The Great Pacific Northwest Solstice
Even though it was a typical cold,
wet, rainy Northwest day, I can still feel the warmth of The
First Annual Summer Solstice Messabout. We are a friendly group
of about 20 regulars (the group is much larger though), who
manage to get together every month or so, to share camaraderie,
tips and ideas, advice and just plain scuttlebutt. We even manage
to find time to sail :).
The very loosely defined ticket of entry to this little group
is having a boat, preferably of wood, extra points are scored,
if you made it yourself.
Did I forget to mention camaraderie is important?! Just as our
members hail from all walks of life and from every part of the
State, we have 2 things in abundance. A variety of interesting
people there as well as some very interesting craft.
Our host, Lon (Chuck) Wells
(click to enlarge)
This June 20th weekend was the start
of something new. A tradition of sorts that every year after
this would become what is known as, "Summer Solstice Messabout".
The idea was spawned by our gracious host, Lon Wells, one of
the newest members to our group. He suggested early on that
we be his guests for the "Messabout" and take advantage
of his facilities at Quinn's Cove, on the Columbia River in
Washington. Even though our group is an Oregon Messabout group,
we decided to include Lon because, we receive his email posts
to our computers which are technically, located in Oregon. The
small incidentals such as Lon's waterfront moorage, 600 feet
of boatdock and a tugboat were of minor consequence in our decision!
:) You've never met such a gracious host!
We staked out an island in the Columbia known as "Caterpillar
Island" to establish our forward base of operations. It
wasn't too long after the tents were pitched, that we heard
the chug-chug of Lon's diesel tug. As he came around the bend,
we spied a barge he had in tow and perched atop was a brand
spanking shiny, new, Rent-a John! After dutifully staking and
chaining the barge to the shore, off he went in his tug. Later
he returned with 3 days worth of firewood! It was truly appreciated
since the weather wasn't co-operating. Bonfires are good for
Kohnen and Pickle
John Kohnen, the mentor of the group
of All Maritime Links page) was there with his Jordan Skiff,
Pickle. She's a beauty.
If you have questions,
he has the answers.
Frank Mabrey was not able to bring his Whitehall Wherry, but
wins the "good guy" award for volunteering to tow
Brian's boat "Freedom" to the event. Brian's truck
had just gone south a day prior. What a guy Frank!
Pat & Kay
in Blue Heron
Pat and Kay Patteson were
there, with their newly camping upgraded PK-20. They now have
the ability to tarp off the cockpit for sleep-overs, keeping
out the nasty bits of weather we have here. His upgrades must
have worked swell because, in the morning they looked like they
had spent the night at The Hilton!
Gage with Freedom
Brian Gage arrived with
"Freedom". His boat was 4 years in the making and
someday will probably be in the Smithsonian. I am not sure which
section though, either as a tribute to period boats or as a
tribute to American boat building craftsmanship. You should
see her gleam, floors should shine that bright at home!!
Harvey Golden. Harvey's
Proa is a sight to behold. He is either on the cutting edge
of technology...or maybe recycling, from a woman's view, I am
undecided as of yet. I have never seen a boat before that was
sewn and lashed together and could actually sail. Harvey would
sail her (prayers to the Polynesian Gods of tranquil waters
offered, no doubt) with such a reckless abandon for his poor
soul, that I kept covering my face and peeking through my fingers
to see if he was still afloat out there in the raging Columbia!
Thank God for good ole American twine!! Awww youth!
Mark Albanese showed up
for his first Oregon Messabout appearance sans mouseboat. That
was fine with the rest of us, because in the afternoon the wind
came up and everyone took turns using Mark for ballast! Good
job Mark, because all returned safely to shore after those white
Even though the weather wasn't on our side, we gathered around
a warm fire, we shared laughs, our perspectives and points on
what made a successful Messabout.
Votes were taken! Votes were tallied! The decision was unanimous,
We did it! Next year we'll be back!!
Dennis's humble wife and First Mate of "Brise Douce"
(thanks to John Kohnen, Marilyn & Dennis Crouch, and Pat
(Click pictures to enlarge)
Frank Mabrey's Whitehall,
Pickle, the Mouse Boat, Freedom, Blue Heron, Brise Douce
Pat Pattson in his PK-20 Blue Heron
Dennis & Marilyn Couch & Brise
Douce, Freedom in background
Marilyn & Brise
Brian Gage in his John Gardner modified
Chamberlain gunning dory Freedom
Lon Wells' nephew, Brian Gage (seated),
Lon Wells, Lon's son Quinn, Lon's wife Kate, Kay Patteson,
Sam Devlin designed and built Lichen
cruising scow owned by Craig Weagant, who lives on the
Mark Albanese, John Kohnen, Brian
Gage, Frank Mabrey, Dennis Couch
Harvey's proa under sail