We ran this story back in 2012, not sure if anyone remembers it, I can, and do remember every detail of the trips. But thought that since we are waiting on boat show reports to look back. BTW we have reports coming in from Minnesota by Texx! St Michaels from Kent O. Smith, and Hopatcong from Bob kays this week. Enjoy our fathers day. How I wish the old man was still around. And hopefully my sons one day will feel the same, and so on.
The old story… aren’t they all?
This past week, I had the chance to dig through some old family files. While digging through the old family pictures and old baby shoes, I came across a box of slides. These slides are dated 1973. I recall the trip very well but never saw the shots.
It was on one of my grandfathers shakedown cruises. ya see my grandfather was a retired 2 star Admiral. He was in mapping and that sort of thing, created some of the first Submarine maps.. It goes on and on.. I used to spend a great deal of time with him, for some reason we connected. In his retirement, he did lots of cool fancy things on all sorts of boards, RAND corporation, etc. But to a 14 year old, the coolest times were spent on his shakedown cruises for a local charter service. They would call him and give us a big yacht and say, “take it out for a week and beat the crap out of it” then they would charter them for the summer. This time I recall it was a 45 foot River Queen.. OK, not so glamorous, but fun as hell…
On those trips, I learned navigation, and basic seamanship. Lessons I have never forgotten. In fact to this day I can’t tie certain knots without closing my eyes. He used to make me do that so if we ever were in a storm or it was dark I could do it from memory. He was right.. He would wake me up at 2 AM and we would adjust the anchor.. And the best was. I got to take the helm. Twin 440 Super bee engines. 45 ft of metal, pounding down the Potomac. To a 14 year old, that trust, that sharing of information was priceless. That feeling of freedom was first found behind the wheel of a boat. And to this day, I can trace my need to escape back to that time. I can still smell the Dinty More stew my grandmother was making in the galley.. Funny how certain things stay with you..