Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

NEW Coastal Southeast Chapter Planning meeting held on Aug. 4th and 5th 2012

Discussion in 'Wooden Canoe Events' started by PattyM, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Hear Ye! Hear Ye!


    Ahoy Matey!

    We are about to embark now on a trip that happened last week-end. It was the FIRST, but not the last, of the NEW Coastal Southeast Chapter! It was held at the home of Michael Grace, his wife Tanya, and son River, in West Melbourne, Florida. It was quite the honor and a privelege to be with them as they are such wonderful and gracious hosts! For those of you that don't know, Michael is a Professor of neuroscience and animal behavior, and also Associate Dean of the College of Science. He has great wealth of knowledge, but is so down-to-earth! When we arrived and started walking up the driveway we noticed a newly-built wooden-covered pavillion over the circular driveway. This structure was tall, with pillars, and canoes were set up underneath it. It served a purpose as it provided shade from the Florida heat. Michael was outside getting everything underway and greeted us. Not knowing the extent of all of his canoes at this time, we were about to see in one day the RARE and BEAUTIFUL and unbelievable collection! Little did we know, that the boathouse tour was going to be Michael's very own private collection! But first, other's started showing up. Tom and Lynne Wasson from Fernandina Beach, Florida brought their Ugo Cedar Strip canoe that was built from a Mac McCarthy's plan. Shortly after, arrived Barry Gursky, and his young niece, Dolan hailing from Apopka, Florida. Barry and Michael are longtime childhood friends and Barry's canoe is at Michael's home now getting some work done on it and is a 1943 Old Town. Michael enjoys sharing and talking about his canoes and I took notes as he spoke. It is so nice to hear him talk about them in person, as he speaks with passion about them and their unique history. But, I will try to convey it now.

    SO LET'S GET ON WITH THE TOUR!


    Under the wooden covered area were 4 canoes: 1) a 12' Kennebec-Kineo, 2) a J.R. Robertson Courting Canoe in a beautiful light blue-color 3) 12' Rushton Indiana Square Stern -All wood 4) J.R. Robertson Double Mast Sailing Canoe- All wood. River, age 13 is restoring the Kinnebec-Kineo. He enjoys working on it and you can tell he is following in his Dad's footsteps. Sitting on the lawn next to the driveway a: Rushton Saranac Laker Adirondack Guide. Later, Michael took one off a trailer and and set it next to this one. This one was quite special: a 1984 Walter Walker Cedar Strip Sailing Canoe. It was one of the last ones that Walter Walker built when he was 77 years old! Another intersting story to add to this, is that the previous owners were Tom and Karen MacKenzie, who were two of the founding members of the WCHA. On the driveway, and on a trailer, there were 6 canoes, and stacked 3 high on each side. I am going to list them just so you get the feeling that you went on this tour as well. But, will post pictures of them, too. From looking at the front of the trailer and starting on the left side and going down: 1) "Unknown" Torpedo-ended Courting Canoe color: baby blue 2) 1984 Walter Walker Cedar Strip Sailing Canoe (same one that was just mentioned above) 3) a 16' St. Lawrence Sponson-dark green. Now Right side and going down: 4) a 1943 Old Town-green and the owner: Barry Gursky 5) a 1916-1918? Peterborough-All wood 6) a B.M. Morris Model A Type 3- green. Turning around and walking into the garage which was filled with canoes and canoes in process for restoring. I took photos, but did not get all the details on them. There is one canoe though, that stands out in my mind. It is at the back of the garage and hanging up and had very wide planks. It is a dark-colored wood. I will post photos of it. We move on now to inside the house as it is getting near lunchtime and we were planning on eating but, when you walk in the house, there right before your eyes, some more canoes!!! It was like being in a museum! The room ahead had 4 total. The top two are: 1) An "Unknown" Charles River Courting Canoe...maybe a H.B. Arnold? It has an original paint scheme on it maroon-colored 2) a 1910 E.M. White Mahagony from an auction in S.W. Georgia (the area Michael is originally from) Sitting on the floor (the last two) 3) a Pre-1906 Rushton Deck Sailing Canoe and lastly, 4) a small "Unknown" child-sized canoe bought for River a few years ago. Looking out from that room was the pool and deck area. I could see 3 canoes, but it was lunchtime and time to eat. So, will have to check them out next time!

