WE LIVE ON A SCHOONER: By Elizabeth Jay Etnier

Stephen Etnier aboard schooner Morgana

(From the September 1934 issue of The Atlantic Monthly)

Tuesday, October 31, 1933

I sat on deck sewing as we went through Hell Gate, feeling very much the schooner house wife (Stephen called me 'Tugboat Annie'). We anchored off the New York Yacht Club at 26th Street, and Lucius came on board for lunch. He picked up a china plate to see the trade-mark on the back, noted the silver dishes, the candlesticks, and all other appurtenances of elegance, he tried the electric lights to see if they really worked, and departed--not without noticing that there was a slim volume of his own verse among the books. He asked me where we had found our steward-sailor, and I had to explain that he was the carpenter's son, that he had never cooked or been on a sailboat before, but that we had engaged him because he was so nice.

We continued down the East River, hugging close by the Battery, the New York sky line towering above us tremendous and impressive. There were boats passing in all directions, tiny little tugs maneuvering great rafts of railroad cars. I marveled that there were not constant collisions. We passed Governors Island, where I had been as a child to see Dad receive his Distinguished Service Cross. On that occasion I wore a new hat with blue wool flowers crocheted upon it, and I remember that I had great difficulty in deciding whether to choose blue for infantry or red for Harvard.

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ROUND ISLAND REGATTA: Lassen at Work

Round Island Regatta notice

Chas. "May I Cast Off Now?" Lassen, last seen on a luxurious catamaran off the island of Grenada as he sought to evade questioning regarding an alleged attempt to murder his wife, has returned to the United States and is now engaged in wholesome non-profit work. Or so he would have us believe.

As part of an ongoing effort to aid the Strawberry Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH, Lassen has taken command of the museum's Heritage House Program. In addition to dunning friends and neighbors for cash donations to support said program (unmarked bills preferred), Lassen has also organized a regatta (see up top for details) in which a wide array of vessels (human and wind propelled) will race around his vast island estate.

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WOMEN IN SAILING: Is Comfort Unsafe?

Sailor Woman

Women have long complained about how the world is dominated by men. To most men, meanwhile, it is perfectly obvious that modern civilization is little more than a plot to make women comfortable.

The truth, of course, lies somewhere in the middle. If it were true, as men aver, that it is women who rule the world, such atrocities as NFL football, pornography, and the Three Stooges clearly would not exist. On the other hand, if men really ruled the world, as women insist, society no doubt would be organized very differently. All the women and children would live in villages. All the men, meanwhile, would live in nomad biker gangs, roaming the planet at will. Every time a gang arrived in a village, the men would impregnate the women, fix anything that was broken, and then move on.

For many centuries, the sea was the one venue in which men might more or less realize this ideal existence. Substitute the term “port” for “village” and “sailing ship” for “nomad biker gang,” and you will quickly grasp the parallel.

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HANS KLAAR: Released From Prison

Hans Klaar in custody

Hans Klaar, the legendary Swiss cruiser and boatbuilder who was jailed in South Africa on charges of rape earlier this year, was released from prison late last month and is now seeking to disseminate his version of the events that led to his incarceration. This comes to me by way of James Baldwin, who wrote a story about Hans that I edited for Cruising World magazine in 1998.

James has forwarded to me the following statement from Hans:

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WEEKEND CRUISE: Cundy's Harbor

An afternoon sail on Casco Bay

I thought I might simulate a mishap or two while out and about on Lunacy this past weekend, just to maintain the theme that has developed here of late, but I was enjoying myself too much to bother. The boat and its systems (thankfully) performed flawlessly, and the weather was fabulous. We enjoyed a nice light-air reach across the breadth of Casco Bay on Saturday afternoon, then pulled into Cundy's Harbor and picked up a mooring for the night.

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C&C LANDFALL 38: Cruiser With a Racing Pedigree

C&C Landfall 38 under sail

The Landfall 38 is one of a series of four Landfall models designed by Rob Ball and produced by C&C Yachts in Ontario, Canada, from the late 1970s into the mid 1980s. Unlike most C&C boats, which were designed as straight racers or racer-cruisers, the Landfalls were conceived and marketed as performance cruisers. They were a bit ahead of the curve and were not as commercially successful as they should have been, as many cruising sailors at the time still favored heavier more traditional designs.

The Landfall 38 was the most successful boat in the Landfall series--about 180 were built from 1979 to 1985--and today it makes an excellent choice for both coastal and bluewater cruisers looking for an older boat that is fast, comfortable, affordable, and well built.

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INSANE CLOWN POSSE: Is It Art? Or Is It Voytec?

Voytec photo

I was most gratified when one of my Facebook friends, Wojtek "Voytec" Wacowski, who is both a serious sailor and an avid photographer, jumped at the opportunity to visit the Friedrich Petzel Gallery last month after I blogged about the Sean Landers exhibit there. Apparently, the gallery was empty when he got there, and he just happened to have a camera and a tripod and a selection of striped shirts with him. The rest, as they say, is history.

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    Evaluations of both new and older sailboats (primarily cruising sailboats) and of boat gear.

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