Join Date: Jun 2012
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Re: Small boat voyaging
On June 1, 1979, Gerry Speiss pointed the bow of his tiny 10 ft boat east and set sail out of Chesapeake Bay to cross the treacherous North Atlantic. His destination was England.
On the evening before, I spied the little Yankee Girl in the slip next to mine at a public marina in the Lynnhaven Inlet. She was beautifully painted and with gas cans on the stern, radar reflector up in the mast, and with her tiny port holes she was all looking like a miniature yacht with an offshore intent.
I was aboard a 23' Columbia charter I intended to sail across the Chesapeake Bay having only done so once in company of a flotilla of 3 similar boats. So on the evening before, I'm in my comfy little yacht and this fellow asks permission to come aboard. He and I discussed our mutual challenges for tomorrow. I was only 19 and failed to get a photo which I regret. I followed his trans-Atlantic journey in the papers, but to this day I don't think I realized how excited and anxious he must have been. Nor how lucky I was to witness the beginning of his great expedition.