2005 Cedar Key Small Boat Meet
By Noel Davis
The first Cedar Key Florida small boat meet or messabout was in 1985 when it was organized by Chris Harkness. They must have had a great time because every year in the first full weekend in May they do it again.
In the year 2005 or 20 years later my wife and I joined them for a fun and interesting weekend spent hanging out and sailing with a wide range of people in an eclectic collection of boats.
We towed our Sea Pearl 21 cat rigged ketch Interlude down on Thursday, checked into our hotel room, and then went to dinner in a very good restaurant down on the waterfront called Ann's other place.
The following day we launched Interlude and sailed over and around Atsena Otie key. The weather could not have been better, blue skies, warm without being to hot, and enough wind to push the boat.
This is when we made our big mistake. We anchored near our hotel and drove to a Walmart in a nearby town. When we returned the tide had gone out and our Sea Pearl was high and dry on oyster beds. The worst part was the next high tide was in the middle of the night, and after that not until late in the morning. Well when bad planning leaves you high and dry there is only one thing to do. Go out to dinner again.
In the morning I fussed around the boat and waited for the tide to come in. There was not a lot I could do to get the boat in the water without damaging the bottom of the boat. I drained the ballast tanks and waited.
On the beach was the prettiest little sailboat I have ever seen. She was built of poplar by Robb White and is named Felucca. Robb raised he sails so we could all take a look at them then with the help of his wife Jane just picked it up and walked it down to the water and sailed away.
Eventually the tide came in enough to allow me to push Interlude into the water and float her. My wife Christy picked up some lunch and we sailed over to Atsena Otie where we mingled with a large group of sailors and at least twenty five boats (I think we arrived late and missed some that had gone off sailing by then).
The wind was light but so we sailed around the area and occasionally came back to Atsena Otie to walk around and talk to people.
At the end of the day I dropped Christy off on the beach and anchored Interlude in deeper water. This caused me to walk through chest deep water to get to shore but it payed off when low tide came again.
That night there was a cookout at the Gulf Side Motel sponsored by the West Coast Trailer Sailor Squadron. I am a member of the squadron but I live in north Florida so this was the first time I had meet most of them. There were hamburgers and brats, with live steel pan music in the background played by the very talented John Shaw.
In the morning we took another short sail and then loaded back up on the trailer and headed back home.
The Cedar Key small boat meet was a big hit with us, and will be on our calendar for 2006 and beyond. How could it get any better than good people and lots of sailboats?