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  • Captain Patrick Adams

Seamanship

Most sailing careers start with a passion for sailing and the sea. I will have to admit that mine didn't. It's not that I was led kicking and screaming to a life at sea. At age 5, I simply did what my parents decided they wanted to do. They wanted to sail around the world.


1958 was a long time ago, but I can still remember the train ride from San Francisco to Miami. My father had bought a schooner in Ft. Lauderdale. Our boating experience up to that time consisted of a speedboat called the Brut, which we dragged to Shasta in the summers to water ski. To say my parents had little experience in sailing would be a gross understatement. They had absolutely none and had never set foot on a sailboat. But my mother was an adventurer and my father loved a challenge.


How we managed to survive our maiden voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco is nothing short of a miracle. This was before the time of GPS or any sort of electronic navigation. No sat phones, cell phones or EPIRBs. We had about the same navigational tools that Captain Cook had 1768 when he first set off for the Pacific, namely a sextant and a chronometer. The main difference was nobody aboard the schooner Fairweather had any idea of how to use them. Unlike Captain Cook though, we did have paper charts, a depth sounder, and a Walker log.



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