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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Scotch Flyer

For the last couple weeks, I've been spending my Wednesday evenings doing what I love: sailing.

One of my parishioners, Bob McGregor (pictured at the helm), knew of my addiction to boats and invited me to join his racing crew, so I've been going out with him and a collection of his friends each week and we've been racing his 34-foot C&C yacht, Scotch Flyer, out of Norwalk's Shore and Country Club.

I'm having a lot of fun sailing with Bob and am enjoying being out with his friends, as well, even though they're really power-boaters who are just helping out a friend instead of being true sailors.

I find that sailing on Bob's boat is an interesting learning experience for me, particularly given my other sailing experiences. While the principles of sailing are the same regardless of the size of boat, I've only really sailed on Amistad (129') and my own micro-yacht, Boojum (12'), who takes her name from Lewis Carroll's poem The Hunting of the Snark.

I'm finding that the hardware involved is a bit different from either of the boats I know, as one is too small to need things like winches and travelers and the other is an historical recreation, so doesn't have any such modern frippery.

Scotch Flyer is a somewhat venerable vessel and has the added charm of having well-loved (read "kind of old and bagged-out") sails, which puts her at something of a disadvantage against some of the other boats in her class, which are outfitted in brand-new, really expensive kevlar sails. Bob still does remarkably well and, while we haven't come in first, we've always finished in the first half of our division. Tomorrow night (July 29), though, we've got an added challenge: with the exception of Bob and me, the rest of the crew are unavailable, so we'll be racing with novice sailors. At the moment, we've only got my Deacon Chair, Joseph DeRuvo lined up, and we still need another hand or two, so let me know if you'd like to sail with us. Really. Call me at church at 203-847-9551. We'll be leaving the dock at about 5:45pm.

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