General Meeting, Elections, and Photo Contest – October 11
It’s official! Our new Board of Directors have been elected for the next year. They are as follows:
Commodore – Mary Stajkowski
Vice Commodore – Bruce Littlefield
Secretary – Michele Rutolo
Treasurer – Ron Hrabak
Rear Commodore – Heidi Moser
Congratulations to all! Official installation will take place at our Commodore’s Banquet on November 11.
After elections took place our annual photo contest ensued and the winners are as follows:
Sailboat Category – 1st Place, Bruce – 2nd Place, Joe
People Category – 1st Place, Joe – 2nd Place, Bruce
Seascapes – 1st Place, Tom Stoner – 2nd Place, Tom Stoner
Nature – 1st Place, Tony – 2nd Place, Michele
Miscellaneous – 1st Place, Bruce – 2nd Place, Heidi
Best of Show – Tony
Magothy Rescheduled – Armando Sails Anyway – October 6-7
For the third time this season our trip to the Magothy River was cancelled yet again due to inclement weather. Each time Small Craft Advisories were issued and our group decided to play it safe and try again later. Our most recent attempt had us scheduled to sail from Sandy Point to Ferry Point Marina on the Magothy River Saturday and Sunday, October 7-8. On Friday afternoon Small Craft Advisories were issued for both days and thunderstorms hit the area on Sunday. The current revised plan is to do this same trip next Sunday and Monday, October 15-16. Anyone interested in joining us should contact Joe Rutolo.
In the meantime, Armando, Christa, and Henry set sail from Middle River on Friday, October 6 and motored to Bodkin Creek in very light wind. They had wonderful weather for sleeping at anchor in Bodkin and then sailed back to Middle River on Saturday. With a following wind and tide they easily made 5 knots under mainsail alone. Below are photos taken by Henry from the trip.
The Fall Cruise – September 15-17
The Trip: from Maryland Marina on Middle River to Fairlee Creek on Friday, to Worton Creek on Saturday, and back to Maryland Marina on Sunday.
The Participants: On Babe, Tom and Ron; on Coventina, Tony and Mary; on Lilly, Bob and Henry; on Obbligato, Neil; on Allegro, Joe and Bruce.
We had spectacular fall weather for the cruise – a religious experience in some ways as some of us were singing “All is Calm, All is Bright” and praying for wind.
We “Poole”d our resources during this trip. While Bob shot the gap through the cut between Poole’s Island and the artillery range on the way to Fair Lee Creek, the others circled from the south and east. Magically we all found our way to the marina before 5:00.
We all had that sinking feeling at the Great Oak Landing Marina. No, we really did! All piled onto the Babe for Foursies when the Babe started taking on water due to a backwash up the scuppers from the weight. Ron’s shoes and socks got soaked but he never realized it and kept on partying. Only one somewhat sober person noticed the rising water before some shifted to sitting on the dock of the bay.
At the Great Oak Landing marina the boats weren’t rocking but the band at the restaurant was until well after midnight. While we enjoyed it at first since the band was good, a few found it went overboard as the night wore on.
Ron and Tom played buoy tag going north from Fail Lee Creek to Warton Creek while others trekked south and motored back up the bay.
Tom and Ron on the Babe were well grounded throughout the weekend. The reason is that they tended to take motor sailing short cuts to make up for the lack of wind. Who needs depth charts when you have direct feedback from the centerboard. In short, they were using the centerboard as a depth finder and frequently touched bottom across the shoals. Oops! Guess we gotta go that way. Oops! Guess we gotta go over to that marker where all the other boats are sailing. While it may have looked impressive, their zigging and zagging up Middle River on the way back was not planned.
Tom and Ron decided to go out of their way and sail past one of the abandoned artillery range observation platforms to see the multitude of egrets that now occupy the site. They laughed as they clapped to scare the birds but once all those critters started taking off they realized this may not have been such a good idea. They could have become the target for a strafing run as the birds dropped their own dirty bombs on the Babe. Fortunately Tom and Ron scooted away without incident.
Bob Ciferri displayed his prowess as a gourmet chef each morning. While he refrained from flambe’ dishes, the omelets and toasted muffins he made had us all envy Henry who was his astounded and grateful crew.
Bob also showed us his polar bear spirit by swimming in the Warton Creek Marina pool. He swore it was only cold for the first minute. Tom and Henry got their feet wet and Ron tested the water too before making a hasty retreat.
The party on Neil Hoffman’s Obbligato at the Warton Creek Marina was well lit. That is, the BMSA sailors were well lit with grog and grub. This was followed by a delicious dinner at the marina restaurant where the revelry continued.
Henry was the clown of the “trip” on this trip. He tripped on Obbligato and needed band aids and then almost tripped and fell into the drink on the Maryland Marina Dock.
Tom found retrieving his boat up the boat ramp at the Maryland Yacht Club a snap. No, Really! Not only did the trailer rollers roll cockeye and require a do over, but the trailer hoist rope snapped in two. Tom’s practice doing knots at National Outdoors Day paid off.
Last year Tom swore he wouldn’t go back to the Middle River on a weekend because of the plentitude large cruisers ignoring the no wake speed limit. He was reminded of this on our return and swore he wouldn’t go back again. We had so much fun this weekend it will be hard not to try it at least one more time.
Meanwhile, from Joe and Bruce’s perspective the biggest challenge of the weekend was the tide. It was very strong heading south, up until around noon when the gradual changeover began. Unfortunately, we need to go north most of the time and actually found ourselves having to point our boat, under motor, about 10 to 15 degrees north of our target to avoid being swept away from our destination. While pointing at the “cut” between Poole’s Island and Aberdeen Proving Grounds we saw Babe getting further and further to our south. I radioed Tom about it and he just said “we’re aiming for the cut.” Even though they traversed Middle River from north to south while heading west they still beat us to the dock on Sunday.
The best sailing of the weekend was actually on Friday morning as we headed up Middle River toward Poole’s Island. We had a wonderful breeze of about 8 knots that was pure pleasure to sail. It lasted until we got close to Poole’s Island and Tom said he was turning on the motor. I kidded him about doing that as he is always the die hard sailor. He took it pretty seriously as he sailed nearly the entire remainder of the day, in spite of very light wind. Although we all longed for more wind, the sunny skies and pleasant temperatures made the trip a joy in spite of it all. Maybe our last vagabond to the Magothy River October 7-8 will give us those elusive perfect conditions.
August 19 Pool Picnic: Rocky Mountain High-Jinx In Oley
Up to the challenge, a group from BMSA set out on a search for hidden treasure in the big sky country of Oley on August 19th and quickly struck gold at our annual pool party. Armed with only grub, grog and swim gear we climbed Mt. Littlefield in a flash and experienced a Rocky Mountain high right here in Berks County. With broad vistas of the valley below, we enjoyed a resort like atmosphere that included a swimming pool, whirlpool spa and water park slide that were all carved right out of the local bedrock. With music playing and Sharon dancing, Tom and Jan set up the BMSA tent and kicked off the event by opening up the first beer. This was quickly followed by a few testing the waters of the pool and then playing like little kids. Sissie and Kristel initiated a rubber ducky war and there was a whole lot of splish-splashing fun going on. It was another food, folks and fun BMSA event as we enjoyed tasty beverages and laid back and enjoyed a picture perfect evening – No Problem Man. As a special treat, Nancy shared her love of wild life by discussing how she promotes butterfly migration. This included taking a few on a nature walk and showing them a butterfly that was about to emerge from its chrysalis. Of course the party wouldn’t have been complete without Barb’s shenanigans. When she checked out the zipper on Ron’s shorts he said it was the best time he’s had in years.
Thanks go to Bruce and Nancy Littlefield for hosting this event and cooking up a storm. The sangria they made was tasty and went well with the salami and cream cheese appetizer made by Kristel. In fact, all the food brought was super good. However, catching up with good friends after a long summer was even better.
