A couple of my sailing friends got together in the past few days in the Florida Keys. Tom, left in the photograph above, sailed his Pathfinder FIRST LIGHT thirty-some miles from his home to get to Marathon Marine. Webb sailed his Moore 24 GANNET 23,339 miles to from San Diego to get to the same place. I am glad that their schedules allowed them to meet, I only wish I could have been there to join them.
I have known Tom for a couple of years through email. We met in person just a couple of weeks ago and had an enjoyable sail on SPARTINA. I also met Webb via email about six or seven years ago, and then in person not too long after.
The Florida Keys, Webb taking a break from his circumnavigation, Tom getting a feel for this balanced lug rig Pathfinder. No doubt there were some interesting conversations to be had.
Tom sent a note about his sail down to Marathon, talking about sailing double-reefed in the pre-dawn darkness, coping with lighter winds, wondering about FIRST LIGHT's ballast. His description of sailing to the ramp in light winds was so enjoyable I will simply reprint it here.
To get to the ramp, I had to tack my way thru the boot key mooring field (take a look on google, it's a large field with about 100 balls), with very light winds 0-5 kts. Here I was a proud sailor, FIRST LIGHT performed admirably, shocking the habitants of the field. She pointed high in these conditions and in the slack areas she ghosted nicely. Each time I thought it was no use and reached for the oars, we would get another puff and managed our way thru. Oh and there was a small current working against us too. I had to utter the words "Welsford Pathfinder" about 30 times as we sailed past some very interesting folks living there. Shouting during serene sailing isn't right.
I told Tom he better get used to uttering "Welsford Pathfinder," he'll be asked about his boat a lot in the years to come.