Issue: April 2006
In Memoriam

     Hal Sutphen, widely known for his boating activities throughout the Bay area, passed away on December 5. He was a member of the Rappahannock River Yacht Club and the Northern Neck USCG Auxiliary flotilla, and served as a docent at the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum, where he skippered the skipjack Claud W. Somers. A career Navy man, Sutphen’s last tour of duty was as director of Navy sailing, overseeing Navy sailing programs worldwide. He also served as educational director for the Cruising Rally Association, which conducts the Caribbean 1500 and Passagemaker seminars. The Reverend Tulis, who assisted at his memorial service, commented, “Hal Sutphen will be missed and not forgotten by all those privileged to know him.”

     Captain Bob French, owner and operator of Tow BoatU.S. Solomons, passed away on January 23. French (with his wife, Captain Jane French) bought the Solomons Md., business about five years ago. Prior to that he towed boats on the Potomac River for Potomac Marine and captained tour boats running out of Alexandria Va. Whether you owned a 16-foot runabout or a 65-foot yacht, if you were in trouble French would help you out, according to Melissa McCormick of the Calvert Marine Museum. He would show up to tow your boat to shore, and before you knew it, he would fix your problem and send you on your way. If he had to tow you, he was likely to stick around and help you find the parts you needed for repairs or find you a place to stay while your boat was being fixed. As longtime friend Randy Payne Sr. wrote: “The good Lord’s boat must have needed a tow, so up to heaven Bob’s gotta go.”