Sunday, December 31, 2006

Monkey Around

I got this beautiful shot of Peter Rahn's Wayfarer after writing about small boat sailing in Montreal. Like many former dinghy sailors, Peter has a keelboat that he races now. With just a few more sailors, though "Old Monkeys" as a new sailing phenomenon could happen! See down the page for earlier article. Another member at BYC has suggested using the Squadron dinghies. Varied boats, one design, boat ownership or using club boats - the possibilities are many!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bird's Eye View of Lachine

I've recently been enjoying the use of Google Earth. I thought I should share with Montreal sailors some of the satellite shots I've been viewing. From time to time, I will post photos of the harbours where most of us keep our boats, as well as some others. This one is of the Lachine shoreline. I like it because it shows where the rapids become a serious whitewater affair. Actually, I remember the water being quite nasty on the other side of the land barrier protecting the harbour too. You can see the Mercier bridge, and a train bridge traversing the white water. On the south shore is the canal. The harbour in Lachine is wonderfully protected, and leads to the old Lachine Canal. There is a dinghy club in the protected water too. Nice area with a lot of public greenspace, but still, I'd be a little nervous about getting caught on the wrong side in the current!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Dinghy Fever

Fleet 413 12/10/06

I've got dinghy fever right now! Here is video from the Laser Fleet 413 in Newport last week. No, I,m not suggesting Frosties in Montreal's December weather, even though it's pretty mild right now. Old Monkeys in Montreal will hopefully be inspired to get together something for the upcoming season! Very cool video!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Old Monkeys

This is a picture of my old plywood Y-Flyer. I love my dinghy, even if it is heavy and large for a dinghy. It is still a sleek, responsive and fast one-design class. New ones are currently built out of fibreglass, and have aluminium masts. It was my first boat. And yes, it is sadly neglected. It is in need of a total rebuild, and the replacement of structural bulkheads. It's primary purpose at present is to monopolize the garage, thereby deflecting my wife's tendency to accumulate any garden tools that I might be forced to use. As shown, the boat also serves as a handy storage shelf for my keelboat stuff. Yes, I am embarrassed. I will not let it go though, so its other main purpose is irritant for my more rational partner. I often say it is my (distant) retirement project, as a way of indicating my stubbornness, and ability to test my marriage. This "Y" is number 112, built in the 1950s in nearby Sainte Anne de Bellevue. This all is to lead up to a thought I've been contemplating, particularly now with winter approaching. My apologies to Pete Seeger and any other real folkies out there.

Where have all the dinghy sailors gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the dinghy sailors gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the dinghy sailors gone?
Fixed keels, broad hips, bellies, yes everyone
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Simple fun, cheap fun, little boats, racing and messin'’ about. Could some of us old guys and gals re-discover it! No snobbery, no big investment, some comradeship and mutual skill building.

Think how much easier it would be to bring boats south and sail in the winter. Or travel to any regatta!

I even have a name for such an aggregate of sailing stiffs: the "“Old Monkeys Sailing Association"”! And no, one would not necessarily have to be that old to enter. Let'’s say anyone too old for squadron, and not yet confined to palliative care.

Old monkeys, hanging off the gunnels, or NOT! Messin' about in small boats, perhaps fixing up, rigging, sharing, sailing and racing together. Old monkeys, wet rats, near-dead ducks, just think of the fun with self-deprecating humour! Old heavy trainers or nimble Lasers, no matter, just an opportunity for cheap and cheery fun!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Montreal Sailors in Argentina

Alain Dubuc of PCYC and crew Mark Herendeen have been racing the Tornado World's in San Isidro, Argentina which just wrapped up Sunday. Canadian champs Oskar Johansson and Kevin Stittle were also there. The championship was won by Australians Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby with a race to spare.