Region kicks off summer with nautical events

The Swampscott Yacht Club, which is located in the historic Fish House (above), is hosting an open house on Saturday.
The Swampscott Yacht Club, which is located in the historic Fish House (above), is hosting an open house on Saturday.

WATER SPORTS: The Swampscott Yacht Club is hosting its annual open house for the public on Saturday.

The club, which is located in the historic Swampscott Fish House, was formed in 1933 to promote yachting and sailboat racing in Nahant Bay.

It has evolved into both a social club and a group supporting all sorts of water sports and activities.


“We have the best possible location as our home is the historic Swampscott Fish House at one of the oldest — if not the oldest — public beaches in America,” said the club’s commodore, Stephen Speranza. “This is one of the best bargains around — unparalleled views, friendly members, and a fun roster of activities.”

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The Fish House, built in 1896, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only municipal fish house on the East Coast. It is on Fisherman’s Beach.

Located on the second floor of the Fish House, the yacht club has about 200 members, roughly half of whom are boaters who enjoy fishing, sailing, power boating, kayaking, or rowing.

The yacht club also hosts a free community lecture series, Fish Tales from the Fish House, which was started, in part, to share the richness of community life and the history of coastal Swampscott, as well as introduce more of the public to the building.

This year, the open house includes entertainment by Larry and the Bluescasters band, refreshments, and a barbecue.


Visitors also have an opportunity to take a free ride on one of the two yacht club launch boats operating in Swampscott Harbor.

Informational tables will be set up and staffed by representatives of the Swampscott harbormaster, Swampscott Recreation Commission — which hosts the town sailing program — Ocean House Surf Shop and Café, Eastern Mountain Sports, and Sudbury Boat Care.

The open house runs from 1 to 4 p.m. For those who join the club during the event, the initiation fee is $150, which is half-price.


A NAUTICAL COMPETITION: The third annual Schooner Challenge takes place in Gloucester Harbor on Monday.


All proceeds benefit the stabilization of the original 1926 schooner Eveline Goulart, which is on permanent view at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in Essex.

The event starts from Maritime Gloucester on the historic waterfront. Visitors should be there by 5:30 p.m. to board one of the three Harold Burnham-built and Essex-made schooners: the Thomas E. Lannon, Fame, and the Ardelle.

Those on board help their team compete for the prize, performing many kinds of nautical tasks from tying knots and raising sails to weighing anchor, sea shanty singing, and man-overboard drills.

The event runs 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person. Visit .

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Amber Born of Marblehead recently received Mass Audubon’s James K. Whittemore Young Naturalist Award. The award is given for excellence in environmental stewardship. Born, 15, was nominated by the staff at Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, where she has attended camp for several years. In 2013, she joined the Ipswich River Bird-a-thon team to raise funds for the sanctuary’s land management and education programs. This past winter, she became a counselor-in-training for the sanctuary’s February vacation week programs for children ages 5 to 12. . . . Thomas Kehoe, chairman of the Board of Selectmen in Manchester-by-the-Sea and a retired Marblehead Middle School science teacher with 35 years of service, has been recognized by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Northeast Region with a 2014 Silver Antelope Award, which is the highest recognition a Scout region can award an adult volunteer. Kehoe, who has been involved in scouting for nearly 58 years, has served the Yankee Clipper Council in various capacities over the past 44 years.

Wendy Killeen can be reached at