Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mark and Morgan Visit

Mark and Morgan, my best friends and roommates from college visited last weekend.  Mark lives in Sweden and Morgan lives in Minnesota so they were both looking forward to some mid November fun in the sun.  As has now become crystal clear we are not to have good weather whenever guests from up north arrive. This is starting to get ridiculous.  Morgan has been here two times during the fall when it's normally 80 and sunny and both times it's been crap.  Same for Mark and others.  My family has stopped coming down for Christmas because their visits coincide with nasty cold fronts  Anyway, we had a great time hanging out at some of St Pete's attractions and even got a damp but warmish day out on Goat.

 Three amigos ready to set off for a little sail out Bunces Pass and into the Gulf.

Break for lunch on North Beach.

I like the pastel colors however this is not what DeSoto is supposed to look like.

This is what the same spot at DeSoto looks like 99% OF THE TIME!

Mark took the helm on the way back.

Morgan was very concerned.

It started drizzling.

The crew braved the conditions in good spirits.

 Coming back to the launch site.

Dali Museum was fun.

Habana Cafe, superb as always. Tostones!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Buzzelli Rendezvous at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron

The annual Buzzelli Multihull Rendezvous has become a bit of a tradition.  I'm not a racer but it's fun and interesting to check out what go-fast boats show up.  Hugh Horton came down from Cedar Key for the weekend and we carpooled to Sarasota on Saturday.  On the way there we stopped at Lucas Boatworks and Happy Hour Club.  Hugh had not been there before so Dave gave us the grand tour. Dave had his hip replaced recently and was getting around just fine, amazing.

When we got to Sarasota Pat Ball was already out sailing a beautiful 49 year old George Luzier daysailer.  George Luzier did the restoration so it's as authentic as can be.  Pat invited Hugh and me to go for a sail so we hopped aboard and had a great time cruising around the bay.

 Luzier daysailer.

Before taking off with Pat we helped Mike McGarry launch his foiler trimaran.

Nice beaching legs.

Hugh and Pat enjoying the sail.

"Chasing" some of the race boats like this Stiletto.

Randy Smyth's F-25C "YO" blasting by.

We stopped by the committee boat "Roseate" for a few refreshments.  "Roseate" is a Dave Gerr designed shallow draft trawler built by Charlie and Pat Ball.

Back on the beach we spotted a Tornado, highly modified for the 2014 Everglades Challenge.  Those wings look mighty comfy.

 Calm at the docks before all the race boats come back.

Here's Meade Gougeon talking to catamaran designer Peter Wormwood.  I think Peter Wormwood has designed some of the most beautiful cats on the water.  This is the gorgeous 35ft "Merlin".

 "Merlin" on the right.  The 40' white cat docked aft of "Merlin" is OH Rodger's race boat.

Playing with the iPhone auto panorama mode, it's come a long way.  I've manually stitched a lot of panoramas and aligning wooden planked docks is a royal pain.  This thing does it flawlessly.  Call me impressed.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Crystal River Boat Builders Launch Blockade Runner Scow Replica "Spirit"

For the last two years the Crystal River Boat Builders, CRBB, have been diligently building a replica of the 36ft blockade runner scow "Wartappo".  They only used tools and methods that were available during the 1860's.  That means no DeWalts or Makitas in sight.  Here's a description of the Wartappo:  Today was the christening and launch of the scow. The operation went smoothly and "Spirit" slid into the waters of Crystal River as the crowd cheered enthusiastically.  Well done you crazy boat building fools!  Go to the CRBB facebook page for lots more info and pics:

 Tractor ready for the pull to the ramp.

 At the ramp the tractor was unhitched and moved to the bow where it pushed the scow the rest of the way down the ramp.

 Massive tabernacle.

 Happy papa.

 Thumbs up for the final push.


She floats!

The Queen approves.

 The crowd is happy.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sailing Weekend at Ft Desoto

Sailing season is just around the corner so the WCTSS got an early start with a day-sail at Ft Desoto.  A few of us camped at DeSoto camp ground.  We had beautiful weather with a nice breeze and the usual afternoon thunderstorms stayed away both Friday and Saturday.

 Friday afternoon view from the campsite we shared with John and Colette Johns

 Friday afternoon we sailed in company with John and Colette on their Hobie TI.  Took a break to go swim on a sand bar.  I left the anchor in the van so was trying to keep Goat in place by jamming the dagger board into the sand.  Not a very good plan as eventually the wind caught the sail just right and the boat tripped over the board. 

 Colette and Kristi just laughed at our antics.

 Friday evening back at camp.

 Doug Engh's, Penobscot 14.

 Ron Falkey's Dalliance tri.

Goat up on the grass bank above high tide line.  Every time Kristi and I are able to drag the boat around we are grateful to designer, Michael Storer, for such a light boat.

 Penobscot 14

 Eric and Jane DeVoe's beautiful Welsford Houdini, "Belafonte"

 Heading out Bunces Pass.

Out in the Gulf.  Ron says: "sheet that thing in or get out of my way".

 Exploring a little sand bar on the north side of Bunces Pass.  It was too rough to beach the boats.  Ron wisely just sails by.

 These characters had already staked out high ground on the shoal.

 First outing of i550 "Hot Canary" Bill, Luke and Joy on board.

 Lunch on the protected side of North Beach.

"Hot Canary" doing her thing.

This critter stole our raspberry muffins from inside the van.  We initially wanted to exact massive revenge.

Later we found out she had a really cute baby so all was forgiven.

 We had a great fire both nights.  Initially there was some questioning of my fire making prowess.  Drastic measures had to be taken to protect my honor.  Retinas were seared.

 Sunday morning sky looked ominous but the storms did not materialize.

 Waiting on a free snack from the fishermen.

 Ron gave Doug a tow back to the ramp.

Camp all packed up and ready for the 15 mile trip home.