    We had a nice lunch that Tanya prepared for us. Following lunch, we had our planning meeting. Michael let us know that he came up with the name of our chapter as: "Coastal Southeast Chapter". We all found it appropiate and fitting as well. We talked about frequency of the meetings and it was decided on once a quarter. With that being said we went right in to "Places to Paddle" Yeah! Tom and Lynne suggested the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia as they were previous members with the old Southeast Chapter and it was a place that they went to regularly. So, keeping with tradition we all agreed again. We will be going the last week-end in October.

    Also, we had a guest speaker, Vince Lamb, a Nature Photographer, who gave us a presentation on "The Brevard Wildlife Corrider". More details to come!

    To end the night for dinner, we went to a historical landmark restaurant called "The Mansion". It was in the heart of downtown Melbourne and the ocean was behind us in the distance. We had a lovely table for eight up on the rooftop. This restaurant was pure old Florida with a tin roof and styling tiki decor! The food was reasonably priced and very delicious! The dinner special was a Grouper (Florida's famous fish) dinner with Asparagus. I think the majority of us ordered that and really enjoyed it! Even the dessert that I had was authentic! It was a key lime pie with a drizzle across the plate that tasted like blackberries and then fresh blueberries on top of the drizzle! YUM! As we talked and shared more stories, the sky was filled with the most beautiful sunset! Sitting outside in the warmth of the night and being in the pleasant company of friends was a perfect end to a big day. For certain, I think we must make this establishment a regular eating place when we return to Melbourne!


    The next day we met for our big paddle on Lake Washington headed towards the St. John's River. It was a beautiful morning and we were excited about exploring waters unknown. There were 3 canoes going out. Michael and River, in an Old Town Yankee, Tom and Lynne, in their Ugo Cedar Strip and sporting their homemade paddles that they made themselves....that were gorgeous (as you will see in the photos), and then Macky and I in the "Old faithful" 16' Chesnut Kruger. With Michael and River leading the way, we followed from the small waterway that we put in, to the open waters ahead. The water was fairly calm and beauty was all around us. There were reeds, and water lettuce in the waters as we paddled. The sky was filled with all kinds of different colored and shaped clouds. But, the sun was out and we were happy. It was so peaceful and we did not see a single boat the whole time we were out! So, it was nice to have the whole lake to ourselves! Up ahead, we paddled through some areas where we had to go single file between some reeds that were tall. It was like going through an entry way. We talked back and forth now and then and Michael shared some science stories with us all. He is quite an interesting person and we enjoyed hearing and learning from him. The time seemed to past by quickly as we arrived at the entry to the St. John's River. Also, the heat of the day was creeping up on us and we decided to take a break in the shore against some interesting trees that were arched low over the water. Everyone was hungry and thirsty. So we rested and enjoyed the time just relaxing and soaking up nature. But, I kept seeing photo opportunities and didn't have time to eat or drink! I didn't want to miss out on the precious short time we would have at this spot. So, I got out my camera and starting taking photos of everything around me. When wood is near me I just seem to gravitate towards it. I saw a perfect "kodak moment" when seeing some leaning tree branches that had formed a natural wood frame overlooking the beautiful water view in the distance. So, I shot a picture! Soon, it was time to decide if we were going to paddle on down the St. John's river or head on back. With the temperature rising, and thunderstorms predicted for later in the day, we decided to go back. We paddled the shoreline for awhile. We were in reeds and water lettuce spotted the water like little green salad patches as we paddled. As we left the shoreline, going in to the open waters, we were now seeing rain clouds in the sky and hearing the sound of thunder booming. The wind had picked up and the water was now choppy. It was sheer strength and endurance now to paddle back to our destination. I thought we were going to tip over a few times, but like I mentioned "Old faithful" didn't let us down and got us back safe and sound as well as the other's. So, as we loaded up and said our good-byes, we told one another that we would see each other again in October. This trip turned out to be a great planning meeting and we hope other's come to the next one as you will enjoy meeting and spending time with fellow canoeists. We are also looking forward to meeting new friends and hope for a big turnout. I will be posting photos of the canoes I described, as well as other photos of this event. But, the story is long...yeah I know...and it's late... and as I close, I leave you with this: " 'Cause the South's gonna do it again and again" also the other line in the song that says "People down in Florida can't be still".

