I made it to the beach at the end of Kiamichi Road, in Longtown, Oklahoma about 10:45am. Just in time to see the flotilla rounding the corner for the sail down to a lakeside restaurant a mile or two away. That's not a bad thing, as it was blowing really hard. 20MPH winds with higher gusts.
As I was putting in, Gene Berry was pulling his Michalak V-Fly ashore. Having just capsized and been rescued by Bill Nolan. Gene promptly hopped aboard my heavily reefed Sea Pearl and we sailed out and around the lake in front of the beach, trying to figure out if we should bother to follow the other boats or not. Deciding prudence was the way to go, we beached the boat and waited it out.
The winds eventually died down around 4-5pm and we had a couple of good hours of sailing without worry. I got to show off how nice the boat sails by itself in light air by walking up and standing on the middle deck while letting it do its thing.
With Friday's overnight forecast for heavy rain, I opted to sleep in my car just up the hill from the beach and my boat. I'm glad I did, since the storm that rolled through about 3:30-4am was an electrical one. It had cloud to ground lightning strikes about every second or two for almost an hour.
Saturday, we awoke to a better day. Winds were strong, but quite doable for sailing. Everyone got a lot more boat time in throughout the day. At night, there was a chicken dinner followed by door prizes and a touching memorial for a passed Sail Oklahoma attendee and all around decent fellow, Paul Helbert. In the door prize lottery, I won a free set of plans for the design of my choice by Dave Gentry, the designer of my 12' Chuckanut skin-on-frame kayak.
Sunday, up early and sailing again. I got a couple of hours in before having to call it around 10:30-11am. I said my goodbyes and thank yous, then hit the road back to Springfield.
Dave Gentry, designer of my skin-on-frame kayak, sails my Sea Pearl. I really like Dave. He's very laid-back and approachable. If you're ever wanting to build a boat that isn't difficult to put together, but looks amazing, check out his designs. Chances are, you'll also be able to lift it with one arm.
Gene Berry's junk-rigged PDGoose, "Andy's Junk". Drawn by the infamous sailing enthusiast, Andrew Linn. He was also in attendance. It was cool to talk with him a bit about his work with the Toledo Community Boathouse.
A special thanks to Mike and Jackie Monies, hosts of the Sail Oklahoma Messabout and the glue that holds the small boat community together out here in the middle states. You guys are great.