Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene wrap up

OK, for the two readers who are not related to me and wonder how things turned out on the barrier island of Brigantine I can happily report that although Irene passed quite close to the island as a Cat. 1 hurricane (estimated to be about 10 miles off the coast, with sustained winds above 74 mph) we had very light damage at the "Hotel George"--just a few shingles off the roof.  Both the states of Delaware and New Jersey imposed travel bans while the storm was in play but we were able to go check our house on Monday.  Getting there was frustrating due to many detours around downed power lines and deep, standing water in places close to lakes or swamps in Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

This isn't storm damage.  My evacuating renters need to learn how to back up, or get their vision checked or maybe both.
After checking the rest of the house I went through my collection of cedar boards and found a suitable replacement.  After an hour's work my driveway gates are back in service.
Down on the beach a goodly crowd was enjoying a break from clean up duties.  This was mostly a local crowd since tourists had been forced to leave before the storm.
Although the life guards had returned with their beach stands, the surf boats were still absent.
The bay side home which was all boarded up in my last post was almost back to normal by Monday afternoon.
The Yacht Club was much as I'd seen it the previous Friday with only some of the windows and doors boarded up.  But, true to Yachting priorities, the windows and doors which got attention were the most important ones: those for the club's bar...
And finally, the fates were kind to the owner of "BAD DOG" the poorly secured Opt seen in the previously post.  She filled with rain water and thus weighted down, stayed on her launching trolley despite the high winds and absence of lashings.  Double click and you can see the depth of the water in the hull and the floating sponge near the mast partner.  "BAD DOG" managed to live up to her name!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Good Night, Irene.

Enjoy the Weavers.  It might put you in the proper mood to plough through the rest of this post!  Diaristwoman and I spent the day driving up to Brigantine to secure the house before the arrival of Hurricane Irene.  Of course today was a beautiful day with gentle wind--perfect for goofing off with a good book and a beach chair.  Regrettably we spent the day preparing for the storm.  We left Maryland early in order to get on the island before the 2 pm deadline, after which the police were closing the only bridge leading to the island to oncoming traffic.  On the ride east to the coast we encountered a solid stream of traffic heading west.  It was good to see that tourists were heeding the evacuation orders but one had an unsettling feeling going against the flow!  Did we miss reading the daily memo?  Was there something we didn't know? 

The local newspapers had one story to report.  Double click to read "all about it".

Our house looks good from across the street.  Hope the joint is still standing on Monday.
Down on the beach the beach patrol was busy moving surf boats, life guard stands and other paraphernalia to higher ground.
The last weekend in August and hardly a soul to be seen!  If the dune grass was brown instead of green this could easily be a winter time picture.

This lone surfer was out testing the surf.  Come back tomorrow dude!

Some people take their window boarding seriously.  Today the bay water is almost mirror smooth.  That won't last.
Like most businesses, Aversa's Bakery was boarded, sand bagged and closed for the duration.  Where will the police get their donuts tonight?
At the Yacht Club, some took the club's orders to tie their boats down seriously...

but others, not so much.  It will be interesting to see if these Optimist dinghies are still here after the storm passes.
A touch of defiance flying from the club's yardarm.
Lighthouse circle is near the south end of Brigantine Boulevard.  The bridge off the island is about a mile beyond this point.  Once we leave the island we won't get back on until Monday at the earliest.  What will the "after" photos look like?  Hopefully not too different.  Stay tuned and don't touch that dial...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bill Boyle's Cates: Sea Isle City daze...

Both Bill and I cut our Moth Boat racing teeth with leaky old Ventnor Moths.  We both graduated to new boats after our respective skills improved.  And again, we both moved up to Cates Florida-design boats.  I bought mine from George Szabo, a Cooper River Yacht Club racer who built a couple boats each winter, one for himself and the other for speculation.  I bought Nr 2249 from George S. in 1962.  Bill, on the other hand, teamed up with the Patterson family, down at Sea Isle City, and built his own boat.  That boat is the subject of today's post.

Bill Boyle in his Patterson-Cates in 1965.  The Sea Isle City, New Jersey back bay marsh can be seen in the background.  The Patterson clan modified the Cates design by converting the originally designed hollow bow sections to the faster convex or "full" bow shape.  The modification produced a slightly faster, but much wetter boat (note the presence of the larger than usual splash boards just ahead of the mast).  The rectangular window in the sail and the rakish, stylized sail numbers were a signature mark of Bob Seidelmann's sail loft. Located in Westmont, NJ,  Seidelmann Sails made most of the sails used by south Jersey racers in the early to mid 1960s.

