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Views from the Porch: Furling the sails - December 2023




A NOTE FROM THE EDITORS


For those of us who share a love of Horseshoe Harbor — and its close community of boaters, barbecuers, and schmoozers — the days between November 1 and May 1 can be a bit challenging.


With the mooring fields barren, the launches idle, and the clubhouse boarded up tight, the Horseshoe heart can feel a bit heavy.

If those emotions ring as true to you as a buoy’s bell, then we invite you to join us for a final glance back at our time together during the last of the 2023 season.


Our hope is that the glow of those memories will help keep you warm in the winter months — comforted, too, by the thought that before long we will be tacking or paddling our way back to the Horseshoe porch.


Jacques (Jack) Steinberg

and

Wendy Popp Simmons

Editors







Views from the Porch


ON THE PORCH WITH...


Jerry Keyes







By JACQUES STEINBERG


As the summer of 2023 turned to fall, Jack Steinberg tossed a blue tablecloth across one of the metal tables on the porch for a lunchtime interview with Jerry Keyes. For decades, Jerry has arguably been as much of a fixture on the Horseshoe porch as the rocking chairs, barbecues, and wall-mounted bottle opener. What follows are excerpts from their conversation.


Jack Steinberg: So where were you born and raised?

Jerry Keyes: White Plains. I lived across the street from White Plains High School. I went to school at Manhattan College. My parents got divorced so I moved with my father to Nyack and he bought a boat. That's when I started sailing, probably in 1968.


Jack: Do you have an early memory of the water, of seeing the water?

Jerry: We used to go vacation on Cape Cod every year. My mother hated boats, so we never had a boat at that time. But we'd rent a boat for the week in Chatham. Usually a Sunfish. It was a lot of fun but we didn't know what the hell we were doing. So my father took some sailing lessons on a 20-foot boat, and that's how we learned.


Jack: Do you remember when you first heard about Horseshoe Harbor?

Jerry: I joined Horseshoe in 1980, I think. In 1978 or 1979, I had decided to buy a boat.


Jack: And was that Grendel?

Jerry: They've all been Grendels. I've had four of them. All of them have been Cape Dorys. They're very well-made boats.


Jack: Where did the name Grendel come from?

Jerry: It's the monster from Beowulf. It's not cute and it's not nautical. I hate cute names on a boat.


Jack: And was that a poem you remembered reading?

Jerry: Yeah, in high school.


Jack: That solves one of the great Horseshoe mysteries, at least for some of us. Now set the scene: What was Horseshoe like in your earliest days here?

Jerry: Totally different. It was't the least bit social. You got off your boat, you went home. Now it's 10 times more social. In fact, I hardly knew anybody there. There were no barbecues. Then the membership started going down.


Jack: What changed?

Jerry: Bob Rivituso was really the guy who saved this club. He came on and then he started the barbecues and the kayak room down below. There's a letter somewhere in the files from Dick Ransom who was the commodore in 1999. The letter went to all the members and it said something like: we found $1,200 in our bank account, we can reopen for the year. They were planning on merging with the Shore Club and we were going to be like the Shore Club's marina. But Larchmont Manor says, ‘Ain't going to happen. We'll lend you money if you need it.’ Then they got the day sailboats and the kayaks, which brought in a lot of new members. It was like 30 new members in one year.


Jack: As you think about Horseshoe today, what's your favorite part of being here?

Jerry: Just the social stuff. All of my best friends are here. I met Pam Michels and Steve Rosenblatt here early on, and they’ve become my closest friends. But everybody here is the same way. It's like when it shuts down in October, you go into withdrawal for a couple of weeks.


Jack: Now to the legendary dessert that you make for at least one barbecue each summer. What do you call it?

Jerry: It's Paula Deen's Chessmen pie. That's what the cookies are. Chessmen cookies. I just saw it somewhere and I made it once. It was the perfect thing for a barbecue.


Jack: And the key ingredients are?

Jerry: Chessmen cookies. Cool Whip. Instant pudding and cream cheese.


Jack: And I know you get an earful from members if you wait too long each season to make it.

Jerry: ‘Where's your pudding?’ One time I actually tried to make it with good pudding. And it was no good. You have to use the cheap stuff. Cool Whip holds it together.


