November 30, 1991 |
The boat as metaphor for government, as in "ship of state," dates back to the ancient Greek poets. The government as metaphor for boat, however, dates back to last Monday when I drove down to tuck little Troubadour in for the winter and found her cradled in a corner of the marina lot. Here is a boat, I thought, with all of the hallmarks of Philadelphia municipal government; graceful lines on the outside, broken systems on the inside. Precariously propped up, underfunded, dirty-bottomed, erratically managed, and for all that, still the vessel of our dreams, a thing that seems to promise a kind of harmony that we stubbornly believe possible.
June 24, 2004 |
A wry grin crosses Joe Ferry's face, and his blue eyes brighten as he opens a chart that tracks the winds of the North Atlantic. He points to a spot about 500 miles east of New Jersey where his trip will change course for Ireland. Ferry, 57, of Springfield, Delaware County, will leave Ocean City, N.J., on July 4. He will be reversing the passage his father, Joseph D. Ferry, made to America 75 years ago. Ferry is going on a 32-foot sailboat, alone. Ferry says he has sailed the Chesapeake and rowed the Schuylkill for years but has not sailed farther than the 160 miles to Block Island, R.I. He says he doesn't have a profound answer to why he is going solo.
June 23, 1994 |
Dave Burt was at the helm of his 30-foot sailboat, trying to outrun the growing North Atlantic storm. It was almost 3 a.m., and Burt had been steering into waves he could barely see for hours. He was exhausted from the 10 hours of rough weather. Leaving his son-in-law, Bob Bergeron, at the helm, Burt went below to lie down in the cabin. He wasn't worried. With dawn drawing near that Tuesday two weeks ago, Burt was confident. They would steer their boat through these 8-foot swells and 20- to 25-knot winds and continue on to Bermuda, still almost 500 miles away.
August 31, 1993 |
Sandy Swenson hits the sidewalk outside her law office, already in full stride. Quarter to 5 in Old City, she's headed for the water, her black pumps eating up sidewalk in a brisk staccato. On Second Street, the parking lot attendant is waiting for her, with car keys and the evening's code - "It's from the south!" It takes a second to register: They're talking wind, and the wind is why a smile is cutting the tan of Swenson's lean, athletic face. Over Chestnut Street to Penn's Landing, a sweep down the ramp, and she's under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge - yes, under - cruising through the Liberty Yacht Club toward a sleek J-27 sailboat bobbing beneath the commuter rumble.
May 17, 1992 |
The collegiate sailing career of Patrick Frisch is about to conclude. Today, Frisch is a 22-year-old Munich-born sailor. Tomorrow, at the University of Pennsylvania's 236th commencement, he becomes a graduate of the Wharton School with a dual degree in finance and entrepreneurial management and a 3.0 grade-point average. His grades might have been higher, Frisch says, were it not for the sailing. For the last three years, the Penn sailing team - a scrappy organization with a battered fleet and an annual budget of $6,000 - has been central to his life.
December 24, 1995 |
This island town, at Florida's southernmost point, may be best known for heat, margaritas and Jimmy Buffett (there is even a tourist bar named after the singer), not to mention riotous nightlife along Duval Street. But last winter one visitor crashed well before midnight every night. Me. So did most of the 15 sailors who shared my week at J World's "high performance" sailing school here. "We're not a boot camp," the J World brochure said, "But you are there to work and you will be worked hard.
August 27, 2006 |
Talk about disappointing. Vacation plans were set, bags were packed, and the food had been ordered. Then the day before Philadelphia's tall ship the Gazela was supposed to set sail for the Newport Wooden Boat Festival in Rhode Island, the trip was canceled when a problem with a rudder was discovered. "I was heartbroken, crestfallen and devastated," said Marcus Brandt, 49, of Allentown, who along with his 16-year-old son, was one of 30 volunteer crew members planning to make the two-week voyage to the premier event.
July 4, 2007 |
Beer in hand, Allyson Chambers stood near her new 33-foot sailboat docked at the marina Saturday at Penn's Landing and watched green and yellow flowers of fireworks tumble from the sky. "Wow," she said. "This is pretty good. " All that fun and the sails aren't even up. It's because of people like Chambers, 45, a comfortable, but not wealthy, pharmaceutical consultant from Lafayette Hill, that Cherie Kemper-Starner's "fractional" sailboat business, SailTime Philadelphia, is moving full sail ahead.
December 20, 2009 |
She was a landlubber, rooted on terra firma. He was a sailing man, a lover of classic boats. When Ellen and Brian Gagnon wed 10 years ago (remarriages for both), they began to create Christmas traditions in their elegant two-story, 1986-vintage Colonial in Moorestown. And, inexorably, boats slipped into the picture-perfect holiday environment that Ellen, particularly, loves to arrange. Which is how it came to pass that one room of their home has become Boating Central, complete with reminders of Brian Gagnon's passion for things nautical.
February 16, 2003 |
So maybe the only way you'll get a boat on the river this time of year is to slide it across the ice. That doesn't mean you can't start thinking about sailing. For those hearing the call of the currents, Edgewater Park's Red Dragon Canoe Club will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The club was chartered in 1885 as a canoeing, hunting and fishing club with a clubhouse in the Wissinoming section of Northeast Philadelphia. The canoe moniker is a bit of a misnomer now because the predominant means of boating for club members is under sail.