Friday, October 7, 2016

Report-back on Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival

So, what happened at the 33rd Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival this past weekend? Successful for the organisers, mixed success on my part. We didn't see the sun from when I arrived there until after I had left. Some rain, lots of wind, good food, much rowdy revelry and some great new friendships made. Chairman Doug Oeller and his steering committee did a great job of organizing a thoroughly worthwhile weekend. I recommend it to anyone contemplating joining in next year.

This was my first time at this event, which is very well-supported. Literally hundreds of people camped in tents and a variety of RVs under the pine trees on the premises of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, hosts for the event. Those who are not into camping filled up the many B&B establishments of the gorgeous little town of St Michaels, just outside the museum property. More than 100 boats, from kayaks to rowing boats and small sailing cruisers, filled up the docks and launch areas.
View of the marina and launch area of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
I was guest speaker for the Saturday night, after the prizegiving for the sailing and rowing races that started at 1pm and 3pm respectively. Setting up and testing video and sound equipment tied me up for awhile in the morning, so I got to the start line very late, after the start boat had lifted the start line. With no chance in the racing I just chased the other boats around the course. I had some very fast sailing and one very spectacular wipe-out, which left my burgee in another boat and my trapeze bungee broken. I finished the race about the middle of the fleet then went out again for some fun power-reaching. I didn't have my video camera set up, or might have had some great footage to show.

When I got off my boat I could hardly stand up, I must have wrenched my bad knee while sailing and didn't feel it until I stood up. So I did my presentation while hobbling quite badly and have had to go to an orthopaedic doctor to hopefully provide a permanent fix. Prognosis next week.

A bunch of supporters asked me to put a video of my presentation online. I made a video with my new Sony Action Cam (birthday gift from my family) and have put the results onto my YouTube channel, or click on the video links below.

I had no prior experience of the capabilities of these little cameras, so this was a big learning experience. I got some things wrong, so part of the screen is missing on the left side and I keep disappearing from the picture on the right. Overall the results are surprisingly good for such a tiny piece of equipment. Sound level is a bit low, so headphones are best. It is long, so I broke it into 3 parts for easier viewing. These links below are in correct order, parts 1 to 3.


This event draws large numbers of participants, who arrived despite the less-than-pleasant weather that was dished up for the whole weekend. That speaks volumes about the venue, the organization and the variety of attractions and events that they laid on. I look forward to joining in again occasionally in future years. Thank you to Doug Oeller and his team for inviting me to be there and the honour of serving as guest speaker. I thoroughly enjoyed it all. :-)

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