May 17, 2020
Needless to say, this was an odd start to the sailing season.
New York is still not yet "open" due to the Coronavirus, but the marinas are open and the experts have said that UV rays and fresh air are good combatants against the spread of Covid-19*.
The nice thing about our vessel Gitana is that she has plenty of room to socially distance.
We keep our sails to a minimum crew, and we have plenty of distance between each other. 'Tis not only prudent to be good stewards of the sea, but also of other's health as well.
This year, we welcome back two of our original syndicate members: Benjamin and Amy Rand. Ben was part of the OGC (Original Gitana Crew) who brought Gitana down to her new home of NYC from Maine in 2015.
It's great to have them back onboard.
Gitana celebrates her 84th birthday this year and she sails just as good as the day she was built! (Who's around to dispute that?)
Earlier this week we removed the winter covers, hanked on the sails, and fired up the engine on our beloved vessel Gitana.
On Saturday, May 16th, we had our inaugural sail of the season: aka the "shakedown sail". Everything, for the most part, shook down just fine. As to be expected, there were a few minor hiccups along the way: the impeller needed to be replaced but fortunately Florian was on it right away and Ben had the necessary tools at his disposal.
* "Science suggests that being outside in sunlight, with good ventilation, are both highly protective against transmission of the virus."
Alan Penn, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage)
We were able to perform a "COB" (crew overboard) maneuver and rescue some debris from the Long Island sound. We just hate seeing litter in the water, so we jump on any opportunity to help keep the waterways clean.
The conditions were wonderful. The sun was out and temps in the 70's. We had just enough wind to keep the boat constantly moving forward.
Underway, our engine alarm sounded so we hoisted our sails and sailed on whilst assessing the alert. (Once again, I feel sorry for power boaters -- without their engine, they're left S.O.L. [nautical term]).
No engine was needed at all as we tacked our way on our course out past David's Island.
Because Glen Island itself has been converted to a Covid testing location, the drawbridge was operating via signal only during specific hours. Thus on our return home, we took the southern entrance back to our slip. We only use the southern entrance at or near high tide, as it's a very shallow passage.
Upon return, our trusty Yanmar diesel engine seemed to work just fine. No alarm, no overheating. We'll have to monitor the engine more but seeing as how we had just replaced the impeller and this was her first true outing since last year, it could have been related to something there.
Overall, it was a perfect day. We hope to have many more just like this in the not-too-distant future.
Stay safe and sail-on friends!
USCG Master Captain
50 GT / + Aux Sail Endorsement
July 6, 2019
1936 ALDEN YAWL
Gitana is the flagship vessel of HBYC. Built in 1936 for Richard Danforth, designed by John G. Alden.
Even though she's 84 years old this year, she's still our baby.
We've spent a good amount of time over the past few years getting her seaworthy to be enjoyed by family, friends, and sailors.
A very special thanks to all who help to keep her afloat - and a special nod to Captain Florian who has put in countless hours of time and elbow grease keeping her beautiful!
Here you'll find photos of her passengers and crew along with stories of our trips sailing aboard this classic beauty.
September 2018 - Gitana flew her Jolly Roger off of her starboard side spreaders as the Flagship for the annual Honey Badger Yacht Club Pirate Sail. She's always a fun site at the Pirate Sail as she's on of the most Salty Boats on the sea!
8/25/18 - Photos by Todd Neville