Oyster Bay Roadtrip

November 2016: Fabulous road trip to learn and network. Shaking hands and kissing babies. Spent some time at Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay, NY with Dawn Riley, Tim Kent, and the crew. They are an amazing, talented team of rock star sailors working to share their knowledge and train young athletes. I was lucky enough to arrive as they were winterizing the fleet and was able to participate in the projects.

Each morning the team gets together for the daily briefing, then off to clean winches, repair fiberglass, sand brightwork, and haul boats. I managed to nearly knock myself unconscious and simultaneously give myself a black eye while pumping out the bilge of a Kerr 50. Badge of honor. Everyone was so welcoming and openly shared their expertise with me. Chris Kennedy, engineer extraordinaire, upped my splicing game and let me help him weld and fix the electronics on one of the boats. There is nothing this man can’t fix. Andres Font taught me the finer points of winch maintenance. Greg Adams was all over the sanding project and was an impromptu medic during my aforementioned head injury. Tim Kent, solo around the world racer, is the glue that holds this band of wonderful rogues together and keeps them moving forward as a team. I am so grateful for every minute I got to spend with this bunch.

I also connected with Jonathan Kabak with the US Merchant Maritime Academy in Kings Point NY. Another amazing human working with the acquisition and care of the academy’s fleet of yachts. He graciously led me on a tour of the campus, the boats and endlessly talked splicing with me.

It wasn’t all business. I was reunited with the old wooden Q boat, Hope, my family owned in the 1970’s. I managed to tour the Finger Lakes wine country, attend the winner’s dinner at the Rochester NY Yacht Club, see Niagara Falls and the Liberty Bell. I am the luckiest girl in the world and so grateful to everyone I met and learned from along the way…

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