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Sagamore Sailors Cruise To Norwalk

On June 8, nine vessels from Sagamore Yacht Club set off on the first cruise of the summer season.

The vessels Comanche, Momentum, Vertigo, Santosha, and Red Rock departed on their own schedule. The vessels Swept Away, Concerto In Sea (newly acquired by the Schaubs), Sea Fever and Sing to Me, left in unison, with the hope of crossing the sound in a flotilla.

The dying breeze doused our sails and our hopes as the flotilla slowly dispersed, with each skipper clinging to their individual timeline of when to start the iron genny.

No complaints were heard nor warranted; the forecast of severe wind and rain earlier in the week from the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea, had cast doubt on whether the cruise would happen. Thankfully the sun returned in abundance and the winds allowed for some sailing, on the return trip to Sagamore.

When we arrived at The Shore and Country Club in Norwalk, CT, we were greeted by Matt Dembski, the Rear Commodore, and his family. His young assistants were on hand to help each vessel tie up in their assigned slip, and after being satisfied with the positioning and location of fenders, and the approval of the skipper, tidied up the tails of our dock lines. With all hands on deck we were given a tour of the grounds, which includes a marvelous and very comfortable outdoor bar and a sort of “boardwalk“ with deck chairs facing the harbor entrance, tennis courts and swimming pools for children and their parents. A 13-page brochure was provided which included local knowledge of tides, restaurants, a map of the club, amenities, public transportation and every imaginable point of interest that might pique your curiosity.

Their considerable efforts were the embodiment of gracious hosts. They have set a high bar for us when we reciprocate later this summer.

While waiting for the members to congregate, we filed on board Swept Away for some hors d’oeuvres supplied by Maryann Rocchi and Carolyn Rankin. When you next see them, ask Jeff about his favorite Carolyn galley story, and Maryann about the acquisition of her captain’s license. I love the stories that flow from boaters when they are relaxed in the cockpit of their floating paradise. The stories when told on the water, with the taste of salt air, and the accompanying aquatic sounds add spice to the telling.

The afternoon was still young so Jeanne and I took a cab into South Norwalk, and strolled downtown. There was an art gallery of note, and more bars and restaurants than any seaport has need of. I imagine that once the sun sets, the place will rock.

It was soon time for dinner, and we all joined in a dining room that was set aside just for Sagamore members. The dinner and view were superb.

After dinner we commandeered the Swansons’ Vertigo for the real party. If ever a boat was named for a party, Vertigo is she. If you ask her skipper the reason behind the name, Vertigo, you will discover he is a huge fan of U 2, and that he named her after their song “Vertigo.” If you enjoy mind-bending lyrics, take the time to listen. However, the definition of vertigo offers a simpler approach to nirvana; vertigo is defined as a sensation of motion in which the individual or the individual’s surroundings seem to whirl dizzily. So we had all the ingredients. A group of Sagamore boaters ready to have some fun, any beverage of your choice and a wonderful boat to enjoy them on. Mix liberally, and by the end of the evening, we each dizzily whirled our way back to our boats.

The next morning after breakfast and the exchange of burgees, we readied to slip the dock lines and headed home. This time we were greeted with the invisible force of a decent breeze. The perfect ending to a perfect weekend, saw Comanche and Sing To Me join hands and skip across the sound, that is until Comanche got on her horse and showed us her heels.

Not to be discourteous, before she left she was kind enough to send us a picture and return the favor. In the days that followed all of those in attendance agreed that Jeff and Maryann had discovered a gem of a club. Next year sign up early, we will be first on line.