Jack: I know when you're not at Horseshoe you're often traveling. Where are you headed this year?

Jerry: I'm going to London, and then Spain and Portugal for two weeks.


Jack: And do you have a favorite place outside the country?

Jerry: London. I like walking the streets and taking little trips out into the country now and then. And sitting in a park, reading.


Jack: Have you found a spot in London evocative of Horseshoe?

Jerry: It's gotten too crowded in London. I've got to look for someplace new.






Photo Essay by WENDY POPP - SIMMONS



On a mid-October morning, Jerry Keyes could be seen from a path in Manor Park, leaning into the rail of HHYC, a contemplative figure taking in the cove. I observed him as I walked to greet him, settled in his spot that has become familiar and indeed, a sight iconic to many of us when we reflect on our own views of the porch.



Today the reflections and shadows play on the Sound's dappled surface, a misty view, though the shores of Long Island are visible.




As I round the corner Jerry has settled into one of the more satisfying spots on deck, already sipping morning coffee. He recalls some details of his interview with Jack, detailing past and present memories and I listen, panning the camera, taking in his perspectives of the cove all the while.



Friends commune and light on the rattan couch focusing on reviews.


Jerry Keyes at the 2016 Commissioning among his fellow officers.


Jerry Keyes and his remarkable Paella nights!




A recent candid of Jerry as he turned to share his culinary skill at the grill. The sun settles into the rose hues as friends commune.


Photography from the archives of Pam Michels




WIND and WAVES



On October 19 many of our members joined The Herreshoff Museum Lecture Series online.

"Miss Winifred Sutton and the Siren of the Solent: IRYS's WEE WINN Replica"

Presented by Warren Barker


"Miss Winifred Sutton would have every right to be miffed. After all, it was she who took on the fleet of half-raters racing in the Solent in 1892 and proceeded to win 21 out of 22 starts. Yet the yachting fraternity seems far more interested in the instrument of her success, the Herreshoff fin keeler Wee Winn, rather than in her racing achievements. To add to the proverbial insult, there are even those nay-sayers who insist on attributing her wins to her male crew. If there be any historical consolation for Miss Sutton it might lie in the fact that she thrust the name Herreshoff into the Isle of Wight limelight through her ability as a yachtswoman and that beautiful little racer was saved from the burn pile due to her achievements. Inspiring in form and fast in function Wee Winn has influenced the designs of Uffa Fox and inspired the modern reproduction, “Miss Winifred,” that now plies her home waters. With the original restored and at home in Bristol, Rhode Island, it was only a matter of time before Miss Sutton’s seductive racer inspired a second build on Narragansett Bay."


You can watch the video of the painstaking care with which a replica of the vessel was crafted here:


You can see the original vessel in The Herreshoff Museum in Bristol, among many fabulous original designs created by the Herreshoff brothers. The museum includes the studio of the Herreshoff brothers where you will find a vast collection of original half-hulls that describe the artistry and early engineering of their nautical genius.




Seascapes and weather events


Hurricane Lee

September 4, 2023

The HHYC mooring field dances with the whim of the waves. Members gather in the pouring rain to observe with concern about the wave action possibly swamping and sinking the vessels as we wait for Hurricane Lee. At 10:30 a.m. all is fairly well.


By late afternoon, some real rocking and rolling for Allegro, sister vessels, and their neighbor Holme. The little boat has no keel and is soon swamped by relentless wind and waves. What appears to be a stealthy dolphin breaching the surface near the port-side of Allegro, is not a dorsal fin, but a centerboard! Holm has turtled under the weight of the water by late afternoon.



Wave action due south of the mooring field jettisons fountains of water between the coastal rocks. A rare and spectacular sight for these parts and dramatic for our little cove. We empathize with our sister vessels in northern harbors who experience howling conditions regularly. However, these climatic events are becoming more frequent and fierce during each hurricane season




To the right, Manor Beach is under rising waters that devour the beaches and The Point walkway which was visible at 11:30 that morning.



It takes a special weather system to whip up furious foam.





A junior crew member of Holm makes the best of the situation and splashes in the puddles with his yellow wellies. His parents are focused on the distant spot, bobbing to the left of the gazebo. Members try to be encouraging as we all watch and wait for the Sea Tow Team to appear and set her upright. We are told it may not happen until morning.


