It was one of those Chamber of Commerce June days at the campground on Lake Pepin - sunny, steady warm breeze, brilliant blue sky. It was a pleasure to pitch a tent on such a memorable June day. And so began another Lake Pepin Messabout.
Each year the location is the same, but each messabout has its own character and memories. We had boats and builders from all over.
Kenny Giles came up from Council Bluffs, Iowa with his PD Racer and Michalak Toto. He also brought a something else he had built - a ukulele. He claimed it was easy to make and encouraged me to give it a try, but a man's got to know his limitations.
Other PDRacers were brought by Kenny Cagelske and me.
Bob Anderson brought a beautiful trimaran.
It was one of those boats that's so exquisitely made that one hates to get it wet. That didn't stop Bob from launching it on Saturday morning. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but then the wind blew up, and flipped the tri onto its back.
Both Bob and the boat were rescued.
Perennial messer, designer and builder Steve Lewis drove in from western Iowa. This year he had his new Stevenson Scow.
He launched the boat for the first time at the messabout, and found it to be fast and responsive.
Greg Lindberg was back with Arcebus - a boat of his own design. It has the biggest interior of any 18' boat I've ever seen!
Bob Williams drove down from Escanaba, Michigan with his Lobo kayak. The word "retirement" is not in Bob's vocabulary, and he keeps building new boats. I hope he brings his Puddle Goose this year.
Harvey and Jackie Saflas brought their June Bug, and put it through its paces.
The Dovekie Espresso was back with her skipper Chad Whipple.
For the first time we had a visit from a Peep Hen brought by Brian Weber. It's a very cool little boat, and drew many admiring glances.
Jeff Ward sailed by in his Scaffie. To my eye, this clean, simple design is a sheer poetry.
Steve Rice surprised us with a boat we had never seen before: a Bumble Bee Pram. To his horror, Steve discovered that he had left his dagger board at home. And then one of the most amazing things happened that I have ever seen at a messabout. Steve Lewis sent Capt. Rice to the lumberyard, and on his return, fashioned a new dagger board using battery-powered tools. Amazing!
Many regulars were back again. Craig Bursell brought BLACK BARK his Stevenson Skipjack. Bob Brown brought a couple of is boats. Jerry Sicard had his cosine wherry. Doc Regan floundered around the lake in his West Wight Potter. (You'd have to know Doc to understand that he takes no offense at that last remark.)
The Saturday night potluck dinner, always a favorite, was blessed with a thunderous downpour. That didn't stop us from having a great time. (This year we have rented a screen cabin for the event.)
Sunday morning we sailed across the lake for breakfast in Stockholm, Wisconsin at the Bogus Creek Café. What a great way to start a day!
What will this year's Lake Pepin Messabout be like? What kind of boats will be there? There's only one way to find out. Come and join us June 3-5 in Lake City, MN. Full details are at lakepepinmessabout.com.