One might wonder why someone who lives in Brooklyn, New York would want to sail on some obscure lake in Pennsylvania. In fact, I sail plenty from Brooklyn’s Jamaica Bay, Hudson River, and the Long Island Sound—sometimes as crew, sometimes renting—which can get expensive. At the Pocono Boathouse, rentals, storage and repairs cost a fraction of what they would in the city. New York may have more people, but the Poconos have more people with boats.
Hooking up a boat trailer should not be much harder than hooking up a bike rack I thought. Indeed, it wasn’t hard, just very heavy. After a few such hook ups I began to feel like I was getting a hernia—if I didn’t have one already. As usual, Tom came to the rescue. He repaired the lifttongue jack that lowers and raises the front part of the trailer that connects with the car’s hitch, and voila, superhuman strength was no longer needed. Backing up a trailer, on the other hand, takes some time to get used to—I got some scratches on my Subaru to prove it—but no matter how long it took, in the end my boat hit the water. Having your boat with you from the start makes your trip wholesome—the journey begins the moment you turn on the engine.
I decided to make my maiden trailer sailing voyage to Tobyhanna Lake— mostly because of its catchy name. Tobyhanna is a Native American word for “a stream whose banks are fringed with alder.” It sounded more inviting than Lake Gouldsboro, for example, which was second on my list. The third and fourth lakes I plan to visit are Lake Beltzville, and the “jewel of the Poconos” —Lake Wallenpaupack. Most lakes in the Poconos are man-made Atlantises. Created to control flooding and in some cases to generate electricity, they conceal preexisting sites deep underwater. In the case of Tobyhanna, the lake water covers an old artillery range.
The Sunfish is a remarkably stable sailing dinghy, but it’s still a dinghy. When the wind is stronger than 10 knots it begins to heel hard. Until recently I’d avoided strong winds, but one windy day on a tiny lake near my house I decided I needed to try and tame the boat. You can’t call yourself a serious explorer if you’re only exploring in six-knot winds.
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Getting in Touch with Reality
As part of my usual in-depth research for this column I decided to ask Google whether sailing was safe. “In fact, it can be deadly,” came the response, “A study from Rhode Island Hospital concluded sailing is more dangerous, and has a higher fatality rate, than skiing and snowboarding combined with NFL football.”
Five Days in the Turnbull Islands
I rowed out of the marina at Blind River, Ontario, and raised the sail just offComb Point. It had been a ten-hour drive from Wisconsin, followed by the usual scramble to launch and load the boat.
The Worst Sailor Still Alive
Upon retirement I decided to learn how to sail, so I bought a little dinghy and taught myself how to efficiently capsize, founder on rocks, and embarrass myself in front of large groups.
SMALL BOAT CRUISE: Tobyhanna Lake by Sunfish
Tobyhanna is a Native American word for “a stream whose banks are fringed with alder.”
PLAN STUDY: Kombi Sail and Paddle Canoe
The first boat I designed was the Beth Sailing Canoe, which, for better or worse, made me a marked man.
An 1881 Bowdish sailboat, abandoned in a northern Michigan junkyard, is rescued and restored to museum condition by John Parlin, wooden boat surgeon extraordinaire
AUSTRALIA THE HARD WAY
The David Pyle Interview
Amateur Boatbuilding: What if I Make a Mistake?
Everyone makes mistakes. If we try new things we will make mistakes, an essential part of the learning experience. It’s nice to learn from mistakes of others, but we learn more lessons and they stick better when they are our own. The more painful the mistake, the stronger the lesson learned.
Reader Boat: Precision 165
During my three years of ownership, here are just a few things I’ve observed about my P165. Most of these features have contributed to my joy of sailing this little boat.
Are Power Tools Corrupting Us?
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” —First Baron Acton, 1904
Restoring the Future
A Small Town Gets a Makeover
SAVING LITTLE ITALY
THE ICONIC ETHNIC NEIGHBORHOOD HAS OUTLASTED ALL OF BALTIMORE’S OLD-WORLD ENCLAVES. NOW IT FACES ITS GREATEST CHALLENGE IN MORE THAN A CENTURY.
CRACKING THE CODE
Here’s a guide to choosing the right school or camp for your child with learning differences.
“The editor at The Baltimore Guide called and said President Kennedy was coming from Washington to give a speech at the armory,” recalls Tom Scilipoti. “He said he was flying in by helicopter and was going to land at Patterson Park and asked if I’d be interested in shooting it. I said, ‘Hell, yeah.’”
TOM HANKS IS DOGGEDLY HEROIC IN ‘NEWS OF THE WORLD'
Tom Hanks rides a horse and blasts a six-shooter in his new film, “News of the World.” Some of you might be thinking this must be his first cowboy role. To those, we respond: Have you forgotten about Woody so soon?
5 ALARM FIRE
NEW ROB ZOMBIE ALBUM! NEW LIVE ALBUM! NEW DOCUMENTARY! NEW SOLO ALBUM IN THE WORKS! NEW TRACKS WITH ACE FREHLEY, NIKKI SIXX AND TYLA YAWEH! “I’M ALWAYS TRYING TO KEEP AS BUSY WITH MUSIC AS POSSIBLE,” SAYS JOHN 5 — IN THE UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR
TYRANT TOM GOES OUT OF CONTROL!
Staffers quit over movie set rages
LOADS FOR THE 6MM GT
Tom & Hayley: MAN ON A MISSION!
AMID ALL THE TENSION ON THE SET OF MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7, TOM CRUISE HAS BEEN PURSUING HIS COSTAR, HAYLEY ATWELL, TO BE HIS NEXT GIRLFRIEND ... AND IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING!
TOM CRUISE'S BLISTERING BREAKDOWN
Explosive on-set audiotape leaked! Pals fear Scientology will bar him from getting psychological help