Lest any forget, the next BMSA General meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 13. The program this month will feature Joe Rutolo, who is now a qualified Charter Captain, reviewing the ups and downs of the spring BVI trip that was enjoyed by several of our members. He’ll show a few pictures, not those X rated ones, and provide the do’s and don’ts for the next trip. We’ll have sodas, water and drink as well as some snack food. Come out and join us for a typical BMSA good time.
PIRATES AND WENCHES CRUISE RECAP – 2017 – AUGUST 11-13
The Pirates and Wenches weekend held in Rock Hall continues to be one of the favorite cruises each year to the Chesapeake Bay. This year we had four boats represented. The crews and boats making the trip were: Hosts Donna Ferron/John Pittman – Halcyon; Tony Stajkowski/Mary – Coventina; Tom Stoner/Ron Hrabak – Babe; Armando Antonini/Christa/Ralph Bibbus/Joe Rutolo – Chessie-Cat. All our boats were berthed at the Gratitude Marina and we made use of their grill to prepare our Friday night dinner though we had to retire to the Captain’s Lounge as a brief shower came in just as the barbecuing was completed. The crew of Chessie-Cat had their own onboard meal prepared by master chef Christa and joined us afterward for drinks and dessert.
Saturday we elected to not sail but instead took in the town’s Pirates and Wenches activities in the harbor and beach. The harbor had many dinghies decorated as pirate ships and armed with water shooting firearms both manual and powered. Christa and I sat on the bulkhead and protected ourselves with an umbrella from the water projected our way by the dastardly knaves. We then took in some beach time in the shade of our favorite tree enjoying the live music, girl watching, looking at the boats moored beyond the beach and, of course, slaking our thirst with the drinks of the day – margaritas and beer. When the boats started to up-anchor we returned to the marina to dress for dinner, down a quick cocktail, and trolley downtown to the Four Sirens for dinner. Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal. My scallops and medley of seasonal vegetables were very tasty and filling as well. Donna knows all the good restaurants in town! We retired to the marina’s Captain’s Lounge where we sat in the dark with our after dinner drinks to watch the lightning show from an approaching storm – much lightning and little rain.
This cruise was a definite plus. The weather cooperated with little rain and the wind was good both arriving and returning home. However since we had boats coming from both the north and south someone was going to have tougher going and on top of this the wind shifted from the south on Friday to the north on Saturday. Coventina and Babe coming from Sandy Point had the better of the deal – reaching and running 10 miles both ways while Chessie-Cat which had 17 miles to go had to sail to windward both ways. Chessie-Cat which is undergoing some refitting after being acquired by Armando had engine trouble on the way home stopping a number of times under dying winds – enough to ruin any day! Each boat took home memories of the trip. Speaking of memories this is one Tony will not soon forget. Saturday night after dinner while trying to board Donna’s boat in the dark Tony missed his footing and fell into the water. He must have taken lessons from wife Mary as she had a propensity in the past for taking an occasional dip. In any event Ralph who was following came to the rescue by extending a helping hand to the startled Tony and pulled him over to the boat’s ladder. My theory is that since this was Tony’s first sail of the season on Coventina he probably doesn’t have his sea legs yet.
Keep abreast of our future sailing adventures on our website and join in the fun! Tom Stoner
Pictured below are photos from our trip.
BMSA Summer Cruise: Duck Races and Hot Times – July 21-23
This year’s BMSA Summer Cruise was one that will long be remembered for its epic heat. To paraphrase a James Taylor song, Conrad, Barb, Tom and Ron saw fire and they saw rain, and they saw sunny days that were in the upper 90’s with near 100% humidity that they thought would never end. The only thing they didn’t see much of was wind. However; as diehard sailors Tom and Ron used every bit of it that blew their way. They kept the sails up as much as possible hoping the Babe could catch a few puffs. Sadly they ended up motor sailing much of the time. Making the best of it they kept on moving along enjoying the day – No Problem Man – while staying out of the sun as much as possible. How calm was it on the water? Well, while sailing back to Long Cove there was a mother duck and her brood swimming ahead. The ducks easily won the race to the dock as they disappeared far ahead. It was no contest. Yes, the water was that calm that ducks were swimming in the middle of Langford Creek. And yes, there were that few boats on the water in the middle of a peak weekend in July. In short, it was hot, hot, hot! – and there was very little sailing going on.
Nevertheless, the Fab Four had a swimmingly great time despite the weather. Given the “real feel” temperatures of 107 degrees and strong sun, this motley crew made an ample use of the pool at the Lankford Bay Marina. They played alligator and relaxed in water that was as warm as a spa. There was a little excitement when a boat caught fire around the bend from the marina at a private slip. It had just fueled up and something must have gone drastically wrong. Then poof, no more boat! While there probably was a big bang, all that was visible was a big puff of black smoke that rose high into the sky. Then there was Saturday evening when a strong thunderstorm with a tornado warning issued. This could easily have been a major problem for many reasons. Fortunately the system stayed south and dissipated so we were spared from its damaging effects.
Tom and Ron want to give a special thanks to Conrad and Barb who were their heroes and saved the day on this trip. While Tom and Ron sweltered at the marina, Conrad and Barb wisely stayed at an air conditioned artist’s den doubling as a bed and breakfast in Rock Hall. They graciously provided the ground transportation for getting to dinner both Friday and Saturday night. It was a Where’s Waldo trip to Waterman’s for dinner on Friday as nobody knew the address. However, it was worth the search as the slushy Margaritas there hit the spot and went down real smooth while they sat at a table by the bay. There was an island band playing in the background that put all in a groovy BVI mood. Then on Saturday after a morning swim with no wind in sight, Conrad provided an afternoon power boat trek up the Chester River to the Chestertown bridge. The Weee Bumps of the speeding power boat and the resulting breeze was a refreshing break for Tom and Ron from their bobbing on the Babe. While they experienced a few rain drops when returning to the dock, it was not enough to dampen their spirits. Then off they went to the Corsica Yacht Club before the storm hit. Once there, nobody even noticed it was raining while feasting on chicken barbecue under a big tent. Conrad was partial to the chocolate iced cupcakes and was kept in a good supply as we all got extras for him. After eating they walked up to the pavilion where an easy listening classic folk band was playing. They sat there enjoying the music while drinking a tasty beverage before ending the perfect day and returning back to the marina.
All in all, it was a weekend cruise that brought to mind those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer of yore. It should have been no surprise that when stopping at Molly’s for slushy drinks on the way home that they found that the slushy machine was full of juice as it was just too hot to chill. All of this adversity just made them more anxious for the August 11-13 Pirates and Wenches weekend when they will get another crack at challenging Mother Nature – and have another party of course in the traditional BMSA spirit. Arrrrr! Come and join us for the fun.
July 13 Picnic: Unexpected Rain Does Not Damper Our Party Hearty Pirate Spirit
It was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who wrote “Into each life some rain must fall”. Unfortunately he didn’t say anything about BMSA picnics. He also didn’t say how much “some” was. Well, we certainly got our share at our July 13 picnic – enough for a lifetime. With a 3:00 AccuWeather forecast of 97 degrees and a shower from 3:05 to 4:15, Ron Hrabak and Tom Lucas lit a match to the charcoal and began preparation to throw out the first burger and hot dog at 5:00 for our July picnic. Like all good Scouts, they came prepared with an electric fan to keep cool and a large umbrella in case the rain persisted. What they didn’t realize is that AccuWeather was dead wrong! A light rain began about 4:15 and got harder and harder and never stopped. There was even lightning that passed by in the storm. We timed the first bolt about 2 miles away. The next bolt was 1 mile. Then we saw and heard the lightning at the same time and ducked for cover. Imagine a cartoon where a bolt strikes an umbrella and all you can see an x-ray ray of the character and and you know what was running through our mind.
