This is now a few years old; however the content is ever relevant. We find ourselves in a moment in time which none of us ever imagined. This country of ours is so big and diverse. Each of us having a difficult time understanding how we arrived here.
The Newport of my youth was a working waterfront. fishing boats, commercial boats and yachts co-existing side by side in the same water and the same docks.
Today, the is not a shred of evidence of this life.
I am about to start my 9th transatlantic race on 7 different boats. I have sailed with a number of people as a result; and have warm memories of each race, each boat, and each and every person.
It is a fraternity that one can only join by competing.
I had news a few days ago that another of that fraternity had died. Peter Van Dyke passed away. A loss to our group.
This is in response to those who asked:”Who are you?” It is a least a dimension.Boats have always been a part of my life. Naturally interwoven with the story of Newport.
I expect everyone of a certain age remembers where they were when the news was announced of the assassination of President Kennedy. Saint Georges’ School had just been let out for Thanksgiving vacation. I was hitchhiking into Newport along Memorial Boulevard. A step van stopped to pick me up and told me the news. I wasn’t certain whether or not to believe him and initially dismissed the thought.
It took me a long time to absorb the idea that an assassination of an American President could actually happen. I believe the loss of that kind of security is what people really mean when they refer to the loss of innocence. It could never happen here. It certainly spoiled my Thanksgiving holiday.
I have posted before about Steve Moore, aka “Wonder Boy”. When I was in school at St. George’s, Steve was unbeatable. I saw him infrequently after that. And then perhaps three years ago I was invited to sail on “Laura-Ann” by Rich DuMoulin. Arriving in Block Island I discovered that the crew was made up of many old acquaintances; Steve being one of them. Someone had pasted “AARP” on the transom. This was a case of old dogs teaching new tricks.
I am saddened to hear of Steve’s passing.
Stephen W. Moore died in a hospice on October 22nd, 2012 – 4 days after his
66th birthday. In his junior days, Steve was the outstanding junior sailor
on Long Island Sound, winning the Clinton M. Bell Trophy three times, with
crew Peter Rugg. Thereafter, as Long Island Sound sailors know so well, he
became a top notch helmsman and navigator on boats large and small, from
his IC dinghy to many an ocean racing boat. During his sailmaking career,
Steve worked for Hard Sails, North Sails and UK.
Through the 35 years of our Carter 39 Blaze and then our Express 37 Lora
Ann, Steve was our tactician. Always grumbling at anyone within earshot,
Steve pushed us all hard. He had a great sense of humor and an uncanny
ability to write humorous songs (“du Moulin the Long Island Pervert ”
probably the most famous) and New Years Frostbite Regatta Awards (for
skulling, capsizing, getting stuck in the mud, ramming your old man, etc).
Ten years ago Steve had triple bypass the same year he was diagnosed with
diabetes. That spring he could only get around with a two-wheeled
“walker.” We invited Steve to join our house at Block Island Race Week
with the understanding he would stay ashore for festivities but not sail.
As we prepared to depart Payne’s Dock for the first race, Steve came
“rolling” down Payne’s, sat on the edge of the dock and slid aboard. He
hung the walker over the stern pulpit and proceeded to wrap himself around
the backstay daring anyone to put him ashore. He resumed his tactician
role and led Lora Ann to a class win at Race Week, with the walker hanging
over the stern. Some bright competitor placed a “Team AARP” sticker on the
transom where it still resides.
In December there will be a service at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club for Steve.
I could not miss this opportunity to write about these hot moulded boats. Above is a photo of my Firefly built in 1948 by Fairey Marine in Hamble, UK. I had visited Fairey Marine many years later in the early 70’s. They still had the autoclaves originally used to build these boats. Some of you may be aware the Wilson Trophy is sailed in fireflies.
The following link shows how these boats were built. Click Here. Another proof of how wonderful the digital age is.
I went to the St. George’s rink today to watch the alumni hockey game. (I last played 20 years ago when I broke my hand and required stitches over my eye for my efforts.)I went really to meet up with Peter French with whom I played hockey at SG; and had not seen since.