The Harkness Family at HRMM
Photo Above: The Author's son Joshua at the helm in New Foundland
Article by Jonathan Harkness
I joined the Hudson River Maritime Museum after seeing the focus on women in the Sailing School. My earlier experiences on sailboats were with obnoxious, privileged, and often drunk, white men. I was more into adventure and not drinking on boats and instead ventured off to do other things over the years.
However, I purchased our family’s keel boat in the spring of 2021, in an effort to find a family activity in which we could all participate and hopefully inspire some new adventures and acquisition of additional skills. Your WOW activities were great for Vicki, and the three of us took an adult sailing class together in the summer of 2021, which was a great family bonding and learning experience.
Vicki and I enjoyed attending the Riverport Women’s Sailing Conference remotely in November, 2021. As a matter of fact, our son Joshua’s college, The College of the Atlantic, also joined the conference, and he was able to participate from Maine as well.
Then I attended the Captain’s License course at HRMM in March, 2022.
Later in the spring of 2022, we joined the HRMM remote lecture with Tracy Edwards, and we were able to tour Maiden when the famous vessel came to Kingston in June, we met Tracy Edwards and participated in the Kingston Sailing Club Welcomes Maiden barbecue. These were all amazing experiences.
Since building our skills through The Sailing School at HRMM, Joshua and I crewed on a friend’s 28 foot Bristol Channel Cutter doing coastal cruising from Glovertown, NewFoundland to St. Johns, Newfoundland this summer. Our adventure included one all night sail, at 20 knots of wind, begun at 2 am, to avoid an impending storm. Joshua and I were on watch by ourselves, all night, with just a brief check-in, by the captain.
Since that trip, Joshua and I have been asked to consider being crew members on a trip to Greenland with a friend who has sailed to northern Labrador.
We are so glad that Vicki and I created these opportunities for Joshua who said that he and his girlfriend now have a goal of completing a transatlantic crossing to Scotland and Ireland after college graduation.
The Sailing School at HRMM’s enthusiasm for sailing and focus on inclusivity have thoroughly inspired Vicki, Joshua, and me. Thank you!
By Jonathan Harkness
Photo Above: The author's son Joshua fishing in New Foundland
YouthBoat Returns! Sign up now!
Dates: November 1–January 12 on certain Tuesdays and Thursdays
We are now enrolling for our Fall YouthBoat Program. YouthBoat is an after-school program for students ages 11-18 that is designed to empower youth, build character, and foster teamwork through the traditional craft of wooden boatbuilding and on-the-water activities. Students from diverse backgrounds put STEM skills to work as they learn alongside skilled shipwrights and craftspeople throughout the boat building process. Students will start the course by building basic skills as they craft their own kayak paddle. Participants will cut, shape, and finish their piece with varnish. Following this introductory project they begin working collectively to construct a fully functional wooden skiff boat.
Dates: November 1–January 12 on certain Tuesdays and Thursdays
Reposted from August 23rd, 2022.
Thanks to community partnerships, a wonderful event unfolded at the Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM) in Kingston, New York and on the Hudson River on Saturday, August 13, 2022.
Fourteen middle school age girls from underserved communities that usually do not have access to waterfront activities and sailing, along with eight adult women mentors, spent a day at the Rondout Creek waterfront and sailing on the Hudson River as part of the National AdventureSail Program, organized by the National Women’s Sailing Association.
Participants experienced the world of sailing for the first time: the beauty of the Hudson River, the tranquility and peace of sailing, the focus and skill required by sailing well, the ability to stay calm despite challenges, the teamwork required and the connections built as part of a crew.
Girls and mentors met their skippers and crew members, everyone suited up with life jackets, boarded their boats, and eight sailboats headed out the Rondout Creek to the Hudson River. The day was spectacularly beautiful with fluffy clouds, sun and blue skies, warm temperatures that were not too hot, and a brisk 12-15 knot breeze over sparkling water.
Many of the boats opted to sail under mainsail alone (in contrast to the usual jib and mainsail configuration) to ensure the new sailors were comfortable. Everyone enjoyed a beautiful sail on the River, South of the Kingston/Rhinecliff Bridge and North of the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse, until 1:00 pm, when they returned to the dock at HRMM.
It took a village to create this memorable event: The National Women’s Sailing Association provided guidance and information as well as donating backpacks for the girls. Kati Haynes of HAYNES MARKETING + MEDIA documented the day with her beautiful photographs.
MentorMe of Ulster County identified interested girls and mentors, explained to parents (many of whom do not speak English) what the day would entail, got permission from parents and transported the girls to the waterfront.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum provided the venue, and The Sailing School at the HRMM provided three sailboats along with skilled, certified sailing instructors who volunteered as skippers, and Kingston Sailing Club members provided five sailboats with volunteer skilled skippers and crew. Kingston Sailing Club members also donated breakfast foods, water bottles for each girl, and an ice cream cake, the Bruderhof Community donated lunch for everyone, Mother Earth Storehouse donated snacks for the girls, Adams Fairacre Farms donated a beautiful fruit tray for breakfast, and the National Women’s Sailing Association provided string backpacks for all the girls.
Staff and volunteers of the Hudson River Maritime Museum's Wooden Boat School and Sailing & Rowing School.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
Become a member and receive benefits like unlimited free museum admission, discounts on classes, programs, and in the museum store, plus invitations to members-only events.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.