829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spoke Too Soon

It's really just starting to hit me now that the water is gone 
and power is back on.  I may need to go cry for awhile.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

If this is the worst thing I have to do....

It wasn't even raining real hard and the water was
already overflowing from the upper gutters.  Something
wasn't right.  The heavy bands haven't arrived yet, just 
a couple of shots off the bow.  A lull in the downpour
presented an opportunity to squeeze out my daughter's
bedroom window and survey the problem.  A clog in the
upper downspout was causing the overflow and explained
the trickle of water running into the lower gutter.  Might
as well clean out the lower one while I was there.  6:00
and we're as ready as we're gonna be.  Everything is 
already up from the basement floor, except the furnace
and water heater.  The new bilge pump will be working
overtime for sure.  Cocktail hour has officially begun.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Proper Class

Now this is America's Cup sailing.
Not a helmet or trampoline in sight.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Like Butter

Softened, melted, or better still, clarified.  My solids have
risen to the top.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Anchor Start Saturday


Torch and Mary Ann, the oldest A Cat at 87.


Raven, the eventual winner.  Let's go, Vang!

Hard alee!


Vapor, Mary Ann and Lotus


I never get tired of watching these beauties.  And I felt
even more compelled to watch this race knowing that
the World Ducks will go on without me this year.  If
you have a chance, get down to Mantoloking on Friday,
August 26th.  Another true Barnegat Bay classic.

Photos courtesy of Braveheart

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Friday with Charley

A typical summer Friday at Beaton's:  Raven getting her weekly 
bottom wash.  There would be others after her.  These classics 
don't use bottom paint.  Who'd want to slop that goo onto such
a gorgeous sailing machine?  Saturday's the anchor start race
at Ocean Gate.  Beside hauling the anchor and hoisting the 
football field-sized main (well not really, but..) as fast as the 
crews can at the sound of the cannon, a smooth and slimeless 
bottom will help these beauties get under way and around Good 
Luck Point for the long weather slog southward to the '40' marker 
just beyond Cedar Creek.  More on this unique race on the next post.  

It may seem to us like just a job, but I really think these guys 
understand the history and the tradition of the A Cat class that is 
being upheld, and they really do take pride in their work.

Upon hearing me wax on about how much I loved the A Cats and
the smoothness of Raven's hull, one of the guys suggested that I 
turn around and feast my eyes on 'Silent Maid', the immaculate
reproduction of the original, berthed and maintained at this mecca
of American boatyards.  I will never grow tired of this boat and will
always find yet another angle from which to snap a varnishy shot.

Talk about a pampered boat.  I think she's out of the water just
about as much as she's in.  Deep pockets in this case is an
extreme understatement.  

Russ in the big shed getting 'Speedwell' ready for her new sprit rig 
and possible entry in this year's World Ducks.  He was in the process
of inflating his flotation bags and had the lifting bridle attached, but 
I didn't know what was about to transpire a mere hour from then.  

Okay, so I finally sauntered over to the place where Charley Best
was supposed to be.  This is Marie Darling's houseboat.  On the hard
for years, the bilge in this boat is still below sea-level, and the shiny
floor proves it.  Shoulda got a photo.  I was too excited being here to
snap every detail.  We climbed the stairs and had a seat.  From that 
upper deck, our view was priceless and I found it hard to pry myself
from the rocking Adirondack chair I had occupied.   

Charley has been coming here for the last fifty or so years, and
lately splits his time between here and the Florida Keys.  He and 
I hit it off immediately.  We share many points of view, and it 
seemed as if I had known him before we ever met.  He told me
his Dad actually helped to dig many of the ditches and canals that
criss-cross the marshes surrounding Beaton's and West 
Mantoloking.  As a kid, my cousin and I would motor
our wooden rowboat in and out of many of these same ditches,
never even thinking about who or what may have created them.  

Raven being towed back to her mooring after a good scrub.
There's nothing like watching an afternoon go by from Marie
Darling's porch.  There was a nice fresh East wind blowing
into Beaton's harbor, and there was nowhere else I wanted to be.

Back to the dock for lunch.

The maiden voyage for Russ Manheimer's new sprit rig.  

