Category Archives: Miscellaneous

The Commodore’s New Sailboat

Everyone has heard, the Commodore got a new boat, an American 14.5.  Here are three photos from the boat’s maiden voyage at Blue Marsh Lake with crew and photographer, Ron Hrabak. Click on each photo to see the full size version.

Dinner Before the Storm

Last SupperOn February 12 several members of BMSA got together at Beverly Hills Tavern for a dinner respite prior to the big snowstorm arriving later the same night.  You can tell by the goofy expressions that they were just giddy with delight.  So far we received 10 inches of white fluff by afternoon with another 3-6 inches falling from the skies right now.  (Click on photo for full size image).

BMSA Christmas Party 2013

BOLO, BOLO – Tonight there was a grand theft at the BMSA annual Christmas Party.  In spite of the special alarm designed to prevent our esteemed mascot from being taken there was a fish-napping at the fire company.  We started our party with a wonderful ham by Dave Miller and other delicious dishes by our members, followed by a group rendition of “Here Comes Santa Claus” that brought us our very own Santa.  Many fun gifts were received, but after all was said and done, the fish was missing.  This year’s fish recipient, Jane Moyer, searched everywhere, even going so far as to stop members and search their bags as they were leaving. But in spite of all her efforts, the fish could not be located.  If you have any knowledge of this heinous crime please report it to our crime watch president, aka, Santa. Remember, the fish you save could be your own.

The 2013 Commodore’s Banquet

It was another successful evening for the Commodore’s 2013 Banquet.  The evening started out with a video and audio slide show of photos from the past two years.  Our Secretary, Conrad Vanino, led us with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Jane Moyer giving the invocation.  Dinner was a delicious combination of salad, beef, chicken, lasagne, mixed vegetables,  mashed potatoes, and two wonderful desserts, including some delicious cannolis.  After dinner Conrad gave us a humorous history of past commodores. Commodore Lucas then summarized a successful year 2013 and introduced next year’s Board members who were sworn in by Conrad.  Tom Stoner then gave the racing report and awarded trophies to Russ Witzke and Tom Lucas who won first place for the season with Tom Stoner taking the Turkey Race.  After the awards were given out Russ led us on a fun card game which concluded with enthusiastic conversation among the guests.  Below are photos from the evening courtesy of Tony Stajkowski.

Phoenixville Ghost Tour

It was a dark and cold evening when 17 brave souls descended upon Phoenixville (15 BMSA members and two guests) hoping to spot signs of the paranormal…..ghosts, poltergeists, apparitions and orbs, no less!  First and foremost, sustenance was needed!  Our servers at The Iron Hill Brewery were unfazed by our large, boisterous crowd, answering the many inquiries about their microbrews and menu selections.  Our server took it all in stride, including our request for pictures.  The only complaint we heard was the menu had too many choices!  However, there were no complaints about the food.

Some history:  Phoenixville is located in Chester County along the Schuylkill River, once a major waterway for both Native Americans and settlers alike.  During the Revolutionary War, the British Army arrived on September 21, 1777 and ransacked the village for three days.  During the Civil War it produced the Griffen Gun, a lightweight, extremely precise artillery piece on wheels used by the Union Army and highly prized when captured by the Confederates.  Phoenixville also served as a train stop for severely wounded soldiers taken from Gettysburg to Philadelphia.  The critically injured who might not survive the longer distance were housed at Pickering Creek Inn, which later was also a safe house for the Underground Railroad, complete with a tunnel running directly from the Inn to the banks of the Schuylkill River.  During its heyday Phoenixville was an iron and steel town until its economic demise.  It has recently seen a revival as an art community known for its restaurants, bars and pubs. It also is the most haunted borough in Pennsylvania…the reason for our visit.

