The tompostpile Goes to Sea. Unexpectedly.

A few days ago my cell phone rang.

My cracked-screen, ancient cell phone made in 2007 or so, is a gift from the “old electronics” drawer of a child who years ago had pity for me the last time my phone died. I don’t mind using what many people now call an antique. The “average person” gets a new device every eighteen months or so. Which means that every day, in the USA, up to a half million phones are junked. That kind of waste is just plain appalling.

But I digress.

On the phone was a young man I know, who invited me to join the crew on an old sailboat, to run in the 26th annual Pat West Gaff-rigged race. The boat we were to sail on was the “Venture”, once owned by the man for whom the race is named.

Such a sail is a not-to-be-refused opportunity, so I said “Sure!”. We made rendezvous arrangements, and I showed up dockside at the appointed time.

Here is a set of photographs from the tompostpile’s trip to sea.


As we prepared to sail, the ferry tooted loudly, and left for Woods Hole.

From the galley porthole we saw other racers head out of the harbor.


For fifteen minutes, the outer harbor was full of sail, reminiscent of days when all sea travel was powered by wind. Sailors are anachronisms in the these days of motor power. They are keepers of ancient knowledge, and from their passion for sail have a connection to the planet that is enviable.


Pre-race to-and-fro.

And we’re off.

The big boats add sail and leave the small fry behind.


Big or smaller, these craft are beautiful.

The wind was strong from the northeast, with occasional puffs.

Sailors’ hearts were glad.


We are at the back of the “big boat” pack, but who cares?


A good day to take a photo or two.


The camera?

You don’t see many of these nowadays.


This camera is at least fifty years older than my cell phone.

Our running time was two hours, nine and a half minutes, more or less.

A good time was had by all.






All, including the four-legged.

After the race,  on the way home, the Captain’s dog enjoyed the view astern.



One response to “The tompostpile Goes to Sea. Unexpectedly.

  1. I have many fond memories on Venture. Pat taught me how to sail on Venture in my early teens (long ago). We sailed together with his son Danny many times bringing Venture from Sea Cliff, Long Island to the Vineyard. I was also lucky to have crewed for Pat in many gaff rigger races on the Vineyard and on Long Island. When ever the races included modern marconi rigged boats, we always prayed for strong winds which would give the old gaff rigger the advantage on a reach, making up for the disadvantage to windward.

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