Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kenner Kittiwake 23

My day started off with many wondrous events, which all got me reminiscing about some of my ole boats and lake sailing. Every time I was reassigned to a new Army Post, it seemed I bought a larger boat. While stationed in San Antonio, Tx. I traded in my 16ft. Chrysler Mutineer for a 23 ft Kenner Kittiwake.

A friend had a Kenner Privateer, ketch rigged, and kept her on Lake Texhoma, in the panhandle region of Texas and Oklahoma. She had found my boat, in poor condition, and so a group of us found a trailer/truck and returned with my new boat. It took lots of work to get her looking good. I never really named her, but called her the Kittiwake, which was perfect.

I sailed on Canyon Lake north of San Antonio and had a nice little slip for her. Every weekend I was on board and loved it. A real boat with a cabin and bunks that would cradle you to sleep. After I gained some strength in my sea legs, I took to sailing at night with those clear Texas skies. I could sail down past the marina and singlehandedly pick up a mooring buoy in the dark and spend the night. I felt like Joshua Slocum or Triston Jones. I dreamed on those starry, starry nights, that maybe one day, I would have a big enough boat to sail the oceans blue. My best friend had found another Kittiwake and we sat side by side and we really had lots of fun. Back in those days, I dreamed of cruising somewhere, anywhere. I wanted to roam on a boat.

I looked online today and now, there is a Kittiwake Organization, even a vessel on Canyon Lake. These boats were made in Arkansas, by the Kenner company which originally built airplanes. The Kittiwake is a slight modification from a Carl Alberg design. She has beautiful lines. I remember looking for another boat when I got transferred from Texas to Hawaii and said, "Oh, if I could just find a boat that looks like the Kittiwake." I did, indeed find one, The Sparkman Stephens designed, Swan 36 made by Nautor of Finland.