Saturday, January 2, 2016

TSCA New Year's Day Row in Camden

WOAH WOAH WOAH! 2016 already here in but a few breaths from the last time the date rotated a digit.  I muse over what these next twelve months will bring, and I contemplate the past twelve, and while doing so I completely forget the present, which is the only thing I actually have any meager semblance of control over. It is humbling to see another passage completed in such record time.  How, I ask in a futile moment of weakness, how can I move slower and appreciate this brief moment in the sun on this whirring blurring Machine Planet? Sail more? Throw out the anchor more? The concept of slow is relative, and I still want, nay- demand fast sailboats! Am I my own worst enemy? Yes, 6 knots! Get out of my way!

There is an antidote to my 6 knot obsession! I live in such a wonderful part of the world that there are at least 21 other people who think the same way, and they join forces under the majestic banner of the Traditional Small Craft Association- Downeast Chapter.  Every year, under that noble flag of flowing silk they look with steely eyes into the very watery depths of the New Year and see a wonderful opportunity to go rowing with friends! Yes, rowing! That mighty and subversive act of moving a transportation device through the water with your own body- human power, muscle power, it is the kin to biking and cross country skiing and it is good and it remains holy in our profaned world.

Lovely Wife and I went rowing in Camden, Maine to herald in a new tour around our Sun.  We rode into this port town in company with the illustrious Cap'n Jon and the legendary TWO HEARTED, his Phoenix III. I took THE BEV, a Beverly Dinghy built out of polyester resin in the late 50s/early 60's for the Beverly Yacht Club as a club tender for racing and learning to sail.  She's 11 1/2' long, carries a wood half-wishbone boom with a rotating mast, and has been in the family for decades.  I believe this is a first appearance for THE BEV on GISAmateur Style! HUZZAH!

I wish a most happy new year to all my Intrepid Readers! Join me and go outside more. Weave together the stories of today that you will remember tomorrow. Watch the sun pass by once in a while and remind yourself of the hurtling speeds we are doing on our little rock. Hoist your sail or dip your oars and watch the waves your little craft makes as she plies the waters. Such small wakes we leave in the oceans.

The New Year's Row in some pictures:

Tom Jackson in his famous Bolger Gloucester Light Dory

Do you remember Pirate Joe from SRR 2011? He's in that little black dinghy center right!

Jonathon and Betsy in their sweeeet canoe! This thing was beautiful.

Here, Cap'n Jon takes our Ex-Fearless Leader Jack aboard TWO HEARTED from Ben Fuller's North Shore Dory. This could be called a risky maneuver amongst amateurs and those perpetually bound in their lazy-chairs, but it was executed with precision and panache befitting professionals and no one got wet.

THE BEV! (thanks to Cap'n Jon!)

The famous Marblehead Gunning Dory, REPUBLICAN under the Curtis Island lighthouse.

Cap'n Jon and his BLING

NNECS representing as Cap'n Jon and I chime and cheer in the New Year with a most solemn ceremony while afloat in our boats.  Probably no better way to start off a new heliocentric journey.

Under muscle power (Cap'n Jon)

THE BEV up on the beach. 

A Paul Labrie pulling boat in the background, and the 3-strake planked North Shore Dory belonging to the enigmatic Ben Fuller.
Landing Beach on Curtis Island