After leaving the Brewery we began our 90-minute ghost tour from the haunted Pickering Creek Inn.  Walking through this diverse town with its Victorian buildings (the earliest cornerstone we found was 1830) we stopped at many “haunted buildings,” heard stories about sightings, things that go bump in the night, gruesome tales, etc.  We didn’t see any supernatural activity until the very end of the tour, when we arrived at the “most haunted building in the most haunted borough,” the library!   As we listened to stories of sightings, a few people went up to look inside the windows in the hopes of photographing orbs.  Several minutes had passed, when at an odd hour of the evening, the outside lights suddenly went on for no reason.  That was enough to startle some and intrigue others; the majority deciding to leave….I among them!  Suddenly, we heard screams from those left behind!  FINALLY!  A poltergeist, a mischievous spirited imp, had appeared in the form of a man with white locks and flowing white beard, scaring the living daylights out of a few members!  But wait…..a poltergeist????  No!  Just Conrad who hid in the bushes and jumped out yelling “Boo” for some Halloween fun!  On second thought….yes, it was a poltergeist after all!

Needless to say, it was a fun, enjoyable evening, even if we did have some tired people with sore feet among us.

Michele Rutolo

Turkey Race 2013 Photos and Race Results


What a down and up day!  The various weather sources predicted low and high winds but it was a function of when the front would come through.  We started the race at 11:00 and the winds were almost nothing and the five boats floated along.  The lead boat, Russ Witzke and crew Tom Lucas, finished the first lap in an hour and a half with the last boat coming in after two hours!   Then it all changed as the front came through bringing the wind.  We were recording each boat’s time for each lap and the second lap was completed in 34 minutes by Tom Stoner with crew Ron Hrabak.  Admittedly I was fortunate that my second rounding was entirely under the strong wind while Russ had the weak winds for a portion of his lap.  It was a strange day- we lost Armando Antonini and crew Ralph Bibbus at the end of the first lap.  The strong winds came in just as I and Armando were about to round the start/finish buoy.  I made it around but Armando pointing high to get around came into irons and a gust blew them over.  The chase boat fished them out but their day was over.  The race continued with four boats under the great winds but after finishing the second rounding and leading me by 2.5 minutes of adjusted time at the mark Russ dropped out.  He said he dropped out in deference to Armondo?  His act of kindness ultimately gave me the win for the day as I was able to hold on to beat Joe Rutolo and crew Conrad Vanino by 2.06 minutes!  We had been racing for 3 hours and 10 minutes.  I think I owe Russ and Tom a turkey dinner!  Mike and Kristel Adair joined in the racing even though it’s not their cup of tea.  They did well considering this was their first race of the year.  They started the last lap only 3.6 seconds behind the leading boat but took the point of the island a little too close and failed to finish.

A special thank you goes to Jan Stoner for a fine job in heading up the committee throughout the season and to Lou and Betty Brown and Mary Stajkowski who assisted on this race and several before.  Also thanks go to Conrad and Barb Vanino for lending their boat out as chase boat throughout the season and to Jay and Jane Moyer and Mary Calcagno for crewing on the chase boat.

This race marks the end of the racing season.  We scheduled five race days and managed to race four days.  Congratulations to Russ Witzke and crew Tom Lucas as our first place winners for the season.  Thanks go to them for showing understanding and being good sports when they did not always win despite finishing first.  The handicap system gave them a first in 6 out of the 10 races they competed in.  We tried to keep the racing informal with the emphasis on being fun.  Tom Stoner- Race Chairman

Racing points accumulated toward 2013 Championship
Results as of :









Next Race

R. Witzke







T Stoner







J Rutolo






A Antonini






P Correll




R. Crump




M. Adair




R Hemphill








B Ciferri



M Katzen



Points represent number of boats beaten plus 1/race.

Photos from Tony and Mary

Photos from Jan and Jane

“Adventure at Sea” a Poem by Kristel Adair

As you prepare to read this poem you may find it interesting that after I read it I asked Kristel if this was a made up story.  Her reply was:

"Oh no, this was an actual event! I don't recall what year it was, but
Stoners and Margaret Hueske (past BMSA member and Tell Tale editor) were
with us for a week in Cape May. We had our old Sweet Pea then, a 19'
Bristol Corinthian sloop. We kept it at a marina in the harbor for the
week and planned the circumnavigation of Cape May--out the harbor to the
ocean, along the beach, up into the Delaware and into the canal back to
the harbor. Every word of this is absolutely true. We saw bare butts on
Higbee Beach, and when we had turned into the Delaware Bay, the outgoing
tide was equaled by the southerly wind and waves so we felt and sounded
like we were going gangbusters but in fact were going nowhere at all!"

