EDITORIAL: George McKay & His “Future Plans” – Don’t Argue With Harbor Masters


MHN.com: "George, please spare the public any more adventures. They're too costly!"

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 653)

From Bangor to Boston and east to Cape Cod the sailing “adventures” of George McKay (even though he’s a self-proclaimed Captain without a ship, is he still a captain?) have been well documented in newspapers and local television news as well.  Will the national news pick up his adventures aboard the ill-fated RawFaith?

The Salem police department told me this morning over the telephone that McKay was arrested on Wednesday, November 24th for two reasons:  He and RawFaith had overstayed a docking extension he’d been granted on November 7th to stay at a public, historic, old dock which was presumably if not free, close to it.  When the Harbor Master asked him to leave on November 24th, he became belligerent, argumentative and “scared” people in the area.  Police back-up was requested to deal with George.  He spent a night in jail and was released the next day.  He was almost arrested again the next day, Thanksgiving, but had left the dock before the police could get there to arrest him a second time – for overstaying his welcome, again.  Next, as the well documented “adventure” goes, McKay left Salem earlier this month and headed for Bermuda – with only one, inexperienced crew member aboard this 118 ft., 3 masted, home-built ship.  (The “one,” is an inexperienced crew member who  shares the same last name as McKay and is possibly why some have referred to him as one of McKay’s three sons.  He joined the mission because of his carpentry skills.) The two were plucked from the frigid waters off Nantucket in a dramatic, made for TV type, rescue.  The final indignity was the sinking of RawFaith the following day in 6,000 ft. of water off Nantucket.   That ends HER misery!  But, what about the rest of US? 

Last night Bill Green of Channel 6 interviewed McKay who has returned to Portland in the intervening days.  McKay dismissed his Salem arrests with a smirk.  “I want to write a book,” he said.  And “I want to build another boat,” he added.  He’ll have to do some fundraising again, but that’s not new.  He has been fundraising  to support his mission since before RawFaith was launched in 2003.   Never mind that McKay has already collaborated with a writer on a fictional account of the RawFaith story.   The book has been accepted by a publisher and is awaiting some last minute changes.  Why didn’t George promote that when he had the attention of lots of TV watchers?

George has it all backwards and upside down.  My reference point is my late father.  He once wrote a non-fiction book focusing on the sailing/cruising “MISadventures” of my parents along the New England coast years ago.  They never tried to build any boats, but they did set out sailing close to  the  coast until they became experienced sailors.   They didn’t have any GPS equipment in the 50s and 60s.   My mother had her charts.  She had a transistor radio.  And they did have lots of common sense.  They knew enough not to sail offshore until they had mastered the ABCs of sailing.  They had proper insurance for their boats, Coast Guard approved  safety equipment, didn’t overstay their welcome and didn’t fight with harbor masters.  (They never spent a night in jail either I’m proud to say!)  They knew their limitations.  They respected them. And then dad wrote a  successful,  popular book and made good money along the way.  That’s the course to chart, George.