Wind at Her Back, Full Sail Ahead
Ivy Ashe

Casey Blum, 24, is about to embark on her first season as captain of Alabama. She’s the first woman to captain the 90-foot schooner, and the youngest captain to sail Alabama since the ship began its second life on the Vineyard.

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Surveying the Sound
Mark Alan Lovewell

For many fishermen, boaters and sailors, Nantucket Sound is a neighborhood. It is an inland sea with personality where stories abound. The sound ranges in size from 500 to 700 square miles, depending on who is doing the measuring. Nantucket Sound is the water that separates Cape Cod from Nantucket and much of the Vineyard.

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Holmes Hole Races Share the Glory

The fourth of July weekend began and ended with three Holmes Hole SA races that produced five different winners.

Eleven skippers and their crews opted to spend Independence Day on the water in a Thursday evening race that was close with the top five boats finishing all within a minute of each other.

Whit Hanschka’s Sally took first place honors by eight seconds in 34 minutes flat on corrected time on a beautiful evening with 12 boats on the starting line. Mo Flam on Penelope took second followed by Dan Culkin on Magic Time.

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Vineyard Cup, 90th Regatta Set Sail
Nicholas Bradley

Sailors and sailboats of every description will descend on Edgartown and Vineyard Haven this weekend when two big regattas that are mainstay sailing events of summer get under way.

The Edgartown Yacht Club will host its 90th annual regatta, and Sail Martha’s Vineyard will host its annual Vineyard Cup. Both events attract world-class sailors, and the waters from Cow Bay in Edgartown to West Chop in Vineyard Haven will be dotted with colorful sails all weekend.

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History Retold

The other day I was looking at a photo taken from Pam Clark’s old house of Shenandoah, at anchor in back of the Black Dog, and waxing nostalgic. Then today I read about Shenandoah’s namesake, and the original Alabama. I had thought they had been Confederate blockade runners, sort of romantic vessels.

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Taking a Different Tack on Sailing
Mark Alan Lovewell

They are all captains but don’t wear lifejackets. Membership in their yacht club only costs $5 a year. When a severe storm is brewing, they don’t have to worry about moorings, storm surges or high winds. Their boats weather the worst usually on a shelf in the living room.
The dozen members of the Martha’s Vineyard Model Yacht Club are a unique group of mariners. This month they are gearing up for a busy sailing season with frequent racing and gams.

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Sloop It Up

The first exports from New England to Europe were two cargoes of sassafras, gathered by Martin Pring and his company on Martha’s Vineyard and the neighboring islands, and taken by Pring to England in sloop Speedwell and bark Discoverer, two small vessels. They came over in 1603, setting sail from Milford Haven, April 10th. With the sassafras on board they sailed from the Vineyard August 9th and arrived at Bristol, England, Oct. 2, 1603. Sassafras at the time was held in high esteem for its medicinal qualities.

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Warm Nights, Full Sails at Holmes Hole Races

The Holmes Hole Sailing Association continued its Thursday evening series of handicap sailboat racing from Vineyard Haven harbor with a 6 p.m. race on July 26. It was a warm summer evening with a north wind. Eleven boats posted for the start at red nun 6 outside of the Vineyard Haven breakwater for the triangular course

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Entry Deadline for Moffett Race is Friday

The deadline for entry into this year’s 35th annual George Moffett Memorial Race is approaching. Friday, Aug. 31, is the last day for entry forms to be mailed to the Holmes Hole Sailing Association.

While the race is still more than a week away, organizers of the event need to do their handicap work in preparation for the race on Saturday, Sept. 8. Last year there were 40 boats participating in the race.

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A Sense of Contentment, Pride When Mabel Becomes Riverboat

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - The Mabel made it.

They pulled away from the Coastwise Packet Wharf in Vineyard Haven on Friday, June 13, their oars waggling a bit uncertainly in the air and in the water. Seven days later - late on Friday afternoon - they put the bow of their boat on the shore of a cove some 30 miles north of Manhattan and dropped themselves a bit unsteadily onto hard sand shaded by weeping willows at a park on the Hudson River.

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