A Day of Sailing on Winnebel with Captain Alex

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During a Sunday in August, a few of us Antinanco members decided to go sailing. It was one of those unbearably hot and humid days that are best spent on the water, where it’s always cooler.

We met at the Keyport Yacht Club and boarded a launch boat that took us to Captain Alex’s Winnebel, a 37-foot Irwin Sailboat.

Acquired by an Antinanco family member, Winnebel was refitted to become as self-sufficient as possible. A solar power panel provides efficient power supply for the boat’s ‘ready for off-grid living’ systems.

Winnebel is also utilized by Antinanco as a floating platform for our Charitable Sailing For Kids program, a FREE 3-hour educational sailing adventure. Children can get a feel for what it is like to live off the grid, in a sustainable way. They also learn about the science and power of nature, and how wind and waves work together to propel a sailboat. In addition, our program teaches children to work as a team to deploy and trim sails and steer the boat – better team work yields better results for everyone.

During the season, Winnebel spends her time away from the dock, gently rocking on the mooring of Raritan Bay. Located in historic Keyport, on the southwest shore, the bay offers beautiful views of the New York City skyline and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Viewed from the marina, the sunsets are breathtaking.

Photo credit: Yura – Iurii Khomiakov

My husband Steve does not have sailing experience and is not particularly comfortable on the water, but soon after we boarded Winnebel, Captain Alex was coaching him and another friend, Yuri how to set the sails. The next thing I knew, Steve was having a lot of fun navigating the boat, under Alex’s confident guidance.


Here is a video I took of Captain Alex, Steve and Yura working together to hoist the sails:

We had an enjoyable day on the water thanks to Captain Alex’s expert and friendly guidance. His easy manner on the boat is the result of more than 20 years of boating experience with power and sailing boats ranging from 19 to 56 feet in length. In addition to owning and sailing a vast range of boats, for many years Alex owned and ran a bare-boat charter service out of Liberty State Park in Jersey City. He not only sailed and maintained the boats, but also educated and trained all participants on safety, sustainability and navigation in New York’s busy Harbor.

 This blog post first appeared in a slightly modified format on the Antinanco Earth Arts School blog.


Categories: New York City, Our Times

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