La Sonata

Experience the freedom and performance only a yacht with a racing heritage can provide.

Last year, Cathy and I offered a weekend on La Sonata for auction during the annual DC area Leukemia and Lymphoma charity drive. Three couples outbid all others, and all praised the experience. Keith was so inspired by La Sonata and the services we provided that he chose to chronicle his experience. Here are Keith’s reflections, and those of his shipmates. Enjoy!


From: Rutledge, Keith
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 11:11 AM
To: Collins, Darren; Rutledge, Abby; Collins, Janice M; Montgomery, Jackie; Clime, Catherine
Subject: What a wonderful trip!

I got to work Monday, and after the morning run of issues, I hit my first daydream about the trip and quickly looked up Sonata on Wikipedia………...a musical term for a piece played as opposed to sung. The description continued with the various forms and propagations of sonatas, and I zoned back to the weekend for a minute before work pushed its way back in. Next round at work ended and I started the email slave machine to find welcome notes from shipmates about the great weekend……a welcome bonus. Next round, and paperwork done, maybe it's my turn……... I got some thoughts together.

Boat Charterers should have some chatter from past sailings and the good days that somehow manifest should have some sort of chronicle lest we forget them.

Being more in tune now to writing memos and briefings, I stretched back to remember what college English instructors tried to instill in the poor dumb engineers.

Here's my try at both the chronicle of the adventure and maybe something Bob and Cathy can use (edit as you see fit) on a website or pamphlet promotion to let others know just how fantastic the La Sonata experience can be.

A piece played

Before you even arrive, you know you are in for a special experience. The request to come aboard brings a tour of La Sonata that quickly has you marveling at the spacious efficiency and charm of the vessel. Hosts Bob and Cathy continue to bring you into the feel of the excursion with their generosity and patience for those without seafaring knowledge. 'Captain' Bob and 'Admiral' Cathy set the perfect tone and make sure you don't forget that the time is to be spent on enjoyment. Breakfast brings only an inkling of the culinary delights possible aboard when someone with Cathy's knack for food and entertaining is in control. With the lines cast off from the dock, the adventure continues as the sights and sounds of the Annapolis waterfront move astern and the raising of sails signals the start of La Sonata’s entry into open water. Making your way into the Chesapeake Bay past Thomas Point Lighthouse brings the power of the wind being harnessed and motivates you towards able bodied seamanship with the instruction of Captain Bob. Just as you might be thinking there must be too much to be done to make the boat do what it is supposed to do when tasked with conforming to Mother Nature, you realize you have the whole idea wrong ………. the calmness and hospitality of Bob and Cathy keep you in place to adapt to what comes your way. Great food keeps appearing and you keep making your way effortlessly through the Chesapeake to a destination of your choosing.

What will you remember of the time spent aboard? The good food? The good company? Maybe the wind, water and texture of the daytime skies? Maybe the star-filled night or the misty morning on the water away from the city lights and noise. Or is it the fabulous Bloody Mary's in the morning and whatever is produced by the Margaritaville® frozen drink mixer for the rest of the day's libations pushing that relaxation button. Could the realization that the timeless pace this sailing vessel provides was shedding the modern day stresses from you be whatever comes to mind? Whatever your desire or expectation at the beginning, rest assured that in the end, La Sonata can provide. A piece played well.

Alternate Captain Bob ending...and that doesn't suck.

Keith Rutledge


From: Collins, Darren
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 4:21 PM
To: Rutledge, Abby; Collins, Janice M; Montgomery, Jackie ; Clime, Catherine
Cc: Rutledge, Keith
Subject: RE: What a wonderful trip!

Yes, Yes, Yes. It’s all true! I can’t think of a time where so many things just gelled together all at once. This was my Ferris Bueller weekend. Anyone, Anyone.

Darren P. Collins, Sr.


From:Rutledge, Abby
Sent:Monday, September 22, 2008 3:54 PM
To:Collins, Darren; Collins, Janice M; Montgomery, Jackie; Clime, Catherine
Cc: Rutledge, Keith
Subject: RE: What a wonderful trip!

Hi all,

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone for such a fun weekend. This will certainly be a trip that I will remember forever!

Cathy and Bob, thank you again for being such wonderful hosts and taking such good care of us. The food was incredible and the company even better. We may have come aboard as strangers but it is wonderful to know we left as friends.

I can now say that I "drove" a 49 foot sail boat!! Captain Bob was very generous to allow each of us a hand at the wheel:-)

If we are invited to go boating with you again we have all agreed that we will bring the food so you won't have to feed us!! :-)

Again, it was an absolute pleasure and thank you so much! I can't imagine a more perfect weekend!


Note: Of course, Keith and Darren took turns behind the wheel, but so did each of the women.


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