Flotsam & Jetsam: Classic Boats Galore - Soundings Online

Flotsam & Jetsam: Classic Boats Galore

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miss-asia-2-by-mark-krasnow

Boats. Lots of boats. Lots of beautiful, classic and antique boats will be on display at the 36th Annual Antique and Classic Boat Festival — like the 1923, 62-foot Consolidated Speedway luxury commuter Miss Asia, which was last year’s star. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26 at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem, Massachusetts. For more information, or to enter your boat for the judging, go to boatfestival.org

Listening For The Lighthouse 

west-quoddy-head-lighthouse-by-ron-cogswell

Someone once wrote that West Quoddy Head in Lubec, Maine, was the place “where they make the fog, at the End of the Earth.” And it may be true. Odds are, you’ll see fog well before you see the West Quoddy Head Light. This sunny photo is more the exception than the rule.

The lighthouse, which sits on the easternmost point of the continental United States, across from Grand Manan Island, Canada, gets so much fog, that they refer to the murk as a “ubiquitous phenomenon.”

Fog cannons, 1,500-pound fog bells, fog bell towers, fog horns, fog steam whistles, and even a fog signal house were installed to prevent maritime mishaps. If a device had the word “fog” attached to it, they tried it here to keep the mariners off the cliffs, ledges and nearby Sail Rock. The lighthouse keepers and their families had to listen to the signals for days on end. One stretch of fog lasted 1,402 hours. (No worries, we have a calculator. That’s 58 straight days of fog).

West Quoddy Head Light is closer to the African continent than any other building in the United States, and during the weeks around the equinoxes it is the first place in the country to see the sun rise. That is, of course, when there’s no fog.

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The age of Nikki Henderson when she and her crew won the penultimate race of the 40,000 nautical mile 2017-2018 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race from New York to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on July 9. She is the youngest-ever skipper in the event’s 22-year history.

This May Be The Final Straw

final-straw

Americans use 500 million disposable plastic straws per day. These do not decompose, they cannot be recycled, many of them end up in the ocean, and at least one got trapped in a sea turtle’s nostril. Now a start-up company, FinalStraw, has raised $1.8 million and is developing a reusable, collapsible straw that they hope will raise awareness of the issue and end the need for disposable plastic straws. Their stainless steel straw will come in a 100% recycled ABS case, fits on your key-chain, and is self-assembling. $20. Available in November. Pre-order at finalstraw.com 

Take Your Boat For A Whirl 

In 1994 a zany group of sailors in Peconic Bay, New York, hatched the idea of a local 32-mile race that would challenge sailors to navigate the tricky currents surrounding Shelter Island – nestled between the North and South Forks of eastern Long Island. The Whitebread Round the Whirl Race was born, its name being a parody of the Whitbread Round the World Race (now known as the Volvo Ocean Race). Sponsored by the Peconic Bay Sailing Association, it draws over a hundred competitors from Florida to Nova Scotia. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the race. Starting from New Suffolk, it guarantees great fall sailing conditions, the very same whirling currents, and its notorious after-race party. The race will be held on Saturday, September 29, 2018. For race entry information and registration, visit psba.com

— Dr. Jane Lubchenco, a marine scientist at Oregon State University and the former administrator of NOAA, in response to a recent suggestion by NOAA’s acting head to remove the study of “climate” from its official mission statement to better focus the agency’s work on economic goals and “homeland and national security.”

Rising From Stormy Waters 

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Because of their proximity to the water, boat clubs can be subjected to severe beatings when storms come a-calling. Members of the Cohasset Yacht Club in Cohasset, Massachusetts, know this all too well. Their clubhouse, which was built in just three months in 1894, survived the 1938 hurricane and the blizzard of 1978, but after the 2016 winter storms passed through, the building was finally rendered unsafe.

The club’s members immediately planned a new facility that has retained much of the original’s look, including the high-water marks from the storm of 1978. After acquiring a rare FEMA permit to rebuild over the water, the new clubhouse was quickly erected and dedicated on June 29, 2018, ready for the next 124 years.

This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue.