What a fun weekend! All of the folks who have bought boats from Blue Water Yachts over the years (well, a bunch of them anyway) get together every summer at the MacGregor/Tattoo Rendezvous. I think this year’s was one of the best yet! So I want to begin by telling Todd and Cheryl how much we appreciated all they did to arrange the rendezvous. I know it’s not a trivial thing to get this many people together and keep them entertained and fed for three days! So THANK YOU!!!
What was funny to Stella and I was that this year’s Rendezvous was held at the Cap Sante Marina, where we now keep Southern Star. So, while many folks had to trailer or motor, or gasp! even sail their boats to Anacortes, we basically moved from one slip to another. So when people asked us where we came from, we just pointed over towards the K dock and said “oh, about 200 yards that-a-way.”
Of course, the best thing about an event like this is just catching up on friendships that were established in previous years. It’s unfortunate that we see so few of you in between these annual get-togethers, but a few of you we’re starting to see more often around the Sound. So here is to our growing list of friends on such awesomely named boats like TootSea and Dawn Treader. We sure hope to see you out-and-about! It was also great to make completely new acquaintances with owners of brand new boats – which reminds me – welcome to the family, Tattoo! Roger MacGregor retired and his kids picked up the business, renaming the boats “Tattoo”. They’re basically identical to the most recent MacGregor 26Ms, but have a fresher interior design aesthetic. We even got to participate in the naming ceremony for one of the Tattoos that joined our group this year – Knorke (kan-or’-ka), which means “cool” or “awesome” in a Berlin specific German slang, from what I understand. Of course, the bulk of my understanding of German comes from Sgt. Schultz, so don’t take my word for it!
Another highlight every year are the seminars where we learn more about our boats and boating from Todd and Cheryl and other guests. The two standouts this year (in my mind) were, first of all, the session that began with someone standing up and saying “My name is ‘Jim’, and I’m a MacGregor owner”, like he was joining a 12-step addiction recovery program. Of course, few of us disagreed with his assessment that he didn’t know how to drink until we got a Mac! The second was the Crabbing/Shrimping seminar by one of the managers of the local West Marine store. If I remember correctly, his name was Mike. Mike’s tale of suspense and intrigue where he caught the crab poacher with 328 stolen crabs, including those from Mike’s traps that were still onboard the poacher’s boat, was hilarious! He knocked the poacher out with (he claimed) one punch, called up 911 and told the operator that the culprit was ‘resting comfortably.’ He likely wasn’t so comfortable during his three year incarceration and very hefty fines! Of course, what Mike did was unbelievably reckless as the poacher could have been armed. But we’re all young and stupid once, and Mike at least came out of his young-and-stupid phase with a great story to tell!
Stella and I also enjoy going over to the Farmer’s Market whenever we’re in Anacortes on the right days. It’s a nice one, with a bit more crafts and prepared foods than real farm produce for sale, but it’s always an enjoyable visit. It was also our first chance to try out the automatic parallel parking feature on our new Ford Fusion. It’s amazing – you just pull along side the car in front of the spot you want, and push a button. Then the car basically parks itself! You control the speed, basically by putting it in reverse and controlling the brake, but the car does all the rest. It did a perfect job! Absolutely amazing!
We had some great meals! One evening we had a good pot-luck dinner. Apparently, there was a run on Safeway’s salad section that afternoon! We also had an excellent barbeque the final evening with burgers and dogs.
For me, of course, if you’ve read my blog at all, the real highlight was visiting all the other boats to find out what kinds of ideas I could get for improving Southern Star and making her a real home-away-from-home. A bunch of folks stopped by Southern Star to see my modifications, and it was very gratifying to hear so many comments on how great they thought the pulleys were that I added to the dagger board and to the rudder lift lines – cutting the effort in half. Especially from the wives! Of course, the guys thought my berth mounted HD TV and entertainment system was pretty cool. As to new ideas, I got a few this time around, but not so many as in past years. Maybe I’m getting to the point where I’ve done so much, there’s not much left to do… nah, what am I saying?!? This year I walked away with the following plans:
- Add a PVC pipe to bow attached to the pulpit stanchion to hold the anchor. That will get it off the too-small anchor roller and stop the scratching of the bow when the anchor shifts around.
- Add hatches to storage areas below the seats, especially where the seats are replaced by other things that are not easily moved – like the sink/stove, refrigerator, etc. That will really open up access to more useful storage space.
- A motor mount in the back for our dinghy motor so we don’t have to store it below.
- Replacing the current porta-potty that has to be dumped with one that supports a pump-out fitting on the deck. Hopefully, I’ve dumped my very last porta-potty tank! That has got to be the most disgusting job ever.
- A small portable ice-maker. Granted, it will only work when we’re on shore power, but we want to use the dual-voltage cooler as primarily a refrigerator, and not a freezer. And of course, we must have ice!
So all in all, it was a GREAT rendezvous! Thanks again to Todd and Cheryl for putting it on. We really hope to see many of our fellow MacGregor and Tattoo owners out on the water this summer!