A 500-Mile Voyage Home from College

Courtesy of: Pamela Aris

Veterans of Pequot Junior Sailing Program and Housatonic Boat Club Sailing Instructor’s 500-mile Sailing Odyssey Home from College

June 2016: A 500-mile sailing odyssey from Chestertown, MD to Southport, CT’s Pequot Yacht Club began for Theodoros (Theo) Aris after restoring a CAL 27 purchased for $31.00. “First, I could not have picked a better crew for this journey starting on the Chester River,” credits Aris. The voyage included sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, Cape May Canal, Atlantic Ocean, Block Island Sound and Long Island Sound. On board was Theo’s teammate throughout the Pequot Junior Sailing Program Nathan Arndt and Washington College rowing teammate Zee Ali. Ali is also a lifeguard at the Atlantic City Beach Patrol.

“From Atlantic City to Block Island we averaged 7-knots the entire way making that leg of the trip in 24-hours,” says Arndt. “The trip for me was life changing, and I was humbled by the ocean and the power of everything around you.” Ali continues, “I appreciated that safety was the priority of Theo, who was a confident Captain and taught me the importance of safety lines.” “Preparation is key on a journey like this,” explains Aris. “I had a lot of support before I left the shore including strategy discussions with Washington College Waterfront Director Ben Armiger. I also utilized everything I learned from the Pequot Junior Sailing Program with a special thanks to Pam Toner and Mary von Conta; and teaching at the Housatonic Boat Club with a special thanks to Junior Advisor Jessica Kirchoff; and all of the safety courses from the Storm Trysail Safety-at-Sea to the Level 2 US Sailing Instructor certification.

Both Aris and Arndt began the Pequot Junior Program when they were nine-years old sailing Optis, Pixels, 420s and Lasers. They competed in the Pixel and 420 Junior Sailing Association Championships for seven consecutive summers. Both Aris and Arndt served as Vice Commodore of the Pequot Junior Yacht Club at different times and have been awarded several PYC perpetual trophies including the David S. Sprouse Award, PJYC Instructor’s Tiller Award, and the Instructor’s Ship Shape award. General Manager Jeff Engborg and Marine Department Manager Travis Herman were there to congratulate and welcome Aris, Arndt and Ali as they entered Southport Harbor ten days after setting sail.From Left to Right Nathan Arndt-2-2 Navigant with Captain Theo Aris (center), Zee Ali to the right and Nathan Arndt to the left