Century Club: mike pitchford

Friday, November 19, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

Our little FL runabout needed annual service (oil, all filters, lower end gear oil and water pump) to make her ready for the coming winter season.  In many way this is not unlike spring commissioning on the Bay. 

In what turned out to be driving rain ar one point, I drove the boat an hour and a half south to a boat ramp where the service folks loaded me on one of their trailers to take it to the shop.  

Monday, November 1, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • dock under water
  • rescued dock furnature that had floated away

With cooler weather by the end of October cruising is usually over for us and winterization is underway.  This last weekend in October we joined friends for a pandemic delayed long weekend in the VA mountains.  While there we missed the highest water in Annapolis since Isabel in 2003.

Neighbors covered for us and the bats were ok on the dock.  However, we did have a couple pieces of dock furniture float away as the water came close to two feet over the dock.

Whe  we got back from the mountains I took the Key West runabout out looking for the errant dock furniture and found at least some of it. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021 to Sunday, October 24, 2021
Number of days:
2 days

The last cruise of the Club's season has become known at the "Plan A/B Cruise".  It has been a staple of the cruising calendar since 2012.  It was designed to be one last easy overnight, to a close location, before folks put their boats up for the winter. 

In this inaugural year, the cruise was dutifully planned for the last weekend in October. As fate would have it, Hurricane Sandy formed in the Carribean in late October and advanced north to become Superstorm Sandy, devastating the New York and New England coasts.  On the way north the storm brushed by Annapolis and caused the cruise organizers to reconsider the planned anchorage nearby.

So, Plan B was born.  Boats stayed at home.  In lieu of the short overnight trip the cruise leaders hosted the would be cruisers at their home for a happy hour.  In the years since the cruise has been planned with both boat cruise and land travel options, depending on the weather.  In practice, except in the worst weather, cruisers have come both by land and by sea.

The 2021 installment offered very good weather.  Ten boats and crews anchored in Rideout Creek,  just north of Annapolis. A larger contingent arrive by car and 50+ spend a wonderful fall evening outside a members waterfront home.   

 

Friday, October 15, 2021 to Monday, October 18, 2021
Number of days:
4 days

Friends from Annapolis bought a new to them boat, a Back Cove 34.  The boat was located in Palm Coast Fl.  Their choice was to take the boat back to Annapolis and winterize or keep the boat in FL for the winter, use it and join the spring migration up the ICW. They wisely chose the latter.

So, we joined them for a few days travel down the ICW from Palm coast to Jupiter.  Along the way we stopped in Cocoa, Melbourne and Stuart. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

One of the many pleasures of boating is going out to a meal by boat. We are in Fl for a couple weeks and so took the little runabout to lunch at the Dive Bar.  This is one of a half a dozen nearby restaurants reachable by boat. 

Monday, October 11, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

When you leave your boat in FL over the summer you "summerize" it.  This process has similarities to winterizing starting now on the Bay. 

Today I had the opportunity to de-summerize our little runabout down here in FL and get her ready for the season. It all  brings new meaning to "endless summer."  Many boating days ahead of us in sunny south FL.

Sunday, October 10, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

Visited with ex Annapolitians, Hank and Elly Libby. Went out on their "little" boat, a Boston Whaler 280 Outrage. 

Saturday, October 2, 2021 to Sunday, October 3, 2021
Number of days:
2 days
  • overloaded jon boat

For the record, I am not a big camper.  However, at least one of my brothers is into "bike packing" and two are Marine officers with, shall we say, some experience sleeping in tents. The bike packer brother suggested a bike packing trip to False Cape State Park in extreme SE Virginia and the rest us six brothers in all, said sure.

There were zoom calls to plan and lists, spreadsheets as well to track yet more logistics than a single overnight would seem to merit. As we advanced the planning it was clear that more goods, like a fully loaded cooler, would need to come into the campground than could be bike packed.  Enter the idea of a boat.

And so it was that a 10' Jon boat with a cranky outboard was overloaded with gear to make a seven mile trip down Virginia's Back Bay to the state park campsite. Five went by bike and I piloted the little Jon boat to and from the campsite.  

 

Thursday, September 23, 2021 to Sunday, September 26, 2021
Number of days:
4 days
  • last Orioles game of the season, by boat of course

Back in college (the 70s) our Boys Sails were on a friends Cape Dory 25 or another borrowed boat, in the southern Bay.  They were mostly day sails with maybe an overnight for adventure.  By the late 80s the four of us were finding long weekends once a year to "recreate" our college fun. Every year since, 30+ years, we have had some sort of a Boys Sail.

The years have included three week long charters in the BVI and several long legs on the ICW.  We have a fourth trip to the BVI scheduled for early 2022.

This year we got a long ICW trip in May bringing the boat home from Florida.  We also enjoyed a storm interrupted long weekend on the Bay in late August. Becasue one of us missed those trips in 2021 and because of the weather shortened August trip, we decided to do a long weekend in late September to cap the season.

What we got for our troubles was a beautiful weather window, after Thursdays storms, and a visit to a new port for us. The trip included Annalpolis, Harve De Grace and Baltimore.  While in Baltimore we managed to catch the last Saturday evening game of the Orioles season.  $12 tickets got us almost any seat we wanted as the ballpark was maybe 15% full and the ushers were easy going.     

Friday, September 17, 2021 to Sunday, September 19, 2021
Number of days:
3 days
  • Beer and Brats

The Annapolis Yacht Club cruising fleet was off on another adventure this weekend.  The destination was Rock Hall.  The theme was Oktoberfest. Over 40 boats and 80+ cruisers descended on Haven Harbour Marina for a little beer and brats. 

The weather on the way over on Friday was a little rainy.  On the way back on Sunday it got a little blustery. Inbertween we had some nice weather to be outdoors having fun.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

cooler and dry morning.  great row. 

Monday, September 13, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

Hard to call this morning row just exercise.  It is good for that if you keep up a pace that gets your heart moving.  There is also the communing with nature, the fish jumping of the squawk of a Great Blue Heron. The quiet peacefulness brings a moment of Zen as well. Maybe a meditation alternative?

Anyway is is all good. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021 to Sunday, September 12, 2021
Number of days:
2 days
  • at anchor listening to the music

Thew 19th annual Shaw Bay concert featuring the Wye River Band. Probablly 100 boats in Shaw Bay.  Great weather and a  great event.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • my exercise vehicle

starting to get good at this. Good exercise.

Saturday, September 4, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

Another nice morning for a row.  Got to do this and get my time in before the weather turns.  

Monday, August 30, 2021 to Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Number of days:
3 days
  • The crew at Nat's Park

Once or twice a year, for 30 years now, I have hosted my college roommates/fraternity brothers for a trip on the boat.  Our Boys Sails actually began in college in the 70s.  These were day sails on a Cape Dory 25 owned by one of them.  Our "modern history" of Boys Sails began in 1992 on my new to me then Sabre 32.

At first it was long weekends with the "boys" taking Friday off and sailing through Sunday. Along the way we occasional stretched to four days and often added a baseball game (Orioles).

About 15 years into our now 30 year history we made a trip to the BVI for a week long boys charter. That was so much fun we did it a couple more times and are going back in 2022 for our fourth week long charter.

The boats progressed from the Sabre 32 to a Catalina 380, then to a North Pacific 43 trawler and now to a Legacy 32. The trips also got longer and included some ICW legs.  Collectively we have shared a lot of miles together.

This week we planned a five day Boys Sail to include a Nationals game (by car, not taking the boat to Washington though we have thought about it). In planning our stops included Annapolis, Baltimore, Harve De Grace and Rock Hall.  

