People ask, “Who are the most inspiring sailors?” Kennedy sailors are an American icon. President Kennedy made it glamorous by sailing on his sloop Victura out in the Atlantic off the coast of the Kennedy compound. Ted Kennedy enjoyed the contemplative nature as a sailor so much so that he cruised off Hyannis Port the day before he died.
Now the family is back in the news with word in Boat U.S. Magazine that John Jr. and Caroline Kennedy’s childhood sailboat Scallop has been restored. The 12-foot ketch Beetle Cat dates to 1969. “Jacqueline Onassis commissioned the boat and shipped to Greece when the family lived there,” the magazine reports. “When stripped down to bare wood for restoration, the original paint scheme was revealed. So the boat once again sports its first colors.
Those colors were verified in a letter from Caroline Kennedy, who said that the unusual color scheme was similar to those found on a Greek fishing boat.” Scallop recently sold at auction for $13,750 to an investment firm in Asia, making it worth more than $1,000 a foot. Check out the video below of JFK sailing his beloved small boat Victura.
To celebrate his birthday with a unique surprise, Galina Hamlett took her husband Neal sailing off Yorktown. Imagine everyone’s surprise when his cell phone rang. It was her mother calling from Russia to wish him a happy birthday. She was calling, clear as a bell, from Omsk in western Siberia. I can barely get WiFi at the dock.
Delivery from Deltaville
I helped Dave Dolloff of Gloucester County sail his newly acquired Cataline 320. We transited from Deltaville to York River Yacht Haven Marina. We started on the Rappahannock River and sailed out into Chesapeake Bay. Because the wind blew from the south, we had to motor south past Milford Haven and Wolf Trap Lighthouse, past New Point Comfort Lighthouse.
From there we sailed southwest across Mobjack Bay and into the York River. The last part involved a tricky passage through the Swash. Two large shoals open briefly to leave a narrow lane. Customary red/green day marks outline the course. As a retired US Coast Guard officer who holds a 100-ton master license, Dave was familiar with the peculiar markers at the Swash. The rule holds that you keep red markers on your right as you pass from the larger body into the smaller.
It looked as if we were passing from the larger Mobjack Bay into the smaller York River. But we were in fact passing from the smaller Mobjack Bay into the larger Chesapeake Bay just before the York River. So the reds and greens appeared ostensibly reversed. As a result of similar confusion, the day marks have been pulled by the Coast Guard at the nearby Goodwin Island Pass.
Dave followed two other sailboats as they properly wound between the reds and greens. Later he called his wife Cris, who could see us from their house on the York River, near Little England Plantation and across from Yorktown. Imagine living on such historic water, or any water for that matter. What a life.
Let’s Go with Kennedy Sailors
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Kennedy Sailors probes the iconi Teddy and JFK on the helm of their respective boats. Let's go sail.
Capt Bill ODonovan
Williamsburg Charter Sails / Let's Go Sail