My friends in Eureka, who do historical and other boating events as 'Morgan's Companie', have been holding small boat events at Big Lagoon County Park for a number of years. We came up with the idea of hosting something a bit larger, and somehow I ended up organizing the Big Lagoon Messabout for 2008. We invited folks from all over Northern California, and also got a nice turnout from the Western Oregon Coots. I worked up a webpage with information, maps, photographs and directions, which proved to be a big help to those who traveled long distances to the event.
I arrived Thursday afternoon, after stopping for a visit at Ed's boat shop in Fortuna on the way up.
I brought several canvas tents, including my large marquee tent for the party on Friday and Saturday nights.
Tony Smithers of Morgan's Companie also brought his smaller wall tent, and others camped in a mix of modern tents or their vehicles.
Tony's_Tasher_ was the big boat at this event, and we launched her and anchored her out near the campground beach early Friday afternoon.
Most people showed up on Friday, launching their boats in to the windy waters of the Lagoon and pulling them up on the campground beach.
John & Pia in Tortuga and myself in my dory skiff ventured out for a sail on Friday. We had an exciting sail and were glad to be wearing foulies!
You can see how wet it was, and most of that water came over the bow of my Chamberlain dory skiff.
Here are the boats pulled up on the campground beach Friday night.
Saturday morning was very calm as many of us paddled or rowed across the Lagoon to the sandbar for the ritual of inspecting the ocean. Yep, it is still there!
Dusty and Linda Dillion came up from Ft. Bragg for the event, representing the Lost Coast TSCA Chapter. Here he rows his Jersey dory up to the beach.
Another carload of Coots from Oregon arrives in time to crew boats for the Saturday expedition to the North end of the lagoon.
Hoping for the usual afternoon breeze to bring us back, most boats at the Messabout took off for the planned picnic with their sails up, but flukey winds made most of us row part of the way.
John and and Terry motorsail his _Pickle_ with a pram drifting behind them.
John and Pia sailing _Tortuga_ through the glassy water. This was the first use of their new spritboom, which improved sailing performance greatly.
One of the Coots crewed my dory skiff -- lucky he liked to row as he got a fair bit of exercise bringing us in first.
The Coots motoring up to the picnic beach.
Tony brought his Pickup Pram along as a tender for his _Tasher_, but ended up becoming a towboat instead. This is what people did before outboards, folks!
Here are the boats pulled up at the North end, where the unusually high lagoon water is flowing right through the pea gravel into the sea.
The picnic went over well, even the dog was well fed.
After a nice break we all headed back down the lagoon to camp. The Tasher with Tony, his wife, Harvey and Brian started out towing the pram.
The wind soon died out, with just a bit from dead astern. Could this be why that spar is called a "Whisker Pole"?
The Tortuga returns as other Messabout participants row out to greet the Expedition.
Brian and boatbuilder Ed relax by the fire, waiting for dinner.
The potluck dinner suffered from my poor planning, but everyone seemed to get enough to eat and certainly to drink.
Drizzle turned to rain Saturday night, but we had another great party in the big marquee tent. Here is the beach on Sunday morning, with Dusty rowing over to the ramp in the background.
Getting the Tasher back to the ramp was exciting, but once the mast was down, Pia steered us on a great downwind ride.
My thanks again to everyone who helped plan and who attended this event. Let's see what the 2009 event is like, shall we?