The remnants of Hurricane Ida cut the trip in half.  We got our opening ballgame and time in Anapolis and Baltimore but headed back to the home dock before Ida's winds rain and tornados came through Annapolis.       

Friday, August 27, 2021 to Sunday, August 29, 2021
Number of days:
3 days
  • AYC cruise to CYC

Late August weekend.  Cruise time! Annapolis Yacht Club Cruisers headed down the Bay just a bit to spend the weekend at the Chesapeake Yacht Club.  It was hot and their pool was inviting.  The kids on the cruise had a great time.   

Thursday, August 26, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

three times this week!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

another perfect morning for a row

Monday, August 23, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

Hot August night! Time for a cocktail cruise.  Took Patti Lee for a ride in Mill Creek.  Found our friends the Rubin's home and outside.  Stopped in, tied up and finished our beverages over conversation with them.  Ah, the pleasures of creek crawling!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

With the dog days of summer and some tropical influence we have had rain some mornings and high humidity.  finally we had a nice morning and so I got our for a row. 

Saturday, August 14, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • Grandaughter's first time at the helm

Took the little boat up the Magothy to serve as the yacht club shuttle for folks arriving at the Beach Party by boat.  Arriving by car but going for a boat ride and her first time driving the boat was granddaughter Quinn!

Monday, August 2, 2021 to Friday, August 6, 2021
Number of days:
5 days
  • Birthday girl and friends ready for dinner

The AYC New England Cruise ended officially on Sunday August 1 with a final group gathering at the famed Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport.  On Monday morning we started a purposeful trip home.

My wife and life partner was celebrating her birthday this week.  So we made stops on the way home aimed at having several birthday dinners with friends. We made stops in Milford, Greenwich, Manasquan and Cape May each including a friend or more and each including a birthday cake or ice cream with a candle. 

Monday, July 19, 2021 to Sunday, August 1, 2021
Number of days:
14 days
  • Lobster!

The long planned trip to New England was great fun, as expected.  Actually getting to Long Island Sound is a three day push, maybe four if the weather cooperates.  This is the pleasure of a faster boat able to travel at 18 knots.

Our New England stops included Newport, Cuttyhunk, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket with the Yacht Club.  Stops on our own in transit included Mystic, Greenwich, Port Jefferson, Falmouth and Milford.

Boating in New England includes expensive slips (paid $8 a foot one place) and moorings.  There seems to be an endless supply of little port towns to explore on both sides of the Sound. 

 Like on the Bay, you have to watch our for pot floats.  In this case it is Lobster pots. You know you are in New England when Lobster replaces the Blue Crab! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 to Sunday, July 18, 2021
Number of days:
5 days
  • NO CRUISER PASSING THROUGH NEW YORK HARBOR CAN RESIST THIS PHOTO

This summer we got to start a cruise to New England that has been 20 months in the planning.  Cruisers at the Annapolis Yacht Club began planning for a summer of 2020 cruise to New England in November of 2019. Covid caused the cancelation of the planned cruise in late April 2020 and the planers vowed to make it happen in the summer of 2021. And so they did. 

On July 14th we departed Annapolis for Cape May.  The daily push was then on next for Manasquan, NJ, through New York Harbor to Port Jefferson on Long Island then on to historic Mystic Connecticut before finally arriving at the first stop on the cruise, Newport RI. The first leg covered 400 nautical miles.

Next up the New England destinations!

Friday, July 9, 2021 to Sunday, July 11, 2021
Number of days:
3 days

Biggest cruise of the year is always the Newcomers Cruise.  This year was no exception as 43 boats and 140 people descended on St Michael's for the weekend. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum was the host and a good time was had by all!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 to Friday, July 9, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • $12 part, $2k labor

Into every boater's life a little rain must fall. Often the rain is in the form of needed maintenance and repair downtime.  Ah downtime.

The engine instruments on my cruising boat stopped working a couple weeks ago.  The engine ran fine but I had no information: RPM, oil pressure and water temp, etc. A trip to New England is in the offing and you can't go on a long trip without knowing what the engine is doing.  

The season is on and the boat mechanics are hard to get.  One I called could not get to me for eight weeks!

I did some troubleshooting myself and called the instrument manufacturer (Mercury Marine) or tech help, which was no help.

Desperate to get it fixed I took the boat to a local marina specializing in Mercury Marine.  As back-up, I scheduled the very expensive Cummins folks to come take a look (boat engine is Cummins). $500 and a day later the Mercury Marine folks could not find the problem.  $1500 and one $12 inline fuse holder later Cummins had it fixed.     

Saturday, July 3, 2021 to Monday, July 5, 2021
Number of days:
3 days
  • Pat's Spirit name cnange and rededication ceremony
  • Pat's Spirit first sail

I know I am preaching to the choir but, there is something about sailing. It keeps you coming back.

Growing up in a Marine Corps family with a lot of siblings, I was introduced to boats around 10. We were living on a lake in Florida and USMC Special Services allowed the family a 12’ Jon boat with a 15 HP engine for the year.  I learned boat handling and how to water ski on the back of that little bundle of joy.

A few years later, living in Oceanside California, I learned to sail. The “trainer” was an exceedingly small but glitzy (varnished wood) pram with a lateen rig and sideboard.  The hardware was brass and not so strong.  I learned this after a long scull back to the dock when the tiller and rudder became magically disconnected (metal fatigue).

I was smitten and my love of sailing was born.

Through my high school years we (large family, nine siblings) lived on the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk.  We had various small beachable boats and the love of sailing grew. Looking out over the Bay at the “big” sailboats going by, I could only wonder and long for a command of my own.

College was also near the Bay.  When you move around a lot as a kid, sometimes you just want to stay in the same place.  Old Dominion University was in Norfolk and that was where I wanted to go.

In college I did a little racing on Hobie Cats off the sand in Virginia Beach (Hobie Fleet 32). An older Vietnam Vet friend and classmate managed to acquire a Cape Dory 25 and she was our magical carpet for years. I missed a lot of good classes, trading the acquisition of knowledge for the experience of sailing a “big” boat.

From college on I was never without a boat. After grad school it was a houseboat to live on and an Erickson 27 to sail. The Erickson was followed by a Sabre 32. The progression included marriage and two sons. 

In 1994 work took the family to Charlotte NC.  We held on to the Sabre, keeping her in charter and using her for a week long annual cruise ourselves.  We explored lake sailing (okay for day sailing, not so good for cruising) and bought a weekend lake house. 

You know what happened next. The boys became enamored with power boats and Sea Doos.  Though they know how to sail, the connection between testosterone and horsepower was too great to overcome. We eventually sold the Sabre and expanded a collection of boats without sails on the lake.            

As a result, I was suffering sailing withdrawal. We had room at the lake house dock, and I went looking for a small boat to sail myself.  I found a 1984 Day Sailer II, original sails and serviceable condition. I sailed her some but work (busy day job) and all those powerboats, not to mention soccer and little league, kept my use to a minimum.        

After 11 years in Charlotte we moved to Annapolis, MD and found a nice house on a creek off the Bay. We got back into sailing with a Catalina 380.  The DS II found a home on a lift in our back yard and tasted saltwater, maybe for the first time.  However, she continued to languish (even busier day job). 

In 2010 I gave up. I passed her on to a brother, Pat, who took it to his weekend home on a North Carolina sound.  Sadly, she never got in the water (another busy day job story). Some years later he was diagnosed with cancer.  He passed away in 2019, way too young.

