learned to sail at a summer camp my parents sent me to when I was 12.
Since that age, sailing has been an important interest and source of
fun in my life. When I was growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, on
the shore of Lake Erie, I sailed an Endeavor 26, a small "classic" keel
boat built out of fiberglass by W. D. Schock and designed by Bill Lapworth
(it was one of Lapworth's first designs, but lacked the lines and spade
rudder of his line of "Cal" boats which came out several
years later). This boat sank during Hurricane Agnes in 1972
(a storm surge on the lake submerged the breakwater at Cleveland harbor,
and this caused waves to crash through the marinas, eventually sinking
the boats that
broke loose from their docks).
Following the loss of the Endeavor 26 (named "The Big E"),
my parents bought a Bristol 28 designed by Halsey Herreshoff, grandson
of the famous Nathaniel Herreshoff of Bristol, Rhode Island. This
new boat, named "Jeannie One" after my sister, was sailed for
3 years while I was in college (at Brown University, where I was a member
of the collegiate sailing team there, a crew member for Brad Dellenbaugh
and Rick Hood). My dad eventually sold this boat and I lost track
of it for about 25
years. In 1995, I found it again in Chicago, owned by a nice man
named Tom Gibbs, and I started crewing aboard "Great Scot" (the
new name for the same old boat) on weekends.
Eventually, I went
on to sail the Chicago-to-Mackinac race sponsored by the Chicago Yacht
Club (and the longest fresh water sailboat race in the world, at 320
nautical miles) 6 times aboard "Great Scot", helping to compile
a good record (our best
finish was a second place in the division and a sixth place in the PHRF
currently own 3 sailboats (plus an inflatable tender and a kayak).
The largest is a Cal 2-25 (this is the non-flush deck version of Lapworth's
25-foot pocket cruiser) named "Polynya". In
2003, I painted the hull teal green and the deck a combination of off
white and a "
natural red"; so the boat looks pretty striking (in my humble
opinion) at its can in Jackson Harbor (you can't miss it). My
other two sailboats are small 14-foot centerboard dinghys that were
bought for "
fun sailing" on hot, windy days in flat water. The Megabyte is
my most powerful (and fast) single-handed dinghy. The Barnett
14 is a practical, well-designed and lively learner's boat that my
son uses. He has named his boat "Draco".
I sail the Cal 2-25, "Polynya", mostly on Lake Michigan in
afternoons and evenings after work. The two sailing dinghies
are sailed on smaller lakes (Wolf Lake in Hammond Indiana, Lake Charlevoix
in Michigan) during July and August, and sometimes in Lake Michigan
off the 63rd street beach on hot sunny days in August when the wind
is out of the Southwest.
Click on the links associated with sailing to see photographs of my
boats and some casual pictures of me and my friends under sail.