Saturday, November 1, 2008

Phil Rubright

Many readers and visitors to Life Floating By, have read the tragic account of the sinking of S/V Free Fall on Wednesday October 29, 2008.

The 44 foot Swan sailboat US 777, was recently purchased by Mt. Pleasant dentist Dr. Kevin Hogan from well known Long Island Sound racing sailor, Bill McFaul. It has been reported that McFaul maintained his boat in top shape and it was in excellent condition when Hogan purchased the boat last month.

On Sunday October 26 th, Hogan, fellow Mt. Pleasant sailor Teresa Gravie, 44 and Phil Rubright departed Rhode Island in route to Charleston when they encountered heavy weather and high seas.

Around 7:16 PM on Tuesday the 28th of October, the US Coast Guard received a EPIRB signal from Free Fall after the vessel was overcome and finally rolled in 40-50 foot seas and 50 knot winds. During or shortly after the initial coast guard rescue attempt Phil Rubridge would die.

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Phil Rubright

As with any marine causality there are a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks. Questions about the skill, and in some cases the sanity of the crew aboard sailing vessel Free Fall abound. Even one Charleston sailor Brad Van Liew used the tragedy for self promotion proclaiming in the Charleston Post and Courier newspaper that Phil "Rubright had been to races in Charleston and had been a fan during Van Liew's two around-the-world solo sailing voyages."

The comments at the Charleston Post and Courier on line edition, and message board sites like, Sailing Anarchy range from the polite "what happened?" to outrageous ridicule. The Press of Atlantic City ran an editorial on Monday November 3rd, titled "Reckless Sailors - Endangering Lives". One news story pointed to Hogan's lack in judgement by noting that the USCG had rescued Hogan on his way to Charleston during a storm last year as well.

There are many who will wonder why anyone would leave the comfort of the couch and the safety of cable television to live their lives on the open water. Sadly those poor souls will never witness the amazing beauty of a star filled night while drifting silently along, or the stunning brilliance of dawn's first light at sea. They can not possibly understand that it is about the journey and not the destination.

To question is understandable, but according to several web sites located by LFB Phil Rubright was anything but reckless. A very accomplished blue water sailor, having competed in numerous solo great lakes regattas, including the Point Huron – Mackinac Island Solo Challenge 18 times the first in 1983, as well as several trans-atlantic solo races. Phil Rubright was a heck of a sailor, and the kind of person you always looked forward to sharing a beer with, someone who was living the dream, a life of sailing.

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Phil Rubright on the Left

According to Blair Arden, the above picture of Phil, Jo, and Dave is from June, 2007. "The reason they are all red is because they had all just completed The 29th Annual GLSS 2007 Point Huron – Mackinac Island Solo Challenge. Lake Huron in June is cold, and with elapsed times ranging from 55 – 78 hours, wind burn takes its toll."

The Michigan sailor cracked four ribs and dislocated his right knee during a knockdown while competing in the 2000 OSTAR transatlantic race from Plymouth, England, to Newport, Rhode Island. "I was one second from getting my nav-station belt on," Phil would report.

He would later say "Singlehanded sailing isn’t something you do, it’s something you are."

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Phil Rubright concentrates on keeping the sails full while running downwind during the 2007 GLSS Lake Erie Solo Challenge.

Mark S. Gutteridge recapping the 2001 Lower Huron Solo Challenge told this tale of how deterimend a sailor Phil Rubridge was.

"Division "B" was about to start when we noticed a competitor whose shiny kevlar mainsail was split from the luff to the leech between the first and second reef points. John and Jean Chorestecki both commented that there was another boat that would unfortunately not be able to start.

I said "Hell, that's Captain Calamity Phil Rubright; that's not going to stop him. It is just another minor inconvenience."

As Phil passed close to the start boat he asked us if we had a spare mainsail and on hearing we did not he said, "oh well I think it will last to the first mark". I commented that Phil was one of the best sailors I have ever met and after all this was the Lower Huron Challenge.

