Saturday, April 21, 2012

Solo Around the Americas: Film at Eleven.

The flags at City Docks were flapping away with the wind straight on the nose when I arrived at about 10:30 this morning.  The wind was strong enough to make the flag pole bend and the direction would make docking without an engine tricky.  Matt's ETA was 12 noon.

Some people come early to events like this because they want a good seat.  Your diarist comes early so he can lay claim to a good camera spot.  I was early enough to claim a prime spot just beyond the tent.

For those who haven't had a chance to look at Matt's web site  this map gives a Cliff's Notes version of the voyage.  CRAB stands for Cheasapeake Region Accessible Boating.  Matt's voyage raised $80,000 (so far) for this group who help handicapped individuals get out on the water in small boats.  The goal is $250,000 and CRAB is still taking donations.

While we waited I watched the Annapolis YC Opti  kids go through practice drills under the watchful eye of a coach boat.  In the distance I could also see a couple of fast moving boats.  I'm tempted to think that John Zseleczky and Bill Beaver were out in their foiler Moths but the boats were too distant for a positive ID.

About a quarter after eleven the spectator fleet departed so we knew he was getting close.  This is Woodwind II. She takes passengers on short bay cruises and is also hired out for events such as this.

This skipjack also headed out with a load of paying customers.

When they bring out the bagpipes you know things are getting serious.  Some people think that pipers are festive.  I tend to associate them with the funerals of policemen and fire fighters who have died in the line of duty.

Finally, right at high noon Brendan, Matt's Albin Vega 27 swung around Horn Point and into view.  This boat is the same as the one which Classic Moth Boaters Grant and Amelia are sailing down in the islands,

The spectator fleet escorted Brendan into Annapolis harbor.

After entering the harbor Matt sails Brendan past the Severn Sailing Association's club house.

Meanwhile the town's fire boat added to the festive mood.

He did a slow loop of the harbor.

He passed my vantage point and proceeded beyond the dock were he'd finally tie up so that he could heave to into the wind a drop his sails.  Brendan does not have an engine.

I think the fire boat missed an opportunity.  Instead of shooting water into the air they could have power washed that hull!  Which is worse, the marine growth or the pollution?  This boat was at sea 310 days.
Safely berthed.
After Matt came ashore things moved back to the tent area.  By the time I made my way from the dock to the tent I was well towards the back, but then again how many bloggers allow you to study the backs of people's heads?  There's not a boring head in this entire picture.

But fear not, dear constant reader.  This is where the magic of 9 mega pixels and a 10X optical zoom earn their keep.  Much speechifying took place.  Noted yachtsman Gary Jobson was the MC.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and his wife were among those to officially welcome Matt home.

The Governor's wife, who avidly followed Matt's journey, noted that he was wearing this very same "Popeye" t-shirt back at the departure party almost a year ago!  Good thing there was a fair breeze and we were up wind.

You can read more about Matt's arrival here:

After the speeches were finished and the crowd started to drift away I went over to Pip's hot dog stand for a foot long "Chicago Dog".  Most satisfactory!

One last look at Brendan.  Aaaah, it'll buff right out.

Solo Around the Americas

Matt Rutherford has completed his single hand circumnavigation of the North and South American continents (starting on the east coast of North America, going through the northwest passage, down the Pacific coasts of both land masses, around Cape Horn and back up the east coast of both to his starting point, which I believe was Norfolk, Virginia).  He is expected at the city docks of Annapolis at some point this morning.  For those with iGadgets, live feed of his arrival can be found on a link at his web site:  Posts from during the voyage itself can also be read on his site for those wanting to do a bit of armchair sailing.

For those without such technology, your diarist shall attempt to go and get pix of the grand arrival.  In this age, the opportunity to see (and smell) a real "first time it's been done" kinda guy decreases with every passing day.  Check back later--details and film at eleven (or maybe sooner if I'm sober--I've always wanted to use that line; the film at 11 line, not the if I'm sober one).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Street Rod Wrap Up.

Today's post will wrap up my walk down hot rod memory lane.  This Ford is a throw back to the style of the hot rods that raced out on the dry lake beds in California during the late 30s and 40s.

Here's a shot of the cockpit.

Lake pipes.  I've heard two different stories about how this type of "cut out" exhaust got it's name.  One explanation is that the pipes were made by a company called Lake Manufacturing.  The other explanation I've heard is that this style of side exhaust was generic to and typically seen on rods which raced on the lake beds.  Maybe someone seeing this post can comment on this little mystery for me.

