Sunday, June 27, 2010

Here comes "Bad Bob"...err..ah Bob Reddington!

While out for a sail one day, who do I run into? Scat and her master, Bob Reddington. Check out the following posts to see and learn more about Bob, this, as I said before, is some of the beyond. Bob is quite the character as many who have dealt with him can attest. The consummate salesman and spokesperson for the Cat Boat Association, Bob has the knowledge and Marine inventory to keep your boat afloat. If you need  "anythin", as Bob would say, he has it in his own private marine store.

A familiar sight on Barnegat Bay!

Bob Reddington, with a single reef, sailing blissfully along in his cat Scat.

Sailing in close fromation!

As usual, when " Bad Bob " and I sail together, in two boats we are never very far away. This day was no exception, at some points a person could have stepped from one boat to the other. Roland knows exactly what I mean!

Bob Reddington ...AKA: Mystic Bob, AKA: Bad Bob, AKA: Captain Bob

Anyone who knows cat boats, knows of Bob Reddington. Bob has been sailing, selling or repairing cat boats as long as I can remember. He is a long time member of the Cat Boat Association and has received may of their prestigious awards in the past. Bob was recently inducted as a life time member for his many contributions to the Association. More recently, he has been instrumental in getting the races between Kathleen and Silent Maid to become reality. I took these pictures one fine sailing day, a couple years ago, when Bob was enjoying his own cat boat SCAT.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Relaxing at anchor...2010 Catboat rendezvous

Charlie and Salee aboard A-LEE
Rose aboard GREEN EYES
Roland relaxing with a Presedente beer

Rose and her American Bulldog Bully aboard GREEN EYES
The Cat's ass
A more relaxed time at anchor, enjoying some adult beverages and sandwiches. All in all there are five cat's in our Florida bay litter. One Menger and four Sanderlings, all the Marshall's are from NJ. Although Roland is from Alna, Me, his boat came from Bay Head. That's it for this post, I hope you are getting more interested in sailing on the Fl. Bay.

A little taste of the Everglade's Nat'l Park

Roland making his move on the Menger, notice the reefs in the sail now, wind is up, we could have used two reefs. Second picture, Ibis moves past A-Lee. No racing here but it was once said, " when two boats are on the same body of water and on the same tack, that constitutes a race."Third picture Ibis, BH7, cruising along. Last picture is me on Lee Marie.

The start of our day at Latitude 25!

The first picture is Green Eyes, with JC and Rose Thompson and their Great American Bulldog, Bully. The second picture is taken from the Lee Marie and shows a Menger cat, A-Lee leading the way. The final picture of this post is of Roland Barth aboard his Marshall, IBIS. Can you see the color of the water and the clarity? Amazing, we were the only boats we saw that day!

No, it's not November yet, this is some 2010 sailing in the Keys (Everglades Nat'l Park)

The pictures displayed were taken at our annual Southernmost Catboat Rendezvous, Latitude 25. The wind started out nice and mild then as the day progressed our sails were full of 15 - 20.  These first two pictures are of Lee Marie foreground and Green Eyes background, wind still hasn't come up yet.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lee Marie Starts Every Chapter!

After Roland Barth made his voyage from Key Largo to Massachusetts, he wrote a book, "Tales of the Intracoastal Waterway". The book has been published and is already in it's second printing. The Catboat Association and Roland are both benefiting from this collaborative effort. The silhouette you see precedes every chapter, I am pleased to say that the image was created from a picture of my boat Lee Marie and me. The picture was taken by Roland, one fine sailing day and changed into this medium. How cool is that?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Be patient, this is the Beyond!

Starting on Nov. 1 I will be sending you pictures from the Fl. Bay. Pictures that will introduce you to one of the best sailing venues ever experienced and one of Florida's best kept secrets.  I like to explore all the reaches that the Bay has to offer, from Flamingo to Key largo and from Key West to Islamorada, there is much to be explored and experienced. In the meantime, until Nov. you will be presented with pictures from my home port, Maine, and maybe even Sturgis, SD. At any rate, I hope you enjoy the pictures and the commentary from this blogging neophyte. Please feel free to comment on my blog or ask any questions regarding the Florida Bay. I will do my best to get the most accurate answers for you and if you want sailing advise, I'm your man!

About Florida Bay.

Florida Bay is a shallow inner-shelf lagoon located at the southern end of the south Florida watershed. It is an area where fresh water from the everglades mixes with the salty waters from the Gulf of Mexico to form an estuary that is surrounded by mangroves forests and encompasses over 200 mangrove islands. Its nearly 1,000 square miles of interconnected basins, grassy mud banks, and mangrove islands are nesting, nursery, and/or feeding grounds for a host of marine animals: the American crocodile, the West Indian manatee, the loggerhead turtle, bottlenose dolphins, a variety of bird species and many gamefish. Parts of the bay are also the nursery grounds for the economically valuable pink shrimp and Caribbean spiny lobster. Florida Bay is also important economically, supporting a 59 million dollar shrimp fishery and 22 million dollar stone crab fishery.

Where is Florida Bay?

