Tuesday, February 17, 2009

March Mainsheet

We have had the cruising and racing seminars and by the time many of you will be reading this, boats in the Chesapeake Bay will be getting ready to go back in the water. The cruising seminar was well attended. We sorted out the cruising schedule for the year, and this is now available on the Alberg 30 web site. Thanks to all those that agreed to be a cruise coordinator and / or host.

A theme that ran through the cruising and racing seminars was the desire to schedule activities so that the racing boats and the cruising boats can cross paths more often. The Alberg 30 is a unique boat and Association in that it is entirely possible to be racing one weekend, and cruising the next. The vibrancy of the Association is in part due to the fact that there is this unique mix of cruising and racing. The Spring Rendezvous has been scheduled to coincide with the NOOD Regatta this year. In addition, I would encourage folks that generally cruise to consider the Queenstown race raft up. Last year, there were two separate Alberg rafts, and a good mix of folks. I believe that I am right in saying that there were more kids at the Queenstown raft up than there were on the childrens’ cruise.

This year we have two events at the Potapskut Sailing Association (PSA); the Spring Series (5/9) and the Canadian Friendship Weekend and Regatta (10/17). While both of these events are racing events, they are excellent opportunities for cruisers to drop a hook for a few days and socialize.

Another little change this year is that we have scheduled the Orioles Game Cruise to coincide with the last weekend of the Summer Cruise (7/3 through 7/12). The Orioles game was well attended last year, and with the summer cruisers also attending, we are looking for a large turnout. Trish Lehman has scheduled slips in Inner Harbor Marina in Baltimore – at the Rusty Scupper. Currently we have 45 slips on hold, and Trish needs to know by April first who will be there in order to hold the slips. This marina has good facilities, access to numerous bars and restaurants, and use of the pool at the nearby hotel. In addition, it is a manageable walk (or water taxi) to the Camden Yards stadium.

The Summer Cruise itself will be in the upper part of the Bay, and Bill Carter has offered to help Ray Meyer with some local knowledge to schedule an interesting series of stops. This is the first of the large cruises that I will have been on, and I am looking forward to the whole thing!

Enough of the future – back to reality. Our boat goes back in the water on March 22, so I do not have much time left to get organized. I have promised my wife that I am going to focus on the little things that make life easier aboard – like putting all the cupboard doors and drawers back into the boat. On the way to the boat this morning to try and get my new chain plates on (unsuccessfully), I was struck with an amusing thought that even with each new piece of equipment I HAD to purchase for the various jobs, I was still saving vast sums of money over what a boatyard would have charged. This is the same approach to saving money that my wife references when she declares how much she has saved by purchasing some item of dubious necessity on sale. Hmmm, but I think it is different for a boat? It must be – If I do not get the boat back together, the world will stop! That is my story and I am sticking to it!

February Mainsheet

Before I introduce myself as the new cruising commodore, I should say thanks to Trish Lehman (and that Boy she keeps referring to). She has promised to help me through the process of making sure that the cruising activity remains well organized. By way of introduction, my family and I are the owners of Laughing Gull #197. In the cruising mode, we generally travel with our three kids – all girls. It seems we have attended the cruising / races for the most part. However, I hear the Fall Cruise is a treat, and I have made it a priority to be on that one in 09. Regardless of which cruises we are able to make it to, I look forward to contributing to the Alberg 30 community, and continuing the tradition of relaxed cruising, collegial racing, and the ever present willingness of members to lend a hand.

The favorite cruise for me this last year was the Memorial Day Cruise and the Pirate Party. Both Townie and Mike Lehman set a good example of where the rest of us need to be next year with respect to our pirate gear. However, the Coopers (Cookin) also deserve special mention due to their complete set of pirate outfits for the whole family. I discovered during the course of the evening that they had purchased the pirate gear in the States BEFORE they left for Greece (that would be the country across the other side of the Atlantic) on the premise that one should not embark on a sail like that without the essential gear! Who knew? (for pictures follow the link at the end of this article).

The February Cruising seminar is approaching, and during which we will be looking for hosts for the various cruises. I have already had some proposals from folks that are interested in hosting a cruise. Despite the cold October rain at the Navy Game this year, Harry Gamber has already proposed a series of game dates for a repeat. Any other ideas, suggestions or volunteers drop me a line and we will try to get them on the agenda at the Cruising Seminar.

Also at the Seminar, we have lined up the SailRite folks to provide a presentation and demonstration of the products and services they provide for the do it yourself canvas person. Keep an eye on your email for the precise agenda. Also, if there are things that you would like to get on the agenda, drop me a line.

Now onto thoughts of next summer; the coldest part of the year is approaching, the boat is high and dry and major pieces of her are once again in my basement. The level of day dreaming about warm days, good winds and the places we really must get to next summer has increased, and I am once again trying to prioritize the list of activities required to get things out of the basement! This year, I have the upper shroud chainplates off, as are the hatches and all the cushions and bits and pieces. Everything is sitting in my basement in various stages of repair. I have owned Laughing Gull for three years, and each year in one form or another I make her a bit more cruise worthy.

In future columns I plan to write about various cruising related topics, and will be hitting some of you up for input. On the list at the moment is: cruising with children; how we find more storage in our boats; why we cannot swim in the Chesapeake’s tributaries in the hot summer months; and a few others. Obviously there will be the reports of the antics on the various cruises. Shoot me an email of you have other ideas.

The cruising calendar is located on the Laughing Gull site, as are links to pictures - http://mysite.verizon.net/laughing_gull/ . I look forward to hearing from you and seeing everyone on the Bay!