Wally McMinn recalled that Phil Rubright once became locked in his own lazaret when the top closed on him during a solo race.

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Phil Rubridge second from the right during the 2008 GLSS Lake Erie Solo Challenge.

You can find more details of Phil’s life by visiting the GLSS website.
http://www.solosailor.org/

Details of the rescue attempt, video from the USCG, links to accounts of the weather in the area and photos of S/V Free Fall at the earlier post: Coast Guard Rescues 2 Mt. Pleasant Sailors

23 comments:

  1. The picture of Phil, Jo, and Dave is from June, 2007. The reason they are all red is because they had all just completed The 29th Annual GLSS 2007 Pt Huron – Mackinac Island Solo Challenge. Phil completed 18 Solo Mac Challenges, going back to his first in 1983. Lake Huron in June is cold, and with elapsed times ranging from 55 – 78 hours, wind burn takes its toll.

    You can find more details of Phil’s life by visiting the GLSS website.
    http://www.solosailor.org/
    There is also a much better picture of Phil there, on the “member news” page.

    Blair Arden
    2009 Solo Mac Chairman

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  2. Thanks LFB for the updates on my uncle. Phil was a great man as well as my favorite uncle. His presence will be missed by so many. Thanks again for the kind words and accurate portrayals.

    J Graham

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  3. I was in the same storm off the NJ coast. I heard the CG message about the EPIRB signal and heard the rescue helicopter hailing Freefall. A fellow GLSS member, I send my condolences to Phil's family. I have posted a report of my experience during the storm on Yachtpals.com. Gail Bowdish (Shanti)

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  4. Many thanks to Gail, Jeffrey and Blair for helping fill in the blanks.

    A call this morning to the USCG 5th District provided no additional information. Except that Free Fall was last seen taking on water and may have sunk.

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  5. As I am in shock just getting off the phone with my Mother, Phil's sister Jeanne. As I am embrassed by the fact I have not talked with Uncle Phil in many many years, I have wonderful memories of swimming and boating @ the Yacht Club in Det. He was a kind and loving Uncle. To this day I will smile any time I see or smell someone smiking a pipe. His love and passion for sailing was inspiring...My thoughts and prayers will be with Annt Glenn..Life at its longest is still so short. In this challenging time in the world please enjoy our families and the time we have to be with them!

    As tears flow down my face in this loss of life..Uncle Phil thank you for showing me sailing and an example of good man!!

    Your nephew,

    Gary Yoder

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  6. Below is the eulogy read at Phillip Rubright's memorial service on November 3. Close to 500 people came from all coasts to pay their respects to this very deserving man.It was a magnificent and fitting tribute. His family and friends did him proud.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Dad always told us if a space ship landed and he could get on it that he would go, even if there was chance that he couldn’t return.

    Mom would call out from somewhere in the house- no you wouldn’t and he would look at me and nod” yes, I would.” And I knew that he would, so I selfishly hoped there was no such thing as UFOs.
    Dads favorite movie was Apollo 13. We jokingly found a lot of uses for the line “Houston, we have a problem”.

    Of all Dads travels, one of his favorite places was the Cape Canaveral Space Center. His eyes just danced when he talked about that place. He told me that he could spend a week there just looking at those spaceships. “ That place is just incredible, INCREDIBLE” he would say.
    Dad could tell you exactly where he was when the first astronauts landed on the moon. He could tell you exactly how far they traveled to get there, the speed at which they traveled and how long it took them.
    The hardest I ever saw Dad laugh was when I was about 10, watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind together. To this day the only thing I remember about that movie was how at the end, after the guy had spent nearly a lifetime trying to prove that there was life on other planets, a space ship finally lands and he forgets to turn on the video camera because he is so absorbed in the experience. That struck Dad as so funny that he literally cried.
    For years afterwards I would bring that scene up to him just to watch how hard he would laugh. It worked every time.
    Dad could ,and did, tell us just about every numerical fact there is to know about the solar system, the universe and beyond. You really had to consider how much time you had before you asked Dad to help with math homework. You would start out asking how to find the hypotenuse of a triangle and before you knew it you were on the moon.

