TODAY WE TRAVEL DOWN-SOUTH to beautiful Lake Chatuge, Georgia with contributor Kentucky Wonder for some True Southern Hospitality, courtesy of the Blue Ridge Chapter ACBS. Another great report which captures the essence of the hobby. – Texx
2015 Lake Chatuge Rendezvous
Story & Photos by Kentucky Wonder
Hello! Kentucky Wonder reporting in from… outside Kentucky. This time, we revisited the site of our first boat show, gathering, rendezvous, whatever you want to call it. Two years ago, we showed up as total newbies to the Blue Ridge Chapter ACBS Lake Chatuge Rendezvous. It was the first time we took our boat to any kind of organized event. Turns out that showing up at Chatuge that year was one of the best decisions we have made since purchasing the boat itself.
From the moment we arrived at registration, through launching, docking and then through the entire weekend, people greeted us, helped us, gave us valuable tips (when asked), and welcomed us into the classic boating family that is the Blue Ridge Chapter. Which brings us to this past weekend…
Because of family vacation time attached to the back end of the Rendezvous dates, and the relative difficulty in either towing a boat around the Southeast, or returning to the North Georgia mountains to retrieve it, we decided to attend the 2015 Chatuge Rendezvous boatless. We expected to feel out of place, but the exact opposite happened.
The event went pretty much as planned by the Blue Ridge Chapter team of Jerri Nowlen, Terry Harbin and Sandy and Scott Sneddon. The weather was perfect, sunny and pleasantly warm.
There were lots of boats that we had not seen before, and new people to meet. Which brings me to the best part of the classic boating hobby, and why we felt right at home.
The Friendships. The people who smile and hug you when you arrive, when they see you the next day and again when you are about to depart. The warmth of the people on the docks and around the tables. The stories that are told about times past, which seem to strengthen the relationships into the future.
You know, maybe our friendships in this hobby are like our boats – they are built solidly, in timeless fashion, and are beautiful to experience. Of course, they require occasional maintenance, and some quirks are overlooked with a knowing smile. But what a great family to adopt, and in which to belong.
Some fast facts from the Blue Ridge Chapter ACBS – 2015 Lake Chatuge Rendezvous Principal Co-Organizer Jerri Nowlen:
– We had 47 registered boats in the water, 4 on land plus I think about 5 canoes. (The biggest Chatuge has ever had)
– 16 new members attending (they were WONDERFUL!!!!!) and we had 5 join at the show.
– Diane Mistele won the guessing the boat contest (which was a REAL hit).
I have heard how “upbeat” the gathering was, and in my opinion that was not just because of the volunteers. The success of the gathering was because of the participants.
1) Owen Turner won shiniest boat.
2) Best Lapstrake: “Jaw Jaw” (Georgia) Lee & Teresa Mapp.
3) Best Outboard: “Full Circle” Aristocraft Compass Bill & Gail Turner.
4) Looks Damn Expensive: “Le Chat Noir” Jack & Lee Francisco.
5) Ben & Myrna Huizinga won the broken rudder award.
6) Shining Star (Youth award): Owen Turner, who not only made a cardboard boat(outboard) – but a trailer to put it on.
7) Nancy Hampton Memorial “Best First Mate”: Alice Forbis.
8) People’s Choice: “Bumblebee” Paul & Kathy Crisp.
9) Captain’s Choice (to represent the Blue Ridge Chapter in the ACBS Directory): “Brown Eyed Girl” – Craig & Beth Miller
10) ACBS annual award for Best non-wood: “Knot Another,” Dave & Cindy Cowert
We already have plans for 2016: A great party for Friday night. Thursday welcome gathering hosted by the Jon Walters and the amazing chef Patricia Walters.
Principal Co-Organizer Jerri Nowlen
Special thanks to Kentucky Wonder for sharing this great story with us today. The organizers and volunteers at the Blue Ridge Chapter ACBS continue to set the standard for regional boat shows in the southeast. You can learn more about the Blue Ridge Chapter on their website Here.