Nine eager visitors converged from all over America to experiment and to celebrate with a sailing adventure on the historic York River.

Sailing to Experiment and to CelebrateAnn and Mark Swindell drove over from Virginia to celebrate their 27th anniversary. “We take a boat trip every year on our anniversary,” Ann said. “Last year we went out on the water to go parasailing. I’m scared of heights but I did okay. I’m thinking about skydiving next year, but this year it was sailing.”

Ken told a cute story. “I sold an 18-foot boat to a guy who answered the ad. He asked, ‘Does it run?’ I replied, ‘Well, I can put some gas in it and hook up a new battery to find out, but it will cost you another thousand dollars.’ He bought it as is.

Ken Carling of Utah joined us while taking a break from the Defense Logistics Agency where he’s on TDY in Richmond. He hadn’t sailed before and wanted to get the feel of it. “We have sailboats on the Great Salt Lake, but not many motorboats. The salt clogs the intakes of the engines.”

Sailing to Experiment and to CelebrateKen has a small motorboat that he trailers there, but his big boat is on Lake Powell. “It’s a 65-foot houseboat that 12 families share as a vacation cottage. It has twin 150 outboard engines.”

It turned out that Mark and Ken have deep roots with the Boy Scouts. Mark was a BSA executive and Ken a Scout Leader. They both are Eagle Scouts and they both have two sons who have achieved Eagle Scout status, which takes 11 required badges and 9 others. What are the odds of have two Eagle Scouts on the same boat? Mark said that only 1.3% of all Scouts make Eagle, so do the math. “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle,” he added.

Afternoon Sail

Sailing to Experiment and to CelebrateIn the afternoon, Karen Deslandes took her husband Eric and her brother Steven and his wife Shirley sailing to celebrate Steven’s 49th birthday. They came in from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They were new to sailing and alternated on the helm to try it. Eric lasted the longest and proved quite adept by threading the needle up the coast to avoid shoals while reaching the opening day mark of Sara Creek.

Joining us were Robbie Lambert of Long Island and his date Denise Mani. He sailed several times for the pastry tycoon Robert Entenmann. “We delivered his 100-foot yacht from St. Martin to Miami to Montauk, where I jumped off since I was home. The boat went on to Martha’s Vineyard for the season. I helped deliver it on the reverse trip. This was back before cell phones and the Internet, when we spent our time reading. Just three of us delivered the yacht.

Sailing to Experiment and to Celebrate“One time Mr. Entenmann came along and he brought his friend Red from their Navy days together in World War II. They brought out the finest wine from the Entenmann winery on Long Island, but we didn’t have any pastries on board.”

As you can imagine, Robbie was adroit at the helm and showed Denise how to steer close to the wind for power without luffing by sailing too close.

Let’s Go Sail

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