Dear Friend of CHARIAD:

The mighty CHARIAD swims again. She was launched for the 2016 sailing season this past Thursday.

Each of us marks the progression of the year in different ways. For me, gathering the CHARIAD crew to go to the boat yard marks the transition from winter to spring. Launching the boat marks the transition from spring to summer. April is still on the calendar. The seasons have come early this year.

We went to the boat yard on those cool but clear April Saturdays and the raining days when we are all wet anyway because we are cleaning the bottom – the super-fast bottom.

Last Saturday, the boat was still up on the jack stands. The winches are greased, the teak is oiled, the hull cleaned. Beautiful day. Let’s keep going. We put the boom back on the mast, re-rigged all of the halyards, the control lines and spinnaker pole. We have never done all of this before putting the boat in the water.

Yesterday, Saturday, I went up to the boat with a couple of people and we actually got the engine started. As a sailor, I fundamentally distrust engines. I am relieved every year with it starts for the first time. Another mark of the seasonal change.

For our gang, there is another seasonal tradition much like singing carols at Christmas time  –  a reading of the Spring Parable.


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, 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 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 you are taking a moment to mark the change in the seasons. And I look forward to being with you soon –  and on the water.

We may have gathering of Friends of CHARIAD next Saturday evening. I believe we will migrate the boat to Marblehead that day and then call for a gathering of the clan that night. I will let you know if that is happening and the details.

Writing this reminds me that many of the Friends are not in the Boston area and are scattered over the globe. I am thinking of you and the friendships we have had over the years. Stay in touch and make all of our lives richer.

My best,