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Old 10-22-2007
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I've found it!

Sorry this is so long, but I have to lay out the scenario:

It was way back in like circa 1969-70. I was in the 4th or 5th grade, I really don’t remember but that’s unimportant. I do remember that at the Beeman Elementary School this day it was raining, hard! That more or less ruled out any chance of going outside for recess. Bummer! I was looking forward to tossing a ball against a wall, racing my Matchbox cars down the culvert and creating a general nuisance in the playground. But, “Nooo”!
Instead, the powers-that-be decided that we would stay inside and watch a movie instead. So they packed up the entire compliment of the 4th 5th and 6th grades and lead us in to the auditorium and sat us in these rows of folding chairs, girls on the right and boys on the left.
It was a sad day indeed for the two boys who sat on either side of me. They took the full brunt of my expressions of displeasure for my lot! Why I wasn’t removed from the hall with extreme prejudice is beyond my comprehension! A teacher in the back of the room was trying to fathom the intricacies of the projector, assisted by members of the “AV Club”. I wanted to be a member of the AV Club but they wouldn’t let me! Waaa! (Another jab at the kid on my left. I bet his arm is still black and blue!)
Eventually, some level of success was realized with the patent projector and the screen started to flicker. After another elbow shot to the kid on the left, I decided to look upon the face of my tormenter for this afternoon…
What I saw changed my life forever!
There, across the screen came the most angelic white-winged beauty that I had ever seen! I was mesmerized at the sight of the schooner yacht Beeman America as she ripped along, well over with a bone in her teeth, chewing up the miles of gale swept North Atlantic! At that split second, I became a sailor!
I never got to see that movie in its entirety. We went back to our classrooms before it ended. And through the years, I was never able to find the movie’s name or to track down a copy of it, but still, what I saw on that day stayed with me and defined the basic direction of my life around boats.
It carried me through my days before the mast aboard the schooner Truant, through the Friendship sloop Irene sailing the waters around Martha’s Vineyard and racing aboard that old, Atkin plank-on-edge cutter, Fore ‘n Aft, to my own boats, Olde Blue and Jesse Boyce. From Grand Lake NB to New York harbor, the attributes of Honor, Respect, Pride, Courage and the “Old School” ways have been my “calling-card”. What worked in 1850 still works today. The sea is still the sea, the wind still the wind. Our boats still float and our sails still lift us along our way.
Today, I can see the videos and pictures of my Jesse Boyce, that beamy old beast of a wooden twin-headsail sloop with light-boards in her rigging, slamming into it under full sail, leading her class to the weather mark in the Mayor’s Cup race. She sets my heart to race and my blood to boil, not unlike the images of the America in that movie so long ago. As the hopes of a country rested in the schooner yacht America the dreams of my life rest snugly in the dry coves between Jesse Boyce’s floor timbers!
As I was reading Captain Jim Sharp’s new book “With Reckless Abandon” by the light of the oil lamp in the main cabin, I read that his schooner Adventure played the part of the British schooner Brilliant in that movie and that the name was “Sail to Glory”. Now, with this information in hand I was able to track it down!
If you do decide to check this movie out, don’t expect to see any Grammy or Emmy winning acting or the like. But what you will see is the 1967 version of what a young boy in 1851 may have seen as he stood on a high bluff, overlooking a ship gallantly beating to windward. “They” say that the call of the sea is timeless. This sailor can tell you that he’s glad he answered!
"Who would go to sea for pleasure
would go to hell for pastime."

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Old 10-22-2007
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A great story sir, and well told!
There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand binary and those who don't.
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Old 10-23-2007
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Evocative story, we obviously grew up in the same time and place! I too am a fan of the old ways of sailing, although I have not followed that dream as you have (more is the pity). But now that I am looking for a "new" boat in my life, I have found myself looking at some interesting boats. This is my current favorite:
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Old 10-23-2007
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Originally Posted by Bardo View Post
Evocative story, we obviously grew up in the same time and place! I too am a fan of the old ways of sailing, although I have not followed that dream as you have (more is the pity). But now that I am looking for a "new" boat in my life, I have found myself looking at some interesting boats. This is my current favorite:[/IMG]
Great pic, you can add me to your list of folks that admire the older vessels.
I actually like the smell of the bilge on an old wood boat, (as well as the rest of it)! I've had the bug since the late 50's, with no relief in sight. If you'd like to see some really nice wood sailing vessels, go to http://www.boattraderonline.com/ and bring up sailboats 40 to 300 ft. and no max in price.
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Old 10-23-2007
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re: “Sail to Glory”

Thank you very much!

When I was young I saw a TV drama about the yacht America and the race. Over the years since, have wondered what it was and if it is available anywhere, but I did not know anything about the program. Now that you heve revealed the title I found some details about it at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808454/ It seems Eliot Ness was the narrator, a feature I did not remember. After watching that program my father bought a model kit of America which we made together.

Last edited by Trekka; 10-23-2007 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 10-23-2007
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I'd love to have an old wooden boat, but they just aren't practical on the Chesapeake - too much maintenance if you're a weekends-only sailor.
Life is too short to sail ugly boats.

Commodore, OPBYC
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Old 10-23-2007
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About 10 years earlier, and nearby (Marblehead), I caught the bug when my Dad bought an old Charles River class wood sloop (would remind you of a Herreshoff 12, except marconi rig, not gaff).

Then my first racing in a plywood Turnabout, then a wood 110, then later on a fiberglass Marblehead Town Class. I traded up to a wood Townie, and it wasn't a sentimental decision--the wood boats were faster in this competitive class. But they were just pretty boats, lapstrake dory-type hull, if you're from Gloucester you've seen them plenty.

I sailed a little on a pretty 50' schooner, the ELLIDA. And lots of fiberglass boats. I hung out/worked at Graves Yacht Yards, amidst their changing over from wood to glass. They built the lovely 12-meter America's cup contenders EASTERNER and NEFERTITI, some of the last wood 12s.

Like you, I try to keep up with modern technology, but old school is my first love. In a breezy harbor, the clang of halyards on aluminum spars is awful compared to Sitka spruce. And a kerosene lamp has the charm, and tradition lacking in a plastic-looking cabin light, and doesn't run your batteries down. Block ice works fine, so does hand-pumped water.

And I share that plain old love of the sea. But it's a love tempered with constant respect. Get sloppy or overconfident, and the sea will find you out.

Different world down here in New Orleans since I left Mass Bay 30 years ago, but the sailing's still pretty good. I'm lucky enough to teach it a little, part-time.

Best to you.

Last edited by nolatom; 10-23-2007 at 01:45 PM.
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