In the summer of 2020 Pat’s wife reached out and asked if I wanted the DS II back.  Needing a pandemic project and now retired, with perhaps more time to sail, I said yes!

The DS II had migrated back from the North Carolina sound house to the side yard of a rental property Pat owned in Norfolk. She was much worse for the wear, but salvageable.  Undaunted by the photos my sister-in-law sent, I drove from Annapolis to Norfolk to get her back.  I replaced the trailer tires, wiring and lights and repacked the wheel bearings. Soon she was back in Annapolis and the real work started. 

I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned her.  I bought a new full cover and put her back on her lift. Over the winter I had a local boat building shop build new hatch boards and a tiller (both had rot). I have replaced the halyards and done some mast repair.  The sails may be questionable (still original).

We do a family reunion annually, usually in Annapolis and usually around the Independence Day holiday. This year the family joined us to see a nephew off into the USNA class of 2025.  On Saturday the 3rd, the family gathered on the dock and we held a boat name change and rededication ceremony for the DS II. The new name: “Pat’s Spirit”. 

Honoring nautical tradition Pat's Spirit was dropped into the water after the naming ceremony and went for her first sail.  It was beautiful, emotional and fun all at once. 

 

 

Monday, June 28, 2021 to Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Number of days:
3 days
  • the fleet at the ready

Annual family reunion in Annapolis!  Boating almost every day. there are ten watercraft on the dock from our cruising powerboat to kayaks and SUPs.  Something or several somethings going out every day, at least until the storms of Thursday and Friday.   

Friday, June 25, 2021 to Sunday, June 27, 2021
Number of days:
3 days
  • AYC boats at TAYC

The Annapolis Yacht Club Cruising Fleet had a great weekend visiting Oxford June 25-27.  Blue skies with comfortable winds and temperature added to the enjoyment.

The Tred Avon Yacht Club served as host and welcomed our fleet of 40 boats and over 10 crew with grace and comfort.  We enjoyed cocktails on the docks Friday with bright sunshine and seasonal temperatures while watching the Friday night races.  Saturday started with an interesting and quite entertaining docent lead tour of Oxford filled with history and stories about the town, its people, and buildings.

The Tred Avon Yacht Club pulled out all the stops for our dinner Saturday evening. Great food, a fine venue, and outstanding camaraderie made for a very fun evening. Many thanks to the leadership, management, and staff of the TAYC with a call out to Tom Campbell, TAYC Commodore, and Vicky Van Loo, the club manager, for their fine hospitality!

On Sunday, the finale of the cruise was a bike ride starting and ending at the Oxford Ferry. Bill Walczak organized over 20 bikers and ensured they had maps to get back. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

Think I am getting the hang of this!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

My 1984 DS II came back to the Bay and my care after an extended period of neglect.  I began restoring it last fall but it spend the winter covered on the lift getting little attention.  I had the wooden parts, tiller and hatch boards rebuilt and worked today reassembling her and getting her ready to sail.  

Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • Boyz Book club shuttle craft

Since 2009 I have had the pleasure of being a member of the Chesapeake Boyz book club.  The group has been fairly steady in membership,10 to a dozen of us.  We are old guys broadly spread politically but tied together by boats and the Bay. 

Over time some have moved to Florida and one has passed on to the big book club in the sky. We have a core of members from the beginning and some new old guys along the way to bolster our ranks.

The attraction is not so much the books as the comradery, opportunity to discuss worthy issues raised by the read and generally solve the problems of the world, at least in out minds.  

For the past year and a half we have done our almost monthly meetings by Zoom.  In May, with COVID on the decline, we had our first in person gathering, a raft up of several boats in Whitehall Bay.

Today we had our first since COVID gathering at our of our homes.  This is more our norm and it was nice to get back to same.  And, since it was on a nearby creek, I got to go by boat!

Saturday, June 19, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • Father's Day creek cruise

Father's Day weekend just had to be a boat weekend for a boat owning father and grandfather (me). Saturday started with an exercise run in the rowing dinghy.  Shortly thereafter the first part of the family arrived, son, daughter in law and first grandchild. She was now two and owing to COVID had not been properly exposed to boats and the Bay.

fortunately she immediately gravitated toward the water.  We hustled her into her life jacket and launched the inflatable for a short row so she could touch the water.

Later in the afternoon the family loaded onto the trusty center console and cruised about the creek, stopping to visit with friends.

Friday, June 18, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • our dinner shuttle

In a sure sign of getting back to normal six of us (all long vaccinated) enjoyed a nice crab cake dinner outside at one of the group's home.  As is out custom on the creek, we took the little boat over rather tan drive.  It is actually closer by boat though it takes a bit longer to park :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • morning row vehicle
  • shuttle to downtown and easier to park

Went for a row in the morning and later took the 17' center console over to downtown Annapolis for lunch and afternoon meetings.  Easy to park!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Number of days:
  • ready for a morning row

This  morning the exercise choices were many.  I could walk/run, ride the bike and also take a row on the newly restored rowing dinghy. The pleasant weather after the overnight resin empowered the latter and so I chose that.  Very nice. 

Monday, June 14, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • ready for the season

Summer is upon us and moving fast.  Temps have been up and down but the solstice will be here before we know it. I worked on and completed summer season prep for our little creek boat, including replacing the starting battery.  Naturally I had to go for an evening test run!

Saturday, June 12, 2021 to Sunday, June 13, 2021
Number of days:
2 days
  • round robin dinner and hapy hour

Friday was foreboding with rain all day and cool for June temps.  The Friday part of this cruise was skipped for most.  Saturday opened up cool with a slight off and on mist but the day promised to get better.  By the Saturday lunch and round robin dinner/happy hour at anchor over 40 folks had joined on dozen boats and a few land yachts. 

Monday, June 7, 2021 to Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Number of days:
3 days
  • "summerized" and strapped down for hurricane season

We were back in Florida for a few days to "summerize" out little condo and little boat.  South Florida is a great place to be in the winter, but the summer and early fall can be hot, though not always hotter than the Bay.  It is also hurricane season and that calls for special prep.

The condo gets all porch furniture brought inside and hurricane shutters closed. The boat gets strapped to the lift and the lift gets raised to the max in preparation for strong winds and storm surge.  The boat also gets the bimini removed, covered, the fuel stabilized and the engine fogged, much like winterization on the Bay.  

Before all this we took her out for a couple days.  First trip was to dinner at a local waterfront restaurant, same with the second trip.  This part of Florida you have to love. We can boat over a short distance and get to eight nearby waterfront restaurants.  Off season the seating and service is quick!  

Saturday, June 5, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • vintage Whaler as shuttle craft at AYC Family Fun Day

The Annapolis Yacht Club has an extensive cruising schedule each year.  Recent strategic planning has helped hone the cruise schedule and add more kid and family friendly events.  Today we had over 100, half of them kids between 2 and 12, at a family fun day. The event was at a members house on the West River.  Arrival was by boat and car.  I used the owners vintage Boston Whaler to ferry folks in from anchorage. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • first row of winter rehab project

There is a line in a Janis Joplin song that goes: “Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends”.  The song was Janis’ 1970 rendition of the common expression out of the 50s: “keeping up with the Joneses.”

So is wanting what your neighbor has bad or good, productive or counterproductive, nouveau or old as time?

Actually, it goes way back.  The language varies, but my Catholic school boy recollection of the Ten Commandments includes something like: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods”.   

But covet I do, especially when it comes to the building of a small wooden boat. My friends have all built them.  I am behind.  Sing it for me Janis!

