Vineyard Race

Letter: Eight Bells: Robie Pierce

Robie PierceThe world of sailing, especially adaptive sailing, lost a great friend when Robie Pierce of Newport, RI passed away peacefully on July 12 at 76 years, surrounded by his family. Known by many names – The Mayor of the Waterfront, Swamp Yankee, Borisll Logical Bob, Mr. Magoo, or just Bob, Robie came into the world quietly on January 3, 1941 in New Bedford, MA…the last time he was ever quiet.

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Letter: Swallows, Amazons, and Memories

Mr. Cooper,

I’m 87, and grew up sailing in Long Island’s Little Neck Bay. My heart skipped a beat when I read your mention of Swallows and Amazons [“Summer Reading,” July 2017]. As an 11-year-old girl, I fell in love with the book. I introduced a grandson to it when he was little; he followed in my love of sailing and crewed in the 2015 Transatlantic Race!

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Letter: Whither the Rules?

Editor’s note: The Boating Barrister column Do the Rules of the Road Work?by John K. Fulweiler, Esq. in our July issue raised some interesting questions. 

Dear John,

Anent your article on Rules of the Road in WindCheck, we encountered the same question on a much smaller scale in the 1970s when I was a member of the International Regulations Committee of the International Yacht Racing Union.

The committee worked under the international organization in charge of the regs, but also on an Inland Rules promulgated by nations in Europe. An example involves sailboards, which had become a hazard in constricted passages and crowded lakes, similar to your observations about sailing vessels proceeding at 40 knots and making changes in course that other traffic has no way of predicting. Some of the Low Countries declassified sailboats as sailing craft, making it their responsibility to avoid collisions.

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Call to a Greater Energy

One of the most difficult decisions for a captain and crew to make in the sport of sailing is when to call it quits. There are many reasons to pull out of a race: no wind, too much wind, illness, and damage to the boat among them. And yet in more than 35 years of racing I had never withdrawn from a distance race until the Chicago Yacht Club’s 109th Race to Mackinac in July.

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Strong Bonds

WindCheck July coverScuttlebutt Sailing News recently published a write-up about WindCheck (issue 4860).  Being recognized as a vital part of the sailing community by such a well respected publication and Editor as Scuttlebutt and Craig Leweck is humbling, to say the least. It makes me proud. The title of the piece is “The Ties That Bind.” It got me thinking of all the ties that I have with the great contributors, advertisers and sailors featured on the pages of this magazine, some of whom I have known for years; others as a result of the work we do at the magazine. Sailing has given me some of the closest and most valued friendships in my life and WindCheck has contributed greatly to that.

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Interesting Conversations

I love walking a boat show, especially a spring show. Everyone is excited for the coming season and all it will bring. Last month, WindCheck organized the  Connecticut Spring Boat Show at Brewer Essex Island Marina, in Essex, CT.  We’re proud to be part of this terrific event and partner with Brewer Essex Island Marina, Essex Boat Works, Yacht Brokers Association of America and YachtWorld to make it happen.

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Letter: Here’s to the next 50!

Editor’s note: Many of our readers enjoyed an article in our April issue by Helen A. Jankoski entitled “Stonington Dinghy Club Celebrates 50 Years of Fun.” Longtime SDC sailor Kathy Sinnett had this to say:

Proud to be part of the Wednesday night sailing. Great people, fun and food!

Kathy Sinnett, via email

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Eight Bells: Mike Cavanaugh

Mike CavanaughMichael Dean Cavanaugh (September 27, 1961 – April 26, 2017) touched many lives with his generosity, humor and courage. He was the kind of friend who was always excited to see you – whether he knew you from school, work, sailing, golf, cycling or his extensive involvement in the Mystic, CT community.

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Letter: Electronic navigation on a budget

I returned from a delivery and had time to read the April issue of WindCheck with Ernie Messer’s great article on the Marion Bermuda Race [“I’m Doing the Marion Bermuda Race” ]. I’d like to share a great option for weather and routing that is very new. FastSeas.com is a free site with weather models and a sophisticated departure and routing module. The exciting thing is that it works with an InReach device! You can get weather and routing on the high seas without needing a satellite dome or HF radio rig.  

I text a query to FastSeas from my little InReach, and FastSeas returns text messages with Wx and steering instructions! I pair my Delorme (now Garmin) InReach to my iPhone and it’s a great system for cheap. FastSeas also works with satellite and email queries. I have no financial interest in FastSeas or InReach, but I do love both.

Rick Gard, Milford, CT

Rick – Thank you for the tip. If you are using FastSeas in the Marion Bermuda Race, we’d love to hear about how well it works.

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Welcoming Change

There are few moments so rewarding as completing a complex or difficult task. And when that task is completed to expectation or above, we are rewarded with a big exhale of relief and accomplishment…and maybe even a cold beer. I know it’s already May and the time for bellyaching about getting the boat ready should be well behind us, but as we often experience here in the Northeast, our weather this spring was less than predictable; Mother Nature despondently holding onto the cold and wet far too long. But, as soon as the needle on the seasonal barometer rises and the temp on the thermometer signals a green light, it’s time to exhale, pull the sails and summer clothes out of the closet and chuck the skis and sweaters to the back. I would normally be sharing these sentiments in our April issue, but this year we seemed to be mired down in winter well into commissioning season and go-time hurried in quickly. No time to exhale (or have that cold beer) yet!

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