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On the Bay: October 4, 2011

The Charles W. Morgan is the last surviving wooden whaleship from the great days of sail. Built in 1841 in New Bedford, MA, the Morgan had a successful 80-year whaling career. She made 37 voyages before retiring in 1921, and was preserved as an exhibit through the efforts of a number of dedicated citizens. After being on display in South Dartmouth, MA, until 1941, she came to Mystic Seaport, where each year thousands of visitors walk her decks and hear the fascinating story of her career as a whaling vessel, historic exhibit, film and media star, and a porthole into America’s rich history.

The Charles W. Morgan alone remains to tell the story of over 200 years of American Maritime History during which American whale ships pursued whales to all the oceans of the earth to obtain oil that first lit the world and then lubricated the industrial revolution. Whaling was the first international industry in which the United States achieved supremacy and visibility. Today, the Morgan’s role is to bring to life and help us learn from a largely forgotten epic chapter in our nation’s history: a chapter that reflects many of the struggles, good and bad, our nation faced as it grew from a small nation of former colonies to one that spanned a continent and became a world power.

According to Nat Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower (both of which are terrific) had this to say: “The Charles W. Morgan is one of America’s greatest treasures. To explore the Morgan is to experience our country’s maritime past in a way no book or lecture can ever hope to match.”

Now that your interest in the Morgan is piqued, you will be pleased to know that on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m., Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, as part of their lecture series, has invited several historians from Mystic Seaport to the club to talk about this historic vessel. It is called “Mystic Seaport’s Charles W. Morgan Restoration Presentation” and is open to the public. This is a lecture you won’t want to miss. Anytime historians from Mystic Seaport travel to our corner of the world, everyone should sit up and take notice. Besides, the Charles W. Morgan is a National Historic Landmark and an educational resource. So if you are interested in history, whale boats, boat restoration, whaling and whaling ships…. Mark your calendars now for Wednesday, Oct. 26. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! For more information about Mystic Seaport, The Museum of America and the Sea, go to: http://www.mysticseaport.org. For more information about the Morgan lecture, please call MBYC at 767-2150.

Congratulations to local teams who competed in the American YC Fall Series (skipper, boat, yacht club/affiliation, division, place): Craig Albrecht, Avalanche, Port Washington YC, IRC 3 Div 3, 3; Paul Strauch, Andiano, Manhasset Bay YC, IRC 3 Div 3, 8; Oakcliff Sailing Center, Ker 50, IRC 1, Div. 1, 1; Oakcliff Sailing Center, Farr 40, IRC 1, Div 1, 7. Charlie Cannam, En Garde, North Shore YC, J105 Div 3, 19 (Charlie has a DNC-did not compete- in three races); Rick Royce, Patience, Webb Institute, PHRF Div., 4, and Bob Schwartz, Nordlys, Manhasset Bay YC, J109 Div 1, 2. Nordlys came in a very close second to Rick Lyall, Storm, Cedar Point YC, the division winner, and beat Lyall in three races.

A press release from US SAILING may be of interest to readers. This is your chance to vote on a very important award given each year to the best male and female sailors. As the sailing season on the East Coast is winding down – with the exception of frostbiters who are just getting their boats ready for another season of fine winter racing – there is an opportunity to recognize U.S. sailors who have collected impressive regatta results at home and abroad in 2011. As of September 30, US SAILING will accept nominations for its 2011 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards, widely acknowledged as the foremost individual sailing honors in the nation. Through November 30, 2011, every member of US SAILING may nominate the one male and one female sailor they think has turned in the most outstanding on-the-water performance during the 2011 calendar year. Nominations can be made online through US SAILING’s website at http://about.ussailing.org/Awards/Rolex.htm

Established in 1961 by US SAILING and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the annual presentation of US SAILING’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize the individual male and female U.S. sailor who has demonstrated on-the-water excellence at international and/or national events to earn their place in the history books. Anna Tunnicliffe and Stan Honey, winners of the prestigious distinction for 2010, joined the list of legendary winners that includes notable sailors who have claimed the honor multiple times: Ed Adams, Betsy Alison, Sally Barkow, Dennis Conner, JJ Isler, Allison Jolly, John Kostecki, Buddy Melges, Ken Read, Cory Sertl, Lynne Shore, Jody Swanson and Ted Turner.

At the conclusion of the nomination period (Sept. 30-Nov. 30, 2011), a shortlist of nominees will be presented to a panel of accomplished sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each and vote by secret ballot to determine the individual award winners. The winners will be honored on February 23, 2012, during a luncheon at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.

The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.

Two upcoming local events: Port Washington YC is holding their Charity Regatta on Sunday, Oct. 9 ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 767-1614) and the 33rd Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series is Oct. 15-16 and Oct. 22-23 (http://regatta.manhassetbayyc.org or 767-2150). And of course, the great lecture on the Charles W. Morgan, on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m.