The truth is that many Bay area men of a “certain age” find the time to go to Wooden Boat School https://www.thewoodenboatschool.com/ or perhaps work with Chesapeake Light Craft http://www.clcboats.com/ to build a small rowing or sailing vessel with their own hands. Not me. I never had time.

One friend, let’s call him Eric, went to school twice!  He built the ever so simple stitch and glue kayak and an excellent nutshell pram.  Jealous.

Another friend, let’s call him AJ, never went to boat building school.  He was home schooled, reading and learning on his own.  He recently built a fine example of an Acorn 12, a lapstrake rowing and sailing dinghy.  More jealous. 

Then there is Hank, maybe his real name. He was so enamored with cold molded building techniques that he started a little company and actually built and sold a wooden boat he built with his own hands. My coveting of their experience was reaching a feverish peak.

The final straw was a friend who lives in Florida, call him Dave. He built not one, but two beautifully varnished strip built works of art in his garage over the last year.  He explained that he needed a pandemic project.  My hands were starting to shake.

Then it happened.  One of my brothers came into possession of a beat up cold molded rowing dinghy of about 11’ and of unknown and perhaps dubious heritage.  It had some rot in the transom and rub rails and a bad patch job in the otherwise still pristine cold molded hull.  It was missing one of its three seats.  He offered it to me, lest it just complete its slow deterioration in his side yard.  I jumped at the opportunity.

My brainstorm: I could restore this troubled little vessel to her original glory and consider myself caught up. Think of it like Janis getting a vintage Mercedes that needed a little work.

Without deeper thinking (like so many emotional boat decisions) I was off in my pickup truck to collect my prize to be.  This involved a drive to Florida, where my brother lives.  Fortunately, the 11’ dinghy fit nicely between the pickup bed wheel wells; a perfect four feet wide.  So it stuck out the back a little.    

Once I got my prize home, reality began to settle in.  Taking stock of my wood working experience and collection of tools, I had to acknowledge that my “portfolio” was best suited to building a shed, not a boat. And, by the way, I had no shed or garage capable of accommodating the project. 

Winter was on the way and I wanted to do the work over the winter and be on the Bay the following summer. Time for plan B, some professional help.         

Yes, I took a short cut, restoring this small wooden boat with the help of a pro.  Cheating, yes but that won’t matter as I ply the Bay’s waters on a handsome wooden craft that I had a hand in, even if that hand was not covered in wood shavings and sawdust.

Joe Reid of Mast and Mallet Boatworks was my choice of pros.  Joe is one of the Bay’s boat building and restoring masters.  His builds include the cold molded Thomas Point line of down east powerboats. His skills in wood bring him an assortment of pre-fiberglass boats to restore.  Surely, I though, Joe would understand my desire to bring this little rowing dinghy back to her prime.

On a cold and overcast day just before Christmas, I loaded my prize once again into the pickup and delivered her to Joe’s shop on the South River. We talked about the scope of the work.  I took some pictures to document the “before” condition.  Then I was off, knowing she was in good hands.

As the winter progressed Joe sent progress photos.  He called occasionally with questions and I scheduled occasional visits to see the progress firsthand.

The restoration steps can best be described as “out with the old and in with the new.”  Joe inspected and removed all the rotted wood.  This included part of the keel, most of the rub rail and the upper half of the transom.  He then rebuilt the boat adding newly crafted and perfectly matching wood in place of the discarded parts.  He also found matching wood and replaced the missing third seat.

On an early spring day, I visited Joe at the shop.  He was at a point of being done with the replacements and preparing for the paint and varnish that would make her shine.  Joe needed new oar locks and it was time for oars as well.  Happy to have a small task, I hurried over to Chesapeake Light Craft.  Sales Manager Nicky found the proper brass oar lock sets and brought me the spoon bladed oars I had so diligently researched online.

In late April, Joe finished the final cosmetics of the rehab project.  The resulting craft is something to behold.  She is not perfect, owing to the hard life already experienced.  She is however handsome, like an aging movie star with the roughhewn face and all-knowing smile.

I can’t wait to row her away form the dock for the first time, probably about the time you are reading this story. I’ll be the guy in the pretty rowboat with the mile wide smile.

And let’s fess up.  I am not the only boater spending thousands on something worth hundreds.  I am far from alone.  You may find yourself in this story. I certainly hope so.

Thanks Janis! 

Sunday, May 23, 2021 to Saturday, May 29, 2021
Number of days:
8 days
  • Blue Angels from AYC on practice day

Our house was rented for Commissioning week. We made the "long" trip from Mill creek to downtown Annapolis to live on the boat at the Annapolis Yacht Club.  Nice "urban" venture and lots of fun during Commission week.  Included was the Blue Angels practice day and show day. 

Monday, May 17, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • Chesapeake Boyz Book Club together again, finally

After 15 months of regular Zoom meetings of the Chesapeake Boyz Book Club we were ready for a more traditional face to face meeting.  Boyz, founded in 2009, had evolved to a meeting routine: appetizers, dinner, desert, book discussion, next book selction, next date selection; all the while discussing, thought not solving, the world's problems. COVID forced us to Zoom and we missed a lot.

And so it was that the all vaccinated Boyz decided on a waterborne gathering for our first face to face in over a year. The host boat a MJM 40Z, hauled four members out to Whitehall Bay on a cool but perfect night.  Three more came fro the South River on a Regal 42 and I joined them from Mill Creek on my little Key West.  

Friday, May 14, 2021 to Sunday, May 16, 2021
Number of days:
3 days
  • AYC cruise to Eagles Nest, kayakers ready for the tour

Covid has had interesting impacts on boaters.  The 2020 cruise season was largely eliminated by Covid. The 2021 season is shaping up to be a significant experience for vaccinated boaters suffering pent up demand.  And so it was that 35 boats with 70+ adults and over 20 kids joined the first official AYC cruise of the 2021 season.

This cruise was a simple early season anchorage in Eagles Nest on the Magothy.  The aforementioned 35 boats is more than twice the normal enrollment for this annual event. As it turned out it was a perfect weather weekend and the pent up demand for boating and human company was at least initially satisfied. 

Friday, April 30, 2021 to Thursday, May 13, 2021
Number of days:
14 days
  • Sunset from Belhaven Marina after front passage
  • Captian and Crew for ICW 2021, 50 years of boating together
  • Fair weather entering the beautiful Waccamah River section of the ICW

It is not exactly as the time-honored saying goes but everything that goes down must come up, at least in the case of ICW snowbirds returning to the Bay.  And so it was that on April 30th I pointed Winsome Winn north on the ICW in Jupiter FL and headed back to Annapolis.

My preferred crew for this trip is my lovely wife, Sue.  However, she had grandchild duty to attend to during the time we set aside for the trip. So, my always willing college roommate/fraternity brothers, Dave and Kevin, boarded a Southwest flight bound for PBI and days later Sue engaged Southwest to get her back to BWI and home for more important duty.

The trip was great as always.  The south to north transition from tropical palms to pine trees and endless marshes, to cypress swamp to hardwood forests is always a treat. Dave is a trained naturalist and he is forever seeking and logging the flora and fauna of the trip.  This time he logged 31 birds including the fairly rare Roseate Spoonbill. 

Kevin, he just loves to drive or navigate, a skill set much needed on the ICW.

And so it was, 1200 miles in 14 days, including two weather lay days in Norfolk waiting for the Bay to behave.  This is my fourth round trip and I can say it nerver gets old.  As always, a good time was had by all. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

The south Florida winter season is almost over.  Boats and boaters from up north are beginning their trek back up the ICW.  We will be leaving ourselves in a couple weeks. 