Nevertheless, Pirates are a hearty bunch and with a pavilion for shelter our Party Spirit prevailed. There was no lack of food. The burgers and dogs were grilling under the cover of an umbrella and were plentiful. Ron also had brought a pan sweet and hot sausages pre-cooked in onions and peppers that were yummy. By the end of the picnic all were gone. With the sides and desserts and cold drinks we slaked our appetites and then some. Joe was the big winner of the 50/50 drawing. However the highlight of the picnic was Barb’s hijinx and rendition of “Singing In The Rain” while dancing to the car. Wow! If we only had a camera it would have made the highlight reel for sure. Maybe she’ll grace us with an encore performance at the Saturday, August 19 pool picnic hosted by the Littlefields’. You’ll have to attend to find out. Maybe she’ll show off her Mo-Town moves with Sharon too.
In summary, while a good time was had by all the moral of this picnic is: Don’t trust AccuWeather! Who ya gonna call when you need an accurate forecast for a picnic? Well, our own crack BMSA meteorologist Michele. She would have predicted that it was going to be wet – Damn Wet. Next time we’ll know!
SAILING SEASON HAD AN ACTIVE START!
Ahoy Fellow Sailors!
We delayed the season start from Friday June 2 until Saturday because the call for winds was 20-30 and possible thunderstorms in the afternoon. Their call for clearing skies around 10:00am Saturday was right on the money and we looked forward to a fun day as the winds were on the light side at the start but were to build a little as the day progressed. The turnout was good with five boats- Russ Witzke and newbie Josh Hackman, Tom Lucas crewed for a non-member Steve on a 17’ cuddy cabin cruiser, Marty Katzen had Bud Carnes and Bob Ciferri as crew, Bruce Littlefield soloed on his Force Five, and I had crew Ron Hrabak and Tim and Nancy Sittig. The day was beautiful with sunny skies, decently warm for early June, nice winds pushing us wherever we wanted to go, and the added excitement of the WWII planes flying overhead.
But around 1:00 the winds started to gust which kept us wary and on edge. We got our first MOB drill of the season when Tim lost his hat and we retrieved it under sail. Around 2:00 our day of sailing ended when Russ at the helm and sailing with a small jib caught an unexpected gust which dumped the tender Buccaneer on its side which made matters worse by turtling. The Corps’ rescue boat came to the rescue shooing all helpers away and got the wet, but otherwise OK, crew onboard. However they showed their inexperience at retrieving sailboats by towing the turtled boat to the Dry Dock ramp. Fortunately the mast came off the bottom and damage was seemingly minimal pending closer inspection. The boat arrived to the dock still on its side and was righted by various BMSA members. After much bailing, the boat, still laden with water and many minnows, was retrieved up the ramp. Josh seemed undeterred by his initial experience and rescued the fish, dumping them back into the lake! Hopefully he enjoyed the day enough to return for more.
Our next sailing adventure will be Thursday June 8 when our midweek sailing resumes. We will be going to the lake at 2:00pm and invite all to join us. Need crew or want to crew? Contact me 610-223-3593. We will be going to Ganly’s around 6:00. If you plan to join us for dinner you must call us early to be included. See you on the water! Tom Stoner
Superheroes in Our Neighborhood
At our May General Meeting Steve and Ron from the Spring Township Fire Department provided us with the basics of fire safety and explained what they do for the community. If you are picturing a Norman Rockwell painting with fire fighters driving a team of horses pulling a wagon and a Dalmatian or two by their side, think again. These are high tech lean, mean professional fire fighting machines that are highly skilled and train hundreds of hours a year in what they do. What was really cool was that at the end of the presentation we got to take a tour of the building. Kristel even got to live the dream by sitting in the drivers seat of one of the fire trucks. Should an alarm have sounded, she was ready to roll.
In all seriousness, we learned a lot. When in trouble who ya gonna call? Well don’t bother with the Ghost Busters as they only exist in Hollywood. Call 911 and get these folks in action. Last year this station recorded 1771 calls – that averages about 5 per day – not including medical assistance responses. If you think the Flash character in the comics and TV is fast, these folks are out the door within 2 minutes of an alarm and on the scene within ten. Often they will beat an ambulance and police to the scene and can initiate any needed medical treatment. The whole key to this feat is that you need to dial 911 first. While we hope that you never have to do this, if you must Steve and Ron urged us to think about what to say before the operator picks up. While wanting to help, they need to clearly understand the situation to make sure the right people and equipment are dispatched. This requires them to ask a series of questions that can be exasperating in an emergency situation. Don’t hang up. It is important for you to stay calm and answer the questions as quickly and accurately as possible so help can be sent as fast as possible. While you are talking they are making contact with the appropriate emergency responders so you may still be on the line when they arrive. Steve and Ron even conduct training programs for kids for this purpose where they simulate such a call. In case of fire, they told us evacuate the building first and then use your cell phone. Your life is more important than your belongings and pets.
Two other important lessons learned – home fire extinguishers have a shelf life of about 8 years. You can extend this by shaking them upside down to make sure the powder inside does not cake – but who does. Your smoke and CO detectors also have a shelf life. If yours haven’t been replaced in a while, you should do it. In fact, should you live in Spring Township they will do it for free! While we focused our meeting on Spring Township, we were reminded that the Fire & Rescue squads in the area are like a band of brothers. They respond wherever and whenever needed. Who ya gonna call? The Fire Busters.
In summary, if you watch any TV you know there have been a spate of superhero shows and movies released with Guardians and Avengers and Costumed Crusaders – all totally fiction and predicated on saving the universe and earth from evil. What we often forget is that there are true superheroes among us who daily rise to the challenge and protect our lives. They go by many names: Firefighter, EMTs, Fire Police and Police just to name a few. They are the real superheroes!
Sail Away With BMSA
There’s an old saying: With a glass of wine you make a friend. Well, in true BMSA fashion the Antoninis, Hrabaks, Rutolos, Vaninos and Witzkes set out to make as many friends as possible. In what may become an annual event, we began a wine trail adventure last Saturday that started at the Folino Estate winery, meandered to the Clover Hill Winery and concluded with ice cream at Premise Maid. While the wine and chocolate were fine, it was another example of our motto: Good Friends, Good Food, Good Times – BMSA. It was an OMG event that we wished more from the BMSA had enjoyed.
Our journey started before noon with a visit to the Folino Estate winery for a session of pre-lunch wine tasting. There were more than generous pourings for those who chose to partake with some great wines to choose from. In fact, most bought a bottle or two to take home as booty. This was followed by a leisurely lunch with lots of reverie. We started with baskets of fresh baked bread to dip in olive oil and tasty beverages. Our entrees varied from a Red Wine Burger, Tagliatelle & Polpette, Antipasto Panini, Lidia’s Homemade Lasagna to a special Mushroom Ravioli. All items were made from scratch and all were superbly delicious – nothing store bought here. How good was it? Well it received a ten on the Armando scale – Molto Buono – which is the highest praise a place can get.
After our lunch we toured the grounds of the Folino Winery. Note that this is not your typical Pennsylvania Winery. It is truly an estate with a castle like building and a landscaped surrounding that is modeled after the great California vineyards. We walked by an outdoor area for al fresco dining and an outdoor wedding venue, stopped by a waterfall and finally passed by some bocce ball courts. Having walked off lunch and considering the time, we skipped our planned Pinnacle Winery visit and headed for the Clover Hill Winery. While the Clover Hill building and grounds were grand and the free wine tasting a treat, we had been spoiled at Folino’s. Also, like the sirens of Greek mythology we sailors were lured by the call of Premise Maid down the road with their home made candies and ice cream. Apparently the call was heard by many land lubbers too as there was a long line at the Premise Maid ice cream shop. Nevertheless we prevailed in getting cones and dishes of this taste tempting treat. Somehow the conversation turned to tales of ghosts and the supernatural which was appropriate for our crew of motley pirates.
As Premise Maid was soon to close we decided to call it a day and headed back to Reading after another BMSA event enjoyed by all. In fact, we had so much fun the wheels are in motion to set up another trip to Folino’s in 2018. We might even have a BMSA bocce ball tournament with dessert served on the veranda. Come to the October Planning meeting and express your interest. Arrivederci!
