829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Saturday, August 28, 2010

42nd World Ducks (with bonus footage)

If I had any doubt upon arriving at Mantoloking Yacht Club Friday
morning, that this regatta was going to be a celebration of a bygone,
yet re-energized class of wooden sailboats, I would have been
immediately re-assured by the sight of this old Ford coupe. 

Stop for a second.  Breathe in the air.  Smell the Bayberry bushes
and the faint ocean breeze.  The coffee. The doughnuts. 
The sun-block.  Somebody smells terrible already!  I think
I know exactly who it is. The anticipation of competition.
I've got cottonmouth. I'm so frickin thirsty.  I need to
 go to the bathroom. I check, re-check, and check my
pockets again to make sure my car keys are there
before locking the doors. I feel slightly jittery, like I've
definitely forgotten something. I've been here on these
grounds so, so many times before as a younger person. 
 And often late, under the gun, and in a hurry.

  But today I am merely a bystander.  All I gotta do
is find a boat to go out on and watch the races.
And I am relishing every second of it. Even though
I already want to change my shirt.

My ride, which turned out to be the best possible choice, although
I had only one, was on Peter Kellogg's RIB. This gentleman has 
single-handedly (no pun intended) brought this Duckboat class
back from almost certain extinction.  Please, if you have a few 
minutes, read this great article, for it does him and the Duckboat
far more justice than I could ever.

I can't remember if I've ever mentioned Beaton's Boatyard,
which is conveniently located directly west, across the bay
from the Mantoloking Yacht Club.

The spectator boats for the World Ducks are not your garden-
varieties.  You'll probably not see Sea Rays, Bayliners, or Scarabs
scurrying about from mark to mark.  Instead one will see beauties
like Samantha.........

and Suzanne.  A while back, I wondered if the Beaton family was
able to appreciate this boat considering how many long hours Tom
and his workers put in.  Tom is holding up the bow pulpit, by the 
way. They were all smiling when we cruised by.  A good sign.

Hobo is a lapstrake sweetie, and the bimini and personalized
director's chairs close the deal. 

Willow is a unique boat.  I'm not sure what else I could say,
other than I would have been happy on her as well!

Meow, man.  Gracious living.

Nimbus was the RC nonpareil.  My old friend Russ Lucas is a
world-class sailor, and a race organizer of the same caliber.
We enjoyed listening to his officiating, course directions,
and candid commentary on the radio all day long 

Gary Jobson graced us today.  A son of Barnegat Bay, he's become
one of the most recognized figures in sailing world-wide.  Henry
Colie, who was driving the RIB along with Stan Switlik,
lent Gary his gorgeous Duckboat, "Yard Bird" for the day. 

A little adjustment for the President of US Sailing and.......... 

off to the next start.

Someone recently asked for 10 good reasons to come sailing
in New Jersey.  There are 71 in this picture alone.

Russ Manheimer from Hove to off Swan Point had his duck
refurbished at Beaton's over the winter.  His "PC" designation
is an homage to the man who built "Speedwell", Phil Clarke.

Later, Russ took an unscheduled swim after the start.  Good
effort  though, from one of the saltiest people I know.

Who's the winner?

Downwind leg to the finish and he death-rolled.  With sheer
determination, he righted the boat and sailed across the line!

He was bailed out and ready for the next start.

Gary Jobson (M-62) and Glen Dickson (M-8) go to
 the right, right out of the gate and make out like bandits.

Hopefully, my gorgeous Beaton's rowing skiff.  I'll find out
on September 27th.

The long wait for the ramp.  Quick, go get a beer, 
it makes the wait go by faster.

Mine.  Don't touch!

Gary finished a respectable 8th, for an old, 218 pound
guy sailing essentially a kid's boat.

Second last year, local Andy Goetting took top honors.

Please check out Charley Best's blog for many
additional photos of these beautiful sailboats.

This regatta is truly a Barnegat Bay original. 
 I'm honored to have watched it and I feel that I was
a participant as well.  It's a tradition that is stronger
now than it ever was, and as long as I'm still
standing,  I'll happily witness #43 next year. 

Friday, August 27, 2010


Love you Kurt and forever your Dad.

Crystal Ball

Chucky predicts it will be the Dallas Cowboys
and the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship
this year.  I respect Jon Gruden and think he's one of
the great personalities in football.  I also respect the New
Orleans Saints for persevering for all those decades of 
ineptitude and finally winning the big one. 
 I hate the f'in Cowboys.  Almost as much as the Eagles. 

I'm sticking with Eli.  He's still such a young boy to me. 
But he's a young boy with a great arm, the ability to get
out of a jam, the desire to succeed, the pedigree of a royal
American football family, and a frickin big-ass ring to 
prove that he's got the balls to pull it off again. 

Tyree's catch may have been lucky, but you got to get
it in the right place for luck to happen.

The winning TD pass to Burress was as calm and cool
as could be.  Those seconds before that catch seemed
to last an eternity to me.

I said to myself when I saw this image live, that this
would not be the last time I saw this guy raising
the Lombardi Trophy.  I'm expecting to see the 
same this February.  I know it's only a game,
but tell that to us at 1:00 on Sunday afternoon. 
Here, take these cottonballs. You're gonna need them. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scenes from the Swamps of Jersey

A Giants game is always an event, whether pre or regular-season.
And their faithful come prepared with big appetites and high hopes.
Saturday was no exception.  It's always fun to grab a beer and
walk around the parking lot and check out the fans tailgating.

This kid went the extra mile with the shoulder pads.

