Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE - Daniel Hard­ing Jr. dhard­ing@aim­me­dia.com

The PMY team casts off for Cum­ber­land Is­land on a mem­o­rable cruise, tak­ing chal­lenges (and each other) in stride.

Rain pelted the wind­shield; the air was heavy and damp. It was a lousy day for cruis­ing, but you wouldn’t know it by look­ing at the man be­side me at the helm. Hum­ming one of his leg­endary happy tunes, his shoe­less, wool-socked feet were kicked up on each side of the wheel. I couldn’t help but re­call the last time Capt. Bill Pike and I had spent long hours sit­ting side by side. It was a sim­i­larly rainy day driv­ing from Con­necti­cut to Maine to in­spect the Ber­tram 35. As we drove along the coast, Bill con­fessed that he was at a cross­roads: He was weigh­ing the de­ci­sion to pur­chase a 1988 Cape Dory 28 Fly­bridge. As Bill de­bated the pros and cons, our con­ver­sa­tion weaved like an old Maine high­way.

“Bill, this might be the most ex­pen­sive car ride you’ve ever taken,” I joked as I helped him con­vince him­self that he would re­gret not get­ting back into boat own­er­ship. (Ed­i­tor’s note to Bill’s wife, BJ: I apol­o­gize. Again.) As you al­ready know, he would go on to buy the boat, ship her to Florida and chris­ten her the Betty Jane II. Like you, I’ve been fol­low­ing Bill’s two-year re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the

Betty Jane II with in­tense in­ter­est. I’ve en­joyed our reg­u­lar Mon­day morn­ing calls. The goal of the calls is to or­ga­nize our work for the week, but in­evitably Bill de­briefs me about his var­i­ous ad­ven­tures with the boat—and just as of­ten, mis­ad­ven­tures. His ded­i­ca­tion to his lit­tle cruiser is some­thing we can all learn a thing or two from.

As much as I en­joyed hear­ing about and learn­ing from his projects, I’m look­ing for­ward to the day I get a spotty call from him from some re­mote an­chor­age or out is­land. Our most re­cent ad­ven­ture— a four-day cruise from Jacksonville to Cum­ber­land Is­land, Ge­or­gia, to test gear and elec­tron­ics—was a step in that di­rec­tion.

Our time cruis­ing aboard the Betty Jane II was ac­tion-packed. While trav­el­ing north we were joined by Digital Di­rec­tor John Turner and Man­ag­ing Ed­i­tor Si­mon Mur­ray. To­gether we tested and con­ducted video re­views of a PFD (see “Float On” on page 28), a new Garmin chart­plot­ter, Sir­iusXM’s Ma­rine Weather ser­vice (see “Sir­ius-ly Cool” on page 26) and other gear for fu­ture is- sues. We also tested each other. We’re a close team and we get along well, but boats have a funny way of shrink­ing as days go on and the hu­mid­ity rises. I’d be ly­ing if I said we didn’t test each other’s pa­tience at some point.

It’s a funny thing but I be­lieve it’s the chal­lenges we encounter dur­ing a cruise that make them more mem­o­rable. You don’t of­ten re­mem­ber the time you slept in an air-con­di­tioned mas­ter state­room, but trust me, you—and your back—will cer­tainly re­mem­ber cramming into a 3-foot by 5-foot salon bench for a few nights, which is what I had to do in the mod­est cabin. It’s the chal­lenges we faced that made the last part of our trip, a hike through Cum­ber­land Is­land (see Si­mon’s story, “The Is­land that Time For­got” on page 54) that much more spe­cial. Stand­ing be­side the rub­ble of a man­sion from the Gilded Age as wild horses ran across a field was the mo­ment I knew our short ad­ven­ture was worth it.

Along the way we ate at some in­cred­i­ble restau­rants that we’d travel hours to re­turn to, and oth­ers we wouldn’t visit again if you paid us. We ar­gued. Laughed. Ar­gued. Caught up on each other’s lives in the kind of way you can only do on the wa­ter. We en­joyed the sim­ple joy of watch­ing dol­phins play in our wake and brought the Betty Jane II and our­selves back to the slip no worse for wear. We met loyal Power & Mo­to­ry­acht read­ers at var­i­ous stops and, hope­fully, gained a few too. I hope you’ll all join me in keep­ing an eye out for a Cape Dory 28 with a flag-blue hull. You can’t miss Capt. Bill. He’ll be the one hum­ming. Be sure to stop him, say hello, and if you’re lucky, he may even of­fer a tale or two.

Our short cruise on a be­nign stretch of wa­ter re­minded me that you don’t need to go on a par­tic­u­larly long trip to have an ad­ven­ture. All you re­ally need is a good boat, a will­ing crew and a de­sire to break free from the or­di­nary. ❒

The crew of the Bet­tyJaneII sur­vived wild horses, cramped quar­ters and each other on an un­for­get­table cruise to Cum­ber­land Is­land.

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