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Getting in Touch With My Inner Bogey on a Rainy Saturday

While many of us were lounging at home with coffee and the paper, some intrepid sailors were fulfilling their mission to work on expanding their club’s programs. Their reward for getting out of bed on a rainy Saturday was an impromptu sail in the break between downpours. Stephen W. Dale of the Hunter 320 Playpen II sent us the story.

I am writing this on a rainy weekend after weeks of constant rain bringing us much-needed precipitation. This would have been a good Saturday morning to stay in bed, cuddle with the wife, put a Bogart movie on, and keep an eye on the Strait through my window, warm, safe and dry. The stuff that dreams are made of.

Instead, my day started off with a meeting called the Nautica Group at the Benicia Yacht Club, set up by my crew member, BenYC director and friend Randy Norman. The purpose of the group is to focus on ways that BenYC can expand its water activities. We had a great turnout with some terrific input from the attendees. I especially liked discussions about expanding programs for youth and families. The meeting was held at 9:30 a.m. so that it would not interfere with the Frostbite race scheduled at noon.

It was a great turnout for the Nautica Group and the Benicia Yacht Club with Randy Norman at the helm.
© 2023 Stephen W. Dale

You might think that the Strait does not talk, but that couldn’t be further from the truth if you listen. In fact, there are times when I wish she would keep her opinions to herself. Truth be told, I had no intention to participate in the race because of the weather, but as the meeting was ending a weather window opened; she was basically telling me and the crew to come out and play: “What are you afraid of, a little weather?” What could we do? So the crew and I decided to brave the conditions and accept the challenge.

rainy Satruday sailing
Chuck Hooper on Warwhoop with Noble Griswold on E-Ticket off Glen Cove.
© 2023 Stephen W. Dale

We only had three boats, including Warwhoop with Chuck Hooper and E-Ticket with Noble Griswold. Our crew [Playpen II] was D.J. Wood, Gary Johnson, and Randy Norman. The winds were from the southwest with a building ebb. At the skippers’ meeting that we held at the docks, we decided to go to the Joe Mara mark by Glen Cove and back, about six miles.

Warwhoop, skippered by Chuck Hooper, off Glen Cove.
© 2023 Stephen W. Dale

We had the normal reverse start, and Playpen started first, followed by Warwhoop and ending with E-Ticket. Playpen II was able to make the mark on a single tack. After we passed the mark on the return, I turned the wheel over to Randy to take us home.

E-Ticket with Noble Griswold passing Dillon Point.
© 2023 Stephen W. Dale

Even though this was not a romp in the sun, we had a great sail. The good news: Despite all the debris in the water from the storms, Randy only hit one tree — woo hoo! On top of that, the Nautica Group, with Randy at the helm, indicates we may be adding more dimensions to the Benicia Yacht Club, so that we can share this wonderful resource of the Strait with more activities, and ideally attract families and youth to the wonders of boating.

So it looks as if fair winds and following seas are in our future for 2023. All you need to do is get out of bed and let the Strait be your guide,

Here’s looking at you, kid.

The race results were 1st — Warwhoop, 2nd — E-Ticket, 3rd — Playpen II.

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