    Many people live their entire life and never find their true passion.
    Dad was lucky enough to have several passions in his life and one of them was space.
    I think I broke his heart when I dropped my astronomy class in college.

    People say Dad had 3 passions in life- his wife, his children and sailing but I say Dad had a fourth passion- and that was space. He would talk about the solar system with the same enthusiasm that he talked about sailing with. I think Dad loved sailing on the ocean because it was as close to being in space as he could get. There were times he couldn’t tell where the horizon stopped and the water started. “ It was honest to God like floating in space Laura” he would say.

    Dad’s heroes were people like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Chuck Yeager, Jacques Cousteau, John Wayne and fellow sailor Steve Pettengill. When Dad really thought highly of someone he would make comments like “ John Graham was a hell of a guy. He was a real class act.” “ Charlie Gardner lives by his heart” “Dave Evans, now there is a guy who is just into LIFE” or “Lee, there is a guy who takes the bull by the horns”. Matt, nothing is going to hold him down” or “Jason, there’s youthful enthusiasm for you,” “Dave Cheney is a true friend”, “One thing about Frank”, he would say, “when he says he is going to do something, he is going to do it”. Dad was a doer and he admired other doers. He didn’t stand around talking about it- he went out and did it and then stood around talking about it.
    “Dock chat” as we termed it in our family.

    Dad took risks in his “doing‘. “Calculated risks” as he liked to called them. He would never jump out of an airplane he explained to us many times, because he needed to have three options. “If you have three options and they all fail well, then, see ya on the other side“ he would say with a gleam in his eye.


    Mom always said that Dad couldn’t go to the store without coming home with a story.

    Dad said he couldn’t survive another season of the Lions.

    They were both right.

    Most people hope to die peacefully in their sleep.
    But that would have really ticked Dad off. People say Dad’s dying doesn’t make any sense. But I say it does.
    It does make sense. There had a be a sensational ending to such a rich life story. Dad’s last chapter had to read like this.
    What else WOULD make sense?
    He was on his dream boat, a Swan, on an Atlantic voyage. On this trip he encountered 50 foot seas, rain, snow, incredible winds, electrical fires, flooding, mayday calls, coast guard ships, 2 helicopters, rafts and rescue swimmers.
    All the elements that legendary stories are made of.
    The stuff movies are made of.
    Dad’s death made the news in almost every state in the country, was talked about on the radio and has sparked debate worldwide via the internet.
    Dad died in Dad style.
    This is a man who was chased by storms with his brother in a sailboat on Lake St. Clair at the age of 11. He capsized a boat in the Bermuda triangle over 30 years ago. He made 6 trips across the Atlantic ocean, 3 of them alone. His adventures have made magazines, newspapers, television and radio for as long as I can remember. A man who locked himself in a cockpit hatch under sail in heavy winds while heading towards shore, and he was all alone. A man who was no stranger to rescues at sea. A man who took many calculated risks and survived them, a fierce competitor, a pioneer, an inventor, a philosopher, an innovative man who taught his family that “sometimes you have to go around the system. “Your dad was nobodies fool” my husband said to me the other day. How true. Dad believed in taking a stand , in having an opinion and voicing it, loudly, if necessary.
    He was a man of principles. He respected tradition.
    If he thought something was wrong, he said so.
    He was honorable.
    He was a leader. It was those qualities that I respected most about him- those qualities about him that I will emphasize to my children.
    Dad took the saying about living on the edge seriously. He loved chaos, adrenaline and pressure. That was his comfort zone.
    Dad was my hero. I studied him my whole life.
    People really respected him and they really liked him. He was charming. But let’s be honest- part of Dad’s charm was that frequently he was not all that smooth. It was his bumbling, mad cap, nutty professor qualities that stole everyone’s heart. You couldn’t help but love him for it. He was forever losing his keys and credit cards, dropping his glasses and cell phone in the lake, losing things overboard, spilling his drinks, cutting off phone calls, wrapping his head sail, madly searching for the tool or telephone that was in his back pocket. Remember the stage when he got frustrated with never having enough light so he started strapping a miners light to his forehead? That became part of his daily wardrobe. He would go everywhere with that light on his head and it got to the point that none of us even noticed - that was just Dad.
    I mean, how did we really expect him to go?
    A legendary man deserves a legendary ending.
    What else would we have wanted for him?
    He was the kind of person we all wanted to live forever. My friend Lisa said to me a few days ago, “Some people just get it right. Your Dad seemed to get it right.” I immediately flashed back to an afternoon when I was 15.
    Dad took me out to practice my driving. We decided to drive down to the Boat Club. As we pulled into the parking lot Dad motioned for me to park in a space between two other cars. The parking lot was virtually empty but Dad wanted me to practice.
    As I hesitantly turned this enormous Lincoln into the parking space I completely creamed the Honda next to us. I mean, I crushed in the entire side of the car. I stop the car. Dad says nothing. He just starts to get out. In panic I ask, “Dad, what do we do now?” He calmly turns around and says to me, “YOU are going to solve your problem and I’m going to the boat.”
    I was so mad. But I went into the club, found the owner of the car, told him what happened and solved my problem.
    That was Dad and I get it now.
    He taught us how to take responsibility and stand on our own two feet.
    He got it right.

