A Chicago family spent Spring Break touring Williamsburg and took their son Luke sailing on the York, where we discovered that Hamilton lives. Luke proved adaptable by adjusting the boat to brisk winds and an occasional gust. We went under the bridge to see the USS Hudner guided missile cruiser at NWS and eventually got into the History Tour.
After my dismissive remarks about Alexander Hamilton and his outsized ego, Karl gently explained why they were here. “I’m going to Norfolk to conduct the national touring company of ‘Hamilton.’ There are three touring companies, and I’ve worked with them as well as members of this one. I also get to play the keyboard.”
I was dumbstruck and embarrassed, but he did not disagree about Hamilton’s behavior at Yorktown. He had pleaded with Gen. Washington to insert him into the very last maneuver of the last battle, and then insinuated in the New York newspapers that he had single-handedly won the Siege of Yorktown.
Confronted by a real conductor, I couldn’t resist asking why an orchestra needs one since they already know the tunes.
“The key here is that the music accompanies a theatrical presentation. To some extent, the musicians are adapting to the rhythm and pacing of the actors. I’m also conducting the lighting as well.” Sarah added, “Symphony orchestras don’t need a conductor as much.”
Hamilton lives, but to this day, I don’t get why “Hamilton” has been such a hit, since the rap musical theme is hard to follow and American’s are hardly fans of Revolutionary War history. “You have a point,” Karl said. “But for many people, this is more about the history of immigrants – very successful immigrants in fact.” Hamilton emigrated from Bermuda.
We continued to sail into history.
The Cuteness Award of the month went to Jody and Ryan Francis of suburban Richmond, who took their three adorable children sailing for their first time. They also brought their dog Pippen, a German short-haired pointer. He enjoyed himself immensely and slept half the time.
Women enjoy sailing today more than ever, and particularly a romantic cruise. Couples get to enjoy a romantic getaway as they sit up on the bow for privacy, and Let’s Go Sail provides professional photos for free. First-time or skilled mariners are welcome to sail a modern-32-foot sailboat in a unique setting of wildlife and Fall foliage or Spring bloom. It makes for an extraordinary anniversary idea. In Jody’s case, it was her 40th birthday.”
Don Johnson of Houston returned for the second year with his son Trevor, who lives with his mom literally around the corner from our marina on Little England Road. Trevor is only 10 but he learned how to sail last year with Let’s Go Sail and did an excellent job in brisk winds and short gusts. His concentration was excellent.
Don is semi-retired from a unique business. “I specialize in oversized cargo,” he explained. Highways on the East Coast limit their freight to 10 feet wide, but it’s 14 feet on the West Coast. The Mississippi River is the dividing point. Rail traffic is limited to 12 feet wide. Anything beyond these limits require special permits, and that’s why I do.”
Recently he set out to deliver a 20-foot-wide section of a tube for a nuclear power plant from Omaha to Wyoming. “Colorado has turned into a green state that discourages such shipments, so we had to work the thing through Kansas City instead. It took 800 miles altogether. Don’t go to Colorado.”
The work requires considerable planning and deep understanding of the rules in different states. Over the years, Don has gotten to know the players and the protocol. I asked if he had to bribe anyone. “Nope. They don’t take bribes.”
He’s seen some crazy behavior. “I used to read the accident reports by Lloyds of London. The best was a bulk carrier ship vs. a lighthouse. The captain went to bed and ordered the first mate to follow the light. He relegated the job to the second mate, who steered directly to the lighthouse and eventually ran aground.”
The tugboat Ruby Coast and a sister tug accompanied an empty fuel barge in the York River before heading out to sea. Gale force winds were creating swells to 23 feet off the coast. Two families braved winds of 20 mph on the York as they sailed on Easter Sunday.
Let’s Go Sail to see Hamilton Lives
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The best Williamsburg boat tour offers safe “social distance sailing” daily for up to 6 people. It’s an extraordinary experience for couples. Leave your worries behind. Enjoy the thrill of moving with the wind without a care in the world. Put life back on an even keel with a romantic experience for a birthday or anniversary. 3-hour sailboat cruise as a semi-private yachting charter lets you exhale and relax as you enjoy comfort, stability & speed.
Family wins the Cuteness Award for the month.
Capt. Bill O'Donovan
Williamsburg Charter Sails / Let's Go Sail