September 14th dawned cloudy and cool with a hint of rain in the air, one of those days it would have been easy to stay at home and do chores, but we escaped to row and sail the beautiful Poquonock River which flows alongside Bluff Point State Park. It also flows along the Groton-New London Airport but the old Seaplane base is long closed and the few private planes joined in the fun with a wing wag or two. The sun came out. A sea breeze sprang up. Life was good; we would have missed all this if we had stayed home.
We used local knowledge (thanks Dan Nelson) and launched at the Calvin Burrows Baseball Field just off South Road before going under the railroad. It is the railroad bridge over the River that makes this place perfect for our type of boating. The sequence was: launch, row under the rail bridge, row on to pass through the old trolley line bridge abutments, beach on the airport side to raise sail and then sail to the barrier beach where the river meets the sea. It also helps that the chart shows depths ranging for 4 ft. to 2 ft. to 0 ft. - it keeps the motorboats at bay.
First, the Participants: Ellie Czarnowski with her Skeery and two sea-going puppy dogs, René Boelig, able crew on our Peapod, Brian Cooper with his fabric-on-frame Whitehall, John Hacunda with his bright yellow kayak made from traditional recycled soda bottles and myself, Bill Rutherford, Chief instigator.
The high point of the day was Ellie becoming comfortable sailing the Skeery. Given confidence by the group, Ellie sailed her home all the way upriver from the beach. That is what going out on the water with our group is all about; you do not have to be a stellar sailor, paddler or row with your oars feathered inches above the water to have a good time and perhaps learn a few new tricks from others. Mark your calendar for the the second Saturday in September, next, as the English say, and plan to join us for this relaxing, fun outing
Established in 1793, Lowell’s Boat Shop is the oldest operating boat shop in America.
To learn more about the history of Lowell's Boat Shop and their ongoing boat building projects, visit the Lowell's Boat Shop website.
The JGTSCA Chapter is building the Good Little Skiff 15, a Pete Culler design row/sailing boat. The Mystic Seaport Boathouse has the 13 1/2 ft version of this boat, the “Waldo Howland".The project will start with a full scale lofting. On Friday, Apr 19, we will setup a lofting table at the APBH. The actual lofting will start at 9:00 am on Saturday, April 20.
If you want to help with the project or observe you are always welcome. Along with updates at the JGTSCA monthly meetings I will be sending out reports on progress and upcoming activities. If you are interested in adding your name to the email list please send me your email. Brian Cooper, 2019 GLS Project Manager
Frank Lavigueur describes his restoration project of a Gulfweed ketch. The boat is a John Hanna design and was originally built by members of his wife's family. Frank is restoring the boat in his backyard boatshed with a goal is sailing it across the Atlantic.
Some information about the Gulfweed design.
After our Potluck and March meeting on Sunday the 5th we took advantage of the newly installed daylight savings time and toured the University of Connecticut’s Research Vessel “Connecticut”. We are fortunate to have a former Captain Dan Nelson among us; he gave us an in-depth tour from Engine Room to Bridge. Very informative. Thank you, Dan, and thanks to UConn for having us.
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