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.
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.
Boating in Boston drops anchor at seven area locations?including local lakes, ponds, and Boston Harbor?helping visitors to undertake watery adventures with a fleet of more than 200 canoes, kayaks, sailboats, pedal boats, and paddleboards. Whether navigating the gentle eddies of Stoneham's Spot Pond or searching for the feral water-polo team rumored to inhabit Wakefield's Lake Quannapowitt, visitors can hit the water untrained or gain new proficiency with solo or group lessons. The crew of instructors also instills a love of boating in the littlest buccaneers with youth summer camps that teach basic skills and safety.
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 Ballantyne's passion for windsurfing started in an unexpected place—on Austria's snow-dusted mountain peaks. After growing up in Westfield, Jim left for Europe to pursue a skiing career and subsequently spent his summer days windsurfing on Lake Garda in Italy. Realizing he had more passion for being on the water than on the mountains, he became a windsurfing instructor, surgically implanted a fin on his dorsal side, and moved back to the United States.
Today, Jim and his wife, Pam, continue to organize windsurfing lessons, as well as standup-paddleboard lessons. For experienced riders, they rent gear and a maintain a stock of new and used equipment, which expands to further action sports such as biking and snowboarding.