Below are photos from our fun trip:
“Sheer Madness” at Dutch Apple Dinner Theater on February 4
Eighteen BMSA members car pooled from Ollie’s parking lot to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater for a great meal and an even better comedy play. The setting for the play was a hair salon in Lancaster County and the theme was a whodunit murder mystery. The lead character was Justin Droegemueller who played gay hair stylist Eddie Lawrence. Eddie had us in stitches for nearly two hours with his riotous antics, along with a fantastic cast of five other actors. The crowd was invited to participate by asking questions and offering suggestions to solve the murder mystery. The ad libbing was fantastic as the cast did not miss a beat, no matter what surprises the audience threw at them. This play was one of the best I’ve seen at this venue. If you get a chance to see it before it’s over, don’t miss it.
Friday December 9 Miller Event
Either Freezing With the Eagles or Sampling Ice Cold Tasty Beverages – The Choice Was Easy!
While Caribbean Pirates say Arrrrr! – us BMSA folk were saying Brrrrr! last Friday! With the weather colder than a witches tatas and small craft warnings issued (Damn cold according to hi-tech BMSA meteorologist Michele), instead of trekking to Conowingo to see some shivering eagles, 13 hungry members from BMSA headed to Chef Alan’s to do what we do best: Eat, Drink, and Party. Highlights included Sharon taking pictures with her new smart phone, Joe finally being able to see us clearly in one eye after cataract surgery, John taking a break from singing with the Pretzel City Chorus, Russ telling the us about his 6 burger binge the night before, Conrad relating the time he watched a ski race where the women wore skin tight suits (woo-hoo!) in minus 60 degrees weather, and much more joviality in keeping with the Ho! Ho! Ho! season.
After such a hearty meal, this merry band trekked to the Miller Center to see the travelogue show “Egypt: Of Pharaohs and Fables”.
While we had visions of Charleston Heston saying “Let My People Go” and then parting the Red Sea as in the movie “The Ten Commandments”, this was not that kind of a presentation. Nor were songs like the Duprees’ “See the Pyramids along the Nile”, Steve Martin’s “King Tut”, or even the Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” ever played. What we failed to realize is that Egypt is much more than what Hollywood and pop songs portray. Egypt is a country of real people with a history that goes back to the beginning of time. In an entertaining way, we were led on a tour throughout the country – delving into both the past and present ways of life of the Egyptian people. We all learned something and left the Miller Center with a better appreciation of Egypt’s heritage.
Ironically, on the way home from viewing this travelogue of a country famous for its deserts and camels we ran into a snow squall with blizzard like conditions. Those eagles down at Conowingo were probably thinking: Damn! we should have listened to that hi-tech BMSA meteorologist and headed south.
Annual Christmas/Holiday Party – December 2
It was our usual good time with friends again this year. After a delicious dinner featuring Dave Miller’s tender ham, supplemented by many wonderful side dishes and desserts, we did our usual gift exchange which was, as always, the fun part of the evening. There were many good laughs to be had, so much so that I thought a few members – Sharon and Christa – might fall out of their chairs. This year the famous BMSA Fish was accepted by a very surprised Peggy. Not realizing it was our biggest gag gift she graciously accepted the fish by commenting how nice it was. Watch out Peggy, you just might get a surprise visit from our members to make sure you have it prominently displayed in your home for the next 12 months, lol. In the meantime, the fender, the rubber chicken, and the thong are among the missing. If you know the whereabouts of our famous “special” gifts please let our Commodore know. And now for some photos from the evening:
The Commodore’s Banquet – November 5
Beverly Hills Tavern was once again the site for our annual Commodore’s Banquet. Members and guests began to file in around 5:30 PM and it didn’t take long for drinks and lively conversation to get underway. Joe got the annual slide show “BMSA – the Year 2016 in Review” loaded onto the wall mounted TV. After Commodore Vanino made his opening remarks Past Commodore Tony Stajkowski had all our past commodores stand and be recognized. Jane Moyer then said the opening prayer and we all recited the Pledge Allegiance to the Flag using a photo of our flag as our emergency prop. Next year we’ll have the real thing. All board officers were then sworn in by Tom Stoner and received their officer flags. And finally, around 6:30 dinner was served. The was much chatter throughout the evening and the group continued to mix well on to 9 PM. Below are photos of our officers.
A Sad Farewell to the Sailing Season at Elk Neck – October 15-16
All good things must come to an end – and so it was with the 2016 BMSA Sailing season. It was a picture perfect ending to one of our best sailing years ever. Nine from the BMSA descended on Elk Neck State Park on a day where there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the bald eagles were circling above. The Adair’s and Moyer’s were there with their campers and did a land cruise to Havre De Grace while the Stajkowski’s sailed on Coventina and the Stoner’s and Ron Hrabak sailed the Babe from Rogues Harbor on the Elk River.
The sail was a leisurely one on such a nice day that they didn’t want it to end. Launching close to lunch the wind was light so they merely put up the sails and drifted with the tide to the Turkey Point Light House while eating lunch and basking in the bright sun. Right on cue, when reaching the Point the wind picked up and they sailed out into the open bay at a leisurely 4 mph pace. It was so nice that the next thing they knew they were at the mouth of the Sassafras River. They turned around and suddenly realized that they had gone too far to make it back to the boat launch by 3:00 as per plan. So they motor sailed back, pushed aside the mounds of sea weed at the dock and skidded back up to the parking lot where Mike and Jay were waiting to greet them. From there they went to the camp site to do what else – party! They had lots of tasty hors d’ourves from shrimp to nuts with Mike providing some “blue ribbon” refreshment for the thirsty sailors. After such fixins dinner was out of the question and the sailors bid farewell to the campers and headed home with a super full moon lighting the way.
All were thinking of our fellow BMSA mates on the way back and wishing they could have joined in on this and our other trips this summer. However, our thoughts now must turn from the past to the future. So come to the BMSA Planning Meeting on Wednesday, October 26, at 7:30 at the Spring Township Fire Company and give us your ideas of what you would like to do and where you want to go next year. Already a group of 6 have scheduled a charter to the BVI next May. We will share their information and provide some estimated costs and alternatives if you want to form a group to join them. Also – Don’t forget the Commodores Banquet is Saturday November 5th at the Beverly Hills Tavern. Meet us there for appetizers at 5:30 and dinner at 6:30. The cost for members is $30 per person. $35 non-members, so send your checks to Mary Stajkowski, our treasurer, or bring them to the Planning Meeting.
Annapolis Land Cruise – October 7
On Friday, October 7 seven members of BMSA made the trek to Annapolis for the annual sailboat show. The group, shown here enjoying lunch at one of the downtown eateries, took in the sights, surrounded by everything nautical. We spent a good amount of time researching charter companies for our next bareboat charter to the British Virgin Islands planned for next May. We climbed aboard a few beautiful cruisers, visualizing ourselves at the helm in the deep blue waters of the Caribbean. We had good weather for this trip and the warm sun brought out the usual crowds, all looking to enhance their sailing experience with some new sailing toy, or maybe just dreaming of one.
Nockamixon – at long last, a great success – October 5
After waiting what seemed an eternity for good sailing conditions, Wednesday, October 5 gave us a glorious day on the water. Although it was cool enough for jackets most of the day, the bright sun and perfect winds more than made up for the slight chill in the air. Seven BMSA members made the trek to Nockamixon and sailed on two boats. Bruce Littlefield is shown here taking the helm of our humorously named boat, “What the Shell!” Tom Stoner brought his boat, “Babe” and was joined by Ron Hrabak and Russ Witzke. At the time we launched the winds were around 8-10 mph and remained steady most of the day, with a few periods with light to medium winds. Along the way up the lake we were treated to a number of encounters with wildlife, including herons and cormorants. One bird caught a huge fish and we watched in amazement as the bird attempted to have a meal from a fish nearly its own size. As we reached the far end of the lake our two boats finally met and turned to make the return trip. We sailed on a broad reach all the way up the lake and on a close reach on the way back. The wind never felt overpowering, but was brisk enough to have a fun day on the water. As we came closer to the main part of the lake near the marina many more sailboats came out to enjoy the day, including several Precisions and Catalina 22’s. We finally headed for the dock around 3:30 in order to have dinner and get home by dark. If there had been more daylight we may have stayed longer as the sailing was so good. After de-rigging we headed for Becker’s, a few miles down the road toward home, for an enjoyable drink and dinner.
