Captain Fred Brooke

Over my 58 years of sailing, I have made numerous trips to the Mediterranean, Nova Scotia, Newfoundand, Bahamas, Caribbean, and Bermuda. I am a retired research vessel captain with a USCG license and a sailing endorsement. I have owned and restored  several several cruising boats (both power and sail) and co-founded a charity for children with cancer 15 years ago.


When asked why I teach traditional seamanship, my reply is that I grew up long distance cruising before the days of electronic navigation and plastic boats. I quickly learned that if something went wrong underway I had to have the knowledge to make repairs and get going again. It was a time of  self-reliance and simplicity with strong maritime traditions sprinkled in.


I was almost 30 before I discovered sailing, directly attributable to having grown up in land-locked Iowa, I believe. But, when I did, oh boy - there was no stopping me. I learned to sail at the Mystic Seaport, took every course I could, and suddenly I was happy as a clam as a volunteer sailing instructor.  But, no, that wasn’t enough.


I started hanging out with others with the same addiction – cramming 8 of us on a bareboat out of Fort Lauderdale and heading to the Bahamas for a week (more than once); volunteering to crew on boat deliveries (that all the smart sailors had said no to); eventually even going cruising for 7 years, exploring the Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, and then every summer bringing the boat back to Connecticut

Unfortunately, these skills are being lost today and yet nothing has really changed...the sea still deserves tremendous respect, boats still misbehave and fog still rolls in. Cruising is a wonderful way to see the world, but only if you're not afraid of it.

to do more work before heading south again. I even got lucky enough to help with a 37 ft catamaran delivery from Tortola, BVI to Papeete, French Polynesia. What an incredible trip - the longest leg was 28 days at sea and at one point the space shuttle going overhead was the closest human beings. Pretty cool! Now, I sail and help teach scuba diving (PADI Divermaster certified) in Long Island Sound up through Maine. I still say we have some of the world’s most gorgeous shoreline and water right here.