Chesapeake Morgan Association

The Story of the Red Long John's

Rene Gale, Commodore, 1995 and 2002 wrote a wonderful vignette about the early CMA days which appeared in the 1998 spring edition of the Mariner.

In the winter of '91-'92, I received a letter from a Bert Kuthy proposing an organization of Morgan boat owners in the Chesapeake Bay. As an ardent sailing nut and Morgan aficionata, I eagerly answered Bert, expressing my hearty approval and volunteering any needed help.

Several months later Bert replied. He and his wife Barbara would be aboard their OI41 Caramba, anchored in Tilghman Creek (flying red long johns from the mast) on Labor Day weekend. They invited other Morgans to join them.

One weekend that summer, we ended a pleasant sail Rhode River. As we sat at anchor observing boat traffic, we saw many Morgans. We began spreading the word about the Labor Day raft. Pageantry was one of those vessels and her owners, Smed and Linda Clinton, were enthusiastic about forming a group. We dinghied over to meet them after they set their anchor - That chance meeting turned into a wonderful friendship.

As the summer passed, we continued to spread the word about the Labor Day Morgan raft. When the weekend arrived, we were still wondering how many would choose to spend the holiday weekend rafted up with strangers, but were also excited at the prospect of a raft of only Morgans.

Here's what happened -

We (Galewynd) entered Tilghman and sighted 'Red Long Johns' anchored with several Morgan plus, of all things, a trawler. We were instructed to tie up to the trawler, and when Pageantry arrived, she tied up to us. Now - I must cross trawler (high rails, short legs - Bob lifts me over) to board Caramba for welcome party. Bert and Barbara were great. Everyone was friendly, oodles of delicious goodies were on hand and the wine was flowing. This will be a dynamite weekend and my Morgan dream is becoming a reality.

Morgans kept arriving, but were joined by a rainstorm, followed by the dreaded dragging of anchor. (If ever anchored with Galewynd or Pageanty and in need of a good sea story, just ask Bob or Smed about dragging of anchor.) As darkness fell and dragging intensified, it became clear that the raft must break immediately. Smaller rafts were formed as the rain continued to pour down. We continued to enjoy our new Morgan friends during this weekend but the horrendous weather prevented an opportunity for a meeting to formulate plans for an organization or even the traditional circling to say Good-bye, hope we can get together another time.

Bert persisted and during the winter of '92-'93, he organized a land meeting in March, at Fred's Restaurant in Annapolis, the purpose of which was to form a Chesapeake Bay Morgan Association. We met and elected Bert Kuthy as our first Commodore. Larry Breck, a lawyer from Pittsburgh who sails our of West River volunteered to write by-laws and thus CMA came into being with its stated objective "To Have Fun!"

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