However today was a near last chance to take some friends out for a Sunday evening cocktail and dinner cruise. So we did!

Fully vaccinated since mid February we have been trying to figure out just what new freedoms the vaccination brought us in the face of steady to increasing COVID-19 and the threat of the "variants". Fortunately the CDC and logic suggest small groups of equally vaccinated folks can get together, especially if outdoors.  Time for a boat ride!

So five of us grabbed some adult beverages and enough appetizers to serve as dinner and off we went.  It was a slow trip south on the ICW a few miles, followed by a u-turn and a stop on the way back at a little protected county recreation dock.

The tide was headed out and the water was thin and getting thinner as we entered the rec area.  The floating dock beckoned and we tied up to get serious about the appetizers.  You could almost see the falling tide.  As a response we moved through "dinner" fairly quickly and got back out on the ICW with just inches under the keel.

We were responsibly back in the slip as the sun set.  Mom would have been so proud!    

Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Number of days:
1 day
  • golf balls salvaged on a kayak outing

Our Florida condo and winter home has the advantage of being on a navigable inlet of the Atlantic ICW, having a marina and being surrounded by a golf course.  The combination means tee shots from the par three 16th hole go over salt water on their way to the green (or not).  Something about water is a magnet for golf balls and many end up with a kerplunk, short of the green. 

Every season I collect errant golf balls to redistribute to my golfing friends. Today a good low tide coincided with late afternoon on a slow for golf weekday.  Seeing a target rich environment I jumped in my kayak (the preferred vehicle for golf ball harvesting) and collected 122.  Not a bad hall.    

Friday, March 26, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

In the service life of all good diesel engines comes the time to do some of the "big stuff".  This involves thousands of $ and a week or so for the diesel mechanics to visit the boat remove the after cooler, oil and transmission coolers, heat exchanger etc.  Actually, most service manuals call for this to happen every few years.  This year it was my turn.

Winsome Winn is in Florida for the winter and the nice folks from Shearwater Marine were more than happy to take on the job. They visited the boat to scope the job, prepared an estimate, came to the boat to remove the parts, came back to reinstall the serviced parts and scheduled a test run to make sure all was good. 

The latter happened today, a nice sunny and warm south Florida day.  It was a short run but enjoyable.  Unfortunately there was a small saltwater leak in the transmission cooler so off it came and back to the shop.

Friday, March 26, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

The pandemic has generated immense pent up demand for all things social.  Today a group of ten of us, all vaccinated baby boomers, chartered the local party pontoon boat for a three hour tour of the ICW around Jupiter.  Adult beverages and dancing were on the menu. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 to Thursday, March 18, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

Any excuse to take the boat out!  Neighbor had her sister and brother in law in for a visit.  We suggested a tour of Jupiter by water to include a lunch stop.  

Thursday, March 4, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

Friends Joe and terry conway stopped by and we did a little tour of Jupiter and stopped for lunch at Guanabana's. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

Motored the little Key West up the ICW 15 miles and a lot of no wake zones to Franklin Lake for a two boat picnic lunch with Friends from Stewart, Hank and Elly Libby. 

Friday, February 12, 2021 to Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Number of days:
12 days

We brought the cruising boat (Legacy 32) to FL on the ICW in November. We sold the larger trawler and have a condo in Jupiter FL.  Bringing the cruising boar back down was not initially in the plans.  It was  COVID-19 addition to the plans.

After the easy going trip down the ICW (we took 27 days), the boat sat a while as we got the condo opened up for the season and got our little runabout ready as well.  Friends talking about a FL west coast trip got us thinking.

On February 12th, armed with our now completed second vaccination, we made our way from Jupiter to Stuart, FL.  Stops followed in Cleweston (on lake Okeechobee), Ft. Meyers, Punta Gorda and Sarasota before we reversed course and stopped on the return in some of the same places.  Along the way we met up with five sets of friends now either part time of full time FL residents.  Things were beginning to feel almost normal.

 

Sunday, January 24, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

With a cleaned up and ready for the season boat and at least the first round of vaccines behind us we motored over to Admiral's Cove and picked up Fiends Patty and Bob for a casual picnic lunch cruise on the ICW.  It felt almost normal!

Friday, January 22, 2021
Number of days:
1 day

We arrived at our FL Condo in early January but it was too cold to contemplate boating early (we are warm weather wimps).  So, finally a bit warmer, I lowered the lift and took the hurricane season full cover off our little Key west 203DFS for a good cleaning.

Friday, December 18, 2020
Number of days:
1 day
  • The restoration begins

Ok, I am at 99 days with slim prospects for the century mark.  There is a chance I will kayak before New Year's Day. But I am going to take advantage of the Editor's largess (brought on by Covid) and log a boat maintenance day for day 100!

Long story short, I inherited, free from my brother in FL, a cold molded dinghy of undetermined lineage and in need of serious restoration.   Today I dropped this sorry dinghy at the Mast and Mallet shop, home of my favorite wooden boat builder and restorer, Joe Reid.  That is Joe in the background of this photo.

The plan is for Joe to do the serious woodwork, repairs to the transom and keel, gunnel and rub rail.  I will paint the hull and purchase and finish the oars. For Joe it is a side job to fit in over the winter. For me the finish work will come in June when I return from FL.

I will be writing about the restoration in sister publication, PropTalk.   

Sunday, October 18, 2020 to Friday, November 13, 2020
Number of days:
27 days

In late June we substantially completed the refit of a new to us and much neglected Legacy 32.  This was our "move down" boat, after selling our 46' trawler and buying a condo in Jupiter FL.  The plan was to use the new Legacy as our cruising and weekender on the Bay.

COVID conspired to delay the refit completion of the Legacy by about six weeks. It also substantially cut down our summer 2020 cruising of the Bay, decimating the yacht club cruise schedule.

The late delivery and limited use brought us around to the idea of taking the Legacy south on the ICW, like we had done several times on the trawler. Nothing good ever comes from winterizing a boat and, in this case, it would really hurt to have spent all that energy and $ only to put her away for the winter after so little use.  So we hatched a plan to make the ICW trip once again, this time at 20 knots.

This trip, for the first time, we (husband and wife of 36 years) were both retired.  While we had a faster boat we could slow down and smell the roses (as long as they had a mask on). The cruise plan developed as a four week sojourn with short travel days (getting up late and getting in early) a key part of the plan. 

We departed on a nice October "Bay day" and spent the first night in Reedville, VA.  Norfolk followed and included a few lay days to see family.

We had never gone the Dismal Swamp Canal route south on the ICW. We managed to clear a delayed railroad bridge in Portsmouth and made an 11:00 lock opening in the Canal. That got us a long and lesiurely six knot run and brought us to Elizabeth City around 5:00 pm, one of our longer days.

Stops in Belhaven, NC (in time for a BBQ festival) and the legendary Beaufort, NC followed.  The ICW was thick with travelers and we couldn't get a timely slip in Wrighsville Beach, NC, so we settled for one in Topsail Island.

South Carolina was up next and included stops in Coquina, Georgetown, Beaufort and Hilton Head.  The Coquina to Georgetown passage was forced offshore due to a bridge closing.  Fortunately is was a fine day to be offshore.  

Georgia followed with its winding stroll through marsh after green marsh.  We made stops in Isle of Hope and Jekyll Island where we stayed an extra day to watch the presidential election returns and the aftermath (which continued for some time and occupied much of our remaining trip).

