Summer Sails

As summer heats up, more and more people want to jump in the York River to go swimming. Because there is an ocean current in the river, we have to tie people at the waist and to the boat so they don’t float away.

Above, Will Nance at left took a crew of self-described policy wonks from Washington DC on his second annual 4th of July outing with Let’s Go Sail. At right is former Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia’s 1st District. All six of the crew are headed to Milwaukee next week for the Republican National Convention.

Summer SailsJack was particularly enlightening about Washington, having served 22 years in the House. He was philosophical about Biden’s age problem and didn’t talk about Trump. I got the impression he’d seen it all and was relieved to be out. “I miss the people and of course, the policy work, but it takes a toll.”

He talked fondly of President Clinton but not so much George Bush. “Clinton was very smooth. He could charm anyone. He looked in your eyes as if you were the only person in the room. I flew with him once on Air Force One, and it was great. Another time, he flew us to Europe on a policy junket and was a great time. Clinton always remembered my name, unlike Bush.

“The White House staff makes it clear that once you get on the plane, you sit in your seat and don’t move around. It’s another office of the President and he works at it. So, you’re advised not to barge in on him. But if he wanders out into the cabin, that’s fine.”

Today, Jack works in Christian motivation circles. “Do you remember Dave Dravecky? He was a Major League pitcher who got knocked out by cancer in his pitching arm. He recovered and made a comeback, only to have the cancer return. He had to have his arm amputated. It was devastating, the one thing that served him so well — gone. But he recovered through Christ and we’re friends.”

Summer Sails

Another friend of Will’s was Ken Casiluous (far left), a native of Massachusetts who used to sail off Cape Cod. Someone on the boat asked him his worst experience, and he had a ready answer as if it was yesterday.

“My dad and I were sailing a small boat off Vineyard Island. We were sailing back when a terrible storm came up suddenly. We could see it looming over where the marina was, just as close as that shore over there. It hit us hard and I thought, ‘This is it.’ But we made it okay.”

Summer SailThe next day, another crew came prepared to swim. Beth Kona was the first to jump in, followed by her friend Mary Davis and then Beth’s husband Nate.

Beth recalled her worst boating accident. “We were tubing behind my husband’s motorboat when all of a sudden, the boat rose up and flipped over. I swam over, looking for my children on-board. I swam under the boat and found them terrified but in a bubble of air. So I yanked them down into the water and pulled them out.”

So you saved them! “Yeah, but they weren’t very grateful at the time.”

Summer SailWe got to see dolphins close to the boat, but not so close that anyone could touch them. That’s a no-no.

Sunset Sail

After several hot days, the temperatures cooled and the clouds covered the sky on a brisk morning run. Roseanne and Mike Keane were vacationing in Williamsburg as he sought to add another river to his resume.

Sunset SailHe picked up steam on a 10-mph easterly wind that shot us out the river toward the Bay. They used to have a 20-something full-keel, so the speed of this boat dazzled them.

They recently refurbished one of their houses on Oleana Lake in upstate New York. “It’s about 40 miles south of Lake Ontario, and our house faces the sunset,” Roz explained. “We feature a photo on our AIRBNB site, which we just joined, that displays not one but two sunsets. The first is off Oleana Lake, but the second is several minutes later over Lake Ontario. The sun bounces off the clouds above us to provide a second sunset.”

She added, “When we refurbished the house, we moved the kitchen to the front of the second floor instead of the back of the first floor. That way, the mom making dinner can get a spectacular view of the second sunset.”

Sunset Sail

We talked at length about marketing their B&B. I suggested the double sunset would do the trick to distinguish them from 40 other properties. Their property is a family camp that has been passed down through the generations. “We used to sail there as kids,” Roz added wistfully. Back on the subject of B&Bs, I suggested they get listed on Bring Fido since so many people insist on traveling with their dogs these days.

Sunset Sail

Lake Superior Sail

My former dock buddy Jon Peters joined two gals for hot and breeze sail. He used to live in Minnesota and told two harrowing stories.

Lake Superior Sail“People unwittingly paddle their kayaks close to shore where caverns can be found. Once they get inside, they are unaware of passing freighters. A ship 10 miles away can build a substantial wake that effectively lifts the kayaks up to the ceiling of the cavern and crushes them.”

We pondered that for a while, and he continued. “The biggest problem is the water temperature. It never gets above 43 degrees and of course is much colder in winter. People ice sail on the frozen surface and reach speeds of 50-60 mph. One time, a buddy asked me to go out with him to race but I thought it was too warm for the ice. He went out alone and sailed the ice until suddenly it became water. He couldn’t stop fast enough and went into the drink. Two nearby ice fishermen rescued him and took him to the hospital suffering hypothermia.”

Angela works in the Youngkin administration in Richmond. She speculated that the governor would rather be Treasury Secretary under President Trump than Vice President. “His background and expertise is financial with the Caryle Fund, so he would be much more effective in that role. By the way, he doesn’t take any of his salary as governor. He donates it each month to a different charity.”

Learn to SailLearn to Sail

Earlier, Jeanie and Mike Cornell took two of their four daughters sailing while visiting Williamsburg. They sought a sailing lesson as an adventure for their youngest, Lissy. She had once tried a small sailboat and wanted something bigger. She nailed it on the close reach and beam reach. Over the course of three hours, she heeled to 20 degrees in 14 mph winds and never lost her course. “She plays lacrosse and soccer, so she’s pretty athletic,” Mom said proudly.

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.

Guys Sail

Guys SailSix friends from the same neighborhood in Richmond went sailing in a light breeze, heavy on the camaraderie. Merwin Sunny organized the trip. The guys’ mothers are all nurses who came over from India to work at local hospitals during the covid pandemic.

One of them, George Habel, has his own realty company. I asked if the owner of a house has to admit there was a murder there.

Guys Sail“No, but we’ve found strange things. One of my agents discovered that a body had been buried in the back yard of a property. It wasn’t murder, no foul play. But still, it wasn’t disclosed. That would have been the ethical thing to do” Who was it? “A relative, I think.” Oddly enough, they don’t have to disclose a murder or death, but they do have to disclose sexual impropriety such as pedophiles.”

George added, “They built an Arby’s restaurant out in Glen Allen, not knowing the site used to be a dog burial ground. So many people knew it that they stayed away from the place. Eventually it went out of business.”

With that, the guys stripped down to their skivvies for a skinny dip.

Guys Sail

Let’s Go Sail

Check Couples and Family rates and pick a day for a sailboat charter. Scroll down reviews on Trip Advisor. Go back to the home page of Williamsburg Charter Sails.   

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 and speed.

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