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as and gathered my luggage. My soon-to-be shipmate, Tom, had flown in from New Jersey and arrived at the same time. We jumped into a van and were on our way. Clouds dotted the blue sky and the winds were brisk. I looked down onto the sea from the mountain roads with that same excitement I remember feeling for the first time sailing with my grandfather. I was eager to get on board and begin my adventure. Our driver dropped us off at Molly Malone’s, a spot popular with the boaters in the town of Red Hook. Neither Tom nor I wanted to waste a single minute. We grabbed our bags and made a beeline to the outdoor patio where our captain, Paul Exner, was sitting at a table waiting for us. He was surrounded by a trio of hungry iguanas, each the size of a small dog. As soon as he saw us approaching, he jumped to his feet, walked toward us, and greeted us with a big smile and an outstretched hand to welcome us to his Caribbean playground. We sat down with our Captain and he shared with us a potential change in plans. Our original itinerary had us sailing the Sombrero Passage from the Virgin Islands to

Anguilla, but a tropical wave moving into the area created tough sailing conditions that forced a change in our journey. The Virgin Islands had been experiencing unusually strong winds for this time of year, good news for any sailor. But with a storm, the winds were too strong. At this point, it was almost 3 in the afternoon. Paul was eager to get us on board his sailing vessel, The Solstice. After the introductions and a walkthrough of the expedition, we boarded the dinghy at the Molly Malone’s dock and made our way through a field of sailing yachts anchored in the bay finally reaching Paul’s boat, the sailing vessel (s/v) Solstice. His boat stood out among the more than one hundred yachts around us. The Solstice was a handsome, sturdy vessel that had been built by our captain’s own hands. The woodwork was rich; the rigging and hardware, heavy and shiny; the portholes framed and anchored buy bronze. The hull in some places was layered more than an inch thick. This boat was built to handle almost anything an angry sea and heavy winds could offer. We quickly stowed our gear below, hoisted the dinghy out of the water, secured it to the deck, and readied the FEB/MAR 2016 29

ÉCLAT INTERNATIONAL - Feb/Mar 2016 Issue  

The Broad Museum in Los Angeles Art Basel Miami Beach Sailing in the Caribbean

ÉCLAT INTERNATIONAL - Feb/Mar 2016 Issue  

The Broad Museum in Los Angeles Art Basel Miami Beach Sailing in the Caribbean

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