Cruising with Walter Cronkite

Do you see that blob with her arm out under the rear stripey sail? That’s me at the helm of ‘Nightwind.’ The photographer was Walter Cronkite.

'Nightwind' Glass Clipper, Caribbean

It was the late 70’s and I was crewing on the charter yacht ‘Nightwind.’ Walter came down from New York with his wife, son and friend to spend some down time cut off from the world as this was before the days of mobile phones.

We were ghosting along under a light wind and Walter and the skipper hopped into the dingy to take some rather splendid souvenir photographs of ‘Nightwind’ under sail, some of which he posted to us later after they’d been developed (remember doing that?). Sadly, this one is now faded, scratched and blotched.

An enduring memory of THE Mr. Walter Cronkite was that he would ascertain our destination for the next day and read aloud about it from the cruising guide after dinner. Washing up, tinkering and tidying would halt and the other five of us on board would gather round to listen. I knew the guide off by heart and the islands were completely familiar to me but his sonorous voice, relaxed by his vacation, was mesmerizing. It was his news voice tuned down to a lullaby. What a treat.

I lived Afloat on this boat for two years cruising with charter passengers between Martinique and Grenada. And am still drifting.

If you are interested, or my terminology offends you, the rear stripey sail is the mizzen staysail.

I could have just re-posted Put That Back, a photo of Floating Islands desserts for this challenge, but that seemed a bit lazy.

42 thoughts on “Cruising with Walter Cronkite

  1. …and that’s the way it was…. key word for you here is WAS!
    Great memories but new memories will be made and new stories will be told in your new house in England!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I’m not surw what else I can turn out for you Laurel, especially with photographic evidence. How about the time I was invited to Buckingham Palace to have tea with the Queen? I don’t have any photos though so who would believe me? Or was that just a dream?


        1. Sorry Laurel. I just made that up. My only other claim to fame is seeing Rod Stewart with Penny Lancaster in London. Quite a comical sight as she’s about a head taller than him. We joke about our mate Rod but he didn’t even acknowledge us!


    1. To tell you the truth, Sue, the name of he sail was lost in the mists of time. I had to look it up! Me and several others. It seems very few people know what a mizzen staysail is. Now you and Joanne and I do!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well you know himself calls me princess. I was going to say it’s when I’m being prissy but I just looked up synonyms for the word and it means sensitive moody and prim. Well that ain’t me! Anyway? I like your previous idea. Just throw money at me. Notes please. No coins. Ouch!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As soon as I read Walter Cronkite, my memory immediately *heard* his voice. THAT voice!! What a fantastic memory!!

    … and having zero sailing knowledge, I’m grateful for the reference to the “rear stripey sail” because the “mizzen staysail” would have meant nothing!!

    You lived for 2 years on this boat?! You seem to have a predilection for small confined spaces 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! It would seem that way. I didn’t mind the small space so much then. I had the whole Caribbean to play in. That was the start of my wandering.
      I’m pleased to say we’re viewing two houses next week. They aren’t mansions by any means. They’ll just seem like it after the last 10 years! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How could anyone pass up reading a post that begins, “Do you see that blob with her arm out under the rear stripey sail?” OMG. Your writing is so funny and this is a great take on the Afloat challenge. I’m picking up on that, “…And am still drifting..” turn of phrase in there. I hope you find your perfect compromise soon….

    Liked by 1 person

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