Yes, it’s January, so the folks at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding Company in Thomaston, Maine, are planning a summer party for the 3rd of July. Here is the scoop: The First Annual Coal Pot Regatta is open to any and all boats heading to New England in general, and Thomaston, Maine, specifically, at the end of the Caribbean sailing season.
To join the Coal Pot Regatta visit Antigua Rigging in Falmouth Harbor, Antigua, and request a Coal Pot. Said object will be handed over to you. From there it is up to you to get the pot back to Thomaston for the party on July 3rd.
Tip: While in Antigua you might want to: 1. Find out how to cook on one (or is it in one?) of these traditional West African culinary vessels and 2. Pick up a recipe or two because to win, you must cook a dish and be judged the Best Coal Pot Cooker.
Note: The Coal Pots will be secretly marked to prevent unauthorized substitutions, forgeries, or any other hitherto unknown forms of subterfuge. Skullduggery will be frowned upon unless very cleverly done.
Another Note: Antigua Rigging may need a few days to acquire regatta-ready coal pots, so please plan for this with the utmost circumspection. Lyman-Morse suggests visiting Hyacinth at Seaview Farm and see how they are made. (The coal pots are hand-thrown by Hyacinth, just as they were by her mother and grandmother before her in the same way they were made in West Africa centuries ago.) Antigua Rigging can give you directions to Seaview Farm.
Why? Because it is going to be fun to gather in Thomaston, Maine for a Coal Pot barbecue at the beginning of the Northern Summer. There is no real starting time from Antigua, let alone starting date. The only requirement is that you, your boat, and coal pot be in Thomaston, Maine, at Lyman-Morse for the Coal Pot Cook Off, Barbecue and Prize Giving Extravaganza on July 3, 2012.
A few more details:
Upon arrival at Lyman-Morse in Thomaston Maine, the coal pot must be handed over to Regatta Officials for “A Scrutiny” to verify the pot’s origin. If the Scrutiny confirms the Pot’s Antiguan authenticity an amount of real charcoal will be issued to the crew so that they can cook a disk of their choice. Lyman-Morse will serve lobsters, various meats and vegetables and drinks to back up each boat’s coal pot dish. Two nights of free dockage (3rd and 4th of July) as well as various social events will also be provided. Thomaston has a quintessential New England July 4th Parade and fireworks! Thomaston is a great place to start a Down East cruise. The “Regatta Officials” at Lyman-Morse will provide a good overview of cruising in Maine and are looking forward to participating in this inaugural event. Of course as this takes on life of its own other gatherings will surely develop in the weeks following The July 3rd Event. Posts will be made to the website as they crop up.
The fine print:
Antigua Rigging and Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding bear responsibility for providing the coal pots, charcoal, dockage and lobsters. All other aspects of the Regatta (safety, air fares, US Customs and immigration, etc) are the responsibility of the participating yachts and their crews.