Shown at right are Nancy Littlefield and Peggy Barnabei who accompanied us on my boat. We had plenty of food and snacks to keep us energized for a great day on the water. After dinner we made the drive home at dusk into the setting sun. Although the sun glare made driving difficult at times everyone made it home safely and we all look forward to returning to this gem of a lake. JR
The Fall Cruise to Shaw Bay and St Michaels – September 16-18
Wind, Waves, Full Moon, and Crabs!
This was another successful cruise for the BMSA as planned by Tom Stoner. Everyone returned without injury and with a smile on all faces.
The three boats met at the Windmill on Friday morning at 7:30. They included Tom and Jim, Joe and Michele, and Tony and Mary. We caravan’d to Shipping Creek, which is very close to Kent Narrows. It was a nice place where we first had to buy launch stickers for each day, and then took the boat to another area for launching.
The trip to Shaw Bay was 9.8 miles of good sailing, mostly beating to the wind. We arrived in the late afternoon and found Shaw Bay with a dozen anchored boats, many crab buoys, and lots of space to anchor. We picked a spot out of the wind in fairly shallow water, anchored, and as the other two boats arrived, they rafted alongside. Everyone was ready, the snacks and drinks quickly appeared, and cocktail hour started. There was so much good food, it was difficult to know when to stop. Before it got dark, the others found their own anchorage and prepared for the night. The night was disrupted by waves, mostly from crab boats, but it was good if you like being rocked to sleep.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, and Joe’s pictures of the moon, sunset and sunrise said it all. I can only add that at 3:00 AM it was almost like daylight, the moon was so bright. I love to look at the stars, but not a one could be seen.
On Saturday morning the Bay was in flat calm. We had a short breakfast, with Tom making coffee on his little stove. St Michaels was 4.6 miles away and we intended to arrive at 12:30. The time was important because Ron Hrabak was bringing Jan and Eniko to see St Michaels and we wanted to be there when they arrived. Ron’s wife, Sharon, was also to be on that drive, but was ill and couldn’t make it. Ron made the trip so that no one would be disappointed. It takes a considerate man to do this!
The other two boats got started earlier and picked up some early wind, but Tom and I seemed to miss the wind. As we got into the main channel we had some good wind, but had to share the channel with large power boats whose waves rocked the wind from our sails. We finally motored the last mile. The marina was not easy to find with the hundreds of boats, but somehow Tom got us to the right slip in the right marina. There is a lot to be said about experience.
It has been thirty years since I have been in a large marina. It used to be closer to half sailboats and half power boats, which were 30 to 40 ft, with a few larger ones. Today, our three small sailboats looked tiny compared to the giant power boats beside them. Power boats are now very wide and several stories high, always plugged in, and these were just the small ones. There have always been some really large ones, but the sheer size and number of large boats today is staggering.
St Michaels has much to offer. It is a beautiful, restored city with old houses of colonial colors and architecture. The gardens matched the houses. The main street has many interesting stores and restaurants. Part of the main street was lined with beautiful Crape Myrtle trees with their smooth bark.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum was well worth the price of admission. Joe’s pictures tell most about the museum, but there are still stories to tell about the War of 1812 when a chain was placed across the entrance to the harbor. And there is the story of the residents placing lanterns in the trees to make the English think that they were further away from land so they would sail closer and the Americans could reach them with their guns. We also learned about the rebuilding of the Bugeye boat in Joe’s picture where the logs are stacked. The Museum had to get special permission to cut old growth timber for this boat.
Saturday evening dinner at The Crab Claw Restaurant was especially interesting for those who like to eat near the water. Tom’s reservations gave us the best seats in the house. You could watch the boats pass by, one of which was a Skipjack in full sails with a push boat. Water taxies stopped at the restaurant on a regular basis. We were also near the water that comes up over the floor boards at high tide, which had not yet arrived. The waiters all wore boots and areas of the floor were already covered with water. Fortunately, we stayed dry and none of the passing boats made a wake, which would have wet all our feet.
There was lots of seafood on the menu and every one ordered some, but we all had mallets and no one ordered a pot of crabs. I was waiting to see how it was done. Oh well, food and drinks were good.
The last leg of our journey was from St Michaels to Shipping Creek, a distance of 13 miles. Joe called this leg an “epic” trip, Tom called it fast, and I called it super sailing. The wind was following and could have been 12 to 20 mph. At first we were wing on wing, and then it became a broad reach as our track changed. We may have had some current with us when all this happened, but according to the GPS we were sailing at 4.5 mph, then 5.2, 5.7 then over 6.0, and at one time over 7.2. At this time 4 to 5 large powerboats were going in our direction, creating huge waves that turned in front of us, veering off to the left. We also had some huge rollers that seemed to come out of nowhere. Did we have big waves! The boat handled it beautifully going as fast as we were. Of course we got a little wet. That trip back took us 2 hrs, 45 min with an average speed of 4.0 mph.
Packing up and going home was easy.
I enjoyed it all!
Editors Note: Since Jim referenced my pictures several times I decided that instead of sharing them directly on our website, I will add a link here to my album on Flickr.com. The pictures display much better there. They are much larger and more fun to view. Click here to view: Fall Cruise to Shaw Bay & St Michaels.
Picnic at Vaninos’ – August 27
A total of thirty BMSA members attended the picnic and pool party at Conrad and Barb’s and enjoyed good food, a very inviting dip in the pool, and each other’s company. We were very glad to see a few members who we hadn’t seen in a while. Although it was late August it was a very warm day and, as you can see from the photo, a large number of our membership took advantage of the opportunity to cool off in the refreshing pool.
Moonlight Paddle – August 19
Our moonlight paddle was another success. For dinner before paddling we had a total of 15 members who joined us at Blue Marsh Canteen. Unfortunately, I messed up and forgot to take a photo of the group at the restaurant. But I did take several photos at the lake that you can see below. Nine of the 15 who had dinner actually took to their boats, including the Antonini’s who motored in their little dinghy. Eight of us carried Armando’s dinghy to and from the lake and, as they say, many hands made light work. Jim Russell was very kind to let his grandson use his boat so he could join his wife and daughter on the trip while Jim watched from shore.
There was plenty of daylight when we first launched and the setting sun made for a great backdrop as we paddled toward the main part of the lake from our launch point at the Church Road picnic area. By around 9 PM several of us started asking what happened to the full moon we were expecting. It seemed so late to not see the main part of the show. As we we headed back I suddenly heard Armando calling to everyone. He found the moon! To our surprise, the moon had risen over a row of trees just around the bend from where we were. We all paddled in the direction Armando pointed and there it was. It looked very big coming up over the treeline and had that August moon orange tint. The moon cast a reflection across the water toward everyone’s boat. It was worth the wait.
On the way back it seemed that we had paddled longer than we realized and some of our group began to ask if we were going the right way. I promised everyone that since I had done this several times before that they could trust my directions. Little did they know that for a few worried minutes I feared I may have gotten us all lost. Then the moon rose high in the sky and lighted the entire lake. By that time it was much easier to see the way back and we all made it safe and sound to shore. As hot and humid as it had been the past few weeks we were all grateful to have pretty pleasant conditions for a night paddle. JR
Pirates and Wenches Weekend at Rock Hall – August 12-14
A Pirate’s Life Can Be Hot and Sweaty – But With Treasures Beyond Gold
There is an infamous scene in the Airplane movie when Ted Striker is landing the ill-fated jet with sweat pouring off his face in torrents. Auntie Em, Auntie Em, it’s a twister! It’s a twister! No, it was the Pirates and Wenches weekend at Rock Hall August 12th to 14! Ignoring the fact that both the temperatures and humidity were in the 90’s with sweat pouring off of us like Striker, the BMSA BCD crews sailed and partied on, having way too much fun to let a little hot weather affect them. With strong winds and strong spirits – some of them alcoholic, the Babe with Tom and Ron, Coventina with Tony and Mary, and Donna, our former Commodore, with John and friends literally partied until the lights came on.
