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Where it started.

We’ve begun with a few posts and are headed off to who knows where (someone in this household probably knows...). It might be a good time to back up before we get too far along, to explain our website's name and its origin. Where and why did we come up with “I Love Yachting.”?

Well, in short, we didn’t. The phrase got coined years ago by Yachtsman Mark Myers. Mark is a longtime friend, and both of us have sailed many a nautical mile with him aboard his Swan 51, TONIC.

mark at the helm of tonic

Sailors reading this know there is a lot that can go wrong when sailing out in the ocean - stormy weather, crew problems or sicknesses, mechanical issues, and all sorts of stuff that is constantly challenging. I can’t remember the first time I heard Mark exclaim, “I love yachting!” I do know though that it was because something broke or ripped or some other catastrophe (mild-ish, clearly the boat is still sailing), and the phrase was emphatically voiced rather than letting out a string of profanity. I guess you could say, the aphorism is in fact its own nautical "profanity".

So, that’s it. When something breaks, or you get unexpectedly doused by a cold shot of spray that runs down your neck instead of being blocked by the best gear you thought you had, instead of dropping an f-bomb, say with a big grin, "I love yachting". The second picture is Mark and a few us us searching for a suspected propane tank leak, which was the same trip as happy smiling Mark leaving the dock.

time to fix something out at sea

It is an excellent way to maintain a positive attitude when things go awry, as they inevitably do (there's another story yet to be told about the inevitability of things going south).

I use the refrain on other boats and have put I love yachting (can I stop putting quotes around it?) into practice as a former volunteer coach for the Naval Academy Varsity Offshore Sailing Team (VOST). I got the Midshipmen to use the phrase when things went bad to get them to laugh when it might have been easier to swear and complain. Bringing up coaching at VOST reminds me of a story about a huge I love yachting episode.

Back in 2016, it was a Newport to Bermuda Race year, and I was a coach on one of the Navy 44s (I'll explain these boats more in future blogs). A lot of training goes into preparing for a major offshore race. The boat, DEFIANCE, and the Midshipman crew had come together well and were all set.

About two weeks before the Bermuda Race start, I placed an order for team hats (I have a thing for boat-y hats) from Team One Newport. As part of the training/competition schedule (not all sports are in the fall or spring), the boat and crew sailed in the early June New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, a weekend before the Bermuda Race. DEFIANCE got t-boned by a competitor on port tack (not Navy’s fault) during one of the races. The collision took the rig down and made a mess of the boat. Thankfully, nobody was injured. On a scale of 1 – 10, that was a 9.5 on the I love yachting scale. The boat was out of the Bermuda Race.

defiance has seen better days

At the time of the accident, I was in Annapolis, not scheduled to go to Newport until a couple of days before the race. When I got the news, I was glad no one got hurt. I was unhappy though at losing the opportunity to sail with the crew I had trained with all semester and so wanted to see succeed in a Bermuda Race. (the picture is a few months later returning from Maine passing through Rhode Island and stopping to see the boat on the hard)

A day or two later, I remembered the hat order and called Team One to ask if they had gotten them embroidered yet. They hadn’t, so I asked them to remove the reference to the Bermuda Race on the front and leave the boat name. On the back, I asked to have them stitch I LOVE YACHTING! When the team returned to the Academy, I presented them with the hats. Ever the consummate Midshipmen they are trained to be, they mustered a laugh out of

brad and his hats

what was a very trying time. I still have mine and occasionally wear it.

Now you have the story, the person, and the theme behind the phrase which was the genesis of what we want to share with boaters everywhere and give a forum for all of you to share the same. We can't wait to hear more I love yachting stories when things go asunder, particularly yours.

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