Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sailing Into The Sunset

When I was a kid growing up in New Bedford I was totally fascinated by boats and sailing, and especially whaling. I hung out at the docks where the commercial fishing boats unloaded their catch and roamed the halls at the Whaling Museum. I read everything that I could find in the cildrens' room at the library. Finally my mother convinced them that I should be allowed to go to the adult area by myself if I used her library card when I was 11 or 12.

When I was 12 I saved up about $30 and ordered enough wood and plywood from the lumber yard and built myself an 8 foot sailing dingy. It wasn't as nice as the fiberglass one thatmy friend Kurt Donanger had, but it floated and didn't leak any more than you'd expect from a wooden boat. I'd already had two years at Camp Sea Space learning sailing. We were able to keep the craft at a friend's summer house on Long pond in Lakeville.

When my mom and I moved to Florida I was just shy of turning 14 and had to leave the boat behind. Within a year I'd ordered a kit to build a 15 ft. kayak from the Dedham Kayak Company. I wasn't about to leave myself boatless! Living near the northern reaches of Biscayne bay might have been great for fishing for shallow water species but the acres of grass flats were less than ideal for sailing. You just don't see lots of small sailboats up this end of the bay. Larger ones motor down the channels on the way to the ocean.

Dinner Key Marina is south of downtown Miami but offers a protected deep water anchorage suitable for sailboats. The entire time I've lived in Miami I've only been sailing once, and that was when an old friend and his wife sailed down from Massachusettes. They had a ketch of perhaps thirty feet, and were in town but a few days in the early 70's. They anchored at Dinner Key Marina. This was shot there at sunset.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I built 2 dedham kayaks, and am looking for information on the company: plans or literature, any help would be appreciated

nordvindcrew @yahoo.com

7:45 AM  

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