This "T-bucket", based on a '23 model T Ford, is another early style of street rod.

Back in high school, a friend's sister had a '56 Crown Vic like this one.

Fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror--a nostalgic touch.

Several of my high school buddies had early 50s Fords.  This is a 1950.

Some might not think of a Chevy Corvair as a hot rod, but the ones with the factory tubro-charged engines or the ones tweaked by racer Don Yenko were both quick and handled well for a rear engined car.

Here's a look at the Corvair's engine room; a working man's Porsche...

Finally, I'll leave you with a look at an iconic '57 Chevy Bel Air.  I've always been a sucker for tail fins--it must be the American in me!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Street Rods--Take Two.

Next to catch my eye was this '34 Ford coupe.

There's just something about a flame paint job...

No Street Rod gathering would be complete without a little deuce coupe,

or a GTO. 

As much as I like them for their practicality, I've got to admit--nobody writes rock 'n roll songs about Volvo station wagons.

Not all the rods had pristine paint jobs.  This Dodge Brothers pick-up is a work in progress.

This model A Ford ice cream truck was popular.  I like the row of little brass bells above the wind screen.

"She's real fine, my 409"; another car, another song.

The real deal.

"Moon Equipped"

Supercharged '40 Ford

The Ford's blower.  The Grey Marine 2-stroke diesels I worked on in the service had these same GM 671 blowers.
 That's enough eye-candy for one session.  I'll continue with a few pix in my next post.

Street Rods!

Growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania there was an oft repeated saying " If it ain't Dutch it ain't much".  I think that hot rodders must have a similar expression along the lines of "If it ain't Street it ain't neat" because this past Saturday the annual street rod gathering came to my home town and I think that just about every street rod for miles around descended on the local strip mall parking lot where the event is usually held.  This same venue hosts a Hot Rod "hang out" on most rain-free Monday evenings during the summer months but the Monday night hang-outs draw a small, local group of mostly, but not exclusively American cars--I've even taken Xenopus over to a Monday night gathering and didn't get tarred, feathered and run out of town, so the Hot Rodders are an accommodating crowd.  As is my usual trend, I took too many pix for one post so check back in a few days if you're inclined to look at stuff like this.

First up was this very pretty '69 Z/28 Camaro.  Back when these cars were new they were the main competition for the 302 engined Ford Mustangs in the Trans-Am racing series.  Why exactly 302 cubic inches for the engine displacement?  It was because that size came closest to the 5 liter maximum engine size permitted by the racing rules governing those races.  The 302 v8 was a specially designed engine.  The more common Chevy engines from this era were the 307 and the 350.  Chevrolet made just enough of the Z/28 with the expensive to build 302 v8 to satisfy the homologation rule: the Trans-Am series was supposedly for "production" cars rather than high priced racers but both GM and Ford built cars to win no matter what--so much for rules keeping down the cost of racing.  Back in '69 I almost bought a Z28.  The local dealer had a beautiful dark green one with the white stripes on the show room floor.  We came to within $60.00 on the purchase price but neither of us would budge further.  I walked out the door and kept my '66 Mustang for another year.

This '59 Buick Electra was nicely turned out.  Note the art work on the inside of the hood.

Next up was this '36 Ford pick-up.

This was one of only a handful of rods to retain a flat head v8.

This blog spot has become wonky for some reason so I'll stop here and continue later.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Morfars '66 Impala

Morfar is Swedish for grandfather, more specifically one's mother's father.  Recently our children's maternal GP lashed out and bought himself a nicely preserved 1966 Chevy Impala from an ebay seller way up in Minnetonka, Minnesota.  Apologies in advance for date/time stamps.  I was borrowing Mother-in-law's camera.

An imposing beast by today's standards with lots of leg room for both front and rear seat occupants.

This car has the well known 283 cubic inch v8 and 2-speed power glide automatic gearbox.

Love that speedometer!  138,000 miles on the "clock".

Quad headlights were all the rage back in the '60s.

Every proper turnpike cruiser needs a 37 acre trunk.  I remember when my mother's luggage included a hat box and small cosmetics case which matched, but were separate from the normal sized suit cases.  Somehow travel seemed more elegant and unhurried then even if cars generally lacked modern day "must haves" such as air conditioning and power windows.

You're a long way from your old home...

The metallic blue suits the car.

Vroom, Vroom!