Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival ~ Part 1

Log Canoe “Edmee S.” during the race.


(to start of project)

What a great weekend. Always is. With so much happening in just a few days, it will take several posts to do it any justice. It took three days just to go through all the photos. In the meantime, a large gallery of pictures has been uploaded here:

MASCF 2010 Gallery

Many of the pictures were taken by Terri or Emily, we traded cameras so often we lost track. A few were even taken by random strangers we handed a camera to. There’s some fun video coming, as well, that I hope to have ready in a few days.

–  o  –

The days leading up to the weekend were pretty dismal. The rain finally stopped sometime after sunrise on Friday. A cool front moved in, pushing all of it east. The night before, Tony from Montana sent a message saying the Bay was like a sloshing bathtub, the docks underwater even at low tide. A few tents looked thrashed and wet under the trees. Not a promising report for people expecting to both play in the Bay and camp under the stars. I imagined the grounds around the museum as one big ankle-deep duck pond.

Never-the-less, the first hour that morning was spent adjusting the trailer to carry a Melonseed. The old sharpie, my first boatbuilding project, is now kicked to the curb, off the trailer on saw horses at the edge of the woods.





When Emily arrived from Harrisonburg, we loaded up the car and headed north, a bit later than prudent if you want to miss traffic around DC.

Let me just say that rush hour on a Friday, trying to cross the Bay Bridge outside Annapolis, is the Eleventh Circle of Hell. We get spoiled living in the countryside, where the only obstacle to travel is an occasional hay wagon, and we just can’t get used to the frenetic stasis of traffic jams. Urban commuters take a bare knuckle approach to driving that puts gentle country folk at a disadvantage, especially when you have a delicate wooden vessel trailing aft lie a peacock tail. It took an hour and a half to go five miles, in ten foot increments.

While waiting to cross the bridge, Tony and a few intrepid souls were screeching across the Miles River in 25+ mph winds, gusting to 40, according to the buoy in Cambridge. We got a brief but enthusiastic text from him as we passed through the toll booth, and high over the water in the crosswinds on the bridge, lumpy, turbid water far below, we could imagine just how exhilarating it was. Once across the bridge, everything quickly reverts to farms and marshland, and we felt back in our element again.

Some puddles were still standing when we pulled in to set up the tents, but a thick mat of pine needles kept everything dry, and the sandy soil quickly drained what was left.



We ran into Tony as we pulled in, who lent a hand with pitching the tents and rolling the trailer into place. We missed the crab/oyster roast, but had a great dinner on the docks in town.

Caesura was parked in the display area with blue painter’s tape still on the bare wood parts to seal out greasy road grime and water. And Little Buddy, who had a freshly broken bone in his foot, wore a blue tape boot to keep his splint dry, too, and got toted around in a bag all weekend. We made kind of a rumpled, funny crew, totally appropriate for the venue, and fit right in.

It turned into a beautiful weekend after all, weatherwise, and is always a great weekend in every other way. It was great seeing old friends, and we made some new ones. Tony and I got a sail in early the next morning, followed by the “race” on Doug Oeller’s catboat. I’ve got video from both of those to post soon. And we still have standing offers for sails with friends like Kevin Brennan and others from the Delaware TSCA.






melonseed skiff, mellonseed skiff, melon seed, mellon seed   


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