We got to Florida, Amelia Island, on November 5th and it was time to slow down a bit.  You could tell we are in Florida as what had been a temperate trip started to feel more like a hot and humid summer. Clearly we had packed way to much in the way of warm clothes. 

In Florida we made stops and had lay days in St. Augustine, Palm Coast, Daytona, Melbourne and Ft. Pierce before arriving at our destination, Jupiter.

All in it was 27 days, 17 stops and 1100 nautical miles.  I would do it again tomorrow!  

Friday, October 16, 2020
Number of days:
1 day
  • ready for shrinkwrap

Fawcett's finished the service and winterization today.  Since we leave on Sunday for a leisurely month on the ICW, it was done just in time.  Picked her up today and launched.  Friend let us use the Providence boat ramp again and another friend towed the boat to our dock and lift where she will reside for the winter. On Monday Boatshine will wash, wax and shrink wrap for the winter.  It will be May before she sees the water again.  So sad. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Number of days:
1 day
  • time to replace the fuel tank vent hoses?
  • had to do major surgery to get to the top of the fuel tanks and the hoses
  • all stitched up after surgery

The folks at Haven Harbour did manage to perform major "surgery" and replace my fuel tank vent hoses.  They also replaced the fill hoses while "inside".  Today I picked her up, post surgery, and took her home to load for the coming ICW trip.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

In June I made a trip to Norfolk to reclaim an Oday Daysailer I had previously owned but passed on in the family.  It never really made it into the water after I passed it on, just languished on the trailer.  It was in less than perfect shape.

I cleaned her up over the summer and ordered a winter cover. I also sized up the projects still to do including remanufacturing all the wood parts (boom gallows, tiller and hatch boards). They will be built over the winter. 

With the winter cover arrived I launched her to get her on rigged and on the lift.  I motored her from the boat ramp to my lift with my trusty Torqueedo. 

Monday, October 5, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Took the '17 Key West in for annual service and winterization (Fawcetts) .  Since we will be gone for our ICW trip shortly and not back until Thanksgiving, it is time to put this one to bed for the winter.

Saturday, September 19, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Our new to us boat, a Legacy 32, which we refit over the winter 19'/20' still has a few problems to cure.  One of them is replacement of the fuel tank fill and vent hoses.  The latter was cracked on both tanks such that a full tank and elevated bow underway caused fuel to spill in the bilge.  This is never a good situation.

After exploration of the problem and short term fixes (electrical tape around the cracked vent hoses), it was time to get it done right.  The boat is headed to south FL for the winter (nothing good ever comes from winterizing a boat).  Before the 1200 mile trip, I wanted to get her in the best shape possible.

Haven Harbour had done some refit work, including the hull paint and they seemed like a good place for the vent hose work.  The tight confines of a smaller boat meant that some surgery was involved.  The folks at Haven Harbour needed to remove the main salon/pilot house settees and cut a hole in the deck house side to access the top of the fuel tanks.  

My scheduled day to move her from Annapolis to Rock Hall for surgery was Friday September 18 but the winds were howling over 20 knots out of the NE, just the direction I needed to go. So, I waited it out and moved her over on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 to Thursday, September 17, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Found a couple large trees floating in the creek today.  looks like they had been in the water for a while so not sure how then came to float free.  Took the runabout off the lift and moved them both into another fallen tree on the opposite bank so they were again tied to shore and not a navigation hazard. 

Friday, September 11, 2020 to Sunday, September 13, 2020
Number of days:
3 days

The boat was at Haven Harbour for some investigation.  I picked her up on Friday and motored home to clean and provision for a weekend in Shaw Bay. 

On Saturday we motored over to Shaw Bay on a sailoes day with a stiff wind flerting with 15 knots.  Saturday afternoon we enjoyed a floating concert by the Eastport Oyster Boys and their warn up band, The Wye River Band.  The announced crowd was 200 boats!

Sunday we motored home on what was clearly a motorboat day with very light winds. 

Friday, September 4, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
Number of days:
4 days
  • Sunset after Lake Ogleton concert
  • new facilities at HH South

Labor Day weekend started looking really nice, weather wise.  We had no particular plans but got busy early in the week making some.

We reached out to friends and fellow cruisers, AJ and Cindy Whittle.  We had done things together through the pandemic sequester.  They were in our "bubble".

Working late on planning and wanting to avoid the biggest crowds we decided on anchoring and rafting the two boats the first night, Friday, to catch the waterborne concert on Lake Ogleton.  As friends came by the raft actually grew to six boats, but just the two of us for overnight.  the set-up with everybody staying on their own boat made for perfect social distancing. 

Saturday we made the trip to Cambridge and took a slip at the Cambridge Yacht Club. Dinner was at Jimmy and Sook's.  Sunday we made for Rock Hall and took a slip at Harrington Harbour South.  

The Harrington Harbour folks are doing a fantastic job expanding South.  By next summer it will be the place to be with an onsite bar and restaurant.  This night we took their courtesy car and had dinner at Harrington Harbour North.   

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 to Sunday, August 30, 2020
Number of days:
5 days
Friday, August 21, 2020 to Monday, August 24, 2020
Number of days:
4 days

Dodging some rain 15 boats began the cruise in Harness Creek on Friday evening.  A socially distant happy hour (mostly dinghys tied to the swim platform of three rafted boats) lasted several hours.  There is a certain craving of social interaction.

Saturday we made the crossing of the Bay to anchor in Dividing Creek on the Wye River.  Surprise, another socially distant happy hour ensued. 

Sunday most boats headed home but a few of us exgtended.  We moved the few miles over to St. Michael's to tie up at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. A meal at the Crab Claw naturally followed as well as a walk into town for ice cream.  Nice to do something so normal.   

 

Sunday, August 9, 2020
Number of days:
1 day
  • new (to us) boat at launch after winter long refit

Son and daughter in law came over on Sunday for dinner.  we went for a ride in the new boat to show of.  We headed over to Annapolis proper, got fuel and motored slowly and carefully through Ego Alley.

Saturday, August 8, 2020
Number of days:
1 day
  • new dinghy, first time on the davit

Our new to us smaller and faster cruising boat required a new dinghy.  The old dinghy, saved from the sale of our trawler, was 160 lbs by itself and over 260 lbs with outboard, fuel etc.  But, we had a crane so the weight mattered not.

The new boat required a lighter and shorter dinghy to get it up on a Hurley davit, manually.  Annapolis Inflatables was happy to provide us a new Achilles 270 aluminum RIB and a Torqeedo, seemingly the perfect option for a smaller boat. The Achilles rigged is just over 100 lbs and the Torqeedo is less than 30 so I cut the weight in half!

I picked it up a couple days ago and got it in the water and rigged.  I went for a short test run and did the first test load on the Hurley davit.   

Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Isaias had just passed.  The storm had spoiled yet another plan to celebrate my wife's birthday.  After COVID-19 changes and now weather changes we were on plan "f" I think.

On the morning of her birthday we lost power.  It would be out for 30 hours.  We couldn't even get our little Key west launched because the lift had no power.  

By noon the storm had mostly cleared Annapolis.  Friends on the creek came to the rescue.  They ordered a fine take-out dinner and picked us up on their boat for a socially distant group dinner on their deck.  

 

 

Thursday, July 30, 2020 to Monday, August 3, 2020
Number of days:
5 days

It was supposed to start with a club cruise to Onancock and include stops on the way back in Norfolk and Tides Inn. Then, Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaias came into focus.  So, eight days became five and we home tucked in and ready by the first rains from Isaias.

It seems to me that you shouldn't be harmed by a storm name you cant pronounce but we will see.