    Dad touched and inspired everyone who knew him.
    I have childhood friends that I haven’t heard from in years but they would periodically stop in to see my Dad. He was the kind of Dad I wanted around my friends. I liked to show him off. He made my friends laugh. He made things fun. He was the kind of Dad that I wanted to have pick up my group of friends from the school dance and drive us all home. He was the kind of Dad my high school friends would bring their new cars over to show or just stop by and hang out in the driveway with, talking to him for hours. It didn’t matter if I was home or if I came out of the house because they came to see my Dad.
    In college my friends always loved when Dad came to visit. He was the kind of Dad you took to the football game and then to the campus bar afterwards. He was enthusiastic and fun and no matter what stage in life we were at, Dad fit in, he could relate. Dad made us laugh, he made us think and analyze.
    He inspired us to go for it.

    I can assure everyone here that Phillip Lloyd Rubright lives on. It has just been in the most recent years that I have really noticed the “Dad” in every member of our family.
    Linda is an adventurer. She is the only one of us brave enough to have sailed across the Atlantic with Dad and was a highlight in his life. Linda can do math in her head. Linda has a passion to see and experience the world and nothing is going to stop her. She recently moved to Amsterdam and in the first few weeks she was there she had her wallet stolen, dropped her passport in the airport and misplaced her ATM card. A familiar story.

    Catherine is the competitor and the analyst. She actually FOLLOWED half the stuff Dad was talking about. Just a few weeks ago my friend Val and I did a half marathon walk with her. We signed up together for “the challenge of it”. No pressure, no times, we just wanted to finish.
    Anytime someone passed us up you could feel the tension in Catherine rise. Remember how you could feel the tension radiating off Dad? Halfway through Catherine pulled away. It was not just a challenge for her, it was a race. “Next year” she said to me, “I bet we can do it in 3 hours.” We called Dad as soon as we finished- and of course, he already had our times and places off the internet. Dad was going to do the walk with us next year- but” no bathroom stops” he said- and Catherine eagerly agreed.

    Diane is the philosopher, the listener. I swear she and Dad would have solved most the world’s biggest problems had there just been enough time. She and Dad shared many heart to heart talks. Diane knew Dad’s sensitive side better than any of us. There is nothing Diane and Dad loved more than a late night and a deep topic.

