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By Steve Bosquette & Bob Throne - Elk Neck State Park, MD - USA

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To Part Three

June 3-4-5 at Elk Neck State Park, MD, "Rogues Harbor", saw three days of sailing, talking boats, and making friends ... with good weather & winds, too.

At least three dozen skippers brought nearly four dozen boats and there were sixty or so overall in attendance, including several families (three of which covered three generations). To give you an idea, there were three PDR's, including Tom Maurer's father-son build first splash. There were also three sailing canoes, each well sailed and quite capable on the big water. There were three or four kayaks, including "SOF" - skin on frame. Dinks and day-sailors numbered more than a dozen, including a 5'10" "Tardis", a Pacific Pelican, a Hitchcock Pepper 15, and a variety of other designs. There was a splendid 24' "Sharpton Barge", a Pete Culler design built nearly 20 years ago by Jim McKelvey; two lovely, traditional Marshcats; a Michalak Oracle "pulling boat" ably rowed by Ted Kilsdonk; and Steve's experimental "ship of the line". Pocket cruisers numbered eight .. Potters, the Sanabel, the Norm's Boat, and mine.

Paul & Bill Moffitt spent the most hours on the water. Norm Wolfe slept aboard at Cabin John Creek ... everyone sailed ... and sailed. Eric Hughes & friends provided grilled 'dogs Fri (and Sat.). But the really satisfying thing was the easy, helpful, happy ambiance ... just a splendid group of people. And with a good venue and good weather, it just blossomed.

The boat ramp at Elk neck State Park, MD (actually last Sept).

The scene at the beach Friday evening as the first day wound down (just to the right of the ramp and dock - looking South here).

There was way too much going on for one person to take in, but here some "takes" from my memory as the weekend un-folded. I pulled in about 10am Friday and registered for the campsite co-host Steve Bosquette and I had reserved. I got my 40 year old tent up and got down to the ramp & beach before 11. A glance to the water - the Elk River at the confluence of the Chesapeake - caught a bi-plane sail catamaran sailing crisply in an 8 -12 NW breeze. Paul Moffitt and his Dad Bill (who flew up from Atlanta) easily logged the most time on the water ... although others were in contention. There was a lot of sailing.

"Rooino" is a Jeff Gilbert design - Bill Moffitt at the helm - Paul & Bill sailed back & forth between the campsites below a bluff a mile up river.

Bob Crifasi was already there with his cleverly outfitted Potter 15, "Bunky", and others were coming along. Steve B. soon pulled in with his highly original "Ship of the Line".

This is the "Lord Jeffery", after Steve's grandson Jeffery.

New friends and old friends pulled in as the sunny afternoon moved along. Steve B. had a shade tent and table, and we tried to get everyones name & boat and email; providing name tags to help us get to know one another. Norm Wolfe arrived with the "Norms Boat" he commissioned Jim Michalak to design. Back issues of Duckworks can fill you in on this well travelled and very able craft. Paul Truszkowski and wife Margaret pulled in with three boats packed on to his pickup. Larger boats used one of the four ramps; smaller boats were just carried to the beach without need for the ramp fee.

Steve Bosquette greeting folks on a lovely Friday afternoon.
The Norms Boat was well fitted out for camp cruising, including a duckbill on his push pole ... for soft, muddy bottoms.

Between greeting folks and getting a first look at all the boats, I barely had time to launch my Wanderer and wound up just motoring over to the beach - barely 100 yards around the dock from the ramp. The ready helping hands soon became evident as folks lent a hand at the ramps or beach. When Norm discovered he had left his tiller at home, the Moffitts helped him make one from his boom crutch and he was soon on the water. Larry Haff arrived with a Glen-L Minuet from Westborough, MA; Marty Goldsmith drove in with his Potter 15 "Powerless" from Columbus, Ohio. Most arrived from Mid- Atlantic ports of call, and a few were able to day trip. Mid afternoon, our complimentary supper arrived as Eric Huches motored in with the only power boat, a Cape Island Pilot Boat .. very handsome and highly functional.

Eric Hughes slept aboard his boat, joined by Steve Kaba Friday night; assisted by Bob Crifasi, the three of them provided hot dogs with all the fixins.
Margaret Truszkowski with Paul's "Tardis" (ask him about the name). At 5'10" it was the smallest boat ... note the rudder plate.

By 5:30 - 6:00 there were about two dozen of us assembled and much sailing had already been done. Most gathered around the grills as Eric's team kept the hot dogs & fixins coming; others drove the 6 - 7 minutes up to their campsites for family suppers. 14 sites on the Elk Loop were taken by Messabouters, several sites shared - sometimes by folks meeting for the first time. The sites were level, reasonably separated by woods and with a fire ring .. the restroom was basic but clean and had hot showers, too.

Three grills going ... Steve Kaba supervized by Capt'n Eric ... nothing makes food taste better than cooking by the water ... except maybe when it's free  ...THANKS.
Most pulled their boats up above the high tide line for the night. Tides were no more than three feet, and the river current isn't strong.

Through the evening folks gathered in clusters to discuss the day, swap stories and ideas, and get to know one another, I, and I guess everyone, was delighted by the wonderful variety of boats ! I had never seen a sailing canoe before ... there were three in attendance. And more expected, three of Shorty's "fast racing dingy's" the PDR - Puddle Duck Racers - showed up. Steve's boat was immediately dubbed "the pirate boat".

Norm Wolfe, ? - sorry, & Eric Hughes reflect on the day ... and day ahead.
Friday evening as the day unwinds ... there is about 60 – 70 yards of beach. Ramps & long dock are to the left  ... another 120 yards beach beyond the jetty.
Norm Wolfe heads over towards Cabin John Creek for the night. The river is a mile wide, with the shipping channel centered ... serious wakes, no problems.
Steve Bosquette at site 129 on the Elk Loop .. minimum time at the site campsites are on a bluff rising 30 - 40' above the water.

As darkness fell we retired for the night with our heads filled with new friends and new boats, and anticipation of the day ahead.

(To be continued...)

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