Claude Coryea and Carolyn McGuiness, both of Rome first became interested in sailing when they decided life was too short not to savor every moment.
“I have always been in the water,” said Coryea. “I used to do off-shore sailing in New Jersey. My main love at that time was deep-sea fishing. I had a fishing boat and we would go out and troll.”
“After I retired, I got into sailboarding,” said Coryea. “Then after that I got into sailing.”
McGuiness became interested in sailing while living in the Florida Keys.
“I actually started in 1976, the year of the Bicentennial celebration,” said McGuiness. “I had friends who lived in Coconut Grove. And they said, ‘there is a guy here looking for crew to go to New York City for the Bicentennial.’ and I said, ‘Oh I can do that!’ And I had never sailed in my life!”
“It was something,” said McGuiness. “We took six months. We took our time because it was so beautiful going up in the intercoastal route.”
“So that was my introduction to sailing,” said McGuiness. “And from that, I had a friend down there and he said ‘I will take you to the Bahamas’ and I said ‘Okay, I would love to go to the Bahamas.’ Off we went on another six months trip. We would work six months and then we would cruise for six months.”
“We traveled all through the Bahama Islands and of course all the keys,” said McGuiness. “When you came back to the keys, you could get a job tomorrow working in a restaurant and make $100 a night. We would paint, we would do whatever it took. I was young, 27 years old and life was free and wonderful. I was very adept at sailing.”
McGuinees actually inspired another young couple to do the same thing before they had a family.
“They lived across the street from me,” said McGuiness. “I told them about my experience. They took a year to travel the intercoastal, the Bahamas and they Keys. They had a great life.”
During her travels, however, McGuiness said she encountered children traveling with their parents who were often home schooled. She noted they were extremely intelligent, “knew every nook and cranny” of their boats and sailing and therefore, could not help but benefit from the experience.
Today, McGuiness enjoys piloting her boat, The Osprey, which was the name of the vessel when she purchased it.
“My other boat was the Sloop du jour ,” said McGuiness. “We were in the restaurant business and we had the Soup du jour (Soup of the Day) That boat we owned had one sloop du jour. This was the Sloop of the day.”
Both Coryea and McGuiness have enjoyed their experience with the Rome Sailing Club.
“Absolutely,” said Coryea. “I don’t know of anybody who is not a congenial member. Everybody likes to help out. They have every type of situation and problems, just like any other club.”
Coryea said they would also encourage others to become involved in sailing.
“We have classes here,” said Coryea. “In fact, we had one last week. Tony Cellamare instructed a class here last week for newcomers and people who have been here for years. He went right through the rudiments of sailing, terminology.”
Coryea now spends his days piloting the Maillot Jeune, which is French for Yellow Jersey. Coryea shared some advice for prospective sailors.
“Get as much practice as you can,” said Coryea. “Start sailing with people here.”
“Usually, people say that it is best to go sailing with somebody before you buy,” said Coryea. “I have heard people say that for a a newcomer, somebody that says ‘Well let’s go sailing, I have never sailed before,” often come back and either like it or don’t care about coming back.”
Coryea was pleased with the 2012 Weiss Lake Regatta.
“We’ve got a good breeze today,” said Coryea. “I was afraid it was going to be flatter. That is about six or seven knots. They are going to have fun out there.”
“A lot of people came in from different parts of the state and country,” said Coryea. “It is good they won’t be disappointed and can at least get out there and sail and not wait around in hot weather for a breeze.”
“A lot of them follow the races and will have to be somewhere else next week,” said Coryea.
McGuiness said she has enjoyed her experience with the Rome Sailing Club as well.
“Oh yes, absolutely,” said McGuiness. “It is so nice to be around boats, water and people that don’t talk work. I work for lawyers. We don’t talk about the law. We talk about how the weather is. And what we are going to eat tonight. It is a great place to be.”
Coryea said his next project is to explore the nooks and crannies of Weiss Lake and its tributaries.