Yachtsmen always find the bright side. Just ask TV personality A.J. Hammer. After departing Key West, Florida, his vessel was blasted by a microburst and 40- to 60-knot winds. Trudging through the tempest, he ducked his yacht into a nearby port, which turned out to be Little Palm Island and its five-star resort.
“A happy accident,” Hammer says, chuckling. What he loves about cruising, he says, is that “it’s different every day.”
As a child, Hammer was mesmerized by the water on family vacations. The yachting seed took root. His TV career blossomed, and his cruising pursuits increased. He started with a 21-foot bowrider, even running 90 nautical miles down the Hudson River until a deluge beset him. Hiding under a tarp with a beer, he decided it was time to move up, eventually to a 47-footer.
He’s traveled the Eastern Seaboard extensively and is looking for his next vessel. The yachtsman recently crewed on a friend’s 75-foot Hatteras and says he is a Jack Hargrave fan. Something around 65 feet would be about right. Could Hammer’s Hatt be next?
Q: Do you have a favorite cruising destination?
A: On the encouragement of friends, we cruised to Menemsha, Massachusetts. I went there for two to three days and stayed for 10. There was just something about the sunsets, fresh fish off the boat and good vibes all around.
Q: What’s one of your memorable voyaging moments?
A: Coming into Coinjock, North Carolina, on Halloween (my birthday) with an 8-foot-tall inflatable Grim Reaper on the foredeck of my friend’s Hatteras motoryacht.