    Mom is the family rock. We all lean on her. While Mom was in China this summer Dad would call with the updates and so enthusiastically say “ I am so proud of Mom. She really has an adventurous spirit.” Dads sailing buddies used to joke -” hey Phil, where do your kids get their good looks from?” Dad would reply-”oh, you have to see their mother.”

    And Me? My friend Gale says that I can tell a good story like Dad did, I have his entrepreneurial spirit and maybe just a pinch of his hard headedness. My desk is always a mess but I know where everything is-- I have strong opinions and I speak my mind. Lee accuses me of mumbling now and again, my speeches sometimes ramble on and I love my family more than anything.

    Even at my children’s very young ages, I can already see Dad emerging from them. Mom recently said to me “Faith isn’t afraid of anything- she is so brave“ Faith thrives on excitement and she is always up for anything.
    Ben has these long moments of quiet thought, staring off in to space and then suddenly rejoins us with a burst of enthusiasm. He is passionate and enthusiastic and he wants to know how everything works. He walks around the house throwing out numbers and his favorite foods are crackers, cheese, pickles and mustard. He wants black pepper on everything.
    Alex is only a few months old but from the moment he was born you could see Dad’s twinkle in his eyes.
    Dad lives on in them and will live on around them. I know as a family that we will keep Papa alive for them- he will continue to be a positive influence in their lives. I know that my children are safer now that Papa is watching over them and I know that Dad feels better with an overhead view from which he can protect them.
    Dad told me just a few weeks ago, “parenting is a hard thing to stop doing Laura, you just never stop worrying.” He worried. He was a mother hen , but he was also our biggest cheerleader. He was just as enthused about other peoples adventures as he was his own. He showed us all how it feels to be truly loved and respected and encouraged. Family always came first. I never remember a single moment of my life that I wanted or needed Dad and he wasn’t there. Dad never once let me down. Not once. Never.


    The time has come to share Dad with other people who also love him.
    I have no doubt Dad was met with tears and open arms by his mother. She has waited almost 50 years to hug her boy and tell him how proud she is of him. Dad had missed her so much.
    I would guess next in the welcome line was his sister Jo and the grandparents that he so adored. Mr. Corsini rushed to the front of the line to give him a big kiss and pinch on the cheeks and Mrs. Corsini rolled her eyes and calls out “ Lester, give him some space.” Both Grandpas were there to pat him on the back. He was met with smiles and hand shakes by old friends like Norm Hoch and Dick McPhail. Sally Welemirov stood quietly and elegantly waiting with a warm smile. Ernie Butki and Peter Fisher-people who never knew Dad but had been watching him from above waited to introduce themselves. Hell, I’m sure Thomas Edison AND Albert Einstein waited in line to shake Dad’s hand.

    And then came Gram.
    Sauntering in, eyebrow a little raised - she handed him a martini before she said a word.

    Go easy on him Gram.

    And there they gather, Mr. Corsini made the first toast-
    tears streaming down his face. No one understood a word he said.
    Dad in his glory. Loving the view. Enjoying a piece of his mom’s pie, holding court in a sky full of people waiting to hear his story.





    dad always joked that when the time came he would “take one last sail…..”
    Dad said many times that he felt most alive when he was on the water.
    Dad believed when your number was up, it was up.

    On October 29, 2008, Dad’s number was up.

    Kevin, I am eternally thankful to you for taking my Dad on his last sail. I am at peace knowing he died on the water, doing what he loved.
    I hope that you will sail again Kevin.
    Dad would want you to.

    I told my kids that Papa went to the moon, because I know he did. Space IS his next frontier. The one passion he left unexplored in this lifetime. I can just see him now, calculator in one hand, a GPS in the other, the universe at his fingertips and no keys to lose.
    That is Dad’s heaven.

