Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The High School Regatta

The first weekend in March we held a high school sailing regatta at our marina facility.  I mentioned this in a previous post and there seemed to be quite a bit of interest in the event.  It’s been hard for me to get around to posting the pictures because, as usual, I shot way too many to post and it was very time consuming to sort through all of them and decide which ones to use.  I ended up making a collage just to get more of them included in this post.


I was not privileged to attend a high school while growing up that had a sailing team and I’m sure most of you were not, either.  Most of the high schools participating were private schools, however, public ones were eligible, too, and there were some of those that attended.  Here’s how it that would be possible in my area.


We have a wonderful facility on a fresh water lake in Savannah called The Savannah Sailing Center.  It is a non-profit organization set up for the purpose of furthering Youth Sailing Programs in the area.  The center is located within one of our county parks on Lake Mayer and kids, families, and local schools can pay an annual fee to belong to and use the center’s sail boats and training facilities.  If you sign up for their program, they will train you to sail and race their sailboats.  Here is a link to their website:  http://savannahsailingcenter.org/



This sailing event was an official SAISA sponsored event.  That stands for the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association.  The South Atlantic District encompasses Florida (except the panhandle), Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Northern Alabama and outside the continental boundaries, islands in the Caribbean. Note this and other districts in ISSA are very similar to the collegiate districts in both sailing format and geographic area.  For those that are interested in checking it out, here is the link to their website:  http://www.saisa.org/


This was the second year for our facility to sponsor and host this sailing regatta.  We were descended upon by 180 kids from around the South Atlantic District along with their parents and other observers.



We had plenty of wind for the event so the racing was brisk and competitive.



In each race, each boat has a crew of two.  Every School entered in the event has at least four teams of two.  The boats were identical in accordance with the SAISA rules and were not owned by the individual sailors.  Most of the boats were provided by the Savannah Sailing Center.




After each race, the boats would be sailed back to our front dock and one team would hop off and another team would hop on and sail out for the next race.  By rotating the boats and the teams, the competition was kept fair with no team having a particular advantage over another one.




These kids were good and very competitive.  Because of the favorable winds, the races were able to be held right off of our docks and gave the spectators an almost unprecedented view of the entire regatta.





I love seeing this kind of event.  It restores my confidence in the younger generations.  These kids are polite, well mannered, clean cut, and dedicated to their sport.  The competition was stiff and the race results were close.  There were several mid-race collisions and close calls and the viewing audience was kept well entertained keeping up with it all.  I look forward to next year when this event will once again return to our docks here in Savannah.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The New House

Okay, I’ve stalled long enough, its time to deliver.  This post is going to be all about the new house.  So much has happened recently, I thought I’d combine this subject with another one just to get things in, but it would not be fair to either subject.  Shucks, I may have to break down and do more than one post this week.  I guess stranger things have happened!


First of all, you are only going to see the common areas.  We share the house with Sandy, Paulette’s sister and it would not be fair to show her rooms and I know our bedroom is not something Paulette wants to log on and see on the web!  The office is not going to be featured this go round either.


Paulette has taken over the office and I have not been allowed to hang a single picture of my choice there or make any decisions on the d├ęcor in that room.  Take my word for it!  That room is not camera ready yet.


The natural starting place would be the exterior shot of the house, but we will depart from convention here and go directly to MY room.  Yes, capital letters, this is MY room.  The one room in the house I can do with as I please.  It is my entertainment center, music room, recording studio, bar with rustic fireplace and general lounging area.  Oh, yes, I forgot, my computer room, too.



Here is my throne from which I rule my kingdom, (and if you believe I rule, you’ve never been a male living with two adult women).



This next shot is my view while sitting on my, ahem, throne.



We move around the room now to the music corner just behind the throne area.



I call the long wall of the room the music wall.  It is home to a stereo system, a pair of drum tables and my vintage stereo speakers.  This sound system is separate from the Bose audio system the TV is broadcast through.



Next we step into an area that is coming together, but is still a work in progress.  This is our living room and dining room.



We have not had a TV in the living room in the past, but Paulette refuses to have a TV in the bedroom and has declared the living room as her private TV room should she not like what I am viewing in my room.



Now we step over to what I refer to as “No man’s land.”  Yep, it’s the kitchen and breakfast nook.



This is the other side of the kitchen so that those that care may see the fridge and stove setup.



We have a long porch that is accessed through my room and also the master bedroom which Paulette and I camp out in.  This shot is taken from the outside door to the porch looking towards our bedroom door.



This next shot is of the porch taken from the viewpoint of our bedroom door.



