An Orana Catamaran and fleet of Beneteau sailboats bear the Rob Swain Sailing School and Charters insignia, indicating their status as floating classrooms for the school's pupils. The accredited outfit maintains facilities in Rhode Island and the British Virgin Islands, where it boasts access to steady trade winds and plenty of sunshine. Sailors-in-training can start with the basic keelboat course, learning basic sailing techniques and terminology such as "starboard" and "water" before advancing to courses on coastal navigation, bareboating, and performance racing.
As the sun begins to dip below the skyline, the Providence River’s surface flares up, tinged with its flickering glow. In the hazy sunset light, a gondola emerges cutting through the still water’s surface, though it’s just as easy to hear as it is to see; as it glides down the river, the boat wafts strains of song from its live accordion accompanist. Led by owner Marcello, La Gondola’s group of gondoliers row with the mission to only furnish passengers with romantic sojourns and to celebrate the riverfront and the city’s Italian ties. Each of his Venice-built gondolas gleams with intricately wrought ornaments and solid brass trim, and at 36 feet, they comfortably hold a gondolier, guests, an accompanying musician, and the occasional hitchhiking tugboat captain. Each gondola trip his company takes gets Marcello’s custom touch, as he tailors every trip to passengers’ desires. “No matter who you are,” he says, “we strive to make you feel like the queen and king of the river.” In agreement with many other residents, Marcello considers Waterplace Park a city hub: “If the park is the heart of the city, the river is the lifeblood,” He says. He hopes the rebirth of the local riverfront parallels a local renaissance for gondoliering as well, which inspired him to plan the inaugural Gondolympics in May.
Save The Bay has held to its mission since its founding in 1970: to protect, restore, and improve the Narragansett Bay region and its coastal waters through environmental action and stewardship. Save The Bay also defends the right of the public to use the Bay, encouraging visitors to act as responsible stewards of the Bay's bounty for future generations.
Today, Save The Bay's staff and volunteers continue their work from their Bay Center that serves as the heart of operations. Its stormwater-management system contains a vegetated roof, a coastal-buffer zone, swales, and basins that can absorb and filter rainwater. Made from recycled steel and metal, the center's interior hosts an array of educational programs for adults and kids. Save The Bay also maintains an Exploration Center and Aquarium, camps, and marine-life tours aboard its 45-foot US Coast Guard?certified vessel Alletta Morris, the 27-foot vessel Swift, or the 46-foot Elizabeth Morris.
The sight of an 80-foot pilot schooner sailing as it nimbly navigated the water of Newport Harbor was a much more common sight in the 19th century than today. Sail Newport celebrates the majestic spirit of this bygone era by welcoming passengers aboard the Adirondack II, a wooden-hulled, turn-of-the-century-style schooner that wouldn't look out of place 100 years ago?even though it was built in 1999.
The original pilot schooners were built for speed, and the creators of the Adirondack II honored this legacy while still implementing a number of modern touches?including rigging held in place with kevlar shrouds?to better create a swift, safe, and comfortable ship. On days with high winds or an above-average number of people sneezing, the Adirondack II can reach speeds of up to 10 knots as its sails catch the breeze.
For each voyage, as many as 57 passengers can explore the vessel's mahogany-trimmed teak decks as it sets out into the harbor. Cruises can provide guests with stunning views of sights such as Newport's waterside mansions, numerous lighthouses, and a 19th-century fort.
Jim Scoggins first felt the rocking of a ship's deck in the 1950s on the rolling waters of Lake Champlain. Though he traveled south and found himself in healthcare administration for the next few decades, he never lost the passion for sailing—and eventually returned to New England to conquer more waves in the 1980s. With Sail the Sounds LLC established at three local ports, Captain Jim now uses his original sailing craft, an O'Day 39, as part of his training and charter fleet. He and his wife, Teresa, helm an ASA-certified training center, charter service, and cruising club to set guests out on the sparkling waters of Mystic River and Mystic Harbor. Captains pilot three Hunter yachts for chartered trips, as well as six Hunter 240 sailboats for captain rentals, sailing-club events, and classes teaching technique for keelboats, coastal navigation, and safely chartering parties of water-fearing cats.
Cape Cod Bay stretches out in all directions, its waters glittering under an azure sky. Here, razor bills, petrals, and shearwater circle over the cresting waves. Occasionally, a massive black flank breaks the surface, and a whale sprays a fountain of blow toward the sun. Such is the typical scene enjoyed by the passengers, U.S. Coast Guard?licensed captain, and crew aboard a Capt. John Boats tour.
Following more than six decades of tradition, the company's boats embark on whale-watching tours of Cape Cod Bay and Stellwagen Bank, passing landmarks such as Gurnet Light and Clark's Island on their quest to find local sea birds and marine life. All the while, on-board naturalists educate passengers about the local ecosystem. But Capt. John Boats' excursions aren't limited to observation?the boats also depart for private and group fishing trips ranging from just a few hours to multiple days. By dropping anchor or drifting with the tide, the captain teaches groups to ply the waters of local fishing grounds for seasonal catches.