A Circumnavigation of Cape May

(Overdramatized for Effect)

While on vacation in Cape May,

We waited for a special day,

To set upon an adventurous sail,

And thereby share this spirited tale.

Twas Hueske, Stoners and Adairs,

Yes, two and a half intrepid pairs,

Made ready the vessel named "Sweet Pea,"

To venture upon the sterling sea.

We slipped from the harbor into the channel,

Clad in jackets lined with flannel,

Survived the wakes of passing fleets,

And reached the point where the ocean meets.

Our sails took breaths, soft and light,

And edged us forward, slow and  slight.

We gently rode the three foot swells

But who turned green, no one tells!

The ocean sparkled on that sunny day,

That we floated by Old Cape May,

Victorian homes and sandy beach

Were well within our Sweet Pea's reach.

As we approached the Point where the lighthouse stands

Upon the sunwarmed, drifting sands,

The winds picked up and the waves made rolls,

And heartened our poor mariners' souls.

We rounded the Point and dodged the shoals

As well as lines from fishing poles,

And ran smack dab into pitching seas

Where Delaware Bay met ocean breeze.

Though wind and waves were on our side,

We fought against outgoing tide.

Tom shook and cursed his GPS

For saying we made no progress.

"Tis true, tis true!" his wife decried,

"That rock over there that I have spied,

Stays on our beam. It's so perverse

That we are moving in reverse!"

For half an hour we battled the tide,

With following seas it was quite a ride!

We finally resorted to the iron maiden,

And resumed our course that we had laid in.

Higbee's Beach was but a short half mile

And we could spy the vertical smile

On every butt that walked the sand –

The one body part that wasn't tanned!

We approached the canal, keen-eyed and wary,

We didn't want to dance with the Cape May ferry!

We dropped the jib and then the main

And sighed a sated sailor's refrain:

Spending time with cherished friends,

Making memories that never end,

Sailing near or far, east or west,

Sailing home is always the best.

Kristel Adair


Dining at Ganly’s

Wednesday evening dinners at Ganly’s are tradition in our sail club.  At one time these get-togethers had been a way to continue the fun after a Wednesday day-sail on Blue Marsh Lake.  As our club grew older and did not sail quite as much the desire to get together continued, and even grew. It’s not uncommon to find 10 or more members having dinner together most every Wednesday at Ganly’s Pub or at Beverly Hills Tavern when Wednesdays mean, “buy one dinner, get one free”.  During two recent dinners members of Blue Marsh South (Florida) and even Blue Marsh East (England) joined us. Check out the pictures below and see who you recognize.  Now that our web site is interactive why not try to name all of our out-of-town guests in the Comments section of this post.  Just click on No Comments (if no one left a comment yet) or Comments to view the Comment window.  We’re asking for a name (first only is fine) and email address (not visible to the public) just to keep it safe.  Let’s see if we can get all eight for the October 2nd gathering even though two are not visible.  Be sure to click on both pictures (twice) to see a full size photo.


Blue Marsh Daysail – Friday, Sept 6, 2013

Our rescheduled day sail on Blue Marsh was a pleasant day on the water. We got on the lake around 10:30 and the winds were sufficient to push us across the lake several times and around the island. We started with two boats – Sandy & Russ Witzke and Jan & Tom Stoner joined by Tom Lucas. Armando Antonini then arrived to give his Force 5 a run. We broke for a picnic on the hillside overlooking the lake on the State Hill side enjoying the almost fall day. We finished our sailing with a couple more hours on the lake and then retired to Ganly’s for a light supper. In summary it was a beautiful day but would have been even better if we had more boats joining in.  Maybe advance scheduling on a weekend would help to increase participation.  Tom Stoner