NEWPORT — Home to the smoky sou’wester, a prevailing wind with average speeds in the 10- to 20-knot range, Narragansett Bay deserves its reputation as one of the finest cruising grounds in the Northeast. On any decent day in late spring, summer, and fall, you’re bound to see hundreds of full sails coasting up and down the long bay. Yet, you don’t have to be an America’s Cup sailor to sample the sport. At Sightsailing, located at Newport’s Bowen’s Wharf, Captain Ed Early skippers the 34-foot O’Day called Starlight.
A former instructor for Offshore Sailing School, Early has been sailing for over 30 years. He’ll guide you past Fort Adams, Hammersmith Farm, where John F. Kennedy and his bride, Jacqueline Bouvier, held their wedding reception, and Clingstone, a good name for the house that clings precariously to the rocks. Sweet talk Early and he might even let you take a turn behind the wheel.