Summer Splash 2016

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Another Summer Splash has come and gone. The Splash occurs at the end of summer, before the high desert cools and the Santa Ana’s howl. It is the brain child of Mike Leneman – principle of Multimarine in Los Angeles. During the Splash, Mike is tour guide, historian, geologist, biologist, comedian, weather man, rigger, sail maker, multihull maven, tee-shirt vendor and story teller . He is pied-piper, mentor and shaman leading sailors down the path of multihull-ism – never to return.

20 trimarans gathered on Santa Catalina island – in Cat Harbor on the dead beat West side of the island – anchored shallow for free. Most raced over from Marina Del Rey on a no-white cap champagne day. We cruised Maravilla down from Ventura – approx. 65 miles – in the same light westerly breeze and flat water, on a warm and hazy day. We sailed in company with Michelle and Johanna – otherwise known as Team Sistership from R2AK. A pleasure and an honor it was to sail with them.

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The Tribe gathered for burgers, fish, veggies, wine and beer Friday evening in the pavilion, told stories and renewed old acquaintances. Tuckered out after the long day on the water, we scooted off for a lazy beer and meal at the beach bar across the isthmus inTwo Harbors – and were tagged 70 bucks for two bowls of chowder, a salad and a couple of drinks. Ouch! Won’t do that again!

Saturday was a lay-day filled with ship visits, a beach walk led by Professor Leneman, and another pavilion potlatch. Michelle and Johanna gave a quick talk on their Sistership R2AK experience to universal respect and applause. From the post talk comments, it was apparent they have succeeded in inspiring and empowering women sailors. Notable also was the support and welcome they continue to receive from the trimaran community – good on us.

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The sailors that gathered in the pavilion for dinner and yarns Friday and Saturday evening were a grey-headed salty crew. “No shit” yarns from Vanuatu, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, the Bahamas, San Francisco, Hecate Straight, were told and re-told. Stories of whale sightings, boat sinkings and the inevitable bone-headed hilarity made heads shake, eyes light and hard, gruff men chuckle. We shared our trimaran tribal knowledge – discussed rotating masts, bullet-proof F27’s, the famous Triple-Up and Yo!, bow stuffing, apparent wind, capsizes and magic nights on the nets.

A recurrent theme of this gathering was the notion that age is creeping up on all of us, and if you want to do something – buy an F25C, Race to Alaska, go to the Bahamas – you had best do it now. Do it now, before time steals it from you.

There were no young people at this gathering – the average age easily over 50. Shame that, as a group such as this has much to offer the troubled young.

We motor-sailed back to Ventura in an even lighter westerly breeze in fog. Coast Guard securite broadcasts advising to remain in port were noted as we departed with the murky sunrise. We chugged a serpentine track across miles of flat ocean reflecting the inside of a wooly grey bowl. We picked up numerous deflated helium balloons in various colors floating here and there. We found one bouquet when a pod of 10 dolphins led us to it, Sistership claiming they asked the dolphins to bring Dawn balloons for her birthday. 10 hours later, we entered Ventura harbor in thickening fog, pea soup at the end, and accomplished a hair raising, pin point, zero-zero landing courtesy of Raymarine. Packed the boat into mast-up storage and drove the long freeways home.

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