Bay Week 2014

Lifeline moored astern of Maelstrom.  The smallest and the tallest sailing vessels at the docks.

Lifeline moored astern of Maelstrom. The smallest and the tallest sailing vessels at the docks.

Three of four days looked like the picture above.  I had a wonderful sail over on Thursday evening.  There was a SE breeze, steady for two of the three hours I needed for the sail along the Catawba Peninsula (Lake Erie, south shore) and across the water to South Bass Island.  That breeze left when the sun went behind the cirrus clouds stretching out in front of an eastward bound summer thunderstorm.  Up came the engine and down went the sails.  I wanted to be in the harbor when that came through, and was successfully moored inside the break water along side Tec ……..

Last year I went to sail and Mindy and I had some fun.  This year I was there to work and there was a lot less fun.  I spent two days on a 15′ Boston Whaler setting marks for the centerboard fleet.  The first day was spent at anchor, a lot, as the engine on the first boat ran out of gas (who let this sailor run a motorboat, anyway?) and the second boat’s engine quite while idling.  I ended the first day wearing my t-shirt on backwards as I walked the 100 yds to the showers.  2nd day it rained, stormed, lighting showers, and more wind than the ‘big boys’ would handle.  Many of them weathered the storm in the lee of Rattlesnake Island’s east shore.  Day three went well for the sailors, but for us in the motorboat it was a day to try staying IN the boat as all the power boaters, throwing wakes up 3 and 4 times the freeboard of the motorboat, sped past at the high speeds one may assume a power cabin cruiser is capable of.  Sea sick?  Thank God (no really!  Thank God) No!

Time ashore was the highlight of the weekend.  I slept in the comfort of the Put-In-Bay Yacht Club’s chair indoors while the storm passed and we waited to see if we could go out after.  I shared dinner with friends in the evenings, as the sailor population was amply filled with Alum Creek members.  The Rum Party volunteers?  Alum Creek, led by the inestimable Allison Foreman.  Phil Verret was about, the Varvarosky’s, the Pyors’, Brent and Sharla, of course, and several of the ‘younger’ members, not all of whose names I know yet were pouring beer, soda, and rum punch by the pitcher, taking tickets, and hauling out the trash.

Bob and Chris Shepherd managed the regatta for I-LYA.  Thanks to them for their great work.

Saturday, after waiting out the rain, the docks were filled with sailors anxious to burn off the energy not spent on the water racing.  The deck of Maelstrom became party center for Alum Creek sailors.  It started about nine and went until… well, I don’t know how late it went.  When the ‘second shift’ arrived with a ukulele and five more strapping young men, I took my aging backside ‘down’ to Lifeline’s cabin just astern of Maelstrom.  Last thing I heard was some rock and roll song shouted across the water as I fell off to sleep.  Thanks for inviting me over, folks.  It was nice to be a part of the party.

Sunday morning was great for sailing while the fleet was out.  It turned into a typical summer day on the lake, and the air went straight up if there was any moving at all.  I motored all the way back to East Harbor State Park on the east side of the Catawba Peninsula.  It was a rough ride across the chop of the Western Basin.  A couple of hours unstopping the mast and stowing gear, a couple more driving back to Columbus.  My bed at home hadn’t felt this good since I returned from my last deployment.

See you next year, Bay Week.  Until then…the Old Fox is coming….


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