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Member Since 11 Aug 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 01:47 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: New Year's Day Regattas

04 January 2017 - 04:25 PM

Around the same time as the Gov’s regatta was getting started, a fellow by the name of Fred Latham began taking his San Juan 21 Mad Mama out to sail on New Years Day.  The boat was so named as, much like Jack and the Bean Stalk, Fred went out to the store for bread and came home with a boat.  Mama was not happy. 


As San Juans were actually manufactured in New Bern, there was a decent local fleet, and everyone joined Fred for a sail, which of course turned into a regatta.  Some years the weather was so nasty it was a quick sail across the creek and then back in to warm up, but being in North Carolina some years saw spectacular sailing conditions and racing continued all day.  This year was the 40th annual Fred Latham regatta, and until 3 years ago Fred had continued to go out every year, although in the last couple it was with a motor on the back of the boat and a couple of members helping him along.


This year, Fred reached the conclusion that he would never sail again and donated his boats to the Junior Sailing Program.   His original San Juan was in such a state of disrepair at this point that there was no saving it, but the transom has been painted and cleaned up and is now the Fred Latham Perpetual Trophy.  His newer boat was still sound and was purchased by one of the Junior Sailor’s parents, who have started sailing the boat with their kids whenever the chance arises.


This year I had the honor of awarding Fred Lifetime Membership in our club.  The picture is of Fred and his wife when he came to the club to say farewell to his boats and receive a Lucite to commemorate his Lifetime Membership and contribution to sailing in our area.

In Topic: What got you to enter your own boat in your first few sail races?

14 December 2016 - 03:29 PM

I was young and stupider, with a wife that largely trusts me.  We bought a boat that had been a racer, but had languished for a while.  Only the second owner, it was a 17yr old boat at the time.  It was our first extravagance after 4 years of marriage and the sacrifices one makes to keep their head above the water.  We looked at our boat,which is a Lindenberg 26 and a Tanzer 22.  The broker, now a great friend, took me by the arm and said, "you want this one!".  We sailed it often for 6 weeks until the fellow that runs the marine store said, "Greg, you really oughta race that boat to Ocracoke this weekend!"  Well, OK, if you think I can do it?...  


We left on a Friday to the rendezvous area, where historically a large raft up party was held, sponsored by a Raleigh-area liquor distributor.  What could go wrong with that?  Just me and my wife as crew.  Not confident in close in maneuvering, we anchored near the raft up.  Swam over, drank some paint-remover, and swam back, right through a hundred yards of jellyfish.  Awake to the sound of starting cannons, we ran around and followed the other boats.  After about an hour the wind fell out completely, and we were soon being passed by crabs.  We drank all of the fluids on the boat, including the warm Busch Lite, the Capri Sun juice bags, and both waters.


Finally the breeze fills and we can still see some of the boats in front of us, and we persevere across the sound.  My wife learned that seasickness does not abate with age, and I learned to not be downwind when she dumps the bucket as she's puking on the rail.  We arrive in Ocracoke at dusk, assisted into our slip by a preppy dude stepping off a 48' DCMY.  "You look like you could use a beer!"  That Icehouse bottle beer (haven't had one since) was the best damn beer my wife or I have ever had.  We made it to the party to meet the cleaners, and one of the club officers said, "here's your trophy".  4th place, non spinnaker.  Of the many trophies that we have one in the interceding years, that's the one my wife allows to remain displayed.


Back then there was a USCG station at Ocracoke.  Leaving the Island and motoring out the 6 mile channel into the sound, our motor starting running rough.  We had 2 6-gallon OMC metal tanks.  I figured one was getting low, so I switched to the other.  Motor still running very poorly, so I start pumping the bulb, thinking it wasn't getting fuel.  My wife says, Oh, No... and I look back to see the slick of gasoline I have been pumping out of the fuel line from where it has pulled off the fitting at the motor.  I can follow the trail right to the USCG boat following us.  They took pity on us.  Lost in my relief after this episode is that we probably now don't have enough fuel to make it all the way home.  I realize this at about the farthest point from any land in the middle of the sound.  So I call the boat passing us to see if they can spare any fuel.  They patiently explained that their diesel would not help us.  So, up the sails go and we hope for breeze.  Hey, hon, let's head for those big tall dark clouds over there.  Soon there is plenty of wind.  Like straight line squall wind.  My wife (smarter than me) refuses to go up to bow and get the headsail down, but is able to pull most of it in through the forward hatch.  It has now become a big funnel for rain and spray.  She comes out and puts two life jackets on me, and goes below, to bail and puke again.


The wind abates somewhat and we see that we are up in the river and nearing home.  Fuel tanks almost bone dry.  The RC boat, and old wooden Chris Craft has anchored and is now getting under way.  We ask if they have any gas to spare, and they have a 2 gallon tank.  I head at the boat at a not very oblique angle and throw the transom right into their topsides, breaking a plank.  As we enter the creek, tie up the boat, and hit the head, the sun comes out with that particularly beautiful, low angle through mist thing it does, and we were hooked.  We didn't think about all the things we messed up, how bad it could have been, how unprepared we were- we were full of a sense of accomplishment and pride.


We asked about racing, had a couple of experienced people come aboard and learned well from them.  We have continued to learn, and sailing will always be a large part of my life.

GMiller, you never learn do you?  You probably don't remember the first time I met you, but it was after the infamous memorial day storm when you were sailing to O.  Big squall, knock down, sails down, struck by lightning and the battery exploded.  

In Topic: why the fuck is there a trump ad on the front page

28 October 2016 - 07:22 PM

Damn, all I see are sailing ads.  I guess I need to surf more porn or something.

In Topic: Annapolis Boat Show

11 October 2016 - 04:59 PM

I scored some new foulies.  Sunday the forecast was calling for gusts of 48, which is a bit too much for my 23' modest yacht.  I had to pay for an extra day and sail the boat home yesterday. 


Great show. I liked the aluminum monon hulls.  The owner was hanging out on one of them with a slide show from his Greenland trip.  Really neat to talk to.

I agree the Allures were impressive boats. The production boats were all pretty much identical.  The electric winches in front of the wheel would make traditional winches almost impossible to operate.  I would seriously consider the Allures 399 for cruising. 

In Topic: New low lat. Caribbean Hurricane - paging Mark !

04 October 2016 - 01:36 PM

Forecast for my house in New Bern on Saturday, probably a bit underdone as it is still a long way out.  Time to start getting ready.