While Spark is by no means done, she is currently in a condition to sail. My trip to the Small Boat Festival in St. Michaels MD was her first time in the water since about 1981. It was also the first time I had been on the water in almost as long, I think I stopped sailing my sunfish in 1985.
Yes, she leaked, the bolt for the centreboard pivot needed to be tightened up to stem the worst of it. I will have to remove the centreboard trunk and re-glue it to get it down to just a slight amount of weeping. Not bad for a boat going on 37 years sitting on a trailer.
My initial sail was not good. With the loose centreboard, I had to resort to a bungie to hold it down and I had to learn to douse sails long before approaching the docks. As Spark is still set up for racing and not cruising, taking her sails down is no easy task. New Sails will take care of that issue in no time flat.
Overall though, my GP was a responsive, fast, and forgiving boat. The first day out was extremely light winded, so I just ghosted about the Miles River. The next day saw a nice breeze and for a short while when I was chasing a seemingly faster boat, she was throwing up a rooster tail. Even sleeping aboard was not bad with my makeshift boom tent. Not exactly comfortable, but tolerable for a few days.
Held every fall in beautiful St. Michaels MD at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, this is three (or four) days of small boats and their owners "messing about". I have gone several years now as a spectator, this was my first as a participant. This meetup was one of (the many) reasons I bought Spark and brought her back to life.
Some of the boats were outstanding, many were used on an almost daily basis, but still looked good, and a couple were like Spark, diamonds still in the rough
On the shores of Kent Island, in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay lies this delightful little patch of forest and bay. Originally the Eastern Shore's Ferry Terminal it was turned into parkland after the opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge made the Ferry between Kent Island and Sandy point obsolete and redundant.
While I missed taking pictures of the restored Ferry Terminal itself as it was locked up, I did get some nice shots of the trails through the woods that lead up from the waters of the Chesapeake itself.
Wades Point, MD
Wades Point on the Bay is an extraordinary historic Bed and Breakfast in McDaniel Md, between St. Michaels and Tilghman Island. Sitting fully exposed to the Bay, the sunsets are worth the visit.