UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Edwin S. Gaynor - Our Remarkable Friend

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Edwin S. Gaynor - Our Remarkable Friend

By John Santa
Sunset and evening star
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar
When I put out to sea
Alfred Lord Tennyson – 1889

We lost one of the truly great ones when our good friend, Edwin Gaynor put out to sea on his eternal voyage recently. Anyone who has done distance racing on the Northeast coast or to Bermuda or Nova Scotia during the last 50 years will be well familiar with his name. We could begin by telling you that his boat, Emily, did the Bermuda race more times than any other boat in the Race’s 106-year history but we wouldn’t know where to end the stories about him – his completions, triumphs and prizes were so numerous. So let’s not go there and instead just listen to those who had the honor and pleasure to be a part of his crew for any or many of those contests. A consistent message comes forth from them speaking of a remarkable captain from whom we could all learn a lot. His winning formula was really quite simple, as are most of the good ones: get the best, most competent and experienced sailors you can find and then let them do their thing. Which did not mean that he was not fully engaged with them all – because he was and very much so. Guiding; encouraging; suggesting; affirming – always with the firm but gentle demeanor that was surely Edwin’s hallmark style. But if we let the story end there with his sailing style, it would not be even nearly half told because he was, in so very many other ways, a truly remarkable person. After he had his local academic career at Unquowa, Ludlowe, Fairfield Prep and Yale, he then went off to M.I.T for his Masters work. And as you might well expect of any dedicated sailor, he took his recently built custom sloop Helena from her berth at Ye Yacht Yard in Southport, CT to school with him! And then he lived on her while he studied grad level Meteorology (ever wonder how he knew just where to be on the course?). He then put Helena to even better use: He used it as the location for his very first date with a lovely young lady by the name of Elizabeth Meissner. She hailed from New Jersey but was living then in Marblehead. Sophisticated, pretty and well educated, she had the unusual dual occupations at that time of being both a school teacher and lobsterwoman - a most perfect object of Edwin’s affection. Among many other amorous initiatives, he romanced Elizabeth by going down to her lobster boat early in the morning and leaving wild roses in a beer can on the seat for her – now that is a real seagoing Romeo if we ever saw one! They began their life together on Helena by extensively cruising the Maine coast - an idyllic activity that was reprised in summers all throughout their marriage. They founded the Edwin Gaynor Company together. They had three wonderful children - Eliza, Hewitt (a well known double-handed champion) and Emily (of course!). And it was all part of their beautiful 57 year marriage. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE:

No comments: