Thanks to everyone for a memorable OkoumeFest 2009. We beat our record attendance by a mile and doubled last year's turnout. The weather was fine, the crew hale, and the companionship hearty.
We took a chance and moved Saturday's on-water activities to Matapeake Park, on Kent Island. This sandy, sunny beach is 20 times larger than the one at Camp Letts, but there's danger: if the wind is strong out of the west, it's a washout. We were blessed with gentle winds from the southwest.
Thanks to Ross Leidy and Jon Valentine for helping us fill in with more photos!
Suggestions for next year's event? Contact us.
Friday Open House photos:
The scene at the shop on Friday.
Our good friend George K. was indulging in an OkoumeFest ritual: the last-minute completion party. He brought his Northeaster Dory all the way from Florida.
In the shops, we held a series of seminars. Here, JB Currell of MAS Epoxies conducts his typically spirited how-to-fiberglass workshop.
Our own David Fawley demonstrated varnishing technique on the original Shearwater 16 Hybrid. Yes, we got dust in the finish, but otherwise it looked nice.
George finally got his Dory rigged about the time the beer was shared out. That's ours on the left; everybody preferred George's usual gold-plater finish.
Nick Schade (facing us in the center) held forth for a Q&A session, answering heavy questions like "What is your design process?" and "How do you pronounce your name?"
Nick showed off a few of his remarkable boatbuilding projects, including this sparkling Nymph canoe.
All hail Sandy Davis, our boatbuilder friend, who volunteered (!) to feed the hordes on Friday. She served up pulled pork in barbeque sauce. Absolutely outstanding, Sandy! Thank you.
Saturday at Matapeake Park Photos:
Here's the scene fairly early in the day. Fortified by coffee and bagels, the CLC staff "stood to" at dawn on Saturday morning to carry more than three-dozen CLC demo boats down the hill to the beach. Photo by Ross Leidy. (Pronounced "LIGHT-ee".)
It was worth the long carry, as the beach at Matapeake Park offers 20 times more room to spread out than old Camp Letts.
Looking due west. Annapolis is behind the tree branch.
Photographic proof of how nice the weather was all day. Photo by Jon Valentine.
Not many boats stayed ashore.
Matapeake Park is right on the Bay, so demos were on open water. We're looking northwest towards Baltimore in this photo. That's the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, one of the longest bridges over salt water in the world.
George finally got to launch his Northeaster Dory, although he loaned it to other festival-goers for most of the day. Photo by Ross Leidy.
The dory showing good form in waves. Photo by Ross Leidy.
The Kaholo SUP was popular. The "Kaholo" is a type of Hawaiian dance, and a great many became familiar with the dance as the day wore on and the waves got bumpier.
There were PocketShip rides all day. That's as close as she could get to shore with the centerboard down, as it was shallow a long way out. Ferry rides were provided via Passagemaker Dinghy. There was a lot of great sailing in the open Bay. It would have been an easy beam reach across to Annapolis, about 6 miles away just to the right of the photo..
The Northeaster Dory seldom touched shore. George K. generously loaned his for sailing demos, while ours was kept busy as a rowing model.
John Harris handed out prizes at the end of the day. The prize committee included John, Nick Schade, Robin Mullaney, and David Fawley. It was as hard as ever to pick finalists among the wondrous and varied fleet offered up for prizes.
Roger Edwards won "Best Smallcraft" for an especially clean Skerry, "Jean Marie."
As usual, choosing the best of the lovely collection of kayaks on display was a singular challenge. Eugene Melech won runner-up Best Kayak for this terrific Guillemot L. Lots of beautiful details, including a handsome burl in the spanish cedar deck, book-matched side to side. Photo by Ross Leidy.
Detail of Eugene's deck. Photo by Ross Leidy.
Ross Leidy won runner-up kayak for his "Whiptail" design, a lithe strip kayak with a wealth of thoughtful construction detail. Here, the Whiptail is modeled by Nick Schade. Photo by Ross Leidy.
"Best Kayak" went to this exquisite Shearwater 17 Hybrid built by Lewis Blakely. It was all in the details---from his dark pinstripe detail to the stained hull. We're working on a better photo of it so you can truly appreciate the care that went into this project.
Jack Jacoby won "Best In Show" for his bamboo-decked Shearwater 17 Hybrid. The judges were awed by his whimsical design, thoughtful execution, and creative use of unusual materials. Bamboo is worth a very serious look: while tricky to work with, it's one of the most renewable resources on the planet.
George, Laszlo, and Ross. Photo by Ross Leidy.
Nick and Ross. Photo by Ross Leidy.
See you next year!