More than a week would pass before the waters would calm enough to attempt this. In the end, Holm was escorted north to be repaired and restored. She sustained damage to her mast and boom, losing her canvas to ravenous currents. We are happy to understand that we can look forward to seeing Holm and the Daub and Smith family on the water next season!


We would like to acknowledge our stalwart Harbormaster Rob Sangineto and member Mark Bunda who bore the significant challenge of replacing and repairing a few mooring lines that appeared questionable under the stress of the storm, while the boats jostled in the high waves and as the storm progressed. Many thanks.


By September 13, 2023, Hurricane Lee began to move north and concerns for our neighboring harbors in the North East and particularly on Cape Cod were on our minds.


A dense fog appeared one subsequent morning and was a distinct contrast to the wild and wet we had been seeing. As I strolled the path of our cove, a lone figure appeared, as though hovering over the surface of the water and then slowly glided through the mooring field.





As the fog lifted a beautiful collection of Egrets began to take flight from beneath the porches.








October Regatta 2023


Congratulations to the winners of the exciting October Regatta 2023!

Team Gaia; Skipper Carine Verschueren taking first place!







ALL HANDS ON DECK


The Laying UP Dinner



Photograph submitted by Josk Klein


Speaker Richard York

Richard York, an offshore cruiser and racer, will share experiences from his 3 year round the world trip on his J46 sailboat, Aragorn.  During the circumnavigation with his wife Leslie, he sailed over 32,000 miles, crossed three oceans, and sailed in twenty seas.  Their route, as part of the Blue Water Rally 'Round The World Rally, took them from Larchmont to the Caribbean, across the Pacific to Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Egypt, cruising the Mediterranean, to the Canary Islands, transiting the Atlantic to return back to the Caribbean and finally Larchmont.  Richard is a member of Larchmont Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club.  He currently sits on the U.S. Sailing Safety at Sea Committee and is working with US Sailing, the New York Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail club to revise safety procedures and integrate new safety technologies. 



Photograph submitted by Josk Klein

A lovely event, well attended, and by all accounts, thoroughly enjoyed! Photographs submitted by Josk Klein


Photograph submitted by Josk Klein


Fall hiking with members of Women Sail

Photograph submitted by Marcia Jaeger


Members communing for views off of the porch!



Our HHYC community is lovely and some members are truly supportive of each other, fully enjoying each other's company outside of HHYC. Above, members support this newsletter's humble co-editor, Jacque Steinberg as he was interviewing Joseph Berger, longtime Larchmont resident and New York Times reporter, columnist, and editor, about his new biography, Elie Weisel: Confronting the Silence.



Jack Steinberg and Joseph Berger, photograph submitted by Sharon Weinstock




CULINARY CULTURE

A pilot wine-tasting event. Photography submitted by Sharon Weinstock


Below, is another fabulous spread prepared by members for an evening on the porch.


Photography submitted by Sharon Weinstock



Paddling


An extraordinary moment shot during a Sunrise Paddle by member Sharon Weinstock



This photograph was found in our archives and is exquisite, capturing an exceptional moment on the water. We would love to know who this member is!



We would like to acknowledge the generous efforts of Bea Weinberger for volunteering as an escort for the Swim Across America effort. She escorted one of the swimmers across the Sound by paddling just beside him as he swam. Bea was one of the many members of HHYC who contributed to this campaign by supporting the swimmers off of our coast. Since 1987 the charity has hosted swims across our nation that fund cancer research, raising over 100 million dollars to date.




CREATURES AQUATIC



This Giant Blue Heron, a rare visitor to our shores, has been elusive this season but we finally caught up with her yesterday during a morning walk. We were soon joined by a large white Egret which was a pure delight to capture the two together, even if only with a lowly iPhone. Thinking that she had left our cove that week I turned my attention to the greatly neglected Cormorants that seemed to gather over the months on platform #2, off of Manor Beach. It wasn't until I began editing that she was noticed taking a stroll on the walkway in the background.







LABOR DAY WEEKEND 2023



Labor Day Weekend was spent by this editor, working on imagery for the last newsletter of the season. At the top of the list to be covered is the invasive Lantern Fly. August would become known as the summer of the swarm. Although successful at hitchhiking on air currents, they are not particularly aquatic. Small blankets of drowned Lantern Fly floated off the sides of Allegro for as far as the eye could see as we traversed Long Island Sound throughout the summer season.


