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SURPRISE 50TH - Teresa DeWitt surprised her husband Chris with a 50th birthday sailboat cruise near Williamsburg. The family had a lovely lunch at the marina and strolled the docks, where they said, "Let's go sail."

BIRTHDAY SAIL - Drew O'Neal's family threw him a wonderful birthday party while sailing all afternoon on the York River. His daughters organized an elegant lunch, which they spread out in the sailboat salon below deck, followed by gifts and a cake. "Happy Birthday" never sounded better than out on the water.

A delightful family from Baltimore spanned three generations as they intuitively learned how to sail on Sunday along the York River. Brisk winds powered them ahead of a much larger sailboat (background) as grandchildren cheered Grandma on (at the wheel).

SAILING SURPRISE - Larry Alan Smith of Avon, Connecticut surprised his wife Margarita with a birthday sail off Yorktown. Among the family attending were their son Chris (William & Mary ’07), a former executive with JP Morgan Chase who’s starting a micro-brewery in Williamsburg; and their son Will, (W&M ’14) who’s majoring in government to work on African issues. It was a happy 60th for Mom.

SAILING TO VICTORY - Family and friends of Bob Davies celebrated his 60th birthday by sailing along the York River. Bob and his wife Jennie are Brits who return to England frequently. He brought up an interesting dichotomy about history tourism. “At Jamestown, they love the British. At Williamsburg, they fear us. At Yorktown, they hate us."

SAILING PAST LIBERTY – Fred Siegel of Williamsburg wrote: “Took this picture of Lady Liberty from our cruise ship at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, Oct. 28, her 128th birthday!” It's such a good shot that I wondered if Fred had sent a postcard from Hoboken instead.

ALABAMA BOATERS - The Baeder family of Auburn, Alabama, took time out from Busch Gardens to sail the unusually high seas of the York River. Because they boat on southern lakes, they enjoyed riding the bow in stiff winds that rocked the sailboat with a mild roller coaster effect.

JUNIOR SAILORS - Young children don’t do well on a sailboat because the serene and cerebral nature of sailing can make it boring for them. Boys are the worst because they want to “test” everything to see what they can break. Monica Linville’s nieces, by contrast, were wonderful for their enthusiasm and excellent questions. Maurice Chevalier was right: Thank heaven for little girls.

A surprise birthday sail for Gene Yoder led to a 20-mile run along the York River in brisk winds. His wife Teresa (left) teaches music at Walsingham Academy. As our boat speed topped 10 mph, the idle engine prop started to back-wind and began humming underwater. She described the sound as an E flat 6 and later a D sharp. Who knew?

EXPERT NOVICE - Having never before been on a sailboat, much less sailed one, Arash Afshari of Thousand Oaks CA proved adept at the helm while running along the York River with his mother, Monir. He sailed adroitly in light winds and brisk winds, ever attentive to the shifting direction.