Friday, April 24, 2020

Where the heck is my J/99?

J/99 arriving Bristol, RI
(Stonington, CT)- Rod Johnstone's trials & tribulations in the past few weeks dealing with the new reality of home sheltering and restricted travel is compounded by trying to figure out how to commission and get his new J/99! Like many of us, dreaming of how to go sailing! Here is Rod's ruminations:

"So..... Lucia and I are riding out this storm here at anchor at our house in Stonington. We are both well. We plan to go sailing as soon as it gets warmer. I am sitting here in my office doing what I know best........ designing the next great sailboat!

Our new J/99 “Jazz” is being bottom painted now and will be ready to launch soon. The challenge will be how to get to the boat to go sailing. As of now, I might need to borrow a family car with Rhode Island plates, so I do not get stopped by the RI State Police at the border. We intend to go sailing soon.

J/99 sailing with Rod Johnstone family
Last summer sailing the J/99 AGENT 99- Rod with sons Jeff and Al (left to right)

Sailing is the best example of social distancing; our own household having been in quarantine together for over a month already. it is easier to do that on a boat like the J/99 for the two of us.

So, why does the Governor of RI now prevent boaters from other States, who can easily self-quarantine on their own boats flying the “Q” flag? A visitor by boat should be able to follow the same rules and enjoy the Rod & Lucia Johnstonesame rights as Rhode Island residents while in Rhode Island. Right now, they have got the RI police patrolling marinas to get rid of the likes of CT'ers, like me. Seems like RI needs higher intelligence to find a more effective approach to the crisis!

Hard to be positive about this, but it makes sailing all the more desirable as an escape from the overreach of authority; something safe to be enjoyed with others from the same household, or at a safe distance. Most of us don’t need to be treated like idiots.

Lucia and I plan to go cruising on our J/99 every chance we get and will try to overcome any obstacles placed in our way while we are medically protecting ourselves and others in our vicinity. I would urge other sailors to do the same.

Rodney's dingy
I have my home-built, balanced lug rig, daysailer in front of the garage, ready to go! Easy to launch anywhere, single-hand or double-handed.

Love to all and stay safe!
Rod & Lucia