Tuesday 31 July 2012

A Very Big Month, Part Three.

     "I'm comin' on like a hurricane..."

    Canada Day is the day Doverites throw a party for themselves.

     Friday 13th is when Port Dover throws a party for the world.

    Friday July 13, it felt like the entire world showed up.

    What started as a small gathering of local motorcyclists 30-odd years ago has become a Very Big Day indeed.

  This year we have been blessed with not one, not two, but three, count 'em, three Friday 13s.  July 13 saw, according to the folks who count this stuff, over 140,000 (not a typo- one hundred and forty THOUSAND) motrocyclists, bike fans and those who just enjoy a good spectacle converge on our sleepy little Port with a year-round population south of 7000.

Although the vast majority came by land, some decided to arrive by water:

 Tying up to the beach side of the pier is not advised, as some of these boat owners discovered when the wind picked up and two boats ended up aground.

  A couple of intrepid folks even flew in the night before:

On the day, bikes run the room.  The town is closed to all non-local four wheel traffic, and motorcycles are parked from Tim Hortons  down to the Arbor then around the corner and all the way up Main Street almost to the baseball diamond.  Call it a mile or more of parked and packed motorcycles.

 You got your RUBbies (Rich Urban Bikers), your crotch-rocketeers, your customizers,  your die-hard tourers, your Hell's Angels, your mopedsters, your scooter pilots, your kids, your grandparents, you name it...  what you DON'T have, is trouble.  Considering the size of the crowd, the weather, and the tight quarters, the event produces few incidents- it seems that nobody wants to screw  a very good thing.

"Talk the Dock!"

A Very Big Month, Part Two.

  "From the shore to the water, guess there isn't any more."
                                                  -Brian Hyland

  You've likely already read the first post I quickly cobbled together covering Pottahawk 2012 (aka "The Pottahawk Piss-up"), but in the context of this Very Big Month, I figured this Very Big Event needed a little more coverage.

   According to the OPP and The Simcoe Reformer  more than 2000 boats and 9000 people converged on Pottahawk Point to ogle, jiggle, giggle, drink American beer in cans and pee in the water. Marking the entrance to the Inner Bay on Long Point Bay, Pottahawk Point is accessible only by water.  This is important to remember.

  Boats were filling the fairway early Sunday morning,  some making the short trip to the Point more successfully than others,as we have already seen.

This boatload of bad-asses was keeping an eagle-eye on the festivities to prevent the stupidity from getting too, er, stupid.

OPP Photo
More than 2,000 boats and 9,000 people attended the annual impromptu bash at Pottahawk this Sunday. Boaters have been meeting at the small island in Lake Erie on the first Sunday following Canada Day for more than 30 years. (Norfolk OPP Photo)
                                                                                                          -Image courtesy of Simcoe Reformer

The boat count is probably pretty accurate, but I think the warm body count might be off.  See, if you divide 9000 by 2000 you get... uh...
an average of   4.5 people per boat.  Most boats we saw heading to (or attempting to head to) Pottahawk Point had more than 4.5 people in them.

   This year there were no major injuries reported, and only couple of arrests for intoxication and stupidity-related offenses.

   Remember that part about Pottahawk being accessible only by water?  This year, only about a half dozen or so unlucky souls were left stranded on the Point when they realized that all the boats had left, and they neglected to arrange a ride home.

Feel free to create your own punchline.

And don't forget to "Talk the Dock!"

Monday 30 July 2012

From the "This Has to Sting" Files...

     "If it takes all night, that'll be alright..."
                                -Jackson Browne

  "Hey, that go-fast is gonna run over that little inflatable!"

  "Whew, it looks like the inflatable is getting out of the way.  Wait a second, is that..."

   "It is a tow line!"

   Towed straight to the gas dock.

"Talk the Dock!" 

Mid-Season Cast Changes Announced!

     "What chain reaction would cause an effect?"
                               -Tracy Chapman

  While the plot hasn't been altered, some new characters have been added to the Dock this season.  Some of these changes were made to skew younger demographically,  hoping to hook more fans in the coveted 18-49 age group,  and at least one was  a possible answer to our prayers.   Regretfully, the writing will be as crappy as ever, as the producers have not seen fit to increase the budget so that we could hire some real talent.

