Dear Friend of CHARIAD:

The Mighty CHARIAD was launched last week. After a super effort by her crew, she migrated in a deep fog last Saturday from Beverly to Marblehead.

For the record, both Beverly and Marblehead claim to be the birthplace of the American Navy. In an earlier note, I included a picture of a sign in a display case at the Navy History Museum at Annapolis saying that Marblehead is the birthplace of the Navy. But don’t let me digress further.

While underway we unfurled the battle flag and hoisted her as we passed the Jubilee Yacht Club in Beverly.

You saw my note a few weeks ago saying that we wanted to find a couple new crew members this year. A couple of really terrific woman have stepped forward, but no new guys. We have an ongoing debate within the crew about my observation that woman are better at planning their lives and making commitments than are men.

Mast work by Chelsea P, CHARIAD crew member

Chelsea Peragallo did all of the up the mast work on Saturday. The mast was tuned like a fine violin and the wind instruments mounted on the top of the mast. Herb Loeffler would ordinarily have scampered up the mast, but he is still out of commission. Chelsea was up and down the mast three times.

If we get a couple more crew member like Chelsea, I am going to shift to an all woman crew.

We assembled the main sail and put it on the boom ready to hoist.

Crew assembling CHARIAD main sail

After we left Beverly Harbor, there was so much fog that we had to navigate with the GPS. Cold and visibility of 100 yards at best. Sailing did not make sense. I know motoring along with no visibility and just following what some guy down below says was disconcerting to some. But we did find Marblehead Harbor. As we came into the harbor, we could see a lot of mooring balls. Very few of the balls had any mooring lines on them. We were so early in the season that there were no lines on the mooring balls to tie up to. I had left a message with the Willard mooring service that we were coming, but seeing almost no mooring lines, I was afraid our mooring would not have lines either.

Normal practice is to look for boats near your mooring and from them find your mooring. There were no other boats. We eventually found the mooring with lines and tied up.

After straightening things up, the next order of business was a first of the season dark and stormy. We had arrived.

OK – one more illustration of how early we are in the season – at least this year.

Marblehead Harbor view from racing sailboat CHARIAD mooring.

This is the view from our mooring towards the Boston YC and Marblehead town hall.

I hope you will take a moment to read the attached Spring Parable. The rituals of our lives are in part determined by the cycles of each seasons. For sailors, launching our boats in the spring is an important marker in our lives. I enjoy re-reading the Parable each spring when CHARIAD starts a new season bringing fun and adventure to me and to many others.


For six months of snow and cold,
The Mighty CHARIAD sleeps.
Only her dreams are bold.
No winches are grinding, no sails are flapping
No waves are crashing and no orders a’ shouting.
The CHARIAD crew passes the long winter nights
snug in their beds.
Visions of tacks, of jibes, of starts and of finishes
dance in their heads.

Gradually the days grow longer.
February becomes March, and March becomes April.
Coolness is still on the air, but there is a stirring.
Even before the first robin is near,
The CHARIAD crew magically appear,
As if by some primordial instinct,
Mighty CHARIAD awakes with a start.

The crew sets themselves to polishing, painting,
rigging and roping.
By the 1st of May in each year, a renewed and refitted
CHARIAD appears.
With a splash and a dash, she throws off the dock lines
“Grind Ken, pull Bobby, jibe Herb, trim Peg” is heard
She glides away to sailing’s call
and a great summer for all.

I hope to see on the water.