I first met Marty Nakashian in the spring of 1998. I was CBI's new Program Director and feeling some sense of trepidation as I tried to figure out how CBI worked. It was and is a unique mixture of personalities worthy of some literary description far beyond my skills. Marty epitomized much of what makes CBI special. Here are a few of my recollections.
On Friday nights Marty set up the grill, put on the apron and cooked burgers and dogs for everyone at sunset. He'd charge enough money to cover the cost but no more. Then on Saturday or Sunday if the weather was nice he'd set up an information table in front of the boathouse. He would answer questions all afternoon managing to communicate a sense of love for sailing on the Charles and CBI. Marty helped CBI's harbor trips by using computer programs to create tide charts for the purposes of trip planning. This was before the time of the internet explosion. I don't know the exact time frame but Marty served on CBI's board of directors for many years. Marty may have been most renowned for his navigation classes. Marty taught two navigation classes at CBI over many decades, Coastal Piloting, and Celestial Navigation. Anyone who took one of these courses was in for a treat. Marty was a brilliant teacher. He distilled the complex into the easy to understand. I can honestly say he made many Charles River Mercury sailors into navigators. Marty maintained the compass rose on the dock next to the dock house. When the dock was replaced in the winter of 2010-2011, Marty volunteered to paint a new compass rose for CBI. Today you can see the last compass rose Marty painted. It's quite beautiful. I always find something comforting in navigational things such as charts and compass roses. They orient the universe. They help people find their way. In many ways in life Marty helped CBI find it's way. The family of Marty Nakashian has requested that donations in memory of Marty may be donated to CBI for the purpose of maintaining his compass rose. It will be comforting to know that Marty will be keeping CBI on course in the future.