Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Owings, MD
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Greetings from Colorado
My name is Karl Long and I miss the ocean.
I currently own a 1998 MacGregor 26X which spends its off-duty time on the trailer on my driveway. It is well suited for the kind of sailing we have available here a mile above and 1000 miles from the sea.
1500 pounds of removable water ballast make the boat relatively light when trailering and the flat bottom make it easy to launch and retrieve.
We usually sail at a lake about 10 miles from home, but have sailed in lakes in Wyoming, Nebraska and California. We have also sailed in the Columbia River near Hood River, Oregon.
We took the boat to Houston, Texas one Christmas with the intent to sail in Galveston Bay, but the weather was miserable. It was 50 degrees and raining. We just stayed and visitied with the relatives we went to see.
We also took the boat to Santa Cruz, California, but spent too much time at the beach. We didn't have time to go sailing.
I started sailing in California. While I was in high school, I joined a Sea Explorer group (Boy Scouts). We did a lot of small boat sailing in local lakes.
After high school, I went to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. There I sailed the extremes. First, everyone sailed dinghies. Then we sailed on the U. S. Coast Guard Cutter "Eagle", a 295 ft barque (three masts, square sails on first two, gaff rig on mizzen, 22 sails).
After graduation, I spent two years a deck officer on a power boat (ducking for cover), 210 ft CG Cutter Venturous in Los Angeles.
I did not do much sailing (or motoring) for many years. 15 or 16 years ago, we decided to buy a sailboat. We bought a MacGregor 26X.
If you just did the math, you would see that we could not have bought a 1998 Mac 26X 15 or 16 year ago. If you didn't do the math, take my word for it.
Our first Mac died on the highway on the way back from California. Our car was slightly damaged but the Mac was totalled. We replaced it with the one we have now.
I sometimes sail single handed (even when my wife comes along). Our three (now) adult children have spent many hours or days on the boat.
Someone will probably ask what the boat's name "Fada Mór" means. It is named for my father who passed away in 1999. My father was very much interested in our Irish heritage, even to the point of learning some Gaelic.
He made a belt buckle with "Fada Mór" on it, representing his position as the patriach of our Irishness. "Fada" is Irish Gaelic for our family name "Long". "Mór" means big, large, great etc. similar to gran in French or grande in Spanish.
So "Fada Mór" means something like "Big Long", or "Great Long". He was, in effect, our clan chief.
By the way, I learned from a person who helped me with the translation, the "long" in Gaelic means "ship" in English.
I guess I have gone on long enough.
Here wishing you all
Fair winds and a following sea.
Rose Haven, Maryland