A year later, 1966.  Here we see Bill (shirt tail hanging out) and Erik Illenberger standing by Bill's boat on the beach next to the Sea Isle City Yacht Club. The mast in the foreground belongs to Erik's boat.  Bob Patterson's cousin, Lynne Berlinger, can be seen wading ashore in the background.  This was Bill's last year of Moth racing.  The following year he sold the boat and went surfing.  He's returned to racing Moths, but he still has an Oceanside Instrument surf board hanging up in the shed to remind him of the old days.
Here's a recent photo of Bill back sailing an old Ventnor Moth which he restored a year or so ago.  He calls the boat "Last One" not because it's his last boat but rather this is probably the last Moth to  come out of the old Ventnor Boat Works.  Bill is also working on an old Fletcher-Cates for his son Shane.  The more we change, the more we stay the same!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

MG J1 featured in an old Swedish movie

I'm a stubborn soul and  I've been trying without any luck to identify the name of the movie, the names of the actors and actress and to discover if the movie survives intact or if this youtube clip is all that remains.  None of my Swedish in-laws remember this film.  Nor does anyone I've contacted in various MG clubs both here in the States and in Scandinavia.  The movie dates to no earlier than the car.  The car is an MG J1.  The MG Car Company didn't introduce the J-series model range until 1932 so that gives us the earliest year this movie could have been made.  The J-series included the J1, a four seater as seen here, the archetypal J2; a two seat sports which set the basic formula for small sports cars up through the mid-1950s, and the J3 and J4 which were also two seaters.  The J3 was used for sporting trials and rallies where as the J4 was a full on road racer.  The J3 and 4 had destroked 750cc engines to comply with class regulations for their respective events and both of those types were also supercharged.  The J1 and J2 were produced with normal road use in mind and had non-supercharged 850cc engines.  Any help answering my questions regarding the film clip will be appreciated!  In the meantime enjoy this little trip in the "way-back" machine.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Early days at Brigantine Yacht Club

Back in the late '50s and early '60s I was racing an old Ventnor Moth and mostly stayed within the comfort zone of my own club's home waters.  One of the kids I raced against was Kenn Claus.  Kenn's half-brother Fred sent me some photos taken between the years 1959 and 1960.  Enjoy!

Here we see the original BYC club house.  This building was a former gas station building located at the south end of the island, near the lighthouse circle.  The club members bought it and had it moved to 10th Street and Bayshore Ave. in the late 1940s.  This photo pre-dates 1960 because that was the year when the "new" addition was added (look at the Yacht Club building in my opening post of last December to see the present structure).  The old gas station is still part of the building, it's just been cleverly added on to.
The houses,across the street, in the background, are still there but the one to the right has been enlarged over the years.  This photo also pre-dates the renovation of the club house and grounds.  Look at those mahogany speed boats!  The red burgee on the cross staff indicates the start of a race.
I  know that this photo is from the year 1960 because that was the first year I raced in a large invitational  regatta.  As a junior sailor I broke into racing within the safety of the waters of my home club and later, after gaining experience, started to travel to "away" regattas at other south Jersey clubs like Margate and Ocean City.  In this exposure I'm sailing my trusty old Ventnor, Nr 774 (using a sail from my other Ventnor, 764, which was in even worse shape). I called Nr 774 THE SIEVE, as in she leaked like one. Kenn Claus is sailing his brand new Titan design Moth, MISS AMERICA, Nr 1608.  Kenn's boat still survives.  The fate of poor old 774 is unknown.  As always, click on the photos to enlarge.
This photo was snapped just after the start of one of the races.  I'm several boats ahead of Kenn but he's upwind of me. Kenn didn't stay behind me very long.  The eventual winner of this regatta, George Kelly from Ocean City YC, can be seen almost falling out of his Abbot Moth INKY PINK, Nr 1593 (at the extreme right side of the picture).  In the background one can seen the Gerber brothers' sailing GEMINI, Nr 1540.  GEMINI is a Challenger design Moth.
Three Moths on a summer afternoon.  The boat closest to the camera is Kenn and probably Fred in CLIPPER, Nr 912.  CLIPPER was a Moyer design Moth.  The Moyer was very similar to the Ventnor and was probably a knock-off.  In the center,  Nr 505 was an old pre-war home-built Moth that John Walton redecked like an early Sailfish, ie: no cockpit; essentially a sailing surfboard.  The red and white Moth furthest away is a Ventnor.  This photo is also pre-1960 since Kenn is sailing his old boat.