Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sailing with Dad - Father's Day 2013

My brother Peter's beautiful tribute to our father emphasizes his life of service - to family and community.  Like Peter and I he was grateful, proud, and inspired by the Jesuits who educated us to be "men and women for others".  But I want to highlight Dad's love for the sea.  In the photos in the post below, at 93 years of age he took the helm with a glint in his eye as (without glasses) he scanned the sea  with a long practiced eye. 

And it wasn't just sailing.  We also had a lapstrake 23 foot Jersey skiff - the Seven C's.  A classic bass boat built by Zobel in Sea Bright, its deep powerful bow handled the steep southerly chop of the sea outside Jones Inlet on Long Island.  
I remember Dad coming back late at night with his friend Frank Sheridan with the deck covered striped bass and an empty vodka bottle. I remember too when we took our first family vacation away from home: all seven of us on the boat for a ten day voyage to Block Island, R.I.  My parents slept in the V berth forward, Peter and I on  either side of the engine box, Nancy​ and Kathryn on the deck behind the engine box - and Steven  on top of it!

That all worked out OK until the canvas bimini and cockpit cover had to cope with a night of wind driven rain.  

We learned to steer by compass ("I said 210, look at the wake -you're all over the sea"), and to plot a course on a nautical chart with parallel ruler and divider.  And in those pre-GPS days  it was important.  I remember working our way through Plum Gut in pea soup fog, up on the bow to spot the red nun buoy that was our next waypoint on the course from Greenport to Block. 

Thanks, Dad for showing us the way.

Voyages  Sailing with Dad - Father's Day 2013

Inline image 1
A McKenzie Cuttyhunk bass boat almost identical to the Seven C's