Residents of Port Washington and Manhasset, and other towns and villages that are part of the North Shore of Long Island are privileged to live on or near Long Island Sound. We catch a glimpse of this body of water as we drive near the shore, or, if we are lucky enough, sail her waters. We marvel at her beauty in the early morning dawn as the sun is just rising over the horizon, and watch her mood change throughout the day as the sun moves westward toward sunset. Rarely do we think about the condition of the Sound. But just like we must nurture our children, we need to take care of our Sound. A good place to start is by coming to a very special evening at the Manhasset Bay YC this Friday evening, March 22 from 8 - 9:15 p.m., where John Atkin, president of Save the Sound, Inc., a 30-year-old nonprofit environmental organization, will present a retrospective on Long Island Sound. Additional topics for the evening include: an overview of Save the Sound, an update of Long Island Sound environmental conditions, and local initiatives for the Sound. Save the Sound's mission is to protect, restore, and appreciate Long Island Sound and its watershed through advocacy, education and research. Mr. Atkin is the chairman of the Interstate Environmental Commission, chairman of the Citizen's Advisory Committee for the Long Island Sound Study, and chairman of the Long Island Watershed Alliance. Prior to his position with Save the Sound, Mr. Atkin served ten years in the Connecticut State Legislature, four of which were in the State Senate. The lecture is free and open to the public, but membership and donations to Save the Sound are welcome. The program is sponsored by the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRA of LIS).
Race Committee Rescue Boat - or "How Many Does It Really Take To Keep Our Frostbiters Safe?" Left to right: Bill Cornachio, Charlie Comer, Bob Carpenter, Ralph Heinzerling and Ed du Moulin.
On a very cold, damp Sunday afternoon, 10 teams of frostbiters were on the starting line. This winter season has been mild, so our hearty sailors have been spoiled. But last Sunday reminded skippers, crew and RC the true meaning behind frostbiting. Stats for the day: six races, a crew race, one crew overboard, and two boats went in early. The finish for the crew race was exciting, as three boats crossed the finish line in a "photo finish." Matt Cornachio, sailing with Ted Toombs (#514) won the crew race, and it looked like his brother David Cornachio, sailing with Bob Kirtland (#707) might edge him out. But Mimi Berry, sailing with her brother Pedro Lorson (#90), managed to squeeze in at the last minute, preventing a finish line duel between the two Cornachio brothers. Really great sailing by all three crewmembers. Results for the day: 1. #90, Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry, 2. #531, John Browning/Louise Browning, and 3. #514, Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio.
Of interest to all who plan to sail this season, either locally or in other ports, is an article in the April issue of Soundings by staff writer JoAnn W. Goddard titled "Coast Guard asks for Vigilance." As boaters prepare for the upcoming season, the Coast Guard wants to remind boaters to use their life jackets, know the rules of the road, and be watchful of suspicious activities. In light of the events of Sept. 11, Captain Scott Evens, chief of the Coast Guard's office of boating safety, said, "It is important that recreational boaters know their waterways are safe and that they can play a big role in keeping it that way. But times such as these require some tighter security measures for the upcoming boating season. There's a new normalcy." For example, anchoring or stopping beneath a bridge is forbidden. There is a 100-yard security zone around military, Coast Guard and certain commercial vessels, such as tankers and cruise ships. Boaters need to respect those zones, or face stiff penalties, which include up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Boaters should secure and lock their vessels when not in use, even during brief stops. And never leave the keys on board, and when storing a boat, the engine should be disabled. Evans also reminds boaters to observe speed and safety regulations, and have regular vessel safety checks. These checks can be arranged by contacting the local Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons. Evans also emphasized, "... recreational boating is safe ... and Americans are determined to keep it that way. So let's use and enjoy our boats, and get out on the water. It's our privilege, it is part of our heritage, and most of all it is a legacy that ensures a quality of life for our children's children."
The ruins of the Titanic, which sank after hitting an iceberg in 1912 taking 1,522 passengers to their deaths, can be seen at an exhibit at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. Called "Titanic Science: The Real Artifacts, The True Stories," will be open to the public through Labor Day. The exhibit includes more than 100 artifacts recovered from around the wreck, including letters, jewelry, clothing, and marbles that belonged to children who were on that tragic voyage. The program includes hands-on activities that allow visitors to be the captain of the ship, with just 37 seconds to maneuver the Titanic from the iceberg. This popular exhibit is not without its detractors. Some critics feel the artifacts should be obtained from the descendants and be carried out with a scientific plan. Defenders counter that survivors and descendants support the explorations as a contribution to scientific education. According to Dick Barton, of RMS Titanic Inc. of Atlanta, who has exclusive legal rights to salvage artifacts from the wreckage, said "We continue to keep the story alive for generations to come. Titanic is a great story irrespective of whether you are 6 years old or 96 years old." Advanced reservations are strongly recommended for this very popular exhibit. For more information, www.maritimeacquarium.org, or call 800-477-6849 for tickets.
Steve Fosset, who was awarded the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award last Feb. 15, has just broken the record for the Fastnet Course. Sailing in Playstation, Fosset left Cowes and arrived in Plymouth 35 hours, 17 minutes and 14 seconds. The previous record time, set in the Fastnet Race by Loick Peyron in Fujicolor II in 1999, was 40 hours, 27 minutes.