by Craig O'Donnell

Chesapeake Light Craft's annual Okoumestock drew over 300 people to Sandy Point State Park outside Annapolis MD during the first weekend in May.

Despite choppy conditions due to increasingly gusty northeast winds -- which are, of course, rare in May on the Chesapeake -- hundreds of people tried CLC boats or brought their own. Okoumestock is really a Messabout at heart; anyone with a cartoppable boat is welcome and there are dozens of CLC demo boats to try on top of that. Folks even got lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

A shot down the beach on Saturday.

The scene from the surf line was like this all day Saturday: kayaks everywhere.

An intrepid canoe-sailor braves the chop in the Mill Creek double with the small Mill Creek 13 lugsail. This is a fast boat on a reach.  He's really sitting too far aft, by the way. Because our demo boat is set up for two paddlers or sailors, there is no center seat position.  It's simple to rig the boat for a removable solo seat if you build one.

The "Pulling Boat" doesn't really have a name yet. In Sunday's windy conditions she got a workout when we went out to pull the buoys we had set to mark the limits of the demo area. That's the Jimmy Skiff is in the background.



A father-son team take the Eastport Pram out for a trial spin. Less than 8 feet long, this beamy little critter is great fun to sail and exceedingly stable.




John's Sharpie is like a giant sailing dinghy. Here she is sailing  reefed with two passengers on Saturday. CLC employees Rich and Bill took her practically out of sight across the Bay while we helped folks try kayaks, and then came foaming back on a broad reach.

A meditative shot. The Annapolis Wherry gets a trial from a dedicated oarsman early Saturday. The Sandy Point Light is no longer manned but still serves to mark a shoal just south of Baltimore.

Sunday was so windy and rough we had to cancel CLC boat trials, though three or four people took their own boats out, including a fellow with a handsome baidarka. Boardsailors zipping by provided amusement from time to time as they tried to jibe or tack, but most of us looked like this, hanging out in the sun.

              Craig O'Donnell

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