The weekend started with a departure from Sandy Point on Friday with small craft warnings posted. Despite this ominous start, the Babe and Coventina found perfect sailing conditions on the bay with the winds and the tide behind them and a pleasant chop to the seas that made the trip that much more enjoyable. However, as they approached Rock Hall the winds slowed and rolling thunder was heard to the northwest. At this point they abandoned their attack plan and made a bee line for the safe haven of the Gratitude Marina. Once there they realized their sweat soaked clothes were not the result of surviving this close call, but due to the unusually hot and humid weather.
At this point it didn’t take them long to move ashore and make a direct assault on the slip holders lounge which became known as the cold room. Staking their claim, they hoisted the pirate flag and feasted on party platters of food, finishing off a bottle of Bahama Mamas, drinking assorted rums and sipping a rare whiskey that had gone around the world, beer of course and a bounty of delicious chicken supplied by Donna. A big thanks go to Donna from all of us. How good a party was it? We didn’t even notice that it had gotten dark in the room as the night progressed and midnight approached. Being pirates, it made our escape from the cold room easier as we retreated to our bunks. Tony allegedly stayed up all night laying in the cockpit of the Coventina watching the Perseid meteor shower. However, we all knew he was really enjoying the night breeze and catching some z’s. To give you an idea of the winds overnight, they were strong enough to rip the Babe’s makeshift bimini like a sail in a severe storm. Arrrr!
Waking on Saturday, the scurvy dogs washed up their pits and privates in an air conditioned bath house and made off for the Muskrat Alley Cafe. There they had a pleasant breakfast in the shade with a cooling breeze while they planned the day. It was decided to attack the Rock Hall beach head first, stake a claim on a shaded spot and then ransack the food and drink venues with fellow pirates from near and far. There were tasty frozen margaritas and lots of cold beer to slake our thirst. The water was so inviting that several took a dip in this nestled cove on the bay. Captain Tom found more than a few young wenches to his liking – Arrrr – as we scoured the beach for booty.
Returning to our boats, all again washed up and gathered in the cold room for more refreshments. It was there we learned that Donna and friends had led an attack on Rock Hall, enjoying some entertaining belly dancers who distracted the local folk while others raided the shops. Soon enough we all gathered for a hearty dinner at the Swan Point Inn. While we all ate hearty, John managed to down a holy cow piece of prime rib and followed it up with a dessert in an awe inspiring display of pirate gluttony that made us all proud. In an equally awesome display of nature, as we walked back to the marina we watched heat lightning illuminate a large cloud front to the west like an intermittent strobe. Given the olympic eating that took place, we retired to the cold room again with more beverages to watch the real Olympics and admire the gold booty being taken by our fellow countrymen to close out the evening.
Sadly the Babe and Coventina sailed off early Sunday morning, bidding a fond farewell to Donna and John. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be an epic sail back to Sandy Point as events unfolded that are rarely experienced. Both vessels fought a strong tide and wind all the way. To give an idea of the battle that took place, at times the Babe was heeled over more than 15 degrees and dumping wind while her speed rarely got above 3 knots. In deference to the declining weather and due to time constraints, the Coventina dropped sail early and motored much of the way back to port. However, in true BMSA tradition the Babe refused to yield to Mother Nature and didn’t motor in until passing the last channel marker near Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Despite the weather and tribulations of the trip, all felt that the treasures of the weekend had value beyond gold as they headed home thinking about their next adventure on the bay.
In the spirit of the movie Airplane, “I just want to tell you … good luck, We’re all counting on You” – to join us for our next BMSA event which is the Moonlight sail on Friday August 19. This will be followed by the annual pool picnic at the Vaninos on Sunday August 21st. They both should be a blast. And don’t forget our kayak and sail trip to the Susquehanna Yacht Club at Long Level on August 27th. See you there Mateys or you may have to walk the plank – Captain’s orders.
The Chester and Corsica River Cruise – July 22-24
BMSA Raisins on the Bay – We Were Hot! Hot! Hot!
Yes, the BMSA was again Raisin the roof, Raisin the bar, Raisin eyebrows – and even baking like Raisins in the sun on a three day trek to Lankford, Queenstown and the Corsica River Yacht Club, launching from Long Cove ramp. Despite temperatures near 100 degrees, the BMSA ABC team was joined by the Vaninos, Donna Ferron and John Pittman for a rollicking good time on the bay. There were so many highlights of this trip that it’s embarrassing! You had to be there to appreciate the high jinx that took place.
The Friday sail featured perfect winds with the only limitation being how much you wanted to heel your boat – no matter what direction you sailed. Tom and Ron literally went up the creek, but it was up the wrong creek on the way back to the Lankford Marina. Tom’s GPS failed to take into account that you can’t sail across land. Then, just to cap off their folly, they put on a show of skill and daring as they drunkenly twisted and turned Babe in 2-3 foot waves. As a lesson to all, if you forget to put the boom vang on, the main sail can get hung up in the back stay with loss of control and whacky results. Fortunately, no water was taken on or damage done and they took a bow and wound their way over to the Lankford Marina.
Once docked, we all found the marina to be a gem with a nice pool, great bath house, a swing on a windy hill that we all enjoyed, and peace and quiet – at least until we arrived. While it was hot, we soon were in a Jamaica – “No Problem Mon” frame of mind as we sat at sunset overlooking the bay at Waterman’s Restaurant in Rock Hall. The Reggae Band played soothing island music as we ate and partied like the BMSA. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody but we learned that Mary Calcagno’s former huggy bear from an island wedding of yore was one of the band mates. It was also declared that “Once a Ten” Michele should be promoted to a forever “Ten” for her charity work distributing water and lemonade to us poor thirsty sailors during the hot days. Even Joe had to admit that her idea of using the bimini was a “Ten”.
Reluctantly we returned to the Lankford Marina. Of note, while the heat of Friday night made sleeping difficult for the sailors, at Talulah’s Bed and Breakfast Conrad needed a blanket when Barb set the air conditioner to its polar bear setting. Nevertheless, we all survived and rendezvoused in the morning rarin’ to go. Off we went to Queenstown with favorable winds. However, as we neared Queenstown Neptune held his breathe and we had to motor into the shallow narrows of the inlet to raft up with Donna and John to sample some tasty lemon beverages. Like pirates, we left the Halcyon to find our next booty at the Corsica River Yacht Club. Alas, John got stuck in the muck of the bay exiting the nestled cove at Queenstown and was late for our land attack. No “Ten” for John. – just a big awshit.
Arriving at the Corsica River Yacht Club, Joe played a mock game of Marco Polo trying to find an anchorage point. Finally settling in, Michele was greeted by a frog and assorted flying creatures. She was thrilled by this impromptu trip to the zoo as you can imagine. Finally, we all gathered on a small craft and launched into the Corsica River Yacht Club. There we found pleasant music and laid claim to chicken dinners with all the fixins. The beer was cold and flowed freely to slake our thirst in the heat. When John failed to return with wine for Donna, Tom snuck off and returned armed with some hidden booty of this fine liquid. Not even a “Five” for John. He may have to walk the plank. However, the highlight of the evening was when Be Boppin Barb and Conrad led the couples to the dance floor for a romantic slow dance to end the evening. A Perfect end to a perfect day!
