Welcome 2015! It has been a cold winter on the river and so Capt Rick Lanigan found his way to Florida to work in warmer waters while Waccamaw River Tours is closed for the winter months. As usual, Capt Rick Lanigan can't be left alone for a minute or some new project happens. That is how "Religion" made its way into our lives.
"Religion" is a 1975 Catalina 22 sailboat and a new addition to our boating fleet. She is 40 years old and in need of restoration. She was fast in her day winning several races in 1970's when owners Rick & Joy Van Eck owned & sailed her. Joy states they were young (married at 16 and pregnant by 17) and Rick Van Eck was sailing since his childhood so they bought this used Catalina 22 to have something to do together. Rick was in the military at that time stationed out in San Diego, California and Joy lived in New Symrna Beach, Florida and when he came home, they would go sailing. Rick was an avid sailor. Joy says, their child was 17 months old when they put a life jacket on him and took him with them sailing on "Religion". Joy states she learned to sail in "Rick Van Eck's School of Hard Knocks". Joy became an avid sailor and did several races including the Trans Atlantic Race from Daytona to Bermuda (she was the only female crew). Capt. Lanigan states Joy was a great helmsmen but the racing crew also knew she was a great cook and race prep-per. She would plan special meals and desserts that they could have on the toughest of days. She remembers making a blueberry cobbler and saving it as treat for the 4th day as an afternoon snack and did not tell any of the crew. She states by the fourth day of a long race, everyone becomes physically & mentally tired of rotating shifts every 4hr sailing and the crew couldn't believe they were being treated to blueberry cobbler after being at sea for 4 long days with many more to go. She states it is the little pick-me ups like cobbler that can change your mental picture. I'm going to call this a "Cobbler Moment". When asked why they named the boat "Religion", Joy says she is a Methodist and has great faith. Rick Van Eck says sailing was something he did religiously so together it seemed to fit. It seems fitting that Capt. Lanigan and I who have great faith in God and his son not sure what to believe would end up with a boat name "Religion".
Capt. Lanigan and I enjoyed talking to Jim & Joy about "Religion" and their days of sailing. Joy and Rick have been divorced for years and "Religion" has sat in Joy's yard for at least 18years. "Religion" was covered in vines and mildew/dirt. So the game is on and the boys have been working hard to restore her. They has cut vines away, power sprayed her, grounded her down to clean, fixed the trailer and pulled her to the water. "Religion" made it into the water and did not have a single leak. Brody, Rick and I ended up motoring her to Seven Seas Marina in Port Orange, Florida for further work. We were unable to sail her because a storm front came in with high winds from the north but were able to motor her up the Intracoastal Waterway to the boat yard. Brody did well navigating and docking her. Brody has learned how to strip down the keel, redress the keel, sand the bottom for painting, sanding the teak wood and many more fix it up skills. He has one of the best people to teach him how to restore a sailboat, his own father Capt Rick Lanigan. Hope he realizes his blessing! Hope floats in this case. Hard work helps you sleep at night. I'm sure Brody can tell you that is true.
Once in S.C., "Religion" will be used to teach others to sail and be used as a rental on the Waccamaw River for overnight or day trips. I can see her going down towards Sandy Island, SC or in some quiet cove where a couple or family can enjoy the beauty and quiet of the river and spend a night or two. A perfect trip and adventure for nature and water lovers.
Here are some pictures of "Religion" Restoration Journey: