Last Wednesday it was time to return to school for my final semester involved with traditional education. When the week-end finally arrived I was rewarded with 3 days of being surrounded with the best group of beach cat sailors around. Having sailed with some of these guys and gals since my debut way back in the summer of 1980, it was a bitter sweet reunion as life takes its toll on all. Its Afterall, the camraderie that exists amongst this group keeps the old spirits alive as friendships are re-kindled and the next generation takes the lead. Despite the weather forecast and personal observation of threatening skies, the lackadazical attitude of my Prindle 19 skipper along with my 'who cares if we sail or not' attitude Friday, Saturday and Sunday turned out to be a wonderful week-end.
The festivities began Friday about 5:15 pm when I boarded Arrabella a 50 foot catamaran chartered at Ponce Inlet, Florida. Our captain for the evening, Johnny K and his sidekick Sam delighted the patrons as they shared sailing knowledge, safety rules, and life upon the sea. During the 3 hour cruise Brooke and Tyler,Arrabella's friendly hired crew, served snacks wih icy cold drinks.
After about 30 minutes of sailing on bumpy seas along the coast, we returned to the smoother waters of the ICW. Cruising past the multi million dollar homes a few dolphin were spotted (doing what dolphin do-- swimming about, poking their smiley faces out of the water then disappearing below the surface). A big surprise for all was that a Daytona Beach FOX news photographer came along to film Arrabella's sun set cruise for their local morning show. Stay tuned as I was told the footage will eventually be available on their website in case you miss the show or don't live in the Daytona Beach area.
The next day even more fun, as predicted, showed up for Saturday's Gilligan's Run -- a 35 mile beach cat coastal race. As it has for the past 40 years the colorful sails and boats being launched through the surf delighted beachgoers while challenging the participants. Using a handicap system of scoring Steve Caron and his lovely daughter Delaney on a Hobie 16 brought home the Gold. Or was it Gilligan himself, on a Prindle 18-2 who took the honors? Truthfully, everyone had such a good time in the 15 knot breeze and I having been served two vodka's mixed with green tea (yuk, I know) really didn't pay attention to such details as who was first, second, or third. Though I admit my favorite entry was my old Stiletto 23 being raced by her current owner Fleet 80s icon, Pete Haley.
Not sure what time we got home Saturday night, but being awakened to go for a sunrise bike ride was the highlight. Thanks to all, C U again soon,
P.S. Don't forget that raincheck on the Prindle 19.....
P.S.S. The legend remains: If you want to race --- Daytona's the place!