Shipmates and Best Buddies

I seem to take quite a few photos of ship’s cat Beryl and David together–this is largely because they are constant companions aboard the boat.  They’re pretty much always looking at the same thing. And, when I say “smile” they both look at me with similar loopy grins.  

Shipmates and best buddies stand watch together.

Beryl the Ship's Cat with David on Watch

Smile! for a photo!

Ship's Cat Beryl with David

Swanson Harbor Scene

I just ran across this June 2014 photo of Mahdee tied up at the Alaska state float in Swanson Harbor. What a lovely spot. Middle of nowhere but with great internet access. We ran our Verizon hotspot up the flag halyard in a baggie and it worked great. We were there a couple days and each day a different fishing boat or two would come in and spend the night before going out to fish again the next day. We ate well between crabbing and free salmon from visiting fishermen. Great experience. The only downside is this is the place an American Bald Eagle tried to snatch Beryl off the deck. We had to supervise all her outdoor time the entire visit to Alaska because with the number of eagles we saw we suspected she would be looked upon as a tasty meal by one. I had kitty-watch duty and, forgetting that she was outside, I was walking along the dock away from Mahdee when the eagle took his shot at her. Luckily she was hanging out under the canoe AND the dark gray Amsteel guard wires (lifelines) confused the eagle and he bore away just a few feet away from Beryl when he realized his big wingspan wasn’t going to make it through to his prey.

Swanson Harbor Alaska

Ship’s Cat and the Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook

Life aboard can be rough if you’re the ship’s cat and Beryl, Mahdee’s ship’s cat, finds that she just cannot get comfortable because there always seems to be something in the way.  In this case it is the organizer bin that hold navigation tools, rulers, dividers, and the obligatory USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations handbook.  We’ve found that we can download the handbook here on the USCG site but we really need to keep that hard copy handy in the charthouse at the chart table.  Thus, Beryl will just have to remain a little uncomfortable.

Ship's Cat Beryl Snoozing against USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook

Master Mariners Wooden Boat Show

We love boat shows and especially wooden boat shows but lately we have had busy times and I have been very…immobile due to ankle surgery, casts and whatnot since mid-April. Boring times it’s been. I am still on the mend but able to get out and around using something called a knee scooter. Yes, it’s pretty much what it sounds like–a scooter for your knee to rest on while you go about your activities. It’s too big for the boat–so are crutches for that matter–but works well for everything once I’m off the boat. Exactly the sort of strange looking contraption that you think you’d never be seen dead near much less using. Ah, until you’re in a situation of being a bump on a log or regaining your mobility using it! I now think it’s downright beautiful. David and I had a great weekend–last weekend–that included attending the Master Mariners Benevolent Association Wooden Boat Show.

Here are a few photos of the day.

One of the best things about visiting a boat show is seeing details of construction or the ways various boaters have dealt with similar equipment and issues to those you have.  Here is a Fortress style anchor on nice wood chocks atop the cabin of Encore, a Concordia yawl owned by Bert Damner. It was great to learn that Bert, like me, loves varnishing and, like me, hates sanding prep to varnish. anchor chocks on a Concordia Yawl

When we visit a boat show, we also often see boats that remind us of one we considered buying or almost bought.  At this show, we saw the Rhodes Design No. 398, SV Nike, a 37′ cutter rigged boat built in Maine in 1937.  She was very similar to a Rhodes cutter we once considered purchasing in Maryland.

Rhodes cutter SV Nike

A really nice thing about going to the wooden boat show at the Corinthian Yacht Club is the view of the San Francisco Bay is spectacular. Across the water in the distance is the San Francisco skyline. From the yacht club we can see boats sailing the bay, the ferry and Angel Island. It was a warm and windy day — perfect for Bay sailing, too. Spaulding Marine Center’s Freda in the foreground of this photo. There is a lovely video and photos about her restoration on the Center’s website.

Freda and the view of San Francisco Bay

I suppose the boring isolation aboard Mahdee for a couple months really has made me much more appreciative of any of the sights and sounds away from the boat. No matter the reason, I really enjoyed the boat show. The day was festive, a New Orleans-style ragtime jazz band playing on the club deck with tunes familiar to David and I. Our listening began with a series of Rags skillfully performed and as we were leaving, the clarinet led the Whining Boy and I couldn’t help myself from singing along quietly and hearing the voice of David’s godfather, Frank Gillis, singing it as he often did. The music wafted over the air mixing with the other sounds of the day perfectly. The boats were fully adorned with private signals, flags, festive ship’s dress, and burgees representing participation in various classic boat regattas. The wind cheerfully whipped the colors in a really delightful way.

Flags and Burgees

Besides burgees and signals and flags, sometimes there are a few people that you meet at a wooden boat festival who mange to epitomize the event. During the Master Mariners Wooden Boat Show this year at the Corinthian Yacht Club, that person would have to be Shelly Willard. I didn’t know Shelly before the event, but I happened to see her standing alongside one of the boats in a navy blue lace sundress complete with the perfect straw hat and nautically-themed ribbon on the hat with a big bow and long ribbons streaming down her back. Perfect. I snapped the picture below of Shelly while she was visiting one of the boats. I then learned that she is an active member of the Corinthian Yacht Club, involved with their Education and Speaker Series, and is a total wooden boat devotee who is spending a good bit of time later this summer visiting Maine, a Mecca of wooden boats.

Shelly Willard Corinthian Yacht Club

We saw boats big and small throughout the show. Most were in the 30-some-foot range but we even saw a cute little 10′ tender originally built by the Stone Boat Yard. It is the sort of tender that would have been provided to an owner of one of the big yachts built by the famous Alameda-based boat yard. The tender at the show was restored by Bill and Grace Bodle, former owners of the Stone Boat Yard and who now own and operate the Sugar Dock in Richmond.

Tender built at Stone Boatyard and restored by Bill and Grace Bodle

Another small boat that was on display, Roy Fox, a cat-rigged ketch, had the cutest little interior. A footwell of a seating space with wood stove, a v-berth, and a single burner galley co-existed happily inside. This was a boat with a place for everything and everything in its place.

Roy Fox

Roy Fox

Tiny Galley

Roy Fox tiny saloon with wood burning stove

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