The Sunday launch from the Corsica back to the Long Cove boat ramp was leisurely as Neptune was sad that we were leaving and just sighed, so we had to motor in. After a hot, hot, hot time demasting on the parking lot macadam, we departed for Molly’s Place in Kennedyville for icy slushies and lunch. Tom had trouble with his car GPS – there’s a theme here – and led our convoy on a loopy trip to our destination. Life is an adventure – particularly for the BMSA sailors. Molly’s Place was an oasis and we had a pleasant lunch with cooling beverages to recover before departing for home thinking of that cold shower ahead.
With a sad farewell, we vowed to return in three weeks to Rock Hall for the Pirates and Wenches weekend August 12-14. All BMSA members should join us for this revelry, be it for the weekend or just Saturday when we plan to stay on land and watch the festivities. Contact Joe or Tom for details. It’s family friendly so bring the kids and grandkids. Arrr! Next up will be a full moon kayak August 19 followed by a picnic at the Vanino’s on August 21.
And now, for your viewing pleasure we present photos of our trip, and at the bottom of the photos are three YouTube videos.
Mid Week Sailing on July 19 – It Must Have Been the Weather
This week we had the biggest turn out so far this year for our Mid Week Sailing event. A total of 12 people on four boats went out on the water yesterday. Tom Stoner had three on his boat, Tom Lucas had three, I had four, and Conrad and Barb were out on their motor boat. The wind was pretty steady at around 10 mph which made for ideal sailing conditions. And although it was hot, the wind kept us from overheating as long as we drank plenty of water. Afterwards we went to Ganly’s for our usual after-sailing dinner and drinks. It was a good day on the water and with friends.
Picture Perfect Picnic at Blue Marsh Lake – July 14
It was National Hot Dog Day and in true patriotic fashion our BMSA had a picnic to celebrate. Well. actually it was also Bastille Day and National Nude Day of all things. However; as Jay has pointed out in the past, our club is into “exotic” sailing and not “erotic” sailing – not that there is anything wrong with it ala Seinfeld. Nevertheless, while any excuse for a party is a good one, you can’t beat the classic All-American Hot Dog for a picnic.
It was a picture perfect day too. The weather cooperated with the sun shining brightly and a cooling breeze – at least when it wasn’t being blocked by the men congregating like a sail taking the wind from the tables. While unplanned, the picnic started out with a game of “Where’s the Pavilion”. Bruce and Peggy were the contestants and were tasked with searching all around the park for clues. We tried to hide but the smell of the burgers, hot dogs and sweet and hot sausages cooking must have given us away because they found our site. Our three new members: Peggy Barnabei and Tim and Nancy Sittig were a delight and got right into the swing of things. Welcome Aboard! We could quickly see they fit right in with our fun crowd and hope they become active members in the future.
Thanks go to Tom Lucas who again showed off his gourmet Bubba Burger grilling abilities and Ron Hrabak for whipping up the sausages. Thanks also to all who brought the yummy side dishes and treats. No one went away hungry and most left thinking about their next diet. Note that we moved this picnic to a Thursday to accommodate those working or who were away. Gracing us with their presence included Sherry baby and Tony who took a day off from making people happy by selling them beer. Tom and Jan also just got back from their Hawaiian adventure. We were disappointed that they didn’t do the hula for us. Maybe we can schedule this as an activity for one of our future meetings.
In short, a good time was had by all in typical BMSA tradition. Next up are sails to the Corsica River Yacht Club July 22-24, the family friendly Pirates and Wenches Weekend August 12 -14, and the always fun Full Moon Kayak on August 19. This will be followed by a pool party at the Vaninos on August 21. Heidi also reminds us to keep taking pictures for entry in the photo contest October 12. Some longer term thinkers have asked about the possibility of a charter cruise in 2017. The Board has also kicked around this idea. Do we want to do the BVI again? Bring your ideas to the Board and we can propose such an adventure at the October 26 planning meeting.
Middle River Vagabond – June 18-19
BMSA Finds Baltimore Yacht Club A Gem On The Bay
Question – Why Did The BMSA Sailors Cross the Middle River? If you answered “To get to the other side” – C’mon this is the BMSA! We don’t do anything so trite. If you answered: “To get to a party” – now your’e getting close. If you answered: “To get to the Baltimore Yacht Club to eat, drink and party like the BMSA” – Bingo! Why else would one sail?
In an epic battle of man versus the elements, our latest BMSA vagabond across the Middle River from Maryland Marina to the Baltimore Yacht Club was another successful adventure that none of us will soon forget. As the first trip to the Chesapeake Bay of the season, this was considered a shake down cruise – and boy there was a whole lotta shakin goin on. Think of the Paul Simon song it “Was a Sunny Day” but with a whole lot of negative words being said. Nevertheless, the intrepid ABC (Allegro, Babe and Coventina) sailors on this trip included Mary, Tony, Tom, Ron, Michele, and Joe. After a fabulous afternoon of sailing towards Poole Island while traveling at hull speed with light waves, this group reluctantly turned back to dock at the OMG BYC. There they met up with Christa and Armando and enjoyed a Fathers Day picnic feast of a steak and chicken dinner. The portions were so large that no one could finish. This was followed by an evening of chilling out in Adirondack chairs or just sitting on the grass enjoying a picture perfect night on a rise of land that overlooked the bay, It really doesn’t get any better than this.
Following a sound and restful sleep, the ABC group munched on the free donuts and coffee at the BYC and again ventured out towards Poole Island for a leisurely sail on the Bay where we were later joined by Armando and Christa who flew only their genoa as the winds were so good. After a very slow start the winds picked up and another glorious sailing day was enjoyed by all before returning to Maryland Marina. While there were many hurdles to overcome on this trip, the only true negative was the heat as the mercury reached a sultry 98 degrees while demasting in the bright sun.
Should you want to know more about all the shakin that was going on during this trip, just ask one of the ABC sailors at our next BMSA picnic on Thursday, July 14. Here are just a few of the misadventures that occurred:
– Joe’s Shackle Problem – Just Shake It Off
– Joe’s Realizing a Rusty D Clamp Won’t Stop the Launch – Whew!
– Tom’s Motor Problem – Say Hi to the nice Coast Guard man
– Joe proving the prop must be in the water to make the boat go (Joe was assured by multiple sources that the motor from his little boat would work while the other motor was in the shop for repairs. Never trust a mechanic. Problem solved by Armando. Trust your friends!)
– Pooles Island Sail – Tom and Ron looking for the buoys – We’re the Heckawee
– Tom’s Slip, Slip and another Slip
– Look out for the Osprey Nest Joe – How about playing catch with an anchor line (Joe and Michele sailing to the dock with a non functional motor and a sudden wind shift – a scary, but successful event. Only took out one twig from the nest but mama osprey was not happy.)
– Christa’s Monkey Story – Peanuts anyone
– The Wizard of the Waves Armando to the rescue
– Christa taking home a huge doggie bag – but they don’t have a dog
– Enjoying the Sunset – We’ve Fallen into the Chairs and Can’t Get Up
– Tony Sleeping on the Grass – Wake me at 9:00 tomorrow
– Tom and Ron becoming One with the Wine
– BYC Suite Shower Rooms in the Bath House
– Watching a heron eat a live fish for breakfast
– Ron and Tom realizing the GPS wants you to sail right through spits of land and having to change course
– Where the heck is the Maryland Marina Boat Ramp?
– Tom Trailer Woes – Roller Wheels Up Tom – Third times the charm
– Joe and his Lists – Note to Self – Develop another list for demasting
– Ron Feeling the Heat – Taking a break in the air conditioned car
– If no one hears you curse on a boat, did it really happen? Probably, but don’t tell Michele
– Good Times and Camaraderie Override All Problems
Want to get in on the fun? Join us at our next scheduled event – a day of sailing and kayaking at Codorus State Park on Saturday July 9. Don’t want to sail – just come and enjoy the park and have dinner with your mates and party like the BMSA. Contact Kristel or Jane for more information.