What we did get were a night in Solomons, a night in Onancock, two more nights in Solomons and over 200 miles covered.  

 

 

Thursday, July 16, 2020
Number of days:
1 day
  • Sue holding the birthday wishes poster as we head to the boat parade

A quick cocktail cruise with a purpose.  Shelley Rubin was celebrating her birthday. At a social distance her children and grandchildren joined her in the back yard.  Friends conspired for a surprise happy birthday boat parade complete with signs and horns blowing.    

Friday, July 10, 2020 to Sunday, July 12, 2020
Number of days:
3 days
  • Winsome Winn on Cambridge Cruise
  • Cruise Chair Sue gives Cruise Leader Bill Walczak his leaders pennant.

Time for the shakedown cruise of the newly refit boat.  Time to see what we still need to do (a lot).

After many cruise cancelations with the AYC cruising fleet we figured out how to do it responsibility in the era of COVID-19.  Masks and social distance are required and indoor group events, buffet dinners etc. are banished to make this work.

On Friday July 10 we dropped the dock lines and motored out of the creek headed to Chestertown, MD.  A total of 16 AYC cruising boats joined us and we had a delightful weekend exploring this historic town.

Our group gatherings were limited to BYO beverage and lawn chair gatherings on the marina grass and open deck on Friday and Saturday evenings. Dock to cockpit walk by chats were the norm and it was nice to be social for a change.

The town was particularly inviting, encouraging masks and social distancing, and closing the streets to allow a farmer’s market and outdoor dining. The local bakery, ice cream shop and restaurants did a nice business over the weekend.   

Saturday, June 27, 2020 to Thursday, July 9, 2020
Number of days:
10 days
  • Winsome Winn at home with our other water toys

The new to us Legacy 32 has had $100k worth of refit work over the winter (series in Proptalk on this).  Freshly launched and cosmetically beautiful, she still has plenty of work required.

First we need to clean her, mostly inside.  While serious woodwork and paint shop time over the winter fixed years of neglect outside, the inside was just as neglected, dirty at least.  Also, there were lots of small things, the solenoid to the head, the float switch to the HVAC sump pump, storage to cerate and more.  And did I mention cleaning...

Once we get that done we need to load her up for cruising.  The former boat was a 46' trawler.  The downsizing, in terms of gear, clothing etc, will be a challenge.

Anyway it will be 13 days of boat work every day to get her ready for our first cruise to Chestertown (a social distance cruise sponsored by the Annapolis Yacht Club). So I will take advantage of the Century Club option to count boat work days and log ten!

Friday, June 26, 2020
Number of days:
1 day
  • fresh out of the paint shop

The new to us Winsome Winn was launched our of the paint shop at Haven Harbour on June 25th.  She looked beautiful! 

On Friday the 26th I got a ride over early to move her home with a stop in Kent Island to complete a canvas install.  I did not make it our of the Rock Hall harbor before overheating and needed a Haven Harbour tow back.  The impeller was just not quite able to overcome the amount of air in the system from being on land for a month. 

After a several hour delay I did get to the canvas shop and home around 5:00.

With wife Sue aboard we id a quick turnaround and went for a crek cruise with cocktail to show her off to friends.  

Friday, June 19, 2020 to Saturday, June 20, 2020
Number of days:
2 days
  • Oday Daysailer to restore

Years ago I had a small sailboat, an Oday Daysailer. I bought it used in 2000 and kept it at our North Carolina lake house. The idea was to get my boys interested in sailing. Never happened. Once they had the speed of a Sea Doo, also at the lake house, they never looked back.
 

Anyway, we brought the Daysailer with us when we traded the lake house for our new waterfront house in Annapolis. It resided on a lift and got very little use. I was always to busy with work or house projects to sail it and the boys were still into power boat speed.
 

Somewhere around 2010, I gave the Daysailer and trailer to my brother Patrick. He had a North Carolina canal front house he shared with my sister and brother in law, both sailors.  Best I can tell, it never got used.
 

My sister in law, Kate, wrote me an email a month or so ago about the Daysailer. It had been stored outside at one of their Norfolk rental properties, for years. I decided to repossess it and make it a restoration project.

Another brother, Jim, went over and assessed the boat and trailer.  He managed to get it out of the weeds, pumped up the dry rotted tires and moved it over to his house. On Friday, my wife and I drove down to Norfolk to get it. I brought two new tires and a new light wiring kit, knowing for sure the trailer also needed rehab.
 

At Jim's house and with Jim's help we changed the tires and installed the light kit. The wheel bearings needed attention especially one of them, which made some rumbling noise when it turned.  Long ago my dad had trained me on trailer axles and wheel bearing repacking. I think we did this on the old Apache camper trailer they owned.
 

Anyway those skills and that experience came in handy. We cleaned out the one noisy bearing and it clearly needed it. Brother Jim found an ancient grease gun in his garage and it was perfect for adding grease and repacking the bearings.
 

The boat made the trip home to Annapolis on Saturday with no problems! 
 

Thanks dad! 

Monday, June 8, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

June is upon us.  This is a time we would usually be boating regularly.  Yet, spring commissioning has been delayed for our little Annapolis fleet.  The new to us big boat is still completing winter rehab.  The Key west runabout was not launched until Memorial Day. 

Today we did a little creek cruise to visit friends.  We arrived their dock and secured the boat.  They had three sets of chairs set up on the dock as a social distance and three couples occupied those chairs enjoying the snacks and beverages they brought with them.

It is nice to see folks in person and not just on Zoom!

Sunday, May 31, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Sunday the last day in May was a wonderful boating day.  In fact the weekend clearly beckoned many out on the water.

We had the pleasure of two boating outings on Sunday. First, in the morning, I delivered our Legacy 32 rehab project boat to  Haven Harbour for her appointment with the paint shop.

Sunday evening we got out on our little Key West runabout for a socially distant cocktail cruise.  Boating, it seems is a good way to remain socially distant and fills the void left by so many other canceled activities.   

Saturday, May 30, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Having done their magic, I left JGordon this morning and headed to the home dock for the weekend.  On Sunday she heads to Haven Harbour for a three week appointment n the paint shop. Such a beautiful day on the Bay!   

Friday, May 29, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

The day arrived to move the Legacy 32 (undergoing refit) from Mast and Mallet to the paint shop at Haven Harbour in Rock Hall.  It is a boat so naturally some things were not working after a long winter.  The battery charger and HVAC raw water pump were not working so I made plans for an afternoon stop at JGordon for a quick look see.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Having removed the shrink wrap from our little runabout, we joined eight other Annapolis Yacht Club boats at an afternoon anchorage and socially distant dinghy visitation.  It was a pleasure to be out, even briefly, with old friends. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Number of days:
1 day
  • Winter rehab with the masters
  • headed to the paint ship next

We were sequestered in FL were the winter and most of the spring.  As things began to ease, we made a run for Annapolis over Memorial Day weekend. There are several boats there to commission and launch.

First up is the new to us Legacy 32 that we have been refitting over the winter.  The boat is a sad tale of neglect and we are bringing her back to her glory, and writing about it in sister publication Proptalk: https://www.proptalk.com/restoration-legacy-32-part-3-beauty

On this day, I met the canvas installers (Stephanie Field of Custom Canvas Coverings) to finalize the canvas install and the winter restoration folks (Joe Reid of Mast and Mallet and Keith Gunther of GPS Marine) to go over their completed work.

