Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another Boat Show day ...

Our first day at the boat show was great fun, and today promises to be as well.  We stopped and Chick and Ruth's Delly again for breakfast, chatted with a couple in the adjacent booth about sailing, and headed on down.  The show was about a minute from opening its doors when we had our tickets scanned and got the required wrist-bands, so when the gates opened we were ten feet from the entrance and slipped right in, probably at the chagrin of the couple of hundred people who had been waiting in a cordoned off line.  But, not feeling the least bit guilty, I guided Penelope into the first tent and we went down to a nautical jewelry booth we'd stopped at on our first day.  Now she has a lovely gold sailboat on a chain!

We strolled by the Fatty Knees dinghies and the Melonseed Skiff displays again, debated over whether we should get the Breeze Booster wind-scooper, and made our way down to pick up our Alizee sailing caps.  Oops, they weren't quite ready, so we slipped into another tent and started spending our boat dollars.  At Henri Lloyd, makers of foul weather and other sailing clothing, I picked up a new breeze jacket.  Then we went by the Cape Hatteras Marine booth.  Whoa!  I looked at the fender cover they had on display and recognized it instantly.  Several years before, when I was partners in Spindrift, a 1980 Cal 39 II on San Francisco Bay, I'd ordered a set of fender covers with the burgee of my yacht club at the time, the Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda.  Cape Hatteras had delivered them with the wrong colors on the yacht club burgee, so I'd returned them and they'd sent new ones with the correct colors.  Here, at the front our their booth, was one of the fender covers that I had returned.  The owner remembered the incident well, and said he's been using the incorrectly embroidered fenders at boat show displays ever since, and we snapped a photo together with the fender cover.  Since I was there, I ordered two more fender covers for Alizee, as the ones I have are getting pretty worn.

The next stop along the way was the West Marine booth.  Their sales folks at the electronics display were a bit at loose ends, so I asked if I could get an updated Gold Navionics chip for North America.  The Navionics chip that I have for my C-80 Raymarine chart plotter covers the whole of the Bahamas and eastern seaboard, but as we discovered when sailing north from St. Petersburg toward Pensacola last May, it doesn't cover the gulf coast starting at about 80 miles north of St. Pete.  We have paper charts, of course, and we could navigate well enough with just the GPS, but we vowed to update our chip.  Since there was a boat show discount, I forked out another boat buck ($100) for a new one, which arrived by mail the day after week got home.

We also were pulled into a booth run by Sea Tech & Fun USA.  They represent Matt Chem SAS in France, which makes a wide array of environmental friendly cleaners, sealers and such for maintaining stainless, plastic, teak, hold tanks, engines and hull and decks.  With the help of Jeff Grant at our marina, we finally got all the Cetol off our teak toe-rails, eyebrows, dorades and the cockpit coaming.  I put eight coats of varnish on the cockpit coaming just before the hot summer weather, and following the lead of another boat owner in our marina, I was going to apply Semco Teak Sealer, which I purchased from Jamestown Distributors.  When I got the product and finally called Jeff to see if he could give me a hand putting it on, he told me that the sealer on the other boat in the marina had turned an orange tint after two months and the owner had had Jeff remove it.  I decided to hold off with the sealer and just keep the teak clean through the summer and into October, when I figured I could get a couple of weeks to varnish it all.  Then we saw Matt Chem's product, STOPO, and decided to get it and give it a try later this month.

Sea Tech also carries the Spade Anchor, which has tested very well in two out of three trials by Practical Sailor ... actually in the third in also test very well except with a 3:1 scope (and who uses that???).  Anyway, Penelope loves the idea of the Spade, particularly that its ballasted tip means it lands in the right position every time, digs in quickly, and penetrates even in grass.  We've used a CQR very successfully for the past few years, and have a Delta second anchor we've never had to use, but we've decided we're going to get a Spade anchor as a wedding anniversary gift for each other.  Romantic, eh what?  Well, since Penelope handles dropping the anchor while I'm at the helm (because she doesn't want to be at the helm), if she wants an anchor for our anniversary, that's romantic enough for me.  Yes, indeed!

Our next stop took us by BottomsidersAlizee's Bottomsider cockpit cushions have cracked and been repaired and cracked more, so I thought I'd ask about re-coated them.  Their representative Lori advised that, if I sent her some photos of the cracks in my cockpit cushions, she would be able to determine if we could simple have them re-coated rather than having new ones made.  So, that's another task that is to be done by the end of the month.

By this time we were thirsty and hungry, so we swung by and picked up our Alizee caps and then tried to nab a couple of chairs or a spot at one of the bars for a beer and maybe some food.  This was not like Thursday.  It was a madhouse, crowded to the point of insanity, so we walked out through one of the kitchens, into a parking lot and caught our breath.  We decided to breeze by the last of the booths before we walked into town to find a food.  We stopped by Bob Bitchin's Cruising Outpost booth, just to say hello, and then headed into a little sushi spot near the foot of Main Street called Cafe Sakura.  Almost as good as the Joss Cafe, we enjoyed a nice lunch, and just as we finished and were walking through the nearby town museum, I got a call from Simon Edward: "Come meet me at City Dock Coffee."  Just two blocks away on Market Space, we were there in a jiffy.  Simon had been the delivery captain who brought Alizee up from Florida to the brokerage in Annapolis from whom I bought the boat.  He'd also done some boat work for me (and the previous owners) after the survey was finished and then showed me the ropes on my new boat.  An all around great guy and sailor, it was a treat to see him again.

We were done with the show and the crowds, so after some time with Simon, we got ready for our next engagement at 1730.  We were meeting some other Cabo Rico owners at the Federal House, just next door to City Dock Coffee.  There are three or four Cabo Rico owners in the Annapolis area, and at each boat show on Friday they traditionally gather here.  We expected about six owners, but in the end only four arrived: (left to right) Duane and June Ruby (s/v SeaClearly, a CR 42), Penelope and me, Thierry Danz (s/v Curlew, a CR 42) and Mickey Panayiotakis.  We had a great time at the bar and then adjourned for dinner, all in all spending a splendid evening together.  We missed Breck Caine (a CR 38) and Richard and Robyn Joyner (a CR 42), who all had something come up at the last minute that prevented their coming. 

On Saturday morning we slept in, went down to the French restaurant for breakfast around 1000, and then got our car and escaped the crowds.  I took Penelope over to Back Bay and Bert Jabins Boat Yard, where I had kept Alizee for the couple of months in the summer of 2008 before moving south to Oriental, North Carolina, and then we drove across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the eastern shore.  We'd hoped to have dinner with old friends Bob and Dian Post that night, but alas, they were a bit under the weather and we had to pass on it.  We did have a fun encounter in Easton, though.  
The local airport was having an open house with a bunch of working historic planes.  We pulled into the parking lot and got on the runway just in time for the big passing over of the planes, got to see a Stearman, which Penelope's Bill had trained in during War Two, and some other historic planes.  It was a wonderfully serendipitous moment on our trip.  

Two more motels and two more days of travel, and we arrived safely home in Deland.  A great road trip, a great boat show!


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