A very old solar powered transport technology is drawing new interest in this day of 125 dollar a barrel oil. Sail power, used commercially for thousands of years is alive and well and will be on display at the Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association's brand new facility on June 21 and 22 next to the Sodus Bay Yacht Club. Both modern small sailing craft used to teach kids how to sail and classic “old school” sail in the form of the schooner Lotus, will be on display. Several other privately owned classic wooden yachts have also been invited to attend and will be on hand, weather allowing. Sara B our little Tancooker hopes to attend and since she resides only 12 miles away it seems like a reasonable goal to have her there!
The Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association has been keeping the skills of sailing and seamanship alive through their learn to sail programs since 1956. They run classes for kids during the summer and the general public is welcome to participate. Aside from sailing's light carbon “foot print”, the skills of piloting one's own vessel can serve youngsters well in other areas of life. The independence, self reliance and pride of accomplishment associated with sailing continue to draw young and old alike to the quiet pastime.
The Sea Scout training vessel Lotus, operated by the Otetiana Council of the Sea Scouts and sponsored by the Webster Kiwanis Club and the United Methodist Church of Webster is expected to be available for tours and inspection. The 90 year old schooner has been a member of Sodus Bay's yachting fleet for many years. She once sailed as a private yacht owned by a Newark family and is named for the exotic white flowers that made the bay famous in the early 1900's. She has been taking youngsters on cruises around the lake for many years as a Sea Scout training vessel. Her current skipper is Bob Ellis of Webster. Lotus is 60 feet long and has been designated a “historic vessel” under the national registry of historic sites.
Here's Lotus in action a couple years ago
Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association runs a variety of classes for kids from age 8 up as do a number of local yacht clubs and organizations in Fair Haven and Rochester and the Oswego Maritime Foundation which has classes for kids and adults. These programs typically teach both sailing and water safety using Red Cross programming. They are an excellent way to start a youngster on a lifelong hobby.