I am going to throw in a shot of the fireplace mantle and the items I have displayed there.  I do this because the two carved ceremonial masks that are on display were inherited by me from my parents.  These two beautiful carved masks were on display in my parent’s house for many years and I have always admired them.  Paulette hates them and does not want them on display.  She is of the opinion that they are of demons and have no place in a Christian home.  I have tried to explain that these ceremonial masks were used to ward demons off, but I am having trouble with this argument.  Oh, well, that’s why we call this room MY room, LOL.



Here are two of the smallest pictures on display in my room by the door leading to the front hallway.  These may be small but they each are very special to me.  Looking around the room one might think the boatman has a nautical theme for this room.



Finally, I present you with a shot of the front of the house taken from across the street. We live on a cul-de-sac, so it is very peaceful with almost no traffic.



That’s the house, delivered as promised.  I must admit it’s been kind of fun taking you on this tour.  I’ll be back soon with the promised post of the High School Sailing Regatta.  Until then, I’ll see Y’all on the docks!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

American Glory

It’s been an exciting week at the marina with a regional high school sailing regatta featuring sailing teams from high schools as far away as Tennessee and North Carolina.  I’ll try and post some of the pictures in an upcoming entry.  This coming weekend we are hosting the Deep South Sailing Regatta for the 51st year of this event.  We had over 50 boats entered in last year’s 50th anniversary race and expect a good turnout again this year.


Now, I know I promised PICS of the new house, but I am begging at least one more week to post any.  Paulette would kill me if I showed all the boxes, etc…  Bear with me on this, they will come soon.


Now, have you ever seen an Agatha Christie movie or read a book where the action took place on a small cruise ship or tramp steamer and thought, “How romantic?”  Did you figure that mode of transportation is of a different era and a thing of the past?  Well, the small cruise line business is alive and well and I have some pictures to prove it.


At least twice a year, since I started working on the water, I have seen this small cruise ship pass by going one way or the other on the Intracoastal Waterway.  I have always wondered about it.  Where was it from?  Where was it going?  How does one book passage?  I have snapped a few photos in the past that did not do the ship justice.  It made an appearance this past fall and I was able to snap a shot or two.  This time, on Dec.27th, I was better prepared and better armed for the task.


Here is a shot of its approach on the wide angle.  You can only see a white spec, so I edited in the arrow to direct your eye to the part of the frame that the ship occupied.



I knew as soon as I saw it on the horizon that it was The American Glory cruise ship.  I zoomed in and started shooting as it neared.



I did a web search and came up with some facts about the ship.


American Glory

Launched in July of 2002, American Glory was purpose built to cruise the Intracoastal and inshore coastlines of the eastern coastline. She is also very adaptable to larger rivers and lakes.

Operator: American Cruise Lines

Capacity (double occupancy): 49

Builder: Chesapeake Ship Building

Full Capacity: 49

Inaugurated: July 2002

Space Ratio: 30.2 / 30.2

Gross Tonnage: 1,480 gt

Crew: 22

Length: 174 ft. / 53 m

Berlitz® Rating: **


The actual Web Site for this cruise line, if you are interested is here:  http://www.americancruiselines.com/


As the ship neared our marina I could just picture me on deck sipping a mimosa as the ship passed our docks.



I envisioned what dining aboard might be like as the stars twinkled above and I made my way forward, dressed to the nines in white dinner jacket and dress pants.



I could just hear the knock at my cabin in the middle of the night.  The scream in the corridor, the crack of the gunshot, and the mysterious stranger crumpled on the carpet as I threw open the door.  The vivacious damsel in distress would fly past me into my stateroom for protection from enemies unknown and unseen.



Then my radio would crackle to life where it hung on the belt clip at my waist and I would remember I was still the Dock Master walking the docks and dreaming of things that will never be except in that place of great adventure and fabulous journeys… my imagination.



I watched as The American Glory passed me by again, wending its way down the ICW, passing America by, and providing the passengers with breath-taking view after view on the American waterway.



After its passing, I stood there on the docks reflecting on my own fate and position in life.  I must admit, after the wake had settled and the ship had departed the horizon, I felt at a loss to want for more.



I was privileged to enjoy this view every working day of my life and could not come up with any reason to feel slighted or unfulfilled.  I have my own adventures every day in some small way and really could not imagine a life different than the one I have forged and am living.  I turned in the other direction, and gazed at the spot on the horizon where The American Glory had first appeared.  The waterway was calm and the wreck of the old shrimp boat stirred more thoughts in my imagination.



Yes, I smiled as I turned and walked off the docks.  With all of this, who needs to travel for their adventure?  In my mind, I have all the adventure and intrigue I need right here in my own back yard.