What a marvelous subject, and the raising of a class to all of these phenominal ladies of the seas.
Many of us have our own lady hero, though unsung, and not worldly known, they are admired and loved by us, and those who know them.
32 years ago, I met Erica, she was one of my sailing and navigation
students and a member
of the Newport
Sailing Club. she owned a new Pacific Sea Craft Crealock
37, that she had in charter
with the sailing club. She also sailed our fleet of boats on up to the Morgan
She fell in love with sailing and dedicated herself to everything about sailing and took all of of our 42 hours of sailing lessons
, plus coastal piloting and navigation
, Marine weather
, Signal Lights and Day Shapes, Celestial Navigation
, the North U Fast Course for racing
sail trim. She was skipper
on our sailing club flotilas, and on many Catalina
and Channel Islands and Coastal Sailing Cruises.
She skippered a 42 foot sailing vessel in the BVI
, and I was on a 32 foot beneateau . Both of our first times sailing internationally. Our relation began grow at that time, and we have been together for 32 years.
We have delivered boats from Cabo, Mexico
to Los Angeles Harbor, and she can be counted on in all conditions, good and bad. We weathered near hurricane
force winds in St. Barts, Sailed in zero visibiltiy fog
that overtook us mid channel returning on one of the older sailing club boats to newport to catalina
. No loran
, no knot
meter, no depth sounder
and a compass
that had a varying deviation of 40 to 60 degrees. We normally would have used the depth sounder
when intercepting the 100 foot sounding along the Newport coast, to the Newport Channel Sea Buoy. Not posssible.
We used my hand bearing compass, and estimated our speed, and listened to the temp reports on the VHF
. It was warm on shore and the fog
burned off at the channel entrance. After 26 miles, we were only about a 1/4 mile from the sea buoy when the fog lifted.
She sailed a lot on her own, and when Phalarope had an engine
problem, she was already skilled in docking
the sailing club boats under sail, taking pride in not using the engine
under sail was not a big deal.
Together we have also sailed ( bareboated ) The Whitsunday Is, off Queensland Australia
, the Kingdom of Tonga
and four different Tahiti
The tip of Baha to L.A delivery
, plus the Abacos, Bahamas
; fourteen BVI
sailing vacations; the French West Indies; the Windwards and Grenadines, and a motor
vessel, two different two week trips up the Shannon River in Ireland
, from portumna to carrick on shannon and beyond. Also, we acted as crew sailing the Greek Islands
. On all of these sailing Erica, stood helm
watches, anchored, moored, docked, trimmed sails
, reefed, navigated, and could be counted on in all different weather
and sea conditions.
My marvelous lady , and I share other adventures, she is a licensed pilot and aerobatic pilot, sky diver, SCUBA
diver up thru Rescue
Diver, Snow Skier, long trek hiker, kayaker, snorkeler, and loves nature and good times.
We share or shared all of these things, with the exception of her sky diving
I was a professional pilot, flight instructor,, charter
pilot, corporate pilot, and have 17 years as instructor pilot for air combat usa
, flying fighters in 5 ad 6 G dogfights. Always wore a chute for those 2500 missions, but never had to bail out.
This lady is my personal hero, and also my personal M.D. Wonderful life of 32 years together, and still going strong. Dont know what I would do without her. Lots of love and pride for this lady.
Hope this post is not out of line, but just wanted to share a lady hero tale of a personal aspect.
Denny and Erica.