Captain Ed's Sailing 

Annisquam Light
Halibut Point 

Issue: #102

February 22 2016

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               Captain Ed's Sailing

  I called Guy Mannerino the other day to talk about the oil tank boats, and apparently he said which make sense, that they were not built as boats but as burn barrels. Tewksbury did not have trash pickup for the longest time so we burned our trash. On my street each family had a fifty five gallon mettle drum to burn trash, which in my house was my job, when the barrel got full I got to play with fire.
 Up in the Brown Street area of the Shawsheen River some people were cutting oil tanks in half and using them for burn barrels. The river would flood the yards on Brown Street each spring and their barrels would float down the river. Don't you remember how dirty they were Guy said, they were just shards of rusted steel and him and I put the seats in them to making them into boats.
 Both of us loved boats and played on the river everyday floating something and always fishing. 
 I spent my summers at the Camp Wa-Tut-Ca Boy Scout reservation because I loved the woods and they had real boats that  could use.
  My love of sail started when a couple of other guys and myself "borrowed a sail boat" in order to get to the other end of the lake to buy some Playboy magazines and beer.  We hit a storm on the way back to camp which took all four of us riding the gunwale to keep the boat from tipping, eventually coming up to the dock where the camp director was waiting for us.
 The following years as I left high school, the first thing that I bought was a canoe, then a kayak, I got into white water canoeing with friends and did that for quite a few years. That was a very cold sport since it meant paddling rivers while ice was sometimes still floating on them.
 For the summer of 1979 my brother Matt and I bought a 22ft O'Day Sail Boat on a spur. My dad kind of had an idea that we were clueless so he bought me a weeks worth of sailing lessons at The Boston Harbor Sailing Center, where I was taught the basics of sailing and navigation. 
  We found that access to Newburyport and the Merrimack river was much easier than dealing with Boston so we decided to launch the still nameless boat there in 1980. 
 I bought Matt out of the 22ft O'Day in 1981 and named her The Sarah Maria, after my two grandmothers Sarah Faga, and Maria Casazza, as tribute to their sense of adventure, past on to me through them. 
 Still clueless as to the ins and outs of tides and navigating during the fog that would sometimes roll, in we made our way. 
  As time past we met other people that were just starting out and we would sail our boats together, eventually someone would check out the Isle of Shoals, and it would become a destination, then in later years finding that we could sail in to Portsmouth, the coast of Maine as well as the favorite of mine Rockport, Ma. 
 My family started to grow and I made my way up to bigger boats and eventually a 31ft Southern Cross, again named the Sarah Maria. My wife Karen at the time seems to know how to put things in order, and I came home from work one day to her talking to Rick Kilborn at Boat Wise. She hung up and mentioned that she just signed me up for classes in order to get my Captains License.
 I got my license and right away I got a job teaching Basic Navigation at the Boston Harbor Sailing Club ( not the sailing Center next door) in 2002. 
 I retired in 2005 and decided to bring what I was doing in Boston up to Newburyport.
 My intent was to make learning to sail a non event and give people the benefit of my years of experience to learn in a relaxed manner so they would be valuable crew members, and if they decided to buy a boat they would have the destinations of Rockport or the Isle of Shoals already under their belts, taking years off of their learning experience, and be able to start cruising right away.
  If you have the inclination towards boating especially sailing this is a great time to start thinking about taking a sailing lesson with Captain Ed's Sailing whether as a Family Hands On Sailing Adventure or as a group lesson let me share my passion for sailing with you.
Count down to Spring
  The next great reason to get up and out of the house would be the Merrimack River Eagle Festival which will be held a little later this year, on Saturday, March 5, 2016.( In the past snow storms certainly interfered with this event). Make sure to dress warm as it can still be pretty chilly here in Newburyport. you can check out their web site at
Shortly after the Eagle festival spring will be upon us! Boats will need to be uncovered, painted, prepped and  launched! Then we can really get excited about summer, which is as you can see not far away!
 Thanks again for a great 2015 sailing season.
Captain Ed

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Fair Winds,
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Captain Ed

Captain Ed's Sailing has been doing charters out of Newburyport  Massachusetts since 2005. Well over 200 people have gone through either a Basic Sailing , a navigation class, or a family hands on sailing charter. We offer hands on sailing instruction in a very relaxed easy to understand manner.


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Edward Casazza
Captain Ed's Sailing