Captian Virgil Glen Hubbard
August 13, 1946 – December 3, 2018
I’m deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the great Capetian Virgil Hubbard. Many many years ago around 1999 I had the pleasure of sailing around the tip of Florida with Virgil & my father Jack Anderson of Cornelia GA. This is one of my favorite stories of all times, and I would like to share it here in honor of Capt. Virgil.
It was an adventure like no other. I had never been away from home for so long far less away from then girlfriend whom is now my wife. It was an amazing 2 weeks at sea. I was a young buck, freshly 21, and the opportunity was there for the plundering. Not many young men get to take a world class sailing trip to celebrate 21 year of birth, but Capt. Virgin made it happen. We started at St. Petersburg Florida, and sailed all the way to the Florida Keys, and then back. The inter-coastal water way was a great route in which hosted many a fun times in and out of port. At times we stayed out at sea trying to find the big fish. I remember times when we had sharks circling around us. Never had I hated sharks so much in my life. Life on a sail boat is an adventure in itself. You see there is very little privacy. We had a bathroom, but you had better hold on tight or the waves would get the best of you. Showers were taken on deck with black solar heated bags. You only had so much warm fresh water that you had better make it count. Shaving was also interesting. Sometimes it was not worth shaving due to the possibility of cutting yourself and getting an infection. Pouring rubbing alcohol was always an option, but hurt like the dickens. Spending day after day on a boat with very little shade will either kill you or make a man out of you. Living on a boat with 2 other grown men also teaches you lots of communication skills & patience. I remember this one time we had drank so much the night before that all I could do was lay on the deck in the son, and just bake. That part was not so fun. I believe we found a port and took real showers after baking in the sun for what seemed like days.
My most memorable time however was when we got stuck. You see I hate getting boats stuck. Even through I do not boat much anymore it seems that we always seem to get the boat stuck. Well this one time we decided we should head inland because there was a massive storm coming towards the cost. We found some refuge in a near by cove. Elated that we had found refuge from the storm we decided to celebrate like all good sailors do, and we had a few cocktails…. This is where things get interesting. While we were having a grand old time inside the cabin we had not noticed that the tide had gone out. After a while we started to notice that the boat was leaning a bit. Seeing that it had a 20 foot keel we had apparently gotten stuck due to the the tide going out. We tried to free ourselves but the incoming storm was just to much. We retreated inside, and decided to make the best of it. About an hour later the storm had enough of our fun times, and decided to flip the boat back and forth over the keel violently. This of course flung heavy coolers inside off the inside tables, nearly injuring half of the crew. The sound was incredible. It was if there was a war going on outside. The tide kept going out, and the tossing and turning continued for hours. At this point I decided that I needed to try to get some sleep, ya right! I kept getting knocked off anything I sat on. Fearing that I would be knocked out of the boat in the dark in a horrible storm I decided to bungee cord myself to the starboard side guild rail. As the boat tossed us violently around I was able to hang on for dear life. That was one of the longest nights I have ever endured. That storm had its way with us for nearly 7 hours. I was wet, hurting, and got zero sleep. Around 5AM the storm left, and things calmed down. Finally around 6AM the tide had come in enough that the boat was freed, and no longer stuck on its keel. We all had survived the night all be it a bit beaten and tattered. During the entire storm Captain Virgil Hubbard was as calm & cool as a cucumber. Eventually we returned to our port of call as the trip had to come to an end.
Some people would say that sounds like a trip from hell. I believe that it was an amazing trip that I would do over in a heart beat. I learned a lot on that trip about many things. However best of all, I got the pleasure of sailing with the worlds greatest sail boat Captain “Captain Virgil Hubbard”. I will tell this story to my children and their children’s children. Thank you lord for allowing me the time with Captain Virgil as you saw fit. My prayers are with Virgil’s Wife Judy, and their family. Captain Virgil was an amazing man. Judy thank you for sharing him with us so many years ago for sailing trip of a life time!