    Lee, Faith, Ben, Alex and I will start a new tradition of looking out at the moon and waving to Papa
    and I know he will wave back. That Dad wave.

    We always opened Dad’s presents last because they were the best. Dad left us with one final, grand gift.
    The comfort of knowing that when our numbers come up, he will be waiting there for us, first in line, on the other side.

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  7. See you out there Neptune

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  8. We picked your Dad up, just a little too late. Reading this helps a lot. Thank you.

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  9. Folks..
    We know the Coasties did all they could... Yes, while tragic, let's not fling mud on LFB's blog. Family is reading this blog I'm sure and name calling and accusations are not going to get us anywhere. My Uncle, Gary's Uncle, is gone now, but his legend will live on in LFB's blog and others like it. Thank you to the Coasties for all their bravery.

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  10. The Rubright family wants to make it clear that we appreciate and admire all the Coast Guard did to try and rescue Dad. We have heard nothing but positive reports about their attempts and were in fact told by crew on the sailboat that the coast guard went above and beyond the call of duty, risking their own lives in horrendous conditions to save him. The coast guard helicopter almost went down several times during this rescue.Men jumped from helicopters into 50 foot seas. One of their own was also injured during this rescue mission. We have nothing but respect and deep appreciation towards the Coast Guard, Kevin Hogan and his crew member for all that they did. Laura

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  11. I'm sorry if I was unclear. In situations where our best just isn't good enough, it can have a profound effect. It may seem funny but the ones you don't save are the ones you remember. Reading the eulogy just made me feel better if that makes sense.

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  12. You were not unclear at all- and I so appreciated hearing from you- I really wanted to talk to you. My comment was for the people who are looking for someone to blame because they are grieving. The comment by Jeff led me to believe that there were people somewhere speaking negatively and we wont have it.
    The fact that you actually are following this story and admit to feeling badly lets me know a lot about your character- it is not just a job to you- your heart is in it. You cant ask more from people than their best- and we know you gave that. Dad's number was up- we truly believe that.
    It is nice to know that my Dad left an impression on you too- he was good at that. :) Laura

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  13. Sorry for the confusion; the comment I was referring to was left on LFB's original blog about the event and I inadvertently posted my reply to it here. I'm struggling with Phils loss and cannot even comprehend what my cousins and Aunt are going through. Sensing some flaming beginning, I just wanted settle it down. Like Laura said, we won't tolerate it and I'm sure LFB won't either.

    Laura lunch soon? Please contact me?

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  14. LAURA,
    That was wonderful!!
    I went out to the Alantic on Saturday shared a beer with the Ocean the water was cyrstal clear and a gentle breeze had the waves just barely breaking unto the beach...My Matthew(12)said "Dad your Unlce Phil was a lucky man, as we was doing what he loved to do!!"

    The Ocean looked more beautiful than it ever has to me...

    I was able to read your eulogy to mom today...she & I thank you!!

    God Bless you until we meet again :)

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  15. Gary- Thank you. I havent been to the ocean since Dad died- but even the leaves on the ground here have a more magnificent glow. It is truly amazing all of the places we see Dad now. The ocean must be incredible.
    Let's make that meeting sooner than later okay?
    We need to take as much good out of this as possible and reconnecting with you and your family would be incredible- and make Dad so happy. My kids need some cousins!!!!!!!! :)
    Uncle Frank is going to visit your mom this weekend- maybe he can give her our emails- or is there another way to do that on this thing? I am computer dumb- dont know if people share emails on this kind of page?
    So so so happy to hear from you!
    Laura

