American Schooner

Association

The American Schooner Association produces a newsletter, Wing & Wing on a periodic basis. The content of Wing & Wing is created by members and we are always looking for new content. If you have are working on a project or have taken an interesting trip or have something you would like to share with the membership, contact us at editor@amschooner.org.

LVII Number 2, Summer 2022

"The Lake Champlain Expedition, in Adventurer"

By Duncan Hood, ASA Commodore

First installment of this series...

PROLOGUE:  I have been sailing professionally now for 41 years and have been training sailing instructors for 38 of them. It's hard to believe so much time has passed under the keel. Along the way, I've met hundreds of wonderful and energetic people and helped move them along in their desire to sail better, further, and more easily. Over the years too, I have found many great and capable friends from racing and in my clinics who helped me as I sailed my schooner, Adventurer, hither and yon in search of new horizons. Each of my crews have been interesting and offered a unique mix of humor and talents. Thanks to them and to their loved ones who helped move us along and who waited for the boat to arrive in so many ports. It's been deeply gratifying to sail with you all.

As time passes and retirement settles in, I find my attention being drawn further north, away from the Caribbean cruising grounds we love so much and toward the Great Lakes and Canadian Maritime provinces. I had planned an extensive expedition for 2021 from Annapolis to Mackinac Island and Georgian Bay in Canada via the Erie canal. It would have required mast-lowering, transportation and mast-raising at either end of the Erie canal and the transit of three of the five great lakes. However, the COVID 19 pandemic bloomed during the planning time, and Canada wisely closed its borders to visitors. This required me to reassess my summer trip. It was during a conversation with my good friend and cousin, Lex Birney, that I decided on a trip to Lake Champlain. All the travail with the masts would remain as we took the Champlain canal north, and we'd encounter many of the same problems and opportunities that we had anticipated for our original trip. To sweeten the deal, Lex and his wife, Allison, have a house up there, and so this seemed like a good substitute and training trip for other expeditions once the pandemic quiets down. 

Finally, a dedication: To my uncle, Art Birney, the previous owner of Adventurer, who introduced me to the camaraderie and joy of the sea, and who made all these exploits possible. Sail on, old friend. You are deeply missed.