Saturday, February 16, 2013

2013 Upper Keys Catboat Regatta, Day One

Today I was charged with taking nine hearty Catboats and their crews for a sail out on Florida Bay, destination, Nest Key. The day started at the Club with making lunch for the day's sail,  fixins supplied by the Upper Keys Sailing Club. After gathering at the wharf, all the Catboats set out for what would prove to be an interesting day, we had a nice wind around eight Kts. from the NE which propelled us straight toward intended goal. There were Marshall Sanderlings, a Menger, a Handy Cat, a Marshall Sandpiper, a Sea Pearl and even a beautifully built home made Cat. The sail out was uneventful save for a bit of rain, that only lasted for a few minutes. For the most part the little fleet stayed together, after all, this was not a race but rather a relaxed expedition to enjoy each others company and to enjoy what the Florida Bay has to offer, beautiful scenery.

Home made Cat from Va.

Roland and friend Jeoff

Sea Pearl and Felix in the Background

Wavy Davy's Felix and crew

We all arrived at Nest Key and anchored in the Lee, The water was shallow with a sandy bottom, affording all with a chance to enjoy walking from boat to boat while enjoying our lunches and perhaps a beer or two, my crew just had water. Poor planning on my part. All was good, there was much laughter, sharing stories about the sail and getting to know fellow Catboater's from different areas of the Country. All was good,  until when someone looked to the North and saw an angry sky that was making it's way toward us, you could see the rain, impending wind and just imagine how this normally tranquil sea was going to be transformed. Single and some double reefs were quickly tied in,  then in just a moments time were were all off, all with one goal in mind, get to a safe harbor before the worst.

A anchor, Nest Key

Sea Pearl and her crew

Talking Catboats

Puffin and Paul Smith

A gathering of nine Catboats at Nest Key, tomorrow the Nunsuch Cat's  race, 25-30  Kts. expected


Sanderling's and Sandpiper's, one lonely Menger rounds out the field

An angry sky is forming to the North

Alice, a Handy Cat

Charlie and Sally's A-Lee



For my boat and crew, we tied in just one reef, could have used two but we managed quite well, sometimes surfing down a newly created roller coaster and other times racing along in excess of seven to eight Kts. Arriving at our little harbor, nothing remained except to round up and drop the sail, like clock work that's what happened and a few minutes later we were safely tied up to the dock and the adventure was over until the next time. Sorry there are no pictures of the sail home, by the seat of our pants, life was too busy to fool with cameras.

Paul Smith arrived from NJ to attend the celebration. Paul is a Boat builder for Beaton's Boat Works.

Al Dwars hails from Wisconsin, a retired Navy Meteorologist

Paul and Al enjoying the sail out to Nest Key

One hour later we were all at the Club reliving the day, sharing stories how each boat managed the various changes during the day. Naturally, the sail home was the predominant story, everyone survived and lived to talk about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment