Elizabeth Islands, and the coast of Maine. This week it was Brooklin, Maine's turn. Center Harbor, Brooklin, Maine is a cove on Eggemoggin Reach and the Capital of wooden boat building.

The Times' Jim Norman contributes a terrific slide show HERE

There, where E.B. White escaped from the City you will find Wooden Boat magazine, Benjamin Mendlowitz of the Calendar of Wooden Boats, and the Wooden Boat School.

There you will find and boat builders inspired by Nathaniel Herreshoff's modern disciples like Joel White, whose son Steve continues the Brooklin Boat Yard builders of modern wood yachts like the W Class. You will also find craftsmen like Eric Dow, pictured above with a classic Herreshoff 12 1/2 - the boat that symbolizes the tradition which Brooklin preseves.

For people like me, who has wooden boat disease, Brooklin is a place to go on pilgrimage.
Images: Eric Dow, Center Harbor, map - Jim Norman - NY Times

Lawns look better with boats on them

Richard Hudson and crew are on Abrao, Brasil. They just posted on the Issuma sail blog this picture of a boat under construction. Hardwood. It's the way to go. They've also got a picture of a replica Gloucester schooner that is impressive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cree & Jakob's Jutland wedding

Cree & Jakob got married in a typical little Jutland Church. Here they are - the blended families.
For the big slide show click HERE
To expand the pictures click on the thumbnail.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Buying Lobster at Sam Olson's

Sam Olson's dock is down the hill from the Olson House made famous in Andrew Wyeth's Christina's world. Sam sells fuel, bait, and buys the catch from the Burton Pt. and Maple Juice Cove lobstermen - a fleet of perhaps a dozen and a half.

We buy lobster there during our summer vacation. Here is Annabel's first trip to see lobster - landed by the men of Nancy Elaine.

Images: from live well to crate, weighing the catch, peeking, Windwalker visiting Nancy Elaine, Nancy Elaine

Exploring the Back river with Annabel

HERE is the whole slide show. Click on the photos below to get the whole image.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Why I like my boat

I's 52 years old, the battery isn't charging, six volts is a pain in the ass, it's not a saltwater boat, it's an indulgence.............

Images: all on the St. George River
Southbound, James, Tasha, Annabel, Muffy, Sanaa, Mom, Dad,James.
For the kids in Maine 2009 click HERE.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

After the rain - Maple Juice Cove

August evening, at Stones Point after the rain (Yes, we were underway, at Port Clyde, with Georgia [2] and Annabel [5] aboard), Maple Juice Cove, St. George River, Cushing, Maine.
To expand, click on thumbnail. To see more pix click HERE

Issuma under sail - Ilha Grande, Brazil

Nice cruising grounds. For more go HERE

Monday, August 3, 2009

Port Clyde Draggers

Port Clyde is best known as the base for the Monhegan Boat Line and for the Marshall Point Light to which Forrest Gump ran. But Port Clyde is also home to the largest ground fishing fleet on the Maine coast.

As with all fishing communities there are memories of men lost at sea. 11 since 1941 (the last in 2005) are remembered at the Port Clyde Fishermen's Memorial at the Lighthouse.

The fleet is now a dozen or less. It is hoped that the new sector limits plan (replacing overall catch and day limits) will more rationally use the resource. And help preserve the fishery.

The Port Clyde Fishermen's Co-op markets its catch through Port Clyde Fresh Catch, built on the community farming model, and local pride.

Below are Skipper, Tide Walker, Leslie & Jessica, High Roller, and Iroquois.

The whole slide show is HERE.