Pushing the Limits of the Hudson

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I am writing in hopes of providing you with a personal relationship with the
Racing Sloop Eleanor.  It is sad that nowadays stories and history can be lost as the speed of information
technology and the internet allow time to race by us at a rate never imagined when
the Eleanor was built in 1903.   I thank you for the time you’ll invest in reading my stories
of the boat my grandfather, “Pop” to me, sailed, cared for and loved for 48 years.

                                                                              More memories from R.S.B., Rutland, Vermont to come.

I

As a youngster my first memories of sailing on the Eleanor were nightmarish.  I have to admit that my grandfather’s skill at the helm allowed the family and the rest of the crew to push the limits of the Hudson River between Catskill Creek and the Hudson River Boat Club to the maximum.  Going sailing on the Eleanor when the wind was gusting and the river had whitecaps was not one of my favorite things to do.  I would seek refuge below and listen to the hull pounding against the river.  That seemed safer to me than being in the cockpit seeing the boat heel up as the water rushed on deck and along side the crew.  I was sure we’d capsize.  Time taught me to trust Pop’s hand and the Eleanor.  I learned to embrace the adventure, but as my grandfather sailed into his 90’s he lost his stomach for the extreme sailing experiences.  He sought a calmer, more spiriitual relationship with the boat, the river and the family.

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