And now for pictures from our trip:
Get Outdoors Day at Blue Marsh Lake – June 11
Our club participated in the annual Get Outdoors Day by manning a booth. We told our story of Blue Marsh Sailing as well as teaching the rules of the road on the water. We erected our canopy and sign over our assigned picnic table and enjoyed a beautiful day at the lake. The event was well organized and had about two dozen exhibits-even a fishing tank stocked with catfish! The kids were excited when they caught one but weren’t disappointed when they didn’t get to take them home. Pictured here are the BMSA members manning the booth: Heidi Moser, Ron Hrabak, Heidi’s grandson Samuel, Tom Stoner and, not shown, Jan Stoner, Bruce Littlefield, and Tom Lucas.
Garden Party at the Russells’ – June 5
A total of 15 people attended this lovely event, hosted by members Jim and Eniko Russell. As everyone began to gather around 3 PM the talk of the day was the approaching storm system that threatened us with 50 mph winds and 1 inch hail. Jim took the risk to proceed in spite of the forecast and it was a good decision. The storm did not arrive until about 5:30 PM by which time everyone had already eaten, partaking of burgers, hot dogs, and numerous delicious side dishes. When the rain arrived we moved the tables and chairs under the patio roof and moved indoors for coffee and some wonderful desserts. Fortunately, the storm brought only light winds, no hail, and not a lot of rain. While we were still outside Jim and Eniko’s garden was a visual delight, having had the benefit of much rain the past few weeks to bring numerous floral and plant arrangements to their beautiful peaks. It was like visiting a mini Longwood Gardens.
Mid Week Sailing Continues on Wednesday, June 1
We had only two boats this past Wednesday manned by Tom Stoner and crew Ron Hrabak, along with your truly, Joe Rutolo and crew Michele. While we were rigging our boats there was a nice breeze that had us anticipating a great day of sailing. By the time we got on the water just a half hour later the wind died and we bobbed for what seemed a very long time. Finally, around 4 PM a gentle breeze came in and we settled for some nice light sailing. Just as we were preparing to take down the sails at 5 PM a wind came out of nowhere and nearly knocked us over as I was on deck starting to take down the jib. Back up went the jib and in seconds we were flying across the lake, heeled over and enjoying an awesome ride. Having already been on the water for over three hours we came in around 5:30 and headed to Ganly’s for dinner where we were met by Jan Stoner who joined us. What started out as a very slow day, ended as a nice time on the water.
BMSA Opens the 2016 Sailing Season With a Big Bang!
No, Seriously! We really did start the 2016 Sailing Season with a Big Bang! Well, maybe it was more like a Thud, Splash and Woohooo! But it was still an amazing Wednesday that no one will soon forget. It was opening day for BMSA on May 25th with four boats on the water – and it was a beauty. The temperature was in the mid 80s with a swirling but fairly steady winds that allowed us to sail from end to end.of the lake without jibing or tacking. Even shooting the gap to circle the island clockwise or counter-clockwise was a breeze. A highlight was watching Armando put on a circus act on his Force 5. He was so nimble it was like he was on a trapeze. We gasped in awe as he swung from side to side, hanging out in a gravity defying act to avoid a big splash. We then capped off this perfect day with an evening of revelry at Ganleys. The food and beer were good; but as usual we partied like the BMSA and had lots of fun. In honor of his accomplishments, we even named Armando our VIP of the day – Very Italian Person. It was a perfect day by all accounts and those who missed it should be kicking yourselves.
But many of you may be wondering about the Thud, Splash and Woohooo part of the story. Hands down the true star of this day was Tom Stoner. As the sailing contingent of Joe, Michele, Armando, Bruce, Andrew, Marty and Ron witnessed and Sandy, Russ and Jan can attest, in true BMSA style Tom went beyond the call of duty by attempting a new Guiness (not the beer) world record for launching his boat in the shortest amount of time. While it looked like a perfectly normal launch when Tom backed his trailer loaded with Babe down the ramp, without fanfare he stopped the trailer about 15 feet short of the water. This was when Babe shot off the trailer like it was on a slip and slide (start singing Slip, Slidin Away about now). With a “Thud” the Babe landed on the concrete ramp, slid along and into the water with a “Splash” and appeared ready to self launch. Then suddenly the Babe stopped short of its goal. Although the motor was up it was not tilted and as a result the lower fin protecting the prop dug in. Oh, the agony as the Babe fell short by about 5 feet from floating into history. There was actually a moment of silence and awe by all who watched this event unfold – followed by the lament from Tom – “What the hell happened.” Fortunately, the Babe was only bruised with a telltale bend of the lower fin of the motor that can be fixed. With the help of many, the Babe was gingerly lifted the last five feet to the water and sailed away into BMSA history – “Woohoo.” In recognition of this incredible event, it has been suggested that the infamous Turkey Trophy remain with Tom and Jan for at least another year.
In all seriousness, while we poke fun at what happened this could easily have turned into a catastrophe. This is a safety lesson for all of us. Before backing your trailer down a boat ramp check all of your equipment. A simple yank of the chain connecting from the trailer winch to the boat would have shown it was loose and free.
What a Wednesday we had! Come out and join us at our future events and party like the BMSA. Next up is a Garden Party at the Russell’s on Sunday June 5th. Don’t miss it! See you there!
Dinner at Chef Alans and Volcanic Planet at Miller Theater – April 29
Miller Event Blows The Top Off – No Not Bikinis Conrad – Although Twin Mountains May Be Involved!
As we all know, when on water and a salty dog yells “Thar She Blows!” – everybody should hustle to the railing and look around for a whale spout. And if you are on an Alaskan or Hawaiian cruise, you get out your camera to take some scenic pictures. However, as we learned at our recent Volcanic Planet adventure at the Miller Center – on land it means something completely different. It means: “VOLCANO”!! Run For Your Life! There’s no time to stop for pictures! You may literally be toast by the time you snap the shutter! Of course if it is a politician you don’t like or someone with a large life insurance policy for which you are the beneficiary, maybe you want to urge them to get a little closer and sing the traditional stranded sailor song “Sixteen Men On a Dead Man’s Chest! Yo, Ho, Ho” to appease the fire gods – and then scram. Just kidding!
As one of the most successful events in recent memory, one-third of the BMSA turned out to let the good times flow. We first met at Chef Alans for a tasty dinner with a Chocolate Lava dessert available and then meandered over to the Miller Center to watch the real lava flow. Peter Rowe was the host of this roast and led us on an eye popping adventure around the world. We learned that from Krakatoa in Java to Kilauea in Hawaii to Mt. Vesuvius in Italy and even Hanga Ha’apai in the Congo – volcanoes are all around us. As an extreme daredevil, Peter Rowe defied all common sense by walking up to their edge to take some hot pictures – and I don’t mean of the Kardashians. There must be an easier way to make a living! Anyway, the talk was very informative and a good time was had by all.
So remember, Next time you hear “Thar She Blows” when on land, don’t automatically think of a beached whale flopping around at the sea shore – or someone passing massive gas. It could be Mother Nature telling you to sail away as fast as you can. However, once making a safe and hasty retreat you can take all the pictures you want for entry in the October BMSA Photo contest, crank up the island music, mix up some tasty fire water beverages and party like the BMSA.
April Kick Off Meeting Sets the Tone for 2016 – April 13
A total of 21 members attended our first General Membership Meeting on April 13, including new member Andy Miller who was welcomed by everyone. The meeting began with coffee, tea, soda, water, and an assortment of delicious desserts brought by our members. Commodore Vanino reviewed an ambitious host of events planned for this year, including a total of ten sailing/kayaking events, three picnics, and ten social/miscellaneous events. A printed list of the events listed chronologically and by category was handed out to everyone. All members are encouraged to attend as many events as you can. We may be getting older but we haven’t yet slowed down! Below are photos of those who attended the meeting.
Dinner and Miller Theater – Lake Superior – March 4
The Adairs, Vaninios, Hrabaks, Elders and Sissy all met at Chef Alan’s to eat before the Miller Center lecture/slide show. No one remembered to bring a camera to memorialize our visit.