When I was in the teacher business, I’d go to conferences and people would wear these hilarious buttons that read things like “Math is Fun.” They didn’t don T-shirts saying ice cream is a tasty treat. And they didn’t smile.
There’s plenty of history, science, and math behind boats, and yet there were lots of smiles at the Solstice Messabout put on by the Oregon Coots and the Lower Columbia TCSA last weekend. Buttons were noticeably absent.
I wouldn’t have guessed there would be that many going into it, but the event was dominated, in the most charming manner, by five SCAMP sailboats. You can smile and say, what a cute boat, but don’t tease too much- those little bathtubs sail really well, are fairly stable, and are a darn lot of fun. Their unassuming appearance, blunt nose, squarish lug sail, and beamy cockpit was a lot like the messabout itself; unfussy, sincere, friendly, and comfortable. There were no races, no bragging about sea exploits (though there were a few tall tales), and no stress. Just come as you are and have fun.
For some of us, the pleasure of hanging out with friends on the dock seemed a bit more attractive than actually getting on the water. But whether folks got out, shared a tasty potluck, or sailed off to Astoria, there was definitely an aura of goodwill and camaraderie.
The other thing I appreciated, were the scuffs, dried salt, and dinks on most of the boats; sure evidence that they are actually used. If there was a problem, it’s that there was room for a lot more boats. Hope to see you out there next year!