  New to the Dock and new to boating in general are Marco and his lovely wife Dee and their new-to-them boat Candy III.  They have proven to be a solid addition to the Dock  and we welcome them joining us.

   Another novice sailor this season  is Ed, who decided that there had to be more to life than stamp collecting and model railroading.  Browsing through the ads on Kijiji one day  he happened upon a Grampian 17.  He bought it, and decided he should learn how to sail it.  You may remember back in this post  I mentioned
"A greenhorn with a new-to-him Grampian 17 centerboarder has asked Jack to join him for the shakedown cruise.  Jack has told him to come out to the farm first.
   "Maybe I can sell him that Rainbow 24, "  he muttered.  "

  That greehorn was Ed.   Ed's flirtation with the Grampian didn't last long.  He decided  some living space would be a good thing, allowing him to maximize his sailing time on his days off by not having to go home.  So he put the Gramp up for sale and bought himself a Siren, which he has been busy sailing and upgrading and thoroughly enjoying.
And he has gone sailing with Jack and Melanie on the Bluenose.
Jack didn't sail  the Grampian.
   A couple of Sundays ago an older Bayfield 25 slipped onto the Dock with no fanfare.  I have yet to meet the owners, but welcome the appearance of this salty warhorse.

    As the sun goes down and we sip our beverages of choice on the Dock, it has occasionally been said, "Y'know what would make the Dock almost perfect?  A connection at the liquor store."

   This season, it happened!  Bryan-from-the-liquor-store and his new-to-him Siren have taken a slip on the Dock!  A pilot in addition to a sailor, Bryan has some great stories to share.

   From the "What Goes Around Comes Around" Department:  Before Jim and Marianne had a sailboat, they had a daughter, Yvonne, who married Andy, who liked sailing, so they bought a Tanzer 22, proceeded to sire a whole damn crew, and needed to move up to Tempus Fugit, their S2 8.0.  What of their Tanzer, you ask?
Prolific was bought by another novice, Bruce...  and is now docked a few slips down from Jim and Marianne.

  James and Brooke have two-footed themselves right off the Dock.  They sold The Instigator  and moved up to a Doral Prestancia, Mia Casa, which they have docked in their fancy new slip on dock four.  The picture below is the only shot I could get before security came and hustled me away.

  Gavin and Sylvia did the same.   Rather than splashing their Siren, they were offered the use of a Hunter 26, Sol Antics, this season.  Too big for any available slips on The Dock, they were forced to move to dock two...  now unofficially known as the Dock Six Annex.

   Travis is also moving up...but staying put.  He has sold his Crestliner and another boat should be in his slip soon.
...  In the meantime, with James and Brooke decamped and Travis between boats, that end of the Dock is looking mighty barren.

  Change is bittersweet.  It's sad to see familiar faces leave, but  new folks mean new stories and new adventures, and that ain't a bad thing.

Thanks for taking the time to check us out.  Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!"  Link us, follow us, or just tell your friends.

Sunday 29 July 2012

A Sad Passing

    "Never very good at goodbyes..."

  Another Dock dawg has crossed the bar.  George,. the reliable, lovable canine crew of The Instigator  has passed away.  Our condolences to James, Brooke, and Bronx.  May George ride the bow  with his big goofy grin and ears pinned back forever.

Friday 27 July 2012

Riding The Crest

   "Come on and safari with me..."
                     -The Beach Boys

   Often, the hardest part of sailing on the Bay is just leaving the damn marina.  Winds may only be blowing 15 knots, but if it's blowing more out of the West than South, it makes for some interesting chop.  Hilary, Bas and Jack demonstrate:
  The fairway is placid.  ( For some reason this pic makes me start humming the "Gilligan's Island" theme.)

   All is still calm as they approach the harbour mouth.

Bas looks longingly toward land...

... and then Bas decides that hunkering down on the cockpit sole may be the best  option.


It looks like Hilary is on the sole beside Bas.

Sometimes a longshaft outboard still isn't long enough.  We heard the little Tohatsu scream a couple of times as the prop cleared the surface.
Nope, I am wrong.  Hilary is still upright.

 Y'know, this just isn't enough work- let's add a powerboat wake!

Sometimes there is just no substitute for waterline.

A couple of hours later the boys returned, drenched and grinning.

"Talk the Dock!"