Circumnavigation, with crucial assistance
Jayne Beitman is really responsible for the whole thing. At the end of the summer of 2006, she introduced Edgartown summer residents Brian Mann and Jim Turner. Both are computer whizzes and sailors with adventurous souls. Minutes after they met, they realized that they both had racing kayaks, and in what seemed like a second, they both set off from Brian's dock in Edgartown Harbor and paddled to Nantucket.
This summer, the plan was to paddle their kayaks around the Vineyard, ducking into every cove, culvert, pond, and bit of water along the way. Things got interesting when they got into slips of water too narrow to turn the kayaks around. They went under bridges, over portages, through guts, cuts and mud holes.
Jim Turner and Brian Mann kayaked 161 miles in a Vineyard circumnavigation. Photos courtesy of Edith Blake
When it was all over, after an estimated 161 miles and 44 hours, the summer was over too. All that was left was a champagne celebration, held on the Manns' dock to welcome them in after their last lap.
Well-wishers numbered about 40, and some of the congratulations ought to have been reserved for the wives, since Cathy Mann and Sandy Turner had done yeoman's work, driving the men to each embarkation site, listening for telephone calls of when and where to pick them up, and depositing them dripping and euphoric in the back of the car, with the kayaks on top.
Next up is a September sail to Nova Scotia in Brian's trimaran, while their ever helpful wives drive the route, dining with them and staying in inns, since belowdecks on the trimaran is almost non-existent.