Tuesday, April 27, 2010


As I was experiencing it, this past weekend didn't feel all that noteworthy. There was definitely more socializing than sailing. But now from midweek, reflecting on the weekend doings, I am struck at how the diversity in my boating friends mirrors many of the philosophical underpinnings to this blog.

On Friday evening, I day sailed my Classic Moth out of SSA. Driving over the Route 50 bridge I knew the wind on the Severn River was from the West. At the club, there was a light easterly wind, a 180 degree switch between the Chesapeake Bay and the Severn River. This sounds odd but isn't as rare as one would think. I launched and opted to try the Severn River, hoping for more wind strength. Off the Naval Academy, I had to endure a large windless hole where the two opposing breezes fought each other. However, once past, there was a pleasant 5 knots upwind to Manresa and then back again. On spring weekdays, there are a myriad of high school teams running their short course practice sessions, even upriver where the Severn School practices in the shadow of the Route 50 bridge. A very pleasant day sail.

On Saturday daytime, I cut the lawn but in the evening I was invited to a party of the Annapolis Section of the Carbon Makers Society (actually some International Canoe buddy's from yore who still race these challenging beasts but also get their jollies by designing and building lightweight carbon racing dinghies.... Bill Beaver, John Kells, George Saunders, and Gui with special guest Bob Ames). Well, I don't race International Canoes anymore, nor foiler Moths, nor do I build Carbon boats, but I get a pass since I've known most of these guys for over 20 years. As you can guess, the conversation is technical, engineering technical, naval architecture technical....... these guys love analyzing how to make sailing dinghies fast and light. But nowadays the conversation can't spiral too far into the nitty gritty of laminate schedules or daggerboard planforms as everyone (excepting "moi" and Bob Ames) are raising young families. Three year olds, seven year olds running hither and yon, sometimes with dangerous sticks, sometimes crying after spilling off the swing, sometimes hovering on their parents lap. Ah! the memories.... but I don't want to go back.

On Sunday morning, Bob Blomquist gave me a call about his adventures at the Cortez Small Boat Meet, held mid April at the North end of Sarasota Bay. Bob hauled his Bolger Light Schooner "Scoona" down to the meet and regaled me with stories of the sailing race around the island with the winner ringing a bell on a sandbar and his adventures in Ted Weihe's Flying Scot in big breeze on Sarasota Bay. You get Bob and I wound up and we can tell some sea stories, chuckling through all of them. You can see photos of the Cortez Small Craft meet here.

On Sunday late afternoon, I attended a theater party (my wife is very much involved with the Annapolis Colonial Players). Not to worry. This being Annapolis there are always sailors. I had an interesting conversation with Dick Whaley about the Sabre 28 he once owned and another conversation with Rolph Townshend, longtime Alberg 30 sailor and master model maker (he is currently scratch building a model of the "Pride of Baltimore"). He urged me to go see the recently reopened Naval Academy museum which he rates as one of the finest naval history museums going. I've been through it many years ago but with Rolph's superlatives ringing in my ears I've just added it to my immediate "to do" list (when I have a free afternoon).

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