Three parties who had never met joined in on the best sail of July on a windy day along the York River.

Best Sail of JulyDonna and John Troy of Charlottesville came to Williamsburg to take their daughter Kerry sailing on her 21st birthday. Donna took the wheel and instinctively got it. “I took a sailing course in college, and I still remember it.” She’s an OR nurse at UVA Hospital, so she’s had to do a lot of other remembering since then. She gazed over the river and recalled something else. “I look at the challenge of this and wonder what my father was thinking when he took me and my sisters out sailing on a little boat 18 feet long.” Natalie and Dave Meador were impressed with Donna’s handling of winds building to 10 and 12 mph.

Best Sail of JulyJeanne Kushabar is an alumna of my community sailing class who went on to buy a 32-foot Catalina. She crews for the Wednesday night races. “I’m so glad you referred me to George Jones. He’s an excellent racing captain. He doesn’t shout at anyone, only to give orders generally so everyone can hear. We get eight to ten crew every race, though only three in his class. George has a ’79 C&C. He keeps three people on the foredeck and four in the back along with himself. We have to tail the winch because the cleats are old and hard to manage.

Oddities at Sea and on Land

Best Sail of July“I think we get six to 12 boats every race. One guy cut the mark too closely at the first [range] light. He left behind pieces of his sail when the boom hit the mark. It was pretty exciting. Parts of the sail are probably still hanging there.” The subject of range lights came up because I noticed the northernmost light on the east side was out. That’s Coast Guard jargon for the upper light near Yorktown. When I radioed it in, they wanted the exact location by latitude and longitude. I said I’d give it when I got closer. They called me on the phone instead and found it on the Light List. The upper light went out last year and was only replaced recently, so it’s odd that it went out so soon.

Best Sail of JulySpeaking of oddities, I drove off from 7-Eleven with the gas hose still in the tank. I heard a loud bang and then horns honking to alert me. I was mortified, but when I went inside to report it they were more amused than annoyed. Evidently it happens all the time. I check the hose fitting and it had a nice set of plastic snaps that could be quickly reattached. Whoever invented that should get a raise.

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