The largest snowstorm in a century sidelined many outdoor activities over the past weekend, including frostbiting. It wasn't the deep snow that kept the sailors away, but winds clocking up to 50 mph. Our little IC dinghies and Ideal 18s can't go sailing in such treacherous conditions. Hopefully, our skippers and crew will be back on the water this coming weekend.
For those of you who are feeling a little "house-bound", you may be interested in taking a trip up to Bristol, RI for a Classic Yacht Symposium at the Herreshoff Marine Museum/America's Cup Hall of Fame. It will be held from March 31 - April 2 and is co-sponsored by the museum and the New England Section, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. The purpose of this event is to provide a high quality forum for presentations and discussions concerning the design, preservation, restoration, reconstruction and usage of classic yachts. The symposium is for practitioners and aficionados of venerable sail and power craft, and will educate, guide and energize the respective roles in the growing community of classic yacht enthusiasts. To register for the symposium, go online at www.herreshoff.org or contact Teri Souto at the Herreshoff Marine Museum (401-253-5000 or email Teri at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Herreshoff Marine Museum and America's Cup Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the accomplishments of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and demonstrating the influence of America's Cup Competition, for the purpose of education, research, and the inspiration of excellence in the world of yachting.
For those of you who stayed indoors and plan to until the weather improves, you may be interested in ordering a new book by John Rousmaniere. Called A Berth to Bermuda: One Hundred Years of the World's Classic Ocean Race, this leather-bound book can be ordered from Mystic Seaport Museum, but be forewarned, it is rather expensive. In 1906, when the first Bermuda Race was first sailed, it was an ocean race by amateur sailors in normal boats. Sponsored by the Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the race is now so glamorous that sailors' ears perk up when it's mentioned, and so difficult that its participants ask themselves, "Why am I out here again?" But the race is so addictive that they keep coming back year after year. Proof of the addictive nature of this race is the late Jim Mertz, who passed away this month, who held the record of 30 Bermuda Races. This year his crew plan to enter the next race and sail to Bermuda in his honor. In photographs and text, A Berth to Bermuda explains that addiction, bringing to life the vivid personalities that make the Newport Bermuda Race what it is. Some of the great sailors of the race: George Coumantaros, Olin and Rod Stephens, Ted Hood, the Tiriminghams of Bermuda, the Nyes of Connecticut, and the du Ponts of Delaware. And, of course, Jim Mertz, from American YC. John Rousmaniere is a Cruising Club of America member and veteran of many Newport Bermuda Races, and is the author of 21 books on sailing and yachting history, including In a Class by Herself: The Yawl Bolero and the Passion for Craftsmanship; Fastnet, Force 10; The Annapolis Book of Seamanship; After the Storm; and Sleek. For more information, call the Museum of America and the Sea (860-572-0711), write to them at 75 Greenmanville Avenue, PO Box 600, Mystic, CT 06355, or log onto their website at www.mysticseaport.org.
A few nautical road trips may be of interest now that we are in the depths of winter.
The closest museum is right here on Long Island. The Cold Spring Whaling Museum is offering an exhibit called American Society of Marine Artists - Northeast group, which will run from April 1 - May 15. Cold Spring Whaling Museum, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. (631-367-3418). Or log onto their website at www.cshwhalingmuseum.org.
The South Street Seaport is offering a Farewell to the Fulton Fish Market and Ellery Thompson: Artist, Author & Dragger Boat Fisherman. There are 30 nautical paintings and drawings, plus writings, photographs and hand-drawn maps celebrating the life of Ellery Thompson (1899-1986), captain of the dragger-boat Eleanor, and the Fulton Fish Market where he brought his catch. Schermerhorn Row, South Street Seaport Museum. The museum is also offering an exhibit called The End of the Waterfront: The Hudson River Piers, Circa 1970. 24 large format photographs by Shelly Seccombe documenting the recreational, cultural and commercial uses of the Hudson River piers during the 1970s. Schermerhorn Gallery, South Street Seaport Museum. A third exhibit, called Antwerp-America: The Red Star Line and the Paintings of Eugeen Van Mieghem, 1870-1935. This exhibit has paintings and drawings that document port life and the history of the emigrants who shopped aboard the Red Star Line from Antwerp to the East Rive Piers. Schermerhorn Row, South Street Seaport Museum. New York, NY, 212-748-8690, www.southstreetseaport.com.
The Noble Maritime Collection on Staten Island is celebrating 100 years of Staten Island's premier marine company through photographs, historic documents and boat models. Called Cadell Dry-Dock: 100 Years Harborside, is available now. For more information, www.Noblemaritime.org, or call the museum (718-447-5490).
And in Connecticut, the J. Russell Jinishian gallery has Son Demers - Master Marine Painter. This exhibit contains new paintings of yachting scenes, schooners and seascapes by one of the masters of the new generation of marine painters. J. Russell Jinishian gallery, 1657 Post Road, Fairfield, CT. www.jrusselljinishiangallery.com.
Mystic Seaport is offering Black Hands Blue Sea: The Maritime Heritage of African American. The exhibit contains art, artifacts and documents survey the struggle and contributions of black mariners in building and defending American democracy. Mystic Seaport Museum. It runs through March 2007.