Jolly Old Saint Nick – the Sailor’s Friend

Every December we’re swamped with images of America’s greatest salesman – Santa Claus – hawking everything from fast food to automobiles. In the deluge of media hype, there are always a few stories reminding us that the idea of “Santa Claus” evolved from St. Nicholas, and one or two of those stories might go so far as to explain the real Nicholas was a kindly bishop of Myra (today known as Demre and located in modern-day Turkey). But how many people know that St. Nicholas is also the patron of sailors and ships, offering safe voyage and protection from storms?
Read More

What is the correct arrangement of flags on the Yacht Club masthead?

A Reader writes:  “I’m so mad I want to quit our club!  Our Commodore insists on flying our country’s flag lower than the club burgee. It looks bad and it’s wrong, but he says the gaff is the “place of honor.”  He says he learned it at “the Academy.” What is the place of honor?  And what “Academy” is he talking about?” The flag display at all maritime locations—naval installations, Coast Guard bases, ports, yacht clubs, and even the United States Naval Academy—all have one thing in common: a gaff extending upwards off the “back” of the flagpole at about
Read More

Ida Lewis Yacht Club

Many clubs have unique stories that explain how they got their names, but none of them is more unique than the story of Ida Lewis Yacht Club. In 1853, Congress authorized the construction of a lighthouse on Lime Rock in Newport Harbor, Rhode Island. Ida’s father, Hosea Lewis, was appointed keeper, but he suffered a stroke four months into his assignment.  To support the family, Hosea’s wife and daughter Ida took over the job. Later, after her mother died, Ida Lewis was officially appointed keeper in her own right, and she held that job from 1879 to 1911. Ida was
Read More