Sailing Past a Navy Sub with AARP Video Crew Onboard
While getting ready at the dock to host an AARP video crew, I heard the Navy announced over marine radio, “Attention all boats in the vicinity of the Coleman Bridge, this is the United States Navy announcing a submarine transiting the vicinity. All vessels are to stay 500 yards away in all directions. Repeat, 500 yards.”
That was unusual for two reasons. We rarely see subs at the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station because they are super-secret and they train extensively to reload at sea. Of course, it boggles the mind to think they would need to reload at sea, given that they have a 154 Tomahawk missiles on board.
The second oddity was the announcement itself. It violated the stealthy behavior that subs maintain. A few minutes later came the announcement a second time. This was going to get exciting today.
Three members of a freelance photo/video team out of New York arrived to board for a short trip to Yorktown. Our neighbors Sue and Mike Carruth joined Bonnie and me for the shoot. As we motored across the river, we could see the sub in the dock and two Moran tugboats departing back to Norfolk. Dustin Cohen, Matt Clegg and Austin Daniels spent hours shooting video and stills from all over the boat.
At Riverwalk Landing, dockmaster and USCG Capt. Sue Ripley caught the boat at perfect high tide. I try to avoid Yorktown because of the wicked mid-tide currents that can buffet the boat badly. As luck would have it, we took a rolling wake from the tugboats as they chugged past Yorktown. Two smaller Navy patrol boats left as well, with their .30 caliber guns on the bow.
At Yorktown, we did two shots of the Carruths boarding the boat for an afternoon sail. We motored under the bridge and passed the sub snug on the Navy pier. You had to look carefully to see the conn, or the “sail” as they call it in the Navy. By proceeding upriver just past the sub, we caught the sunlight bouncing off the hull. It was magnificent to see.
Meanwhile another Navy patrol boat ran interference between us and the sub. Mike asked if we knew the name, and I didn’t even know the class—either Los Angeles or Virginia. Mike knew about the Tomahawks.
We turned 180 degrees and flew the spinnaker all the way back to the bridge and under it. Eventually the wind shifted to the east and everyone got to sail the boat on multiple short tacks. Downriver we turned again and hoisted the spinnaker for the ride home. Never before have I run the spin twice in the same day.
Back at the dock, the video crew collected their formidable equipment. Matt said he had to double check his lenses because a few months ago he misplaced the case holding them. I asked Dustin what the lenses were worth, and he said $50,000.
AARP Second Careers
The AARP piece is part of a 22-part series of second careers pursued by retired people. They show how, in my case, a defrocked newspaper publisher can turn on a dime and change course productively. From the text AARP newslettter:
Why he did it: After 42 years with The Virginia Gazette newspaper, I was laid off at age 65. Fortunately, part of my job was to schmooze advertising clients and news sources, and I did that by taking them sailing on my boat on the York River. I was spending more than 100 days a year on the water, and that just happened to be what I needed to get Coast Guard certification and start sailing professionally.
How he succeeded: I printed up brochures and took out ads in the local papers. But what really helped was setting up a blog on my website. That helps with Google searches. Through my blogs and TripAdvisor, I’ve grown the business rapidly.
What you need to know: What matters is business strategy. I studied other sailing businesses, then copied their best practices.
Here’s a look at the others profiled, based on their previous and current lives. It’s fascinating how some people traded one challenging career for another—and quite lucratively as well. It seems logical for someone in law enforcement to shift over to air rescue. But take a look at the pharmacist who became an airline flight attendant. Or the art director with LEGO becoming a reference librarian. Wow.
Organizational Trainer, 68 >> Dog Walker, $40,000
Corporate Philanthropist, 70 >> Company CEO, $100,000
Law Enforcement, 66 >> Air Rescue, $53,000
Media Professional, 67 >> Personal Trainer, $30,000
Pastor & Teacher, 74/70 >> Innkeepers, $160,000
Schoolteacher, 75 >> Real Estate Agent, up to $90,000
History Teacher, 67 >> Bicycle Tour Guide, $40-$100 hour
Artist & Attorney, 72/65 >> Organic Farmers, $100,000 sales
Oil Industry Product Manager, 59 >> Store Owner, $0 first year
Real Estate Broker, 52 >> Skin Care Entrepreneur, $100,000
Lobbyist & TV Producer, 57 >> Company Founder, $120,000
Attorney, 79 >> Photographer, $5,000
Electrician, 68 >> Park Ranger, $15,000
Pharmacist, 58 >> Flight Attendant, $38,000
Court Reporter, 67 >> Physician, $250,000
Lab Chemist, 63 >> Nurse, $70,000
Cafeteria Manager, 58 >> Massage Therapist, $30,000
IT Quality Assurance, 61 >> Voiceover Artist, $20,000
Art Director for LEGO, 57 >> Reference Librarian, $45,000
Flight Attendant, 66 >> Inventor, $100,000
Electrician, 65 >> Attorney, up to $30,000