Sunday, June 21, 2015

bugged, spark plugged and warned

The spark plug was Friday evening.  The honda 2.3 air-cooled outboard ran a little rough last weekend.  It was clear to me it needed a new spark plug, the one in use at the time probably dating back to last summer.  Why I changed the oil a few weeks ago and didn't bother with the spark plug I do not know.  It took all of two minutes and the outboard was back in true form.

The warning came from a friend in the committee tent set up on the Portsmouth waterfront.  Yesterday was the Cock Island Race, the biggest sailing event on the Elizabeth River (which is named after an area on the old Portsmouth waterfront that was home to gambling, cockfighting, thieves and whatever a sailor might be looking for after a long time at sea).  With light winds my friend knew I would be sailing just a few hundred yards downriver from the starting line.  "Some of the people don't sail very well!  Fair warning!"  I thanked him but the breeze was such that nobody was sailing too fast and as I weaved back and forth between the racers I was happy to see many friends and acquaintances crewing the boats.  I was asked by a couple of crews if I was in the race, which I was not.  Not too long after the series of starts, there must have been five or six classes setting off between 9 and 10 a.m., the wind failed and I saw much of the fleet barely moving, or not moving at all, down Town Point Reach.  I don't expect any records were set, but I'm sure they had a fine party in the evening after a long day on the water.

The bugs came from my friend Shaggy, the NOLA crawfish king.  Admission to the Bayou Boogaloo is expensive unless you arrive furtively by small boat, which I did.  Tying up briefly behind all the food vendors Shaggy hooked me up with a pound of freshly boiled crawfish that made for a wonderful treat once back on the water.  Trying to handle the lines and tiller while peeling crawfish was interesting.  Yesterday's light winds maybe have been a good thing.


Rich said...

Hi Steve! As I stood there on that wall I could not help but think, and then I articulated to anyone who would listen: "This guy gets it right. Takes his beautiful little boat everywhere. Stores it at home. Maintains it in his garage each winter. Just enjoys sailing." Having been in a recent doldrum trying to get anyone around this place to work on my Sea Sprite 23 while I do my day job, I have now determined that the next boat for Shelly and I will be more like Spartina. I am seriously looking at a Core Sound 17. Build it in my garage. Trailer it behind my Honda Element. Take it wherever. Store it in my garage. And just enjoy sailing. So, thanks for being a great example to me! BTW, we started about 60 boats on Saturday and only 6 finished in time. I saw you dashing about the Nauticus area with good breeze in the early afternoon. Congrats! Rich

Steve said...


Wow, six boats out of sixty. Tough day. Love the Core Sound 17. You might also look at the Core Sound 20 Mk III, a very solid boat. Not a lot of wind Saturday, but there were a few nice breezes out there.