A new crew needed
Sea Scouts offer youths a summer of sailing
By Susan Tuz

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 Bridgeport.
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 Bridgeport.

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 island-hopping.

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 Bread Alone.

"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 equations.

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.



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