Family Sailing

Question: What’s the best sailing?

Answer: With family.

Family sailing is the best because it brings out fond memories and not-so-fond.

Sara Beauchamp took her beau and her parents sailing near Williamsburg on bright, beautiful day with brisk winds. Her dad recalled their family cottage on Lake Erie, where they traveled during the summer from Buffalo.

Family SailingJohn Beauchamp said, “This is much smoother than the last time I went out on a boat. It was something like a 10-foot pontoon that we tried to motor in big waves. It was the longest four hours of my life.”

Matt demonstrated with his hands going up and down. “You could see sea, sky. Sea, sky. Sea, sky.”

John added, “We went there every summer for 30 years. A 95-year-old woman owned the cottage. She had the look and the wrinkled skin of the Groton fisherman. She rented all kinds of boats and would sail up and down the coast by herself. She even drove a Corvette.”

Mary Beauchamp said, “She became widowed early in life and apparently wanted to be seen.”

As Buffalo Bills fans, everyone agreed that New England and their precious Tom Brady are overrated. Enough said.

Wedding Weekend

Adele Sweet of Reading, Vermont, took family members out sailing on the York River ahead of a family wedding in Newport News. She and her husband Dave McFarlin showed special interest while passing by Little England, Virginia’s oldest plantation house, dating to 1727.

Family SailingShe said, “We live in house in Vermont which has sections dating to 1794. A previous owner meticulously preserved and restored it, but the owner we bought it from apparently didn’t own a hammer. Some of the wood had rotted so badly that you could practically see through it. Dave took care of all that.” That’s because Dave is a shop teacher. We should all be married to one.

Adele’s nephew Michael Cofsky came up from Norfolk, where he’s a helicopter pilot for the US Navy. Dave was surprised to learn that helicopters can refuel in flight. I found it astounding that their flight time is limited by fuel tank to only 3-1/2 hours.

Family SailingDave asked what it was like to land on a moving destroyer. Michael explained it as if it were like mowing the lawn. “The ship is faced into the wind, as it is for jets landing on a carrier. We need the wind to help maintain height and direction. The pitch and the yaw of the ship have to be taken into consideration, along with the speed and direction of the ship. The landing pad is pretty small, so you have to hit it right.” His father Warren Cofsky looked on with admiration, as did we all.

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Family Sailing

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