S/V Kai at the Solomons Maritime Festival

The Patuxent Small Craft Guild Chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association held a small boats messabout on May 3-5 at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons Island. This was in conjunction with the annual Solomons Maritime Festival at the museum. I heard about it from Brian Forsyth at the monthly zoom meetup of the Shallow Water Sailors.  Brian leads the PSCG and offered on-site camping and amenities for messabout participants. I decided to take dory skiff to the event and line up with the other small craft on display. Maybe sail in the harbor. Maybe do a landside demo of how to pack and use a very small skiff for camping and cruising.

S/V Kai showed up Friday night. The forecast was not good – light rain most of the weekend. But there were indoor activities planned in the PSCG boat shop, and the small craft collection and museum exhibits to check out. And the promise of the SWS mess tent and conversation. I pitched my tent in the field with six other SWSers. I wanted to watch the rain forecast awhile longer before the rain clouds before setting up S/V Kai for display.

This messabout gave me a chance to see a Dovekie up close. for the first time. I’ve been attracted to Dovekies ever since I read Robert deGast’s Five Fair Rivers 25 years ago. The Shallow Water Sailors started in the 1980s as a Dovekie sailing group, and Bill S. brought his along for this event and slept onboard in our tent park.

I enjoyed after dinner conversation under the SWS canopy with Dovekie veterans John Zohlen and Bill S., and with Grigg Mullen, owner of the Chesapeake buyboat Mr. Dickie.

Next morning I walked around the CMM campus as the maritime festival got under way. Despite the intermittent light rain, there were serveral hundred visitors at the festival. I found Mr. Dickie at the pier and toured the excellent Drum Point lighthouse exhibit.

Brian Forsyth and the Patuxent Small Craft Guild run an excellent small boat shop at CMM. Currently building a lighthouse keeper’s boat. (More here on pg 13.)

I was surprised and delighted to discover another Hooper/Smith Island double-ender crabbing skiff. This one is a replica built by the PSCG back in 1983 and now in the CMM small craft collection. More pics and info are here.

After my walk through the CMM campus, I took a walk into town and out to Sandy Point and back. I enjoyed lunch of fish tacos and beer at the pier then walked back to CMM. I found only five visitors standing under their umbrellas before the huge stage while a group performed sea ditties. No visitors to our small craft line-up.

But hey, while I was back at S/V Kai to begin packing up, two visitors wandered over to look at the boat next us.

Bob McMichael was there to show his Core Sound 17 and the very cool boom tent he made for it. Looks to me like its straight sides and all around mosquito netting would be excellent for sultry summer nights on the Chesapeake.

And after the visitors departed, Bob took time to show me the tent in detail and describe how he built it and uses it. I asked about windage with its straight sides. Bob says he keeps the mizzen up overnight when necessary to minimize that.

S/V Kai departed Solomons Island at 1500 hrs and arrived home 3 hours later.