We attended our very first Rendezvous this past weekend. The Northern California contingent of Westsailors usually have their rendezvous around the beginning of October which worked out perfectly for us as we planned to be in the SF Bay area about then.
At one point 20 boats were signed up but, what with work schedules, illnesses, etc. ultimately 13 boats actually made it, which i still a very respectable number. The boats were distributed pretty much like they were built. Lots of 32s, two 42s, one 43, and one 28. It was a real treat to see and visit boats that we weren't familiar with. Everyone oohed and aahed over the amount of space in the 42s and the open spaciousness of the 43 and the "coziness" of our 28. Very few of the sailors in attendance had ever seen, much less been on, a Westsail 28 so we got a lot of visitors.
A couple of our visitors had special significance. Jim and Rebecca are owners of a Westsail 28 in Kansas. Yes, you read that right. This is weird because, at the time we bought our W28 she was registered as "Drifter" from Mission, Kansas. Of course, she'd never actually been to Kansas whereas that's where Jim's boat lives. My impression was that their main reason for making the trip out here was to attend the rendezvous. And, if his reason for attending the rendezvous was to see our 28, I'm certainly glad we made it. Spent a lot of time with Jim talking about various facets of the boat and he took a lot of photos.
James, from Australia was also a special visitor. His W28, Narwhal is in Australia. Like Jim, we spent a lot of time with James discussing the various facets of our boats.
And, from a strictly "stroke-my-ego" point of view, the 'special-est' visitors were Bill and Robin from Reno, NV. You may know him as "2ndreef" from his comments on the blog. They came over from Reno for the rendezvous but especially to meet us. Bill is a follower of the blog and apparently a big fan. Always gratifying to hear that someone enjoys reading what I write. By the way, Bill asked a great question and I'd like to address it here:
REGARDING COMMENTS: I always like the feedback I get from your comments. As you know, sometimes I respond to them and sometimes I don't. Bill asked whether I preferred getting comments on the blog or as an e-mail. Here's my answer: If your comment is just a comment that you'd like to share or don't mind sharing with fellow readers, please just leave it in the comments section of the blog. But, if it's something that you really would like me to answer, e-mail me instead. I can reply to an e-mail just by hitting 'reply' right after I read it and then it can just sit in the outbox until I get an internet connection. To respond to the blog, I have to be on-line and sign in to my account. Sometimes I do it and sometimes I don't.
Back to the rendezvous:
One of the extra special boats in attendance was Misty:
What's so special about Misty? Well, she's the grandma to us all. She is the very first Westsail 32. For those of you who know something of the Westsail history, after the Vick's bought the molds of the flush-decked Kendall 32, they had the design changed to add a cabin top and dubbed the new boat the Westsail 32. Misty was the first one so she's the oldest boat in the fleet. She's been kept up very nicely and still sports her original 25 hp engine.
The most unusual boat was Desiderata of Moss Landing:
Bud Taplin, our guru for all things Westsail, was also in attendance to pass his sage advice and wisecracks. Bud tries to make every Rendezvous and there are often 6 rendezvous a year around the country.
Saturday evening we had an Italian dinner prepared by the harbor master, Delmarie. She and her friends and helpers from the San Leandro Yacht Club fed us well and treated us even better. Then, USCG Lieutenant James Shull, pilot H-65, stationed at US CGAS San Francisco, gave us a very entertaining talk on ocean rescues and the difficulties involved in them.
Lt. Shull's presentation was followed by a raffle drawing. Organizers Jay and Randy managed to get a whole bunch of prizes for those who decided to spend a buck apiece for a ticket. There were subscriptions to Blue Water Sailing and Latitudes and Attitudes magazines, a CD music assortment from Sony Music, lots of baseball caps from Bluewater Sailing, Lats and Atts, and Spectra Watermakers, T-shirts and a sail repair kit from Sail-rite, even a brass ship's clock from Weems and Plath. There were also books, DVDs and other stuff but I can't remember it all. Eventually, things wound down and we all headed to our boats. It was a very quiet night on G dock except maybe for all the snoring from some very weary sailors.
Sunday morning, breakfast burritos were served in the Yacht Club starting at 8:00. By then, W32 Pelican had already departed. Soon after breakfast, most everyone else started to depart. It was a humbling experience for me to watch a W42 get out of the same size slip that I'll no doubt complain about the difficulty of departing in my little W28. By early afternoon, only 4 boats were left and we were all staying another night (at least).
It was a great time. Met a lot of really nice people, got a lot of great ideas and got a LOT of excellent advice for our further travels. Thanks especially to Jim and Julie on Worldwind for much of that advice.
Too bad we'll miss next year's rendezvous. But then again, it's not that bad since the reason we'll miss it is because they don't hold it in the Sea of Cortez.