Monday, May 25, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

We got out of Florida and back to Annapolis over Memorial Day weekend, arriving on Saturday.  The "snowbird" return was sequester delayed.  The boat in Florida is put away for the season and the house in Annapolis is opened and ready for the summer by Sunday evening. So now it is time to get the Annapolis boats in service. 

Today we pulled the shrink wrap off our 17' Key West, cleaned the boat up and went for a cocktail cruise to celebrate. 

 

Thursday, May 21, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions moderating a bit we are planning our departure from FL and return to MD. Finally!  Much like our prep for winter in Annapolis, the boat here in FL needs to be prepared for summer (and hurricane season).  Today I added fuel stabilizer, ran the engine, opened the drain plug, removed the sparkplugs and fogged the cylinders, added the heavy cover, strapped the boat down to the lift and raised the lift to 6' above MHHW. Sound familiar?

 

Back in Annapolis over Memorial Day weekend.  Next report will be on the big boat, I hope.   

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Keeping a small boat in Florida requires some extra effort.  The hot sun, hurricanes and saltier water than the Bay, require some different approaches.  Our little Key West dual console has an extended bimini to provide extra shade.  I routinely flush the outboard after a cruise. 

Attention to the gelcoat is critical as well.  The prescription for a good shine is routine cleaning and was a couple times a year, at least.  Today, a pro spent seven hours on our 20' runabout and made her look like new!  It was worth every penny.

To celebrate (and to break the sequester routine) we went on a cocktail cruise.  In our little waterfront community and on the ICW, such a cruise may never get much above idle speed. Except for the minor four stroke engine noise it reminds me of small boat sailing, sans the tack and gybe action.  

Soon it will be time to depart Florida and get back to the Bay.  With recreational boating restrictions on the Bay lifted, it is time to get our Annapolis based boats ready for the season.  There is plenty of work to o ther and a plethora of future Century Club reports.

Before we leave Florida we need to "summerize" the Key West.  This is not unlike winterizing on the Bay. Except for worries about freezing the tasks are the same (clean, empty, cover, fog the engine). An additional task is hurricane prep which includes raising the lift to the stops and strapping the boat to the lift.        

Saturday, May 2, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Ok, it has been a while... since we have done "normal" things.  This sequester has us fairly locked up.  Thankfully, we are in our little Flordia condo for the winter.  Thankfully, we have a little boat down here with us.

Today was the first day in Florida that marina's and botels were allowed to repoen since early April when they were closed by the Governor's executive order.  It was, naturally, a zoo on the ICW near Jupiter.  Byt we wre desperate for a diversion, a picnic lunch.

While it was like heavy weather sailing to get to the picnic site on the ICW, the crew (my wife, Sue) was brave and we made it!  We had a nice quiet lunch.  It was kind of like being in the eye of a hurricane because, of course, we had to brave the boat wake and traffic to get home.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

As we work our way through COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, life begins to imitate the experiences of Bill Murry's charactor in the movie, Groundhog Day.  Each day can seem the same, even the news. 

For us, we try to make sure someting different is in each day.  Some days it is a ride in the golf cart (we are sequestered in our little condo in Florida, #extended showbirds).  Some days is is a convertable ride to pick up a meal to go. On the best days, boating offers a way to distinguish the current 24 hours from the last.

So it was that today we took a ride with a cocktail, around the community and briefly out on the ICW to explore a neighboring marina at a safe distance.  

Friday, April 3, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

We have friends very nearby, wintering in Florida on their 58' Hatteras LRC, Mary Catherine.  We reached out suggesting a virtual, Zoom aided, cocktail hour and they suggested we motor over on our little boat and sit on their aft deck, at a healthy social distance.

That sounded like a plan so we headed over at the appointed hour and tied up on the floating dock nearest their transom.  We boarded carefully and sat in opposing chairs they had already cleaned for us.  Naturally we brough our own beverages. 

All in, it was really god to see friends in person rather than on the small screen.  The beam of Mary Catherine kepts us at least ten feet away. Sure they had to break our the handwipes to clean the chairs before and after, but it seemed worth it for some face to face contact.  

Saturday, March 28, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Saturday is usually a busy day, in season, on the ICW near Jupiter Florida.  Today it was... quiet.  There were a few boats out, ours included. 

While dealing with the Coronavirus, the waterways are open but the marinas and boat ramps are shut down in Palm Beach County and much of Florida. We motored along in our little outboard, never exceding five knots.  It was a nice diversion from Coronavirus induced sequester.

We have been doing some virtual happy hours, via Zoom, of late.  On this night off it, was nice to enjoy the warm south Florida weather and be glad we were hunkered down somwhere warm.       

Monday, March 23, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

On Sunday the Palm Beach County Government closed all boat ramps and marinas.  They were working to keep the 20 somethings from mass congregation on the local sandbars.  They had already closed the beaches so, if you had a boat, the sandbar was the bomb.  

Some of the media reports suggested the waterway was closed to navigation.  However, the order was only closing the county (public) boat ramps and commercial marinas, especially dry storage marinas.  Freedom of navigation was NOT impinged.  

So, another cocktail cruise with my bride. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

As Coronavirus sequester settles in we are looking for safe things to do.  At low tide today I went out in the kayak and collected golf balls that failed to make it over the water from tee to green on the par 3 16th at Jonathan's Landing. In an hour, working the mud flats and mangroves but never geting our of the kayak (a boathood was very helpful), I collected 141!

Friday, March 20, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Coronavirus slowdown beginning.  Bars and restaruants doing take out only. Boating a good way to social distance.  Cocktail cruise today.  Love this Florida weather.

Friday, March 6, 2020
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1 day

College roomates in for one of our multi-annual get togethers. This one four days out of the condo in Jupiter with as much boat time as we could get.

First trip, Jupiter to Palm Beach Gardens for lunch at Waterway Cafe. 

Thursday, March 5, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

College Roomates in town, Day two.  This outing was for Dinner at the Dive Bar.  As is the usual in season, in Jupiter, the wait for a table was long.  We boated over and were able to get a beer at the bar and bring it back to the boat while we waited an our for a table for dinner.  Funny, somehow, two of thier beer glasses made it home with us. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

17 of your closest friends on Bob Smith's 1977, 58' Hatteras on a slop trip from Jupiter to Palm Beach for lunch on Worth Ave.  As Bob dealt with mechanical issues underway, I was briefly at the helm.  Not my largest boat at the helm, that was the 120 class B tallship the Alexandria back in Harborfset Norfolk days. 

Saturday, February 29, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Lunch crusie to Waterway Cafe in Palm Beach Gardens.  Celebration of Nan's 19th birthday (leap year actually 76). Crew include Nan, Mike, AJ, Cindy, Eric and Shelley besides Sue and me. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Number of days:
1 day
  • Rubin Grandkids crowed the bow for some February sun

Four of the grandkids of Eric and Shelley Rubin in for a long weekend visit.  Took all on a picnic lunch boatride.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Number of days:
1 day

Cruised Jupiter to Palm Beach Gardens and had lunch at the Waterway Cafe

Friday, January 31, 2020
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1 day

Trip on Bob Kelly's Grady White Freedom 325.  Nice boat and nice lunch at The River House

Friday, January 10, 2020
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1 day

45 minute kayak around the community.  Things look different from three feet above the water.  

Thursday, January 2, 2020
Number of days:
1 day
  • new to us Key West 203 DFS named after granddaughter

In Fl for the winter.  Took delivery of new to us boat, a 2013 Key West 203 DFS. Took delivery from the boat transporter at  a Jupiter Fl boatramp and made the long (10 minute) run to the lift slip in my condo community.