By Louis HohensteinExcept for the starting fog, the 1976 Ocean race from Newport, Rhode Island, to Bermuda seemed more like a pleasure cruise than a gale-winds bash. As navigator, I sat in the stern of Ranger, a C&C 61-footer, with the Newport Harbor chart, plotter, pencils and a carefully pocketed pair of dividers. To my left, the skipper operated the intercom to the bow lookout and foredeck leader for fast headsail operations when we shifted to sail.
I had been visually piloting off the Rhode Island shoreline when the shore suddenly disappeared in a thick fog patch. Once we identified the Brenton Reef Tower horn from the other horns around us, we used depth soundings and dead reckoning to get there.