It was a windy day when we entered Liberty Landing Marina, we were glad to be in and tied up at the dock. That afternoon we watched a sailboat motor in and do some fancy maneuvering into the dock next door. They looked like they were ready to be in safe harbor also, but first the crew of eight set about getting the boat “ship-shape”, sails dried and folded, gear washed and stored. Just by the way they moved we could tell that they were not your typical weekend sailors. Everything seemed very regimental and orderly. Foul weather gear was washed and hung to dry and they were all the same brand and colors.
Our new neighbors were military. Turns out British military and the sailboat they were on, St. Barbara V, is the flagship of the Royal Artillery Yacht Club. Currently on what they called the Atlantic Ubique. Latin for there and back again. I also learned that they had lost their head stay during the night run up the coast of New Jersey. That’s one of the cables that helps keep the mast in place. As one of the crew said ” We were carrying more head sail than we should have.” Very British in the understatement. We had just ducked into Statton Island getting away from 4-5 foot waves and winds over 30 and gusting.
I asked about the emblem on the flag and was educated about the “Scottish Gunners”and how Royal Artillery Yacht Club makes vessels like St. Barbara V available for servicemen that would like to learn more about sailing and puts them with experienced sailors and a rookie crew for 2-3 weeks at a time. Part of what is called by RAYC the Atlantic Ubique. In honor of the regiments 300th anniversary. Left England in September of 2015 and is scheduled to return in August of 2016. This crew had brought the boat from the Norfolk, VA area up the coast to New York City. Now it was time to get St. Barbara V back in shape and shape and exchange crews.
We couldn’t help but notice that one of the crew had a pretty bad cough. Cynthia went after him with cough drops, cough syrup, Tylenol, and any other over the counter remedies that we had on board. He was very grateful and so were the others. His coughing not only kept him awake but the rest of the crew on board.
Soon the crew were catching flights back to England and it left just a few on board until the new crew arrived. Cynthia had been baking and I brought over muffins for those still on board. It was good to have them as neighbors and we enjoyed the company of the fellows.
As they were leaving the “spare Left-tenant” , second lieutenant, came over and asked if we might have room for some extra “crockery”, and gave us these beautiful bone china coffee mugs. We were blown away by the generosity.
You can find out more about the Royal Artillery Yacht Club and the Atlantic Ubique on their website www.rayc.org.uk or ATLANTIC UBIQUE on Facebook. (It’s Latin)
It’s the people who have made this the adventure of a lifetime.