Westsail Rendezvous

2009 Florida West Coast Rendezvous

The 2009 Florida West Coast Rendezvous was held on June 12-14, 2009 at the Harborage Marina in St. Petersburg, Florida. Lana and I were the hosts for this event. The gathering was well attended with over thirty people in attendance on Saturday. Westsailors came from seven southeastern states to attend the event. Friday was a casual gathering with dinner at the Yacht Sales Café and a general “get to know you” session on the dock and aboard host S/V Mary Rose V. Saturday morning began with coffee and doughnuts on the dock and photos from the top of the mast of Mary Rose. Don Montgomery climbed the mast of Mary Rose while Lana Nelson maintained the safety line on the wench. They removed the Lazy Jacks so that Bud Taplin could do a slicing demonstration.
The group moved to the air conditioned Captain’s lounge to escape the intense Florida sun and intently watched as Bud Taplin executed perfect slices time after time with little effort until the new lazy jack was complete. A few brave sailors attempted to construct an eye splice under Bud’s direction with a successful completion of the demonstration. The group moved to the Yacht Sales Café for lunch. John Kudulis of St Pete Beach, Florida gave a group presentation that detailed his sailing adventures aboard his Westsail 28, S/V Tomaida. John left Chicago on his vessel some 30+ years ago and made multiple trips to the Indian Ocean around Cape Horn. John made several Atlantic crossings, explored Brazil and the Caribbean before crossing the Panama Canal. After crossing the canal crossing, John made his way across the South Pacific to Hawaii and on to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. John continued sailing his W-28 for several years mixed with short stops to work before returning to Florida where he now resides. John was an inspiration to us all and gave several humorous accounts of his adventure. Saturday afternoon did not produce favorable winds so the opportunity to sail was lost but there was no lack of sailing stories, beverages and good fellowship. The group gathered under a thatched roof picnic area for a great evening of fun, food and fellowship. Lana prepared and lead the group in a game of Westsail Jeopardy. The categories were; How well do you know Bud, Famous Westsails, Name That Part, Westsail Construction and Nautical Terms. Lana did a great job and her research lead to questions that even stumped our Westsail Guru Bud Taplin. Bill and Mary Misenheimer of Bokeelia, FL announced that they will host the 2010 West Coast Florida Rendezvous in the spring. Lana and I hope that we will be able to sail back to Florida and join in the fun and festivities. Bill and Mary have an extensive sailing history and will make great hosts for this event. Be sure to watch the WOA message board for their announcements.


Priorities and Life Balance - Time out for a Family Gathering

Lana and I recently took time out for family and journeyed to Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was a great trip! All of my children were there as well as all of my grandchildren. It was great to have them all together.

Back Row Left to Right, Jeff (Don's Son), Shannon(Don's Daughter), Shane (Don's Son), Captain Don

Second Row from Top Left to Right, Zack (Son of Jeff), Diana (Mother of Jeff, Shelly, Shane, Shannon), Shelly (Don's Daughter), Cory (Jeff's Son)

Third Row from Top, Maia (Shelly's Daughter), Alex (Shannon's Son), Kellen (Shelly's Son), Sadie (Shelly's Daughter), LeeAnn (Shannon's Daughter), In Front of Sadie is Camdon (Shelly's Son)

There were two major events that brought us all together. Shelly graduated from the Registered Nurse Program and she also was Married. Shelly worked very hard and graduated with honors. She faced many obstacles and challenges as she worked toward her degree.

In addition to the major events for the weekend there were spa treatment, baseball games and band concerts.

All the grandchildren came to Shannon's hotel and we had a pizza/swim party. A very aggressive game of dodgeball/keep away soon formed and went on until everyone was exhausted.

Being the Captain of the ship, I felt this would be a good time for some crew training.

As you can see, not everyone was compliant.

This was a great visit and hopefully it will hold us over until we are all together again after the big voyage.