    Til next time,

    PattyM
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  2. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos of Macky's canoes and Tom and Lynne Wasson's canoe

    Macky's vehicle with 5 canoes on the trailer are from the top: A very old Peterborough from the auction at the Assembly this year. 3 Chesnuts. The two green colored ones are a Cronje and a Kruger. The red one is a Bob's Special. Then a 1936 Old Town Yankee-blue colored. Tom and Lynne's vehicle and their canoe on top: Ugo Cedar Strip made by the late Mac McCarthy's plan.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos of Wood structure, and other photos.

    1) Group picture L to R: Macky Mongold, River Grace, Michael Grace speaking about something interesting, and Tom and Lynne Wasson.

    2) Wood Structure with canoes underneath on the circular driveway is to the right when walking up.

    3) Walking up the driveway from the street and to the left of the driveway on the grass sits a: Rushton Saranac Laker Adirondack Guide Canoe. In background: canoes on trailer..yet to be revealed!

    4) Wood pillars with veneered stonework.

    5) Room for more canoes in rafters?

    6) Side view of the wood structure taken from in front of the house looking towards the street.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  4. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Canoes underneath wood structure

    1) River and the 12' Kennebec-Kineo (he is restoring this one)

    2) J.R. Robertson Courting Canoe-Light Blue-beautiful!

    3) 12' Rushton Indiana Square Stern (of square stern) with River and Macky in background

    4) 12' Rushton Indiana Square Stern (another angle)

    5) J.R. Robertson Double Mast Sailing Canoe

    6) Tom, Macky, and Michael around the J.R. Robertson Double Mast Sailing Canoe
     

    Attached Files:

  5. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos of a ruder, canoes on trailer in driveway

    1) Rudder on J.R. Robertson Double Mast Sailing Canoe (see previous set of photos for full view of this canoe)

    2) A total of 6 Canoes on the trailer

    Left side:

    1) "Unknown" Torpedo ended Courting Canoe light blue-colored
    2) 1984 Walter Walker Strip Sailing Canoe (previous owner's were Tom and Karen MacKenzie and this one was later taken off the trailer and set on ground next to the Rushton Guide)
    (one of the last canoes built by Walter Walker at the age of 77)
    3) 16' St. Lawrence Sponson

    Right side:

    4) 1943 Old Town -owner Barry Gursky
    5) 1916-1918? Peterborough (Michael said this was one of his favorites)
    6) B.M. Morris Model A Type 3

    3) Close-up of the 1916-1918? Peterborough

    4) Canoes on trailer (another general view and a better view of "Unknown" Torpedo ended Courting Canoe)

    5) Close-up view of the Torpedo ended
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  6. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos of Walter Walker canoe and Rushton Guide canoe

    Michael wanted to take down the Walter Walker canoe from the trailer to show everyone. So, we placed it next to the Rushton Guide
    on the grass. The two looked great together. He added a piece in the last photo as part of the sail for the Walter Walker as you will see.


    Here now are photos of both.

