Captain’s Log

Sailing Yacht Sunset: The Love Boat

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This past weekend marked a series of firsts for Sunset. For starters, my long-time friends Jon and Lindsey got engaged aboard Sunset! Jon approached me a few weeks ago and told me what he had planned. Under the guise of “let’s go out for a sail on James’ boat just for fun,” Jon and Lindsey came aboard Saturday afternoon and I took them out for a nice afternoon sail. While sailing by the statue, Jon brought Lindsey up to the bow and popped the question! I’m very happy to say that Jon and Lindsey are the first couple engaged aboard Sunset. It’s times like these when I take a step back and realize how lucky I am to be a part of these life-changing moments.

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The next day Sunset experienced her second engagement while under sail. A lovely couple and their newly married friends came out for a brunch sail on a hot and sunny Sunday morning. While sailing by the statue, the group made their way to the bow and the surprise was unveiled! I couldn’t help but notice that the newly engaged didn’t stop smiling for the rest of the sail.

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Sunset had her second first on Tuesday; the July 4th Fireworks! A neighbor of mine booked the boat for his family and friends. What a guy!

The July 4th Fireworks are quite the sight to see from the water. No crowds, no obstructions, but being out on the water with all that boat traffic is every captains worst nightmare. I hired one of my fellow captains from the Ventura, Captain Owen, so that I would have an extra set of experienced eyes and another experienced boat handler while out on the water. We made our way from Newport Marina to North Cove Marina to pickup our guests and then started making our way to the East River. There was boat traffic every which way, but we managed to make our way through the traffic and traveled North to our zone between Grand Street in Williamsburg and 15th Street in Manhattan. We found a great spot on the Brooklyn side alongside some other captains and boats we know. We held our position, fought off a few rookie boaters, and watched a great sunset before the fireworks show started.

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Shortly after the sun went down, the fireworks show started. We couldn’t have been any closer without the NYPD Harbor Patrol or Coast Guard pushing us back into our zone, so the show and the first reverberating booms of the exploding shells were more powerful than I had ever seen. For those of you who have experienced the NYC July 4th Fireworks, you know just how big and grand the show can be.

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To add to the night, as the fireworks finale was booming, my neighbor proposed to his girlfriend! That makes three proposals in four days. They say when it rains it pours, and it looks like that applies to love in the air, or in this case, love on a boat.

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And as if that weren’t enough love to go around, I took out an engagement photo shoot two days later! For a moment, I considered renaming Sunset to Love Boat, but thought that might give the wrong idea to a certain few.

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There you have it. A series of firsts for Sunset. Congrats to the newly engaged lovebirds!

Captain James

Opening Weekend – Sailing in New York City

Opening weekend aboard Sunset was a great success! Friday night we sailed from Newport Marina into New York Harbor and the Upper Bay (between Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Jersey and Staten Island) as this is the usual route we take with great views of the city and wide open space for sailing with steady winds. My long time friends were aboard for a private sunset sail, and magic hour was kind to us all with great lighting for photos and a beautiful sunset. Winds were light but we had full sail up the whole time and cruised through the harbor.

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When in Rome, do as the Romans do. In this case, when on a boat, do as Jack and Rose do.

I woke up Saturday energized from the previous night of sailing and excited for a full day of sailing. Winds were steady at 18 knots with gusts up to 22 knots, and plenty of sun to go around. The first sail of the day was a fun one, a 30th birthday party for a really fun group of girls. First Mate Jake and I sailed Sunset from Newport Marina across the river to North Cove Marina to pick up the birthday party. I received a text from the birthday girl that they were around the corner and that “I couldn’t miss them.” I immediately looked up to see four fun-loving sailors decked out in striped sweaters and knew she was spot on with her statement. Come to find out later that they were just as happy to see Jake and I sporting our Sunset crew-official Hawaiian shirts (or should I say Hawaiian belly shirt for Jake.)

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Saturday night I had four friends aboard for a sunset sail. The winds calmed down as the sun dropped making for a very comfortable sail. With 15 knots of wind when we departed Newport Marina and an ebbing tide, we made great time under the mainsail alone from Newport Marina through New York Harbor all the way down to Robin’s Reef near Staten Island. After tacking, I deployed the jib and we made great progress under full sail back to the Statue of Liberty as the ebbing tide slowed approaching slack water.

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After making our statue pass, we sailed past one of the largest private yachts in the world “Le Grande Bleu”, which was at anchor near the Statue. Amazing to see a yacht of that size up close from the water.

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Great friends and great sailing. Looking forward to many more weekends like this.

Captain out!