Mike Saunders coordinated yet another fabulous
get-together on Lake Jordan in Alabama. There are not enough
superlatives for the food, the people, and, of course, the boats!
Mike and his wife Vickie, friends Jarred and Angela (owners
of the lake house) prepared bbq pork, bbq slaw (North Carolina
style), baked beans, brownies, and several other dishes for
lunch. All of it was wonderful. The weather was also perfect.
I was happy to hear that Mike and Angela were talking afterward
and she commented that these were some of the nicest people
she had met! I couldn't agree more and ditto for all of our
Most everyone who attended
We had a bit of excitement when one attendee swamp
tested a John Bell designed Blackberry dory. The initial step
of the swamp test was to flip the boat over and off of the top
of the tester's head. That is when we discovered that we now
had a Blackberry with water up to about 2 inches from the sheer
line. It will still float under these conditions! Since it was
in about 10 feet of water near the end of the dock we didn't
chance putting any more water in it. Another bit of information
was also discovered. Don't try to stand up in a dory to climb
up on a dock. All is well though. No permanent damage to our
tester and even his cellphone/digital camera combination device
is back to working. He even still has the messabout photos he
took beforehand to prove it.
Dave of BilltheCat fame (www.davesflatcat.com)
and his daughter traveled from just north of Tampa to Dothan,
AL to pick up his father and then onto the messabout at Lake
Jordan. BilltheCat is a tunnel power cat boat that slices through
mega-horsepower bass boat wakes as if they were mere mere ripples.
And what a small turning radius! Very nice.
FL-14 and Tunnel Cat
Greg (sorry I don't have very many last names)
brought his finely finished D4. Yet another lovely boat! My
lumpy FL14 pales in comparison.
Greg's finely finished D4
Paul and his wife journeyed from Missouri to the
Huntsville/Madison, Alabama area to visit with their daughter
(I hope. I apologize but my memory stinks!). They brought their
modified Selway-Fisher to the messabout. I wish I had some close-ups
as this boat is a work of art. It is around 17-18 feet with
very nice dual berth cabin and a covered motor well equipped
with a 15hp Honda. A very sophisticated ride.
Paul's modified Selway-Fisher
Rick Cunningham is from the Birmingham, AL area
and brought a pretty Michalak Vamp rowboat. Rick lives about
2 miles from me so I have watched his boatbuilding frenzy with
interest. He started with a Steve Lewis Jonboat, then a www.bateau.com
Cheap Canoe, and now the Vamp. All in the space of one year!
Three or four of us tried out Vamp. Very easy to row and quick
even for a novice like me.
Rick out rowing at the end of the day
Mikeeeee Saunders is the builder of the aforementioned
Blackberry dory and also, Boo-Boo the Dinghy. Boo-Boo is undergoing
extensive renovations. The center seat has been removed in preparation
of putting in a longitudinal rowing seat. My concern was for
the stiffness of the hull but after checking it out with the
seat removed I can report that it is still very stiff. I don't
think there will be any problems with his modifications.
Mike rowing Rick's Vamp
I hope Mike hosts another one next year. A few
more builders and it will be even better. Although that is very
hard to imagine.
Here I am in my FL14 under power
More photos can be seen HERE