    1984 Walter Walker Cedar Strip Sailing Canoe along with the Rushton Saranac Laker Adirondack Guide Canoe.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  7. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos of canoes inside the Garage

    These are photos of the canoes in the garage. I did not get all the names of them, however.
    The next set coming up will have the canoe with the wide plank that I mentioned in the story.
    So, enjoy looking at the canoes and restoration in process!
     

    Attached Files:

  8. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos of Wide plank canoe in garage and views of Grace home and yard

    1) The wide plank canoe in the back of the garage hanging up

    2) Close-up of the outside of the wide plank canoe

    3) Inside view of the wide plank canoe

    4) Grace family garage

    5) Palms, pine trees, Florida native flowers, and Grace home in background (the circular driveway and wood structure is behind this area)

    6) Front view of the Grace family home.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos inside the Grace home and ...more canoes

    1) Close-ups of the E.M. White Mahagony and Pre-1906 Rushton Deck Sailing Canoe

    2) Planning Meeting in progress some of the attendees: Tanya and Michael Grace, Barry Gursky, and Tom Wasson

    3) There are 4 canoes in this room walking in from front door:

    "Unknown" Charles River Courting Canoe -maybe a H.B. Arnold? Red-colored
    1910 E.M. White- Mahagony (bought at an auction from S.W. Georgia)
    Pre-1906 Rushton Deck Sailing Canoe
    "Unknown" small child size canoe

    4) Close-up of the paint and design on "Unknown" Charles River Courting Canoe-maybe a H.B. Arnold?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  10. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos of Paddle on Lake Washington- Melbourne, Florida

    We are heading out to paddle Lake Washington towards the St. John's River.
    Vince Lamb, Nature Photographer is taking photos of us on the water as we put in.
    I took a photo of the back of his t-shirt.

    Michael and River are in the Old Town Yankee-Blue-colored

    Tom and Lynn Wasson are in their Ugo Cedar Strip

    Macky and I are in a Chestnut Kruger
     

    Attached Files:

  11. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos cont. of Lake Washington

    Michael and River ahead in the reeds

    Paddling on Lake Washington and going through the reeds and water lettuce- group shot

    Tall reeds with Michael and River leading the way

    Tom and Lynne and their beautiful Ugo Cedar Strip

    Tom and Lynne sporting their homemade paddles

    another one of Tom and Lynne
     

    Attached Files:

  12. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos at the mouth of the St. John's River and return trip back

    1) Taking a nature break in shore

    2) View looking through the trees in the shoreline - Tom and Lynne and Michael and River in the near distance

    3) Thick in the greens!

    4) Following Michael and River and Tom and Lynne making our way back

    5) Storms are brewing and the sky is turning dark

    6) Just before reaching the open water now
     

    Attached Files:

  13. OP
    OP
    PattyM

    PattyM Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Photos -Nature and whatever caught my fancy

    1) Looking across St. John's River ...and the trees... like a little island going under....oh, no.

    2) Water hyacinth in shore and the Chesnut just had to get it's photo with it!

    3) Still looking at that island across the way.....

    4) Just taking it all in.....

    5) Reflection from a gnarly tree in the water. It was behind the canoe and my paddle with the sun shining on it. (Caleb, I still love my paddle if you are reading this)

    6) This is the frame that nature made and the view in the distance that I mentioned in the story and my favorite lasting memory.....
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  14. griffing

    griffing Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Am interested when you have your next get together. I am in the process of renovating my mom's 90 year plus St Louis Meremec 16.

    Are going on vacation the end of October while the canvas dries,as everything else will be done. Thanks Grover Griffin
     
  15. WCHA Southeast

    WCHA Southeast Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Grover,

    The next Coastal Southeast Chapter get together is an exciting gathering in the Okefenokee Swamp in southeastern Georgia, the last weekend in October. In case you haven't been there, the Okefenokee is a primeval cypress swamp with abundant wildlife. Temperatures there in late October should be wonderful, and the weekend promises to be full of fun and fellowship.

    See more here:

    http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.p...ctober-27-28-2012&highlight=southeast+chapter
     

Share This Page