The News-Times/Douglas Healey
Sea Scout Stephen Santa, 15, of Redding, left, and Tom
Morrison Jr., 20, of New Milford, wrap up the main sail on a
boat they have been working on at Captain's Cove Marina in
Imagine the spray in your face as your sailing vessel cuts across
Long Island Sound. Imagine being part of a crew of eight on a
35-foot sloop fast enough to race and big enough to go
For most young men and women who love the sea, such dreams are
too pricey to come true. But for a select group from the
Danbury-Redding area, the waters beckon.
The Sea Scouts, a branch of the Boy Scouts, are recruiting a new
crew to work this summer on a Bridgeport-docked boat known as Not by
"Having control of the boat when it’s sailing along at high
speeds is really the cool part,” said Sea Scout Senior Patrol Leader
Steven Santa, who is 15. "Weekends when everybody’s free we’ll go
out on the Sound, and we’ll be taking a week’s cruise to Block
Island” and other ports.
Steven is a member of the new crew headed by Scout leader Tom
Morrison and sponsored by Kaye Williams, owner of Captain’s Cove
marina in Bridgeport, where Not By Bread Alone is docked. For 12
years, Morrison has led a summer sailing troop, teaching young
people ages 14 to 21 the basics of navigation, sailing safety and
getting along with others.
His original Sea Scout crew has outgrown the program, so he’s
looking for a few good young men and women to form a new crew.
"I lived 10 miles above Niagara Falls as a boy, and boating was
my passion,” Morrison recalled. "I was in the Cub Scouts and the Boy
Scouts and the Sea Scouts as I grew older.”
Morrison will be joined this year by assistant Scout leader John
Jacock of Danbury, whose 12-year-old daughter, Catherine, will be
part of the crew. This will be Catherine’s first year on the water,
and she’s looking forward to it.
This spring she has been helping with the sanding and scraping of
the sloop in preparation for the sailing season ahead. Last week,
all that work paid off when the vessel was launched.
Not By Bread Alone was donated to the Sea Scouts in 1997. Its
first owner raced the vessel and put in state-of-the-art equipment.
Its sister vessel, the Prada, won the prestigious Louis Vuitton Cup.
Last Fourth of July, Morrison and his crew sailed Not By Bread
Alone to New York harbor to take part in OPSail 2000. It was part of
the small boats parade down the East River. Each year, it has made a
weeklong trip to other ports.
"Being a Sea Scout is a great experience,” said Tom Santa,
Steven’s father, who was a Scout when he was a boy. "I remember
trips to the Connecticut River and Block Island. I’d never
heard of Block Island before. It might as well have been a trip to Bora Bora.”
He said the distance from Danbury to Bridgeport shouldn’t stop
those interested in sailing. "I had to travel a distance to get to
where our vessel was docked in Stratford. It was a bit of a haul but
worth it,” Santa said.
An engineer by profession, Morrison enjoys teaching the
mathematics and physics involved with sailing, lessons that crew
members may find more enjoyable than working out a series of
But mostly, the Sea Scouts offers crew members an "adventure with
a safety net,” Morrison explained. "It gives kids adult role models
at a time when they are breaking away from their parents.
"Adolescence is a time of breaking away,” Morrison said, "of
wanting to do things more exciting. And when the wind picks up, it
gets very exciting out there.”
To find out more about the Sea Scouts and becoming a member of
the Redding/Danbury area troop, call Tom Morrison at (203) 938-3754
or (203) 852-5221.