Above, this spotted Lantern Fly was found on the porch in the dogs' water bowl. A few greeted us as we unfurled our sails. Invasive and a threat to sweet sap trees and vines, we were reminded that it is our civic duty to squash them. I took a very close look at the exquisite beauty of this creature before doing so.


Many members were preoccupied with finding solutions to the encroachment without engaging in practices that would be environmentally destructive. Cornell University Department of Agriculture has a notable site for research and management advice: https://cals.cornell.edu/new-york-state-integrated-pest-management/outreach-education/whats-bugging-you/spotted-lanternfly/spotted-lanternfly-management


Earlier this month The New York Times informed us that the Joro Spider is making its way to New York, and may assist us with decreasing the numbers of the fly. This may offer some comfort for those of us fishing flies out of the bilge, but then again, the spiders too are invasive. https://www.nytimes.com?2023/12/nyregion/joro-spiders-nyc.html.



Skyscapes


Taking to the waters on Long Island Sound for the day is a treat for the senses. Here we enjoy the skyscape as we pan the lens around our boat from morning until evening on August 22, 2023.





A feather cloud, composed entirely of ice crystals, as we look straight up and beyond the tip of the Windex. Wind currents configure the crystals into what we perceive as feathery wisps.




A stunning ember glowing on the horizon is actually the southern gate of the Whitestone Bridge lit by the setting sun to the west.






As the crew was attending the sails upon mooring, member Mark Bunda shot the photograph below, of the same sunset as seen from his boat.


Photograph contributed by Mark Bunda



Atypical Celestial Events

HHYC had exceptional views of several astronomical phenomena in 2023. Below, are a few of the 13 moons that rose throughout the year, two happening in the month of August! Members often gather in the quiet on the porch to appreciate the spectacles.



Only once in a blue moon does one get a decent shot of a Supermoon from Long Island Sound, where wave action is usually not conducive to still photography in the dark. This week's opportunity on August 30, 2023, was a blur, so the above shot is the shared shot by Nasa.


This is the beautiful Super Blue Moon, (photographed by the Space Station).


Why is this event special? The new, full moon phase occurs twice in one month, which is rare. Often, ice crystals in the atmosphere will filter moonlight through their spectrum and the color will appear blue.


The appearance as it passes us in an elliptical orbit makes the moon seem larger and more accessible for observation. Breathtaking!



The Full Harvest Moon veiled in heavy clouds, shot from HHYC beach. Photograph by Wendy Popp- Simmons


A bright exceptional waning Gibbous Moon, Oct. 3. Photograph by Wendy Popp-Simmons




CLUBS and new porch events


Mahjong


Is anyone up for a game of Mahjong on a cool Saturday afternoon?

Member Jennifer Miller teaches members with patience and humor.



Pop-Up Movie Night @ HHYC



Chasing Bubbles

A charismatic 25-year-old from Indiana trades the life of

a young stock trader for that of a derelict sailboat captain. With no prior experience, he and his bearded pals dare to circumnavigate the globe in desperate pursuit of a meaningful life.






























Untold: The Race of the Century

This documentary follows The Australia II yacht crew who dethroned the New York Yacht Club at the 1983 America's Cup, breaking their 132-year winning streak.







Clean up Day


It is always heartening to see how many hands make the work light as members descend onto the porch on Clean Up Day. In a few hours, masts are plucked from their vessels, rigging secured, the decks are cleared, the boats are stacked, and the rockers are tucked into the clubhouse. Brooms sweep and cloths polish. Everything gets a wipe, even the spice and vinegar bottles stowed in the cabinets. Breakfast appears and everyone noshes and chats on this damp day as the bulk of the chores become complete, and then, of course, the wine arrives...wait, what?









The above photographs submitted by Sharon Weinstock



Photograph submitted by member Sharon Weinstock




COLORS


Our December Wish

At this moment when celebration is too often co-mingled with concern — including for people and places far from our beloved porch — we wish you and your families moments of joy, peace, and wonder in these final days of 2023. We look forward to seeing you soon, and to the promise of a new season on and around the waters of the Sound.







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