Fall 2016 Articles



OLIVER HAZARD PERRY finally got underway this summer, conducting sold-out coastwise cruises for teens
and showing the flag up and down the New England coast.
Hereís our chat with her captain, David Dawes.


Marlinspike:
Youíre not from around here. How did you find yourself as the captain of this square-rigged ship, the Oliver Hazard Perry?

David Dawes: I arrived in Newport around 21 years ago after sailing across the Atlantic on a 100í yacht, buying a motorcycle in Florida, and riding it up the coast. I went over the Newport Bridge and was wowed by Narragansett Bay, started a family there and Iíve been there now for 21 years.

MS: When did you start sailing?

DD: Honestly? When I was three. My father built a 9í dinghy and my youngest baby photos show me in bib overalls with a dustpan and brush, helping him clean the boat. It was small but very safe. He showed me 1) sailing is a discipline and a science, and 2) sailing is a way to start a journey and to travel.
In terms of science, I dinghy-raced a lot, and ocean-raced a lot, when I was young, doing the Sydney-Hobart, that kind of thing. And in terms of travel, sailing eventually took me to Europe and to America.

MS: Where was that?

DD: In Brisbane, Australia. We did things that were far too optimistic for such a small dinghy, but it was safe, it did have a lot of flotation, and we could row it, it was unsinkable. So we were pretty adventurous. And it opened my eyes...


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The keel of the Matthew Turner was laid nearly three years ago. The bones were blessed last year, and the whisky plank was affixed this June. Slowly, with a crew of shipbuilding volunteers, this wooden brigantine is taking shape in Sausalito, under the direction of Alan Olson, founder of Call of the Sea and its partner organization, Educational Tall Ship.
Now, the vesse
l is less than a year away from becoming a sailing classroom, where youth will learn not only about sailing, navigation and ecology, but about how the Matthew Turner itself has been designed to reduce its impact on the environment.


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