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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Biggest boat docked under sail

An 84' three masted schooner. As we dropped the sails at the end of a 2 hour cruise with about 25 passengers aboard, we realized the engine was not going to start (it always had, before).
My only crew that evening, a 15 year old high school girl, had to put up all the sails again and we sailed her onto the commercial wharf in Charleston, SC. We had just enough breeze for steerage and everything went perfectly. Spring line first, stern then bow, crabbing into the current. There was nobody on the dock to catch lines; Rebecca jumped ashore and I tossed her the lines. Good crew helps.
However, I got a stern lecture from the USCG for not issuing a distress call, but we were never in ANY distress and, after all, it was a sailboat, wasn't it? Had conditions not been ideal, of course I would have called for a professional tow to insure the safety of my passengers and the vessel.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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