Sunday, May 22, 2016

Cedar Key Small Boat Meet

Have I mentioned that we love Cedar Key? We always have a great time at the Small Boat Meet so this year we took a week off to enjoy the event at a relaxed pace. The weather was spectacular. Not a cloud in the sky with a couple of very windy days, a couple less so and a couple light, drifty air days. Something for everyone.

Arriving at Sunset Isles campground. 

We brought Goat, two bikes and two full size kayaks. I need to add kayak racks to the Goat trailer. In the meantime the kayaks go inside the RV through the rear window. A bit ghetto but OK as a temporary solution for short trips. 

We use the kid cart to haul groceries and all sorts of other crap. 

Launched Goat Thursday morning. RV with Goat trailer fits well in launch ramp spaces. This was a requirement when we were picking out what to get for a camper.

I dropped the mast off at Island Place beach then launched Goat and rowed under the bridge. This is what I saw when I got to the beach.

Thursday the winds were 15 kn gusting to 20 kn. Only a handful of boats were out. I had the second reef in and Goat was scooting around at 5-7 kn.  Glen was out as well in his Beetle Cat.

Big fun!

I was sailing the boat off the wind while videoing when a gust hit. I was too slow steering the boat back under the sail and over we went. No big deal, was back upright in seconds. Did not even get wet. I have video of the whole thing and will post when edited. A screen shot for now. 

Stopped for a rest on Atsena.

On the way back in to Cedar Key I hit a group of f#$%ing Manatees! No really, they were mating in the channel. The water was murky and I had no idea they were there. As the boat stopped with a bang the water exploded around me and one of the Manatees side swiped the rudder. It hit hard enough to blow out the rudder box. I did not realize it at the time as I still had good steering control and it was only a short distance to the beach.

That night with Hugh Horton's help, a scrap piece of wood, one pump of West System and a couple of deck screws we had the rudder cassette back to functional. The permanent repair will require a complete rebuild.

 Structurally good as new. 

Friday the wind was a couple knots lighter at 14-16 kn, which is a shame as I had great crew. Wes White and I spent the afternoon flogging the Goat. There was enough wind to just start the Goat planing at around 7 kn with a few bursts into mid 8 kn range. With a couple more knots of wind we would have been solidly on plane all day long! But I'm not complaining. Photo by Michael Jones.

This is what a fun afternoon looks like.

JF Bedard was out there handling the chop very well in his own design Ozona pram. Check out his web site:  Photo by Michael Jones.

 Wes and I not hiking hard but fully powered up. Photo by Michael Jones.

Photo by Michael Jones.

Planing around. GPS track log says we are doing 7.3 - 7.9 kn at this moment. Video by Michael Jones.

Island Place beach Friday night.

 Saturday the beach at Atsena Otie is filling up.

Ron Hoddinott and I took Goat out for a spin.

Conditions were pretty calm. Kent and Barbara's Two Bow SeaPearl is the party boat. 

Banjo, the super charming campground cat hung out with us a lot.

 Sunday morning on the way to breakfast at Annie's. 

But of course.

Sunday at Atsena we met Jacob and Ampai. Jacob built "Groot" a beautifully executed Gary Dierking wa'apa outrigger canoe. Interesting modifications are the Storer balanced lug and foils. 

Jacob with Ampai, Hugh with Karen and I went sailing around and through Atsena Otie. 

Entering Atsena Otie.

Inside Atsena.

NE exit from Atsena. Note the super high tide. Low tide exposes oyster bars all over this area. 

 Beach break on NE tip of Atsena.

 Monday Hugh Horton and Harry (Goke) Tomlinson rig their Buffleheads. Spot the Goat?

Hugh with Karen, Goke and I sailed to North Key on Monday.

 On the way to North Key.

 Approaching North Key.

 Lunch on North Key.

 Ghosting along on the north side of North Key.

Barely awake on the way back to Cedar Key.

Somewhere in among all the sailing a bit of kayaking was done off the dock in our back yard.

Osprey nest on wreck.

Not happy to have me poking around. 

A succesful hunt. 

Tuesday Hugh, Karen, Kristi and I took Goat for a picnic on Snake Key.

Snake Key.

Lunch. We found an abandoned, wind damaged awning and put it to good use. 

Cormorants. After lunch we ghosted along Snake key shoreline.  

The wind died to nothing on the way back. Everyone was getting more and more horizontal. We ended up paddle sailing a bit. 

The wind picked up just enough to have one last bit of fun on the last sail of the trip.


  1. I always enjoy Cedar Key from a distance!

  2. Great post! Seems like so much fun, and that planing video does justice to your blog. Nice to see an equivalent to the SRR but south. Boy that Goat is quite the boat.

    1. Good to hear from you, Christophe. Still want to do the SRR, one of these days. A duckpunt would work quite well in the waters around Cedar Key...