Actor Christopher Reeve took to the air for his role as Superman, but he grew up learning to sail along the New Jersey coast. The owner of a sleek, fast Swan 40--a 40-foot sloop that many sailors regard as the Rolls Royce of racing and cruising vessels--he has sailed many times to Bermuda and occasionally in the Caribbean. But it is the New England coast that he knows best. From Newport, R.I., where he currently is filming "The Bostonians," Reeve cites his favorite ports:

* Nantucket: "In early October. I really don't like the crowds and social aspect of the sailing scene. I much prefer sailing with a group of friends, and I'm a great off-season enthusiast. You come around the schoal and see the steeple of the church and the wharf of the town. You know it won't be crowded."

* Yarmouth in Nova Scotia: "It's a working port. I've only been there in the summer, but it is out of the way."

* Christmas Cove in Maine: "It's around the corner from Booth Bay Harbor. It's a long, narrow finger of water surrounded by jagged rocks and trees. The water is very clear and very deep. You can come in verye. It is isolated. The feeling is very romantic."