America 's Cup – Newport 1970
Not on a twelve-meter yacht competing for the cup. I was in the Navy's Quartermaster ‘A' school in Newport, RI. I was renting 19' and 21' sailboats from the Coasters Island Officer's Club Marina and sailing out into the bay to watch the big boats head out onto the course or return to harbor. Francis Bic's French entry was the last wooden boat to compete for the cup and she almost ran our little becalmed skiff down one August afternoon.
Quartermasters are responsible for navigating and steering ships in the Navy. On submarines, they serve as the Signalman as well (as in the Coast Guard). I was a QM for over a decade serving underway on a Polaris submarine out of Spain, a Mine Sweeper in South Carolina, a Tank Landing Ship (LST) in San Diego, and a Tug Boat (YTB) in Pearl Harbor. Only the submarine had a sail. Navy Moral, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Marinas have also provided great off-duty boats in four decades in RI, SC, CA, HI, FL, and MD.
Lakes, Small and Great
My first boat was a ‘Zef' – a French designed 12' day-sailing sloop with a roller-reefed jib. It could do anything in the winds of Lake Lansing in Haslett , MI. I think a third of her underway time was in the moonlight at night on that lake – more then one morning began with getting underway from the lake's southern marshes. We also sported Sunfish, a Hobi-16, a Flying Scott, and a truly funky self-sinking foldable trailerable trimaran off of our dock. Saginaw Bay offered decades of opportunities to sail/motor on Ty's, Tom's, and Fred's bigger boats
Chesapeake Bay – 25 years
Most of the time on this beautiful bay has been on my own Columbia 8.3. I bought her as SLO & Easy from Sam L. Orenstein and recommissioned her as Ceilidh, (Scottish Gaelic for ‘Journey' and ‘Musical Party”). Ceilidh cruised the Chesapeake out of Herring Bay for fourteen years before she was dismasted in the slip during hurricane Isabell in 2003. She was a great hull and I am sure she is sailing now somewhere on the East Coast. Since Ceilidh was sold, it's essentially been OPBs (Other People's Boats) with special thanks to Tom, Linda, and Hugh.
I spent several years working part-time and seasonally as a First Mate on the Spirit Cruise Lines' Spirit of Washington Potomac River dinner cruise ship. The Spirit had a capacity of 625 people – exceptional loading for her 87 Gross Ton rated size. That capacity loophole justified the US Coast Guard producing a special class for these ships. We would get underway nightly, and most weekend days, shipping 300-400 tourists, school-trips, parties, or virtual-churches up and down the Potomac from our M Street berth to George Washington's Mount Vernon .
All the above has led to sharing the sea and the bay by formally chartering exceptional sailboats in great places to bring together new crews of interesting people. Please review the homepage offerings to see what adventures are currently in the works.
Every boat has a skipper. Experience and training make the cruise easier and safer and more talented hands on board makes it even better. I have tried to document my background over the last 37 years – from qualifying as a Quartermaster in the summer of 1970 to getting my ASA Cruising Catamaran certification in early 2008.
In my Naval Reserve career, I served as First Class Quartermaster for over six years – teaching navigation and bridge management skills monthly.
I received my initial US Coast Guard Masters License for Steam, Motor, or Auxiliary Sail for Vessels up to 100 Gross Tons in October of 1994. This ticket included an endorsement for Commercial Assistance Towing. I am currently working on extending this Master's license to include the waters of the Great Lakes.
I am a member of the American Sailing Association and I currently hold the ASA certificates 101,103,106, and 114. I am working towards becoming an ASA sailing instructor by 2009.
I obtained the Naval Education and Training Command's ‘Ocean Skipper' Certification in 1992 and have maintained this permit to charter Navy MWR vessels ever since.