Out through the A Cats toward Swan Point and........

free of the moorings and into clear air.

The view of Beaton's from Marie's porch.  Charley's catboat
is in the foreground. Marie's motorboat lies just to starboard.
I sarcastically said, in her presence, that I forgave her for owning
that motorboat.  Either she ignored me and decided not to belittle
me, or it went right over her head.  I'm fortunate she didn't rip me 
a new one.  Who the hell am I anyway?  

Lee Marie in her slip.  A forty year old Marshall catboat
looking much younger than her age.  I'm not surprised, now 
knowing Charley, at how well she has been cared for.  

I mentioned that I was rigging a ring to my mast for a whisker 
pole, and before I was able to add that I already had the pole,
Charley opened the doors to his freight container and produced
three poles for my perusal.  I always love going into Best Marine.
BTW, I still may need one of them Charley!

Charley and Marie volunteered to refinish this Duck Boat for
the  Friends of Belmar Harbor sailing program.  Let's face it.
 Right then, at that moment on the Jersey Shore, and across 
the country, how many other people were so focused on 
such a seemingly ho-hum task of sanding the wooden deck of a 
widely unknown, rather heavy and slow-moving little sailboat?  
Especially with the hopes that the kid sailing that boat would 
race well, and most importantly have fun in the process?
  When I left that day, this was the scene:  Three weeks until the 
43rd World Ducks and there was still work to be done.  Belmar's
 lucky to have two folks that care so much about preserving this 
institution. And I hope Russ's experimental rig is allowed to compete.

Hey Charley, don't forget the T-shirts!  Both XXL, one long
and one short sleeve.  I'll get you back.  You're a good man....

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Am I all alone, or do some of you cringe at the over-used phrases 
and expressions that clutter our everyday conversations?  I could 
name a couple dozen of them easily, but I'd like to ask my readers
(both of them) to weigh in and offer forth their least favorite, over-
used, and trite contributions to the All-American pastime of small-
talk. It's not like I'm asking them to design a burgee or anything.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hey Nineteen

Schaefer - was the - one beer to have - when you - had one more
than one dollar.  For $21.20, we could score a 1/2 keg of the world
famous Schaefer Lager.  11 people with 2 bucks and we were set.
All the rest was gravy.  And there was gravy to go around.  And,
often beer to shampoo your hair with in the morning.

My wife and I met at Clarion State College in 1980.
To this day, we have a very very small, close-knit
group of friends from out there who stay in touch.  
This weekend, two of our old friends made the trip 
East from Pennsyltucky.  Mike, in the Steelers cap,
was a roommate of mine.  He and I have stayed very
much in contact over the years.  He came out Friday
afternoon from PGH with wines from around the world.
It seems Jack Davis had something caught in his teeth
in this picture.  I think I was out looking for floss in the 
bathroom  when this was taken.

Sucks when you get old, huh Mike?

Lainey was my wife's first roommate.  She actually introduced us
to each other, in the dark, campfire-side, in the woods.  Did I
mention that it was dark?  I was supposed to be Sheik Yerbouti
in this shot.  Doug was a Saudi intern with a bandana.  Hescher 
was a Lennox air conditioner repairman with a floppy leather hat.
Miodus was the space alien army dude, and I still can't remember
the guy in red's name, but that's okay. 

The five of us went out on the bay on Saturday.  Fluky West winds
and black flies from hell prompted most of us to jump in and escape
the onslaught.  Lainey and her fiancee Mike assured us that the 
water was warm and the boat looked cool from their point of view..

Schaefer keg party # 267.  Doug seems to be having a flashback
while Malcolm holds up the wall next to the door.  I'm pretty
sure I gave him the Wharfside and Lobster Shanty T-shirt.  Good
chance nobody else in Clarion worked down on Channel Drive
in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey in a seafood restaurant.
Marlin with the cigarette was positively mesmerized.

Very possibly the next night in the same apartment.  Miodus is
using Doug's mouth as an ashtray, apparently with Doug's 
permission.  Malcolm chose to wear a forest green shirt for the
occasion.  We never wanted to be caught wearing the same
outfit twice.  That would just be tacky.