the Weekly Whiffle
Wayfarer news that's crossed Uncle Al's desk this week
Monday, December 23rd, 2002
Hughes Nughes #2
Lee Hughes launched in Florida
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Lee Hughes 
To: ... ; ; 
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2002 1:08 PM

Hi folks, 

Well, I made it safely across the border from Canada to the US and got my 8-month visa extension so  should be sailing here until the end of July - if the money holds out. In Canada, I stayed with Brian McCleery - a friend of Frank Dye (the chap from whom I bought Wanderer). Brian and his wife, Doris, were amazing hosts. Brian met me at the bus, took me to the boat, put me up for 5 days and let me use their phone, email, washing machine, etc. All the things that are so awkward to do when you're back-packing. Plus he drove me all over the place, getting things for the trip down to Florida (like wood to build a cradle for the boat).

I rented a U-Haul truck last Thursday and loaded the boat, and headed off on Friday morning. I took a few days to get to Florida where I drove to the house of an expat Kiwi who is a friend of Sue Hughes (my sister-in-law). Then Geoff took over where Brian left off - put me up at his place, drove me around, helped me buy chandlery with his staff discount (he is a chandler here in Fort Lauderdale), and fed me and took me out to meet his friends. He also offered me a free EPIRB! That's amazing.  Plus, he has a mate (Dave, from England) who is an engineer on a luxury yacht, and Dave helped me unload and fit out Wanderer (he sanded the hull while I antifouled it) and to put her in the water. I doubt I could have done all this without the help of Brian in Canada and Geoff in Fort Lauderdale.

Engine mount just fitted at Geoff's place in Fort Lauderdale

Presently the boat is tied up to the dock at the bottom of Geoff's garden and tonight I'll sleep on her for the first time. I'm all provisioned and ready to cruise but I'm still looking for the right little outboard. Once that is found, I'll mount it on the stern, hoist my sail and tootle off to the Florida Keys. The weather here is 75-80F and very tropical. You wouldn't believe the number of luxury yachts - makes the America's Cup yachts at the Viaduct Harbour look puny. Literally miles and miles of them on the New River, where I am. I'm used to the wealth in the US after living here so often since 1989, but the money in Fort Lauderdale is seriously large.

all my valuable, delicate stuff - GPS, bino's, transistor, compass, VHF radio, batteies and spare film

OK, nuff about that. I'll be in the Keys for Xmas and might send another bulletin then but don't be surprised if I don't write till New Year's. I'll be fine - I've got VHF radio, GPS and a motor and a life raft and a life jacket (and yes, Al, I'll have an EPIRB) and if any of you can be bothered to haul out a map, you'll see I'm doing most of my sailing on the Intracoastal Waterway - which is basically a big river from Miami to New York. So how hard can it be?

I guess I'll find out soon enough. Well, that's all for now, except to thank everybody that wrote and especially Brian and Geoff for all their help. Must go now as this is costing me 10 a minute.



PS. Brian - yes I don't mind being interviewed or photographed by that chap. I'll email him direct.

Rod - look after the knee mate and let me know how the America's Cup is going.

Al - whatsa matter - you're typing finger broken? I rely on you for footy news, mate - (can't get much out of Adrienne).

Sue - boy I sure lucked out when you put me in touch with Geoff - thank you so much for that.