Photo by Genny Wynn
by Kelly Savage
Living in a city by the sea, we encounter many characters from all over the world. I recently sat with an interesting sailor and author at River City Brewing Company to talk about sailing, life and our city.
Mr. Sam Phillis was faced with a barrage of life-changing events: divorce, illness and retirement at age 53. He decided to weather the high seas of his life by taking an actual nautical journey. He untied his boat, Emotional Rescue, a 30-foot, tall-rigged Catalina sailing sloop, from the Peninsula Yacht Club on Lake Norman and headed off to explore our country’s beautiful waterways. As he used the “bibles” of sailing to guide him (Chapman Piloting and Dutton’s Navigation & Piloting, both by Elbert S. Maloney.), he realized they are difficult for laymen to understand and use- quite possibly the reason many people don’t sail.
That epiphany led to writing his own book, A Sail and a Tale, eight years ago. Sam is now trying to revive interest in his guide book. One hundred stories, along with 150 beautiful photos, tell of his journeys up and down the East and West Coasts. When asked about how Jacksonville compares to his favorite port cities like Newport, Rhode Island, Sam says that while we are low on amenities and accommodations, we have wonderful access to our urban core. “This place is dynamite at night!” I agree, Sam.
Meet and greet with sam:
FRIDAY, DEC 2 The Jacksonville Landing Friday Market, 10 am- 2 pm
Saturday, Dec 3 Pier 17 Marine, 11 am- 3 pm. 4619 Roosevelt Blvd.; 387-4669
WEDNESDAY, DEC 5 Chamblins Uptown, 5 -9 pm, 214 Laura St.
Saturday, Dec 10 Billy’s Boat House Grill, 12- 4 pm. 2321 Beach Blvd.
Friday, Dec 16 Whitey’s Fish Camp, 4- 6 pm. 2032 CR 200 (Orange Park)
SUNDAY, DEC 18 Carribbee Key Island Grill, 1- 5 pm. 100 First St. (Neptune Beach)