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"CHRISTMAS AT SEA"

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seamen scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So's we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessed Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china-plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessed Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
"All hands to loose topgallant sails," I heard the captain call.
"By the Lord, she'll never stand it," our first mate Jackson, cried.
..."It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson," he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

By Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94).

Viper 640 in 25 knots+

 
 

Congratulations to ECSA’s Bruce Kuryla as he and his crew win USSailing’s Offshore Championship…  again!  Bruce was selected by USSailing to represent Area B of which ECSA is a part in the 10 boat championship.  Bruce, ECSA Offshore Chair and a Past Commodore, races his Nelson Marek 42 Secret on the ECSA Offshore Circuit.   When you race ECSA you race against the best!

ECSA’s Bruce Kuryla defends U.S. Offshore Sailing Championship Title

Annapolis, MD (September 27, 2015) – The 2015 U.S. Offshore Sailing Championship, hosted by the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, pitted ten teams to test their offshore racing skills in Navy 44 sloops over three days (Sept 25-27) on Chesapeake Bay.

In the end, it was Bruce Kuryla’s (Milford, Conn.) team who earned the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy. The win for Kuryla marks his third U.S. Offshore Championship, including three of the last four (2015, 2011, 2009). His highly skilled crew featured Blake Marriner, William Tyler, Thomas Jankun, Rod Swift, Phillip Williamson, and Bruce S. Kuryla.

Complete Sailing Scuttlebutt Article 

 

 

The 2,800-mile Transatlantic Race 2015 has drawn entries ranging from classic yachts to modern technical marvels, crewed by sailors with a wide variety of backgrounds and experience. Each entered yacht is assigned to one of three starts (June 28, July 1 and July 5) that are geared toward having all boats arrive at the finish off Plymouth, England, in close proximity to each other with the expectation of finishing in 15 to 20 days.  Read more...

A tragedy: I never met Bob, yet talked to him over the phone numerous times and have countless emails from him.  He was always gracious and very helpful!   ~Rich

Plucked from Sailing Anarchy-

7/23/14 – Wanted to let you all know that Bob Winson passed away this morning at about 3:30a.  He was surrounded by his family – as he was when this terrible accident occurred.  Bob was surrounded by family wherever he went.  He loved being on the water with Dale.  He was a wonderful man.  I miss him already.

Want to set the record straight – Pythagoras is owned by Dale Winson and his dad, Bob.  Dale and Bob have been ocean racing together for 40+ years.

Pythagoras left Alamitos bay this past weekend with the entire family aboard for a Sunday sail.  While sailing on starboard tack, Pythagoras was struck by a charter sailboat on port tack.  Pythagoras did their best to avoid the collision, however, the bow of the sail boat – and bow anchor – struck Dale’s 84-year old dad in the head as he sat on the leeward side.  

Bob was struck in the head by the bow anchor resulting in a massive brain injury from which he will not recover.  Dale and his family are by his father’s side – they understand that he will pass away soon. This is a really sad tragedy and to speculate any further is just that – speculation.  Hoping you will all say a prayer for Dale and his family.

The Olson 40 Pythagoras was the latest powerboat casualty in the world of yachting; according to Channel 16, she was run down by a powerboat off Alamitos Bay.  At least one crew member was injured and taken off by lifeguards, and the only news we can find is right here in the thread.

How many more people need to get wounded before we all decide to start carrying flare guns in our cockpits to fire at these motorboating yahoos?  Thanks to SA’er “LBC” for the shot.

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