Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sea Scout Trip to the Napa Mini Regatta

Last weekend I went out with the Petaluma Sea Scout Ship Compass Rose so the crew could participate in the Napa Mini Regatta.  This is an annual event where ships crews from all over the San Francisco Bay area get a chance to practice the various events and exercise the skills they'll need when competitive regatta season begins.

Over the last few years, recruiting has been a challenge (I blame the internet) and the crew has been too small to effectively compete.  This year we're starting the season with a solid eleven members, so things are looking good.

On Friday I met the ship down at the Marina:
SSS Compass Rose Moored in Petaluma Marina

We were underway by 1800 and I spent the downriver transit in the pilothouse making sure everyone was on top of their game.  As it turns out, this group doesn't need much supervision and all I was doing was drinking coffee and answering the occasional question:
SSS Compass Rose Pilothouse

As we approached the Highway 37 Bridge at the mouth of the river, the sun set:
Another Petaluma River Sunset

While crossing San Pablo Bay toward the Napa River, Jeremiah (another adult volunteer) grilled up dinner:
Grilling Underway at Night

While the crew waited patiently in the cabin:

By 2300 we were moored outboard of the Rio Vista Sea Scout ship, a restored Vietnam-era fast patrol boat.  Not long after that, everyone turned in so they could be well rested for a full day Saturday.

Saturday morning found me and Jeremiah in charge of the knot tying event.  Our task was to give remedial training to those folks who were less than 100% confident in their knot tying abilities.  Each scout had to correctly tie each of ten knots frequently used in boating.  For those few who were overtly cocky about their skills, we took it upon ourselves to challenge them to a race to see who could tie them faster.  I'm happy to say that despite my total lack of recent practice (I hadn't tied knots for speed in at least fifteen years) that there was only one well-drilled youth who was able to match me in a tie.  The next closest took half again as long as me to tie all ten.
While we were running the knot event, the rest of the Napa Sea Scout Base was crawling with other activities.  Sadly, I only got a few snapshots.  Tragically, this is the best of them:

Regatta Practice

During the lunch break, the crews went down to their ships to eat and socialize:

After lunch I left Jeremiah to the knot tying and went down to check out the flotilla drill training.  This event tests the crew's abilities in precision rowing and maneuvering of an eight-oared rowboat:
Flotilla Drill
From what I witnessed, all of the crews have a long ways to go.

Once the events closed for the day, the crew got cleaned up and headed into town to the awards ceremony.  Four of them are still new enough that they still don't have dress uniforms:
Awards Ceremony

Exhausted, I ended up sleeping through most of the transit back to Petaluma.  Here's a shot of the crew pumping out the holding tank once we were back at the marina:
Pumping Holding Tank
Here's an inspired self-portrait:
Shawn Flag

And here's an angry bird:
Cormorant Standing By

It was a fun trip and went by pretty quickly, but I was glad to be home:
Walking the Dogs

Stay tuned for more adventures...

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