Friday, January 10, 2014

sv HB Welch and Kansas Peeps

January 1, 2014

Remember when I told you about the nice day trip captain that gave us the mooring ball he was on in Christmas cove?  Well he was back today with another group of day trippers.  This time he took the mooring ball right behind us.  Kewl!-front row entertainment right from the comfort of our cockpit. 

And terrific entertainment it was.  Captain Tom of the HB Welch was very engaging with his passengers, taking the lead by being the first to cannonball off the deck into the water.  The passengers soon followed, even the shy ones.  Then he proceeded to climb out on the bow sprite and get everyone hyped up for what turned out to be a pretty good swan dive.  He encouraged everyone else to follow suit and from what we could tell, most did.  Even the moms of the group.  *Sorry moms but you know you go into careful mode when becoming a mom and never stop.   
As we looked around the anchorage, many other day tripper boats had come in but none seem to be having as much fun as this group.  It was all due to this captain’s attitude of fun and laughter.  Most of the other day boats simply pulled in, give a safety lecture and then dumped the passengers in the water to snorkel while the captain spends the rest of the time texting on his/her phone.  The passengers of s/v WB Welch spent close to 20 mins jumping off the boat into the water before they even started thinking about snorkeling.  It was that much fun for them.    

We decided to take a spin around the anchorage in our dinghy.  First stop was this boat.  A crew guy said hi as we pulled up.  We asked for the captain and he hollered below.  The captain popped up to the rail.  We thanked him for being so nice the day before and giving us the mooring he was leaving.  He then remembered and said “Most of these other guys are for themselves but hey, why?  We all have to look out for each other.”  Then we told him “By the way, if we weren’t on our own boat, we’d be on this boat because you make it so fun.”  He laughed.  Then he noticed my Kansas City Sailing hat and read it out loud adding “kewl.”  The first mate who had been there all along said “WHAT!  No way.  I graduated from Shawnee Mission East.”  Tom was so stunned he couldn’t speak so I asked what year.  He said 85.  Tom graduated in 81.  Andy Easton (the first mate) and Tom bantered back and forth several SME names that they both knew.   

The captain had to go attend to some guests but invited us onboard to look around.  We checked out the deck and then he was back to give us the quick details.  She’s a replica boat built in 1981 (?) by Bath Steelworks.  Then he led us below.  Besides being a working boat (day trips), she is also his home.  He has had her down in the islands 2 years now.  We would have loved to learn more but we didn’t want to take any more of his time since he had paying customers.  You can learn more here if you want s/v HB Welch.  *As you can see from the pics above, she actually sails on charter, unlike most of the booze-cruise day trip sailboats that put up A single sail and then motor into the wind!  
Andy was still on deck shaking his head at running into a fellow Shawnee Mission East (High School) “Lancer”.  We departed via our dinghy and continued our cruise around Christmas Cove.  

Some locals spend New Years Eve and Day camped ashore.  Camping on a beach you can only reach via boat - not a bad way to ring in the New Year!

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