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It’s cold in New York. I’ve got to stay “glued to my seat” to get my “homework” done. I’m wallowing in self-pity, me thinks. Sounds like time to digress a few minutes for a dose of “still more sail,” a shot of the best refreshment there is.


Rosemary Ruth is always a good start, the fisherman nicely trimmed. Feeling better. So let’s look at Saphaedra. Is this sail configuration on a ketch also called wing-on-wing?



I don’t know the name of the sloop below, but that’s the most soothing spinnaker to look at. It’s the Verrazano in the dim background.


Below it’s Lettie G. Howard. Let’s zoom in two-thirds of the way up the mainmast.



Here’s that section of the mast a little closer up.



Whoever that is, I’m envious. The crosstrees offer the best vantage point on the harbor. Here is a paragraph I wrote about riding the cross trees last summer:

“From sixty-five feet up, I no longer heard even the gentle sounds audible on deck: no conversation, no splash or spray. The mast seemed to dance forward, side-to-side, and up-and-down. The exaggeration of the pitch, yaw, and rock of the vessel was magical. From the first time, I saw the entire shadow of Pioneer, five of its sails flying, on the water. I was weightless and dancing with the steel mast above New York harbor, now almost an emerald green. The sails and flags were all below me. Above, only the sky. A gull glided past between me and the deck. I looked in all directions. After many hours on deck, I had discovered a whole new experience of sailing. Words cannot describe the bliss. Faintly I heard the captain call out, “Ready about” and the bow watch echo this call. Pioneer pivoted to port and the sails — from the jib to the main — shifted across the deck. “Ease the foresheet,” the captain called out some seconds later. The foresail reached outward to starboard, and Pioneer heeled lightly over. I stayed one with the masthead until I heard a new call, “Hey Will, get your arse down. You’ve got dock lines to ready.”

Only 45 days til the first day of spring, only 136 til the summer solstice. I’m feeling warmer now.

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February 2007