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Sailing Appledore V to Chicago!

Posted by alexsailor on July 31, 2006

Chicago is great and I realized how much I love city life, however I also became conscious of the fact that I was just out in the wilderness with not even a bit of land in sight doing the “camp thing” to a whole other lifestyle. It reminds me of my crazy hectic NYC life that was semi-stressful which is a little moreso here after sailing on the Appledore V. I think that was such a fun contrasting experience aboard this 67 foot schooner that holds about 12 crew members with a much more laid-back attitude than that of the US Brig Niagara. I enjoyed both, and the momentum of a schooner that picks up 10 knots of wind is quite different than that of a 198 foot brigantine with over 40 crew members.

During the year, the Appledore V picks up trainees, usually high school students and younger to volunteer and come sail with them in some of the ports, attending to daysails, short overnight trips for various camps, while paying close attention to the safety/characterbuilding of each individual. That personal time that was given to me to explain in full-depth the physics of sailing, navigation at the helm, and any other question that I had concerning sailing..Holding the wheel of the Appledore V as the wind picked up to 10 knots with the small vessel twisting over towards its port side, leeward from our destination demonstrated to me the importance of understanding the effects the elements have around the vessel, and each one’s influence (wind direction, current, RPM if used, COG, SOG, plotting on charts, ect.). I loved being able to ask questions, here stories from Crunch the cook from Denis Sullivan who was a guest for our 3 day voyage and Jaquee, a Chicago Media guest who wrote romance novels who glistened her body in Hawaiian Oil, talking about fine wine and bronzing herself, while the rest of us worked on our knots to get closer to being the almighty “MARLINSPIKE Sailor”. It’s an in-depth book that you just have to read if you want to learn true seamanship with lots of good illustrations for the confused novice..

 David Lorenza, the Captain of the Appledore V allowed the crew to jump into the water for a swim before we started the race to Sturgeon Bay since the wind was below 1 knot and we had 1000 meters to the starting point. Lots of fun are the middle of the day naps otherwise one becomes completely exhausted once nightime hits, whereupon watch hours for our 2 divisions commence with 4 hours on/ 4 hours off. On the Niagara, the benefit of having a large crew was that one would only have to do 2 hours of a late night watch rather than 12-4am on duty, 4-8am off duty, ect… I also was able to take the wheel of the best part of our journey which was pulling into Navy Pier with lightning/heavy rain on one side of the boat and fireworks exploding 50 feet on the other side of the ship. I put the whole adventure on video and it should be up for viewing sometime soon. Peter Mello, our executive director did a great job editing/polishing up the last video I shot onboard the Niagara that is now up on our website.

 PS> Great News!  I got a spot to crew on the Picton Castle to their next port, Port Huron on August 9-August 17! I am totally psyched since it is an international ship with wonderful international crew with a highly skilled sail-training program. I was recently talking to my mother about it, and now she may even get onto their Caribbean tour with me during my winter break from college in December! We’ll see since it is hard to imagine my New Yorkie coffee-drinking, Brooklynish accented mom joining me on an outdoor adventure for the first time in her life with me, her outdoorsy voyageur daughter! lol. Life is lovely here, and last night I saw a great Comedy Show at Zanies, adored by Jerry Seinfeild, Jay Leno, and Mark Eddie from VH1 who I saw live last night free through the Columbia Yacht Club! Chicago has been more than generous to all of us sailors/staff working here at this event and they have truly made it a remarkable time for people who have never visited the city before! Today I’m hitting the Chicago Art Institute this afternoon with another sailor from Picton Castle.  Au Revoir!


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