WOW!! What a neat event to attend!
The folks at the Oklahoma City Boat Club really know how to throw a party. I’m so glad that Pammie had me fly down, in spite of the fact that Saturday was our Eleven Year Anniversary. Hopefully, I’ll figure out some suitable way to make that up to her.
Four Blackwatch made the gathering. This was not terrible, but we had eight boats lined up a couple of months ago, that would have been truly amazing. Various problems and conflicts pared the fleet down to the four in attendance. Gary Saunders and Kent Johnson are both members of OCBC, and this was the impetus to try to gather the fleet at the club’s annual Lighthouse Charity Regatta.
Chuck Roach brought his wife Sally, and his Blackwatch #40, from Wichita KS. This boat crossed the Florida Straits to Cuba, averaging 5.5 knots for the crossing. Honest, Chuck has pictures to prove it!
Chuck & Sally Roach
Harry Rowe’s #69 made the trip from Stockton, MO. Harry was kind enough to pick me up at the airport, with the boat in tow! That created a bit of head-turning!!
Harry slaved for many, many hours in 105 degree Oklahoma heat trying to get #69 in the water, to no avail. The final straw was when the main halyard ended up at the masthead late Saturday.
Kent Johnson is a member of OCBC, and owns the second Blackwatch produced, #02
Kent Johnson sorting out a line in preparation for our Saturday sail. Kent was a tremendous help to all of us, helping Harry with his boat, taking us "boatless” folks sailing, and providing my return transportation to the airp0rt Monday morning.
Gary Saunders is the owner of #52 and is the person who originally suggested that we utilize the OCBC Lighthouse Charity Regatta as our venue for the Blackwatch Fleet Gathering. I’m really glad that he and the Commodore of OCBC, Ann Kilpatrick, made such a convincing argument in favor of their facility. EVERYTHING was completely outstanding!
Gary Saunders, Harry Rowe, Sally & Chuck Roach, and Kent Johnson relaxing on the deck (we must have somehow managed to temporarily get Harry in out of the heat)
Other Clan members in attendance, sans boats:
Jerry Fruit and his wife Vikki traveled from San Marcos Texas to join us. Jerry was planning to bring #81 to the event, but a schedule conflict prevented. They flew in to OKC Saturday morning to join us.
Norm Lansky and his wife Leslie drove from New Orleans to be with us. Norm owns KITTYHAWK, the only known Blackwatch rigged as a gaff-cat. “The second #1”
Your humble report, Dave McFate, Valley View, Ohio.
"Rock Star" dockage was provided for "The Fleet" in the basin in front of the Clubhouse.
Three Blackwatch in the basin, and Harry’s boat would have made four. Next year, I really think we might be able to get ten, perhaps a dozen. Wouldn’t that be something?
I cannot express how much I appreciate the effort that all these folks put in to making this Gathering possible. And heartfelt thanks to the Officers and members of The Oklahoma City Boat Club who provided such a warm welcome and simply made everything perfect for this rag-tag bunch of Blackwatch folks. I hope we can do it again… maybe next June for the SECOND Gathering of the Fleet & ‘The FIRST Blackwatch Nationals’.
More later when I get the FILM processed (yes, I know, but I’m an old Navy Photomate, can’t seem to make the jump to digital. These were all taken with my son’s little Olympus)