Sometime in murky August, a maritime apparition reminiscent of a Chesapeake past will materialize through the summer haze — a vessel to be noticed and admired sailing out of Annapolis. Look for three sails set on a ketch rig, slightly raked aluminum spars and an extra-long bowsprit with rails.
Luring Bob Grieser into the fine sport of sailing was a great pleasure for me, especially when it changed his life and he went on to exceed all expectations. That former newspaper copy boy is now an international yachting photographer, and sailors everywhere are the better for it because of his dramatic images.
Last Nov. 1, after my eight days in the hospital ended, I made an April 4 entry in my 2014 calendar notebook that posed this question: “Will I be sailing on this day?” The question can now be answered: Yes.
The sad, complicated history of the original gaff schooner America, the famous yacht for which the America’s Cup is named, has long been associated with mystery and shame. How could it have happened that this once swift, black-hulled beauty was left to rot and die in Annapolis almost 70 years ago under the care of the U.S. Naval Academy?
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Jack has been cruising Chesapeake Bay and writing about the region for more than 25 years. His critically acclaimed book, "Maryland's Vanishing Lives," was published by Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University Press and is now in its second printing. Before joining Soundings, Jack was a feature writer at the Washington (D.C.) Star for nearly 20 years and a senior editor at Chesapeake Bay magazine from 1995 to 1998. His monthly Bay Tripper column focuses on the Chesapeake.