He just couldn't miss the golf today.

And now, your starting quarterback, number 69..................69?

Too much beer pong and he won't remember
a single play of the game.  He may not care.
And how old is he anyway?  And the kid to
his left while we're at it?

 VIP Guest.  Probably knows the Rooneys but wanted
to mingle with the little people.  He's got a
"Terrible Towel" for each hand.  There are a ton of
Steeler fans in New Jersey.  And unfortunately they
were waving their towels during a
good portion of the game. 

New Jersey's only and as of yet, unopened indoor skiing slope.
Xanadu, a super-modern, full-blown mega mall was scheduled 
to open this year.  I'm not sure if they've got one tenant yet.
And it's a mega-eyesore. 

My three reasons for being.


We didn't play too well today, but that's life.
Actually, it's just a game.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Do you remember this commercial?  What were you doing in January
 of 1984? This may have been THE last ditch attempt at promoting
cassette tapes.  A well-kept LP always sounded better than a brand
new cassette to me. And CDs had been around for a few years
already. Remember the 8-track?  And  shoving a matchbook in the
player to keep it from wobbling?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm not worthy

If I were a Native American, my name might be
"Brushes with Greatness". Because every so often, or
not so, depending on the time of year or any other
random reason, I come into contact with some
extremely influential human beings.  Tonight was no
exception.  Paul Muldoon is one of my absolute
favorite customers.  Poet extraordinaire, he is so far
 on another plane than I am it's not funny.  Yet, once 
again, here's a guy that genuinely enjoys a 
down-to-earth conversation with a nobody like me.
He also plays guitar with a band comprised of at
least one other Princeton Professor, among others,
and has headlined at the coffee shop across the
street from us a couple of times.

Apparently, Kesha's got a boat in China!
And I've got a friend in Paul Muldoon.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What do we have here?

It was the best of times,

This very possibly was the most blissful, most happy time of my life. 
Eight years old and Crystal Blue Persuasion was my favorite song
ever.  I can't say it's changed, although several great songs have
come down the pike since then. It reminds me of summer, arguably
my favorite season, and that summer was no different than the
others.  My mom, my brother and I spent every summer
"down the shore",  at my Grandmothers' houses, both
 fortunately located on the water at
different ends of the Metedeconk River, in Bricktown,
N.J.  Dad would come down Friday night, race Saturday
and Sunday, and go back to Jenkintown on Sunday night,
back to the bank every Monday morning.

Days were spent at sailing class at the modest Metedeconk River
Yacht Club, swimming at the Cedarcroft Club Beach, or at the
end of the dock at 829 South Drive.  We messed about in
boats for sure, and there was never nothing to do.  Neither
of those houses are in the family any more,
and I never appreciated them as much as I do now,
when there's not a trace of either.  Don't ever, ever take
anything in life for granted. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Driving School

What do you do with the apples that fall from the tree?
Not yet ripe to make pie or crisp, they're great for driving
practice.  Field Hockey starts in 3 weeks, and Liv needs
to live up to Big Sis's driving prowess.  Some of them soar,
while others blow apart upon being struck by the stick.
All of them, whole or otherwise, are quickly eaten by our
local herd of deer who cruise through our back yard late
at night.  I'm shocked that there are still figs on the tree!
By the way, this is the worst my back yard grass has ever
been.  We haven't had rain since March, it seems, when
the basement  flooded. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Cat's Meow

Last Saturday, we were fortunate to watch some of 
the BBYRA  A Cat race.  These beauties are unique
to the Barnegat Bay and the class has had a 
resurgence over the past two decades.  For a long time,
there were only four on the bay, but there are 12 now. 

I believe Raven was the only un-reefed boat that day
and they seemed perfectly able to keep the boat upright.
Note the massive sail area.

  This was taken during the summer of 2002
on the same downbay racecourse.  Mary Ann, the bay's
oldest A-Cat, was built in 1928.  My Old Man crewed
on her that summer.  He's the fourth from the bow.  It's
definitely the last competitive sailing he did before he
crossed the bar.  That summer, for a number of reasons,
we didn't put our boat in the water, but left it on the
trailer all season long.  Dad drove down from Lancaster
County every Friday night, climbed up a ladder, and
slept in our boat, on the hard, just to be ready
every Saturday to sail on Mary Ann.  




Raven, with the tanned shirtless guy who obviously
knows which way to go.  My Dad told me never to
point while racing.  With my arm.


Starboard tack to cover

Spyder and Witch, farther ahead of Raven than it looks.

Witch blasting to weather.

 At one time,  I was also a human boom vang.

As fate would have it, Witch, Raven, and Spyder
finished one, two, three.

Lotus Rounding the mark

Tamwock bearing off and pounding to the weather mark.

Tamwock, the Ocean County College 
sponsored boat,  rounding  

Could someone do something about the halyard?

Earlier in the day, we raced, as guests, with the Tall Oaks
Yacht Club.  Based out of the Forked River area, these
folks race, cruise, overnight, and just plain enjoy sailing
and each others' company.  No clubhouse, no bar,
nothing fancy.  Perfect.  Afterward was a pizza party
and as always, a good time was had by all.

Beans, Beans, Good for the heart

I'm thinking these berries are from NJ.

I'm feeling comfortable with the mission statement.

Commodore Bill with the 50/50 tickets.  Treasurer
Paul to the right looks on.  Good Sportsmanship
prevailed as the winner rolled the winnings back into
the club.  Admirable.    

Haydens' Hound

Forked River sunset.
Thanks to Cathie for all of the great shots.
You're hired!