Located at the southernmost tip of the Florida Peninsula. Florida Bay lies between the mainland and the chain of islands known as the Florida Keys. The Keys, and the Florida reef tract extend 220 miles south and west of the Florida peninsula. The islands were formed from ancient coral and sand shoals, which are covered by mangroves and tropical hardwood hammocks. The bay itself is characterized by many shallow interconnected basins, with an average depth of only three feet. Most of the bay lies within the boundaries of the Everglades National Park. The bay and the Keys are part of the greater South Florida ecosystem, one that is unique to the world. This South Florida or Everglades ecosystem is approximately 10,800 square miles extending from Orlando to the Dry Tortuga's.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Florida Bay Education Project is an archived site. For more information go to NOAA's South Florida Ecosystem Education Project at

One last timeless B and W

Shoaler 32
32' LOA
Draft 2" with board up
Center cockpit
Designed by Ray Hunt 1947
Built in Marble Head
Total of five were built
Rig 7/8ths sloop
Internal ballast, lead 5000Lbs

Lyme's disease takes it's toll

After sailing Sandscraper for twelve years, I contracted a severe case of Lyme's disease that left me unable to give the necessary attention to her, with much regret I sold Sandscraper. Unfortunately, not to the correct person, for under the new owners care, she fell in to disrepair and was eventually cut up for scrap at Winter's boat works. Here are a few more pictures that show her beautiful lines. The good news, I recovered , the bad news, Sandscraper did not.

A diamond in the rough!

When I first stumbled on Sandscraper she was at a mooring on the Tom's River, Stump Creek Slipways. After some initial inspection, I had my friend and boat surveyor, Paul Smith do a more extensive survey. Paul found her to be sound and the deal was done. Although she looked in a state of disrepair most of the problem was cosmetic.  After a winter of hard work this is how she looked from Beaton's old rigging ladder. She was one of the fastest and most comfortable boats that I have ever had the pleasure of sailing. I would love to find one of her sister ships but alas, I think that they have all gone to an early grave. There is one , however, on the Chesapeake, I think, called the Mud Hen that may still be sailing. If anyone ever has information regarding this boat, please contact me.

Sandscraper Remembered

Sandscraper was strip planked with cedar, therefore she required very little, if any ribs. She was a center boarder designed for sailing in the waters off the Bahamas. There were five built and she was the cover story of the 1947 issue of Yachting magazine. Ray Hunt designed this boat on a whim and the original lines are said to have been sketched on a napkin. Ray Hunt was a prolific sailboat designer, he also designed the 110 and 210 racing class, although he might be best remembered for his design of the Bertram 31 and the ever popular Boston Whaler. Photo courtesy of Harry Sowell aboard Talisman.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Off to "Heave to off Swan Point"

Heading to his favorite cruising grounds, Russ will "heave to" and read or otherwise amuse himself while Sojgin manages herself. Russ is preparing to take the lines off Sjogin, in order to have a set of plans made of her. It should be a very interesting process and I am looking forward to seeing the final result.

The second photo is the landing process.

Getting underway!

Russ, like me, enjoys the challenge of sailing without a motor, the result being very comfortable with and understanding the boat's capabilities.

Familiar sight in my home port

Russ Manheimer leaving the dock in his, double ended, sloop Sjogin. You can see more of Russ and his Sjogin at

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Actual Plummer Award

A Diorama of Plummer's catboat.

Catboat Association's Henry Plummer Award

Roland receiving the award for duplicating the voyage Henry Plummer made in his Catboat and later chronicled in his book, "The Boy, Me and the Cat." Incidentally, Roland has since penned his own version called, "Tales of the Intracoastal Waterway".

Monday, June 14, 2010


Ibis, Rolands seventeen foot Cape Cod Catboat made an epic voyage from Key Largo To Massachusetts, following in the wake of Henry Plummer.

Sailing friend and kindred spirit on the Bay!

Several years ago I met an individual named, Roland Barth. Since our first meeting Roland and I have sailed, dined and shared many memories of our personnel lives. It has become one of those friendships that you know only come along once in a lifetime. in the future, there will be many stories and pictures to chronicle this friendship.

The other side of the coin!

This is my other passion, a flats boat that allows me to fish the back country in the Everglades National Park. Snook, Tarpon, Red Fish and Permit offer great sport fishing.

What draws me to the Fl. Bay?

It should be obvious, the water, solitude and the camaraderie.

Sunsets in the Keys

This is one of the reasons that the Keys appeal to me, this is the view I get every night from my home. This sunset was particularly spectacular.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back in NJ for a refit

Each year I return to NJ from the Keys to escape the heat and to refit the Catboat Lee Marie. After six months in the Fl. Sun, sailing every chance I get, it is time to perform some much needed maintenance. I am in NJ from May to October, sailing on the bay I have known since a young boy, Barnegat Bay, Then from Nov to April I migrate to the Fl. Keys. The pictures in this post are showing the bright work completed and the seats being stripped to receive a new coat of paint. Having a garage to get Lee Marie out of the weather helps.

Corky on Aligator Bay

This picture was taken on an overnight sail, my buddy and avid sailing partner, Corky accompanied me as usual. For ten years Corky enjoyed as many adventures as I did, she died in 2008. I miss her personality and companionship.

Sailing on the Florida Bay!

The previous picture is my main means of exploring the Bay. Florida Bay is a very shallow body of water in the Florida Keys that mainly encompasses the Everglades National Park. It is not uncommon to sail all day and only see one or two other boats. For me the Fl. Bay is one of the best sailing areas that I have ever had the pleasure to sail. I will include more information as this blog comes to life. This picture is a sunset that occured one evening at Aligator Bay.

Setting up a blog to chronicle my sailing and boating adventures in the Florida Keys, specifically the Fl. Bay.