March, it’s the only month name that sounds like an order, and since that’s the case, let me make some no-pressure suggestions, especially if you are in the central/western New York state area or ever will be.

First, tomorrow is the winter symposium of the New York State Canal Society, and there’ll be some interesting presentations.

Second, any time you get up here, visit Hammondsport NY.  I did that yesterday and what follows is a report.

Starting out . . . see the yachting pedigree in this hull?

Here’s most of the rest of the plane, an early Curtiss flying boat.

Aerial yachting . . . what’s the last time you heard those two words co-located?  In some ways, walking through the Curtiss museum made me remember a post I did four years ago called “1960s: the future that wasn’t.”  In this case, I could call this “19 teens:  the future that wasn’t, mostly wasn’t.”  Curtiss, working on the Finger Lake of Keuka,  just pre-dated the folks on Raritan Bay at Aeromarine.  And of course, float planes are still a exhilarating as I learned almost two years back . . . but aerial yachting . . . it hasn’t reached its potential mostly.

Can you imagine crossing the Atlantic over a century ago in this?

x

America, the red airplane below, crossed the Atlantic in 1914!  Here’s more.

 

Here’s more on Betty Scott.

Of course, Curtiss also did bicycles and motorcycles, like this early version of a sidecar bike.  In the museum, motorcycles outnumber flying boats by about 100 to 1.

A few miles away, there’s the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, and by the time I got there, I was way behind my schedule, but housed in an old Taylor wine complex, it’s a gem that begs a visit, several visits.

The Imperial Pumpkin Penn Yan, built in 1927 and shown below,  is just one sample.

Here’s an engine so beautiful it needed a hull around it to show it off.

Happy new month, and it’s the month that’s

an order . . ..  march!  Get thee hence.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp.