829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Planks A Lot

I never worried whether Sjogin would sail again.  Russ is way too 
passionate about his boat, and Beaton's is more than up to the 
task.  Hey, I had lunch in there a couple of years ago!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ghost Without Saying

Okay, when I came up with the title to this post, I originally was
not going to attach captions to these photos, but this boat deserves
commentary.  Ghost was purchased somewhere down south.  I'm
thinking Savannah-ish, an E-scow class racing hotbed in 
the mid to late 60's.  Not.  Hey, is that a Laser on the rack?

It looks way too placid there.  Certainly not comparable to
the rough and tumble nature of scow sailing on the local waters of
the Barnegat Bay, where you could smell motorboat exhaust,
cigarette smoke, and spilled cheap beer any given second of a
Saturday afternoon on the racecourse.  God, I miss that.
And I wasn't even old enough to drive a motorboat. 

Canvassed decking, varnished wooden floorboards,
wooden mainsheet and backstay cleats, spruce
mast and boom, and aluminum trim around the 
bilgeboard trunks.  Craftsmanship.  And check out
the handrails!  Take it from me, they felt great
on the backs of our legs.  And yes, I'm old enough.
BTW: is it a boom crutch or crotch?  In my lifetime,
the sailors surrounding me have used those two words 
at about a 1:1 ratio.  I can see both sides.  

At the Metedeconk main dock.  That was a Penguin 
tied up in front of Ghost.  The combination was about
as common as the shark and the remora.
At least in my family.  Just not attached.

But pretty damn close.

The good old days, when if you flipped (capsized),
your mast would float rather than getting stuck in the mud.
And every couple of years you had to sand and re-varnish 
your hull.  When the paint on your canvas deck started to
crack, that would need to be re-painted as well.  
Some charming nuances that only old wooden boats afforded.

Beating into a prevailing southeasterly.  Ghost seems to be in the 
middle of the pack, and the boat immediately to the left and 
farther to windward, as well as pointing higher and in better air,
is Runnie Colie sailing 'Calamity'.  Weird how the barber hauler on 
his jib seems to be way more outboard than his pointing would
 indicate.  But then at the same time, his main seemed to be 
trimmed down a bit tighter and the traveler a bit more inboard 
than some of the other boats.  Those may be facets of what makes
 a legend.  He will get to the weather mark first.  
He will get to keep the rooster.

As far as I'm concerned, this boat is the first finisher.
Geeze, there's that Penguin again.

The second E motion.  An inquiring mind wanted to know.
Bob bought the bare hull at a great discount and fitted her out
in the driveway.  Sometimes, his systems were better than Melges'.

He did the same with the final scow.  The class, by that time, had 
gotten so competitive, that unless you were placing week in and
week out, it was often hard to retain a steady crew.
The headache of that ultimately drove Bob out of the class in 1992.  

Normally, a crew of four is typical on an E scow, but
usually not necessary when Baydog was on the boards.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Come to Papa

There must be a storm brewing on the coast, and since 
there are not many A&P parking lots in Vatican City....

Ribs, chicken, brisket, and hot links.  I smell hickory.
What better way to celebrate?

Who gets first dibs?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sandy Bottom

before Memorial Day Weekend.  Make sure to
read the following comments.  That's my Jersey.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Humble Pie

There are a couple of major hospitals within a stone's throw of this
historic sporting venue.  We spent most of Friday in one of those 
institutions, and as always, we were most thoroughly satisfied with
the care that we were given.  Fortunately this time, our 
circumstance was much less serious, but serious nonetheless.  
Problem was that our cheerleader's right leg had been growing at a
 faster pace than her left, and over the last several years it became 
clear that something needed to be done about it.  My pumpkin's 
hips are askew and her spine is somewhat curved.  Now was the 
time, let's not put it off any longer.

After intense and repetitious pre-op questioning, the patient went 
to the O.R., having pre-selected her choice of laughing gas flavors
(tropical skittles).  According to said patient, when we were finally 
able to awaken her afterward, the procedure went quite
 swimmingly, and she regaled to us tales of the anesthesiologist's
demeanor and methods with which he knocked her out.  Her
stories were hysterical, and we looked at each other as if to say, 
'is this our child?' 

We learned years ago that no matter how serious your child's 
condition may be, there are a thousand kids with problems
that make yours pale in comparison. It doesn't take long once 
you enter that hospital to realize that you're not alone, and
that you should feel blessed with the minor problem you have.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Following are some of the artifacts that made their way across the 
bay to Beaton's during the weather disturbance known as Sandy.  
This bottom half of a Dutch door is from the little Van Sciver real 
estate building which used to sit on the corner of rt. 35 and 
Mantoloking Road. This place was recognizable to literally 
thousands upon thousands of shore-goers and locals alike.  A tiny 
little cottage that looked like it had been there since the beginning 
of time.  When I saw the swath that Sandy plowed through that 
section of Mantoloking, it was the first house I thought of.  
Gone in an instant, like it was made of Balsa.   

Ah yes, the old fraternity paddle.  George fashioned this paddle for
his 'big', presumably, and Alan held it dearly until that fateful day
in October of 2012.  Imagine how many times Alan's kids were
punished with this instrument of discipline.  If it were anything like 
my Dad's Phi Kappa Psi paddle, the letters would have long been
worn away.  

Triangle Potassium E-scow

An Opti with flotation bag showing.  Looks like a hull cover
 draping over the gunwhale.  Virtually indestructible, this 
dinghy was identified and picked up fairly quickly.

It helped when Ethan wrote his name on the transom.

What have we here?  Tom Beaton had just retrieved
the Orange Coffee Pot from the cockpit.

Laser 148747.  Can anyone tell me when this hull was built?

Said cockpit which housed the Orange Coffee Pot.

Here's hoping that Marie Barbour is a happy, healthy 14 year old.

Sunday photo, maybe Easter?

A grand banquet it must have been.  The attendees are no doubt 
waiting for the relish and olive trays and the individual fruit cups
to be served, only to be followed by Waldorf salad.  Tournedos
Rossini with asparagus hollandaise and pommes dauphinoise
would wow the guests, with baked Alaska rounding out the menu.
There was no such thing as a vegetarian option in those days.
Wait, I stand corrected.....they could always skip the entree,
or stay home.  

It must have been quite an event for those having been invited
by both the Lord Mayor and the sheriffs.

I like any picture of what looks like four Italian ladies standing in
the kitchen, ready to roll out the pasta on the linoleum-topped table.
And the rolling pin of choice?  A wooden closet pole.

You may recognize this photo:  Currie Wagner (no relation) gazes
numbly at the empty lot that used to host his Grandmother's house,
which lays in a pile at the foot of the Mantoloking bridge.

For a few months, when I saw these photos, I had to choke back
the tears.  As with anything, eventually one becomes accustomed
to the surreal images that once captivated and evoked emotions. 

Ok.  Looks like Bettie is the correct spelling, especially
if it was in fact Bettie who needlepointed this.

A gift to Bettie.

From Margaux and Chelsea.

Henry Colie found this in the back marshes of Beaton's.
Jack Wagner, pictured (no relation), said that this whale must 
have belonged to Bettie Wagner, of the other Wagners.
Is nobody related around here?

A new Beaton tail for the whale.

This afternoon, at Barnegat Light.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Postcard from the Natural Amphitheater

"No matter one's mood, one's burdens, one's regrets; this city and
its dramatic landscape heals the soul.  Every sensory perception
is quickly heightened, tested, and enjoyed.  A bucket list essential."

My very great friend Braveheart and his family visited the Bay area
this past week, and he's kept me up to date as to where they've been
and what they've done.  I asked him to caption this photo he sent 
to me.  I'm sold buddy, no arm-twisting needed.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Wall has been Breached

Choptank sweets and Sewansecotts on ice with balsamic 
mignonette, cocktail sauce, and jalapenos.  

And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing
as having a martini with your oysters, especially if it has both onions
and a twist as garnish.  

Maplebrook Farm burrata, with sliced Florida 
heirloom tomato, arugula and basil pesto, balsamic vinegar 
syrup, truffle oil, and cracked black pepper.  
An amazing taste of summer in March.

Hazel appreciated the liquor left in the deep cup of the Choptank
sweet.  After the disenchantment last Friday night with sushi,
my re-visit to the food that makes me most happy was deeply
satisfying.  Especially when it was me who put it on the plate.

Friday, March 1, 2013

On the Mend

A seal in West Creek, NJ tonight.  And not a frickin eskimo in sight.