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  16. Laura,
    Thank you so so much for posting your eulogy to your father. You did such a wonderful job that night in paying the ultimate respect and love to a man who was so important to each of those 500+ people in the room, and the countless others whose lives he touched. Phil Rubright meant the world to me. He was like a father, a brother, a best friend and a mentor all in one. He was not just a person; he was a cathedral, a museum a masterpiece. Phil was unique. He taught me so many things about life, learning, dreams, goals and how to go after what I thought was important. He was inspirational to anyone who knew him because he was genuine. Phil was, as so many have pointed out, the most increadible story teller. You could sit and listen to him for literally hours, and I mean hours, and still feel that you hadn't heard it all yet. He could make you laugh and he could make you think. But Phil was also one of the most amazing listeners that I have ever met. Phil loved hearing other people's opinions. He didn't just hear what you said, he really listened to what you said. And after each conversation, Phil would always end with that same familiar phrase; "Good talking with you." I know that is what I'll miss the most, those great, easy, effortless conversations with the man who always treated me as one of the family.
    I went down to the lake on the evening after I learned of Phil's passing. Something just told me I should go to the water. And as I stood there, and the sun was setting with a cool breeze blowing, the horizon was a rainbow of magnificent colors to the West. I could hear Phil clearly say; "I'm always forever right on the horizon. Just out of reach, but
    always right there." Somehow, this gives me great comfort.
    Cathy

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  17. My prayers are with all of you. I was one of the crew on a Swan making the annual NARC rally. The storm was over the top and unless you were in it, or have been in something similar, very hard to grasp the intensity that the ocean has to offer. I am glad that we did not roll our boat. Best to you all-

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  18. Laura: I am Gary Yoder's cousin and just heard about your Dad through a phone call from my Mom. I, too, lost my Dad before his time (63). He was also a guy who lived life to its fullest with many adventures along the way. My son was just a baby when my Dad died and two more sons followed shortly after. It has been important to me to share stories of my Dad with them. They can relate so many things about him today--I've kept his memory alive so that they could "know" him. My youngest son wrote a paper in school. The teacher told the kids to write about a person from history that they would most like to spend a day with. Famous names flowed off the pages of kids in his class, but my son wrote about his grandpa and how he was the most important person in history to him.

    My husband and I have been sailors for a long time--definitely the fair weather type. I have always followed stories of great sailing adventures. Your Dad really lived the dream! He died doing what he loved - better than dying in his sleep. It was the ultimate adventure. I've taken the time today to read all the links related to your Dad. What beautiful thoughts from those who knew him.

    Our sons, now all in college, will take off on a great lakes sailing adventure next summer. Wish they could have a seasoned sailor like your Dad to give them advise.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you today and throughout the coming months.

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  19. wow- you have no idea how much hope your stroy gives me- thank you so much. I will be sure to tell Dad to be with your sons this summer on their sailing adventure- believe me- there is nothing he loved more than to teach about sailing- he will be there. :) I wasted so many summers worrying about my tan when I should have been listening to his sailing lessons.
    Thank you so so much for reassuring me that it is possible to keep someone "alive" for the grandkids- it is so important to me. Any advice on how to best do that. We talk about him- and visit him outside onthe moon at night- I need all the ideas I can get. I have a picture of him that is 3x life size in my living room- :)
    I would love to hear how your family did it.
    Thank you so much again-
    Laura

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  20. We just found out about Phils death (where were we?) anyway we invited Phil over to our boat in Charleston for dinner a few years ago - he was fitting out a boat to go race single handed farr 42ft. in the old Halsey Cannon Boat Yard. We just loved listening to his stories - how could one not just fall totally in love with him. We followed him on the net and were extremely impressed with his times
    we have shared his stories with numerous friends over the years - so you are right he lives on..

    Art and Anne Williams - Discretion Morgan 38

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  21. Here we are at a three year milestone and yet it seems as if it all just happened. Cathy and I will always cherish the times and memories we had with Phil and Family. I will have a Great Lakes Dortmunder in your Honor tomorrow... Thanks for everything, Mark Mayer

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  22. As time goes by one would think that it would get easier to accept the loss of a good friend, but I do not find that to be so in this case. Four years have past and it still hurts. Im taking good care of Red for you Phil...

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