----- Original Message -----
From: Al Schonborn
Cc: Marc Bennett home
Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2003 11:44 AM
Subject: Wanderer wandering
Got your Hughes Nughes #'s 4 and 5 and am enjoying them immensely. Will start Monday's Weekly Whiffle with you. More stuff in red below. Best wishes for happy sailing,
Uncle Al (W3854)
thanks for the
advice. Frank may have sort of anticipated you on the mainsheet - it
from the traveller up and down and up to the boom and then along to a
above the back of the centreboard case. Perhaps this is a centre
mainsheet? Also the traveller is in fact tied off, so that the sheet
from the centre
of the traveller, too. I thought the centre sheet was good but the tied
traveller was odd - until I fitted the motor and realized that a moving
traveller was more likely to foul the sheet on the motor. So all in
the mainsheet arrangement is working very well.
Another view below - note boom end free of all "crap":
Yes I did fibreglass the rudder entirely and when I return to Fort Lauderdale I will build another new one (this one was a strong rush job and it needs fairing and smoothing and in a couple of places I had to sand through the glass and epoxy sealer, so it's going to rot eventually). The new one will be a smart job though. I will also check and may replace the centreboard too.
Yes. I have
heaving to and have found it very useful. I back the jib and put the
to leeward with the main and it's all very comfy. Haven't raised the
yet but will try that next time I heave to.
I'd love to
in Florida if possible. I might be in northern Florida by the end of
would love to meet someone who can show me how to sail a Wayfarer
I must be
things right because I covered 12 nautical miles in 1 hour 45 minutes
Lovely sailing - with only a main, too. No jib as there seemed to be no
Sorry I have
phone but I will clear email more often now I know that libraries here
close on Sundays and Mondays. I'm sure we can arrange something.
There's a nice
blow coming tonight so I may not sail tomorrow. Oh yes, I'm in NewFound
Harbour on Big Pine Key about 30 miles north of Key West and should be
in and out of Key West by the end of the week.
Then I'll go flat tack back to the Fort and take a few days to work on the boat. I sailed on the
Atlantic today and enjoyed it very much. One tack, steady wind, no course changes, no shoals and much smoother seas in this northerly wind. So that's another milestone.
Enjoyed your more detailed report in Hughes Nughes 5!! Best wishes for better winds and good sailing. Hope to see you in about three weeks and to keep hearing from you, Uncle Al (W3854)
Must now go and write to my gal.
Hughes Nughes #4
Here I am in
Key - about 30 miles NW of Key West. There's a blow coming tonight so
in New Found Harbour for the rest of the day and maybe tomorrow as
The library is closed on Monday so I'm paying for this email at $3 for
15 minutes - Yow!
Well, I'm still alive and now a lot less nervous about sailing. I'm starting to see all the advantages in Frank's modifications and inventions. The boom tent dismayed me when I saw the heavy canvas but after I got thundered and pored on four nights ago, I was grateful that it wasn't light nylon like a tent. It stayed put in the wind and didn't let in any rain, and when you fold it back, it's heavy enough to stay put without the lightest breeze disarranging it. So I'm a believer now. That's just one of tons of clever wee things he has built into the boat and now that I have time to study it, I can see why it works so well.
I've been flat out since I left Wyoming on Dec. 7 and only now have I really had time to relax a bit. I got good winds today and yesterday and finally realized what I hard time I'd had with fickle, gusty and feeble winds previously. Yesterday and today I sailed a total of 31 miles in only 3 1/2 hours! And I didn't get cold or wet or have to lean over too much and was able to stay on one tack almost the whole time. I puttered underneath a bridge with the mast down to get into the ocean side of the Keys today and sailed down at 6-7 knots. Nice and dry and lovely - until I turned into harbour and couldn't sail into the northerly. I opened the box of wind and motored up, getting sprayed and soaked for 45 minutes, but at least I had the satisfaction of having sailed the Atlantic for a bit.
No recent dramas to report but I find now that I handle the sails much more easily and can keep a much tidier ship. I'll have some more stuff to unload in Fort Lauderdale - I always pack a lot at the start and then discard stuff. Better to be safe than sorry but Wanderer will sail better with less in her.
now and that's nice - no sweaty hot nights and no bugs. The water is
warmer than the air so it's Ok to get wet. Most people are helpful but
one or two don't like the sight of my little tramp steamer so Wanderer
and I turn our noses into the wind and trundle off to more congenial
Have only stayed in a marina once (apart from Black Point marina where
Gary Greene and Jesse combined to get the rudder fixed). Mostly I slip
into a wee nook or cranny and put up my boom tent. Yesterday though, I
pulled into a lovely marina (Sunshine Key Marina on Ohio Key next to
Honda Key) and had a shower and caught a bus to go shopping in
Mostly I have luxurious sponge baths morning and evening, and I use up to HALF A PINT OF WATER AT A TIME ON THESE. I met a lady who asked how big my boat was and I said '16 feet', and she said 'Wow that's small - and I thought ours was tiny at 20 feet'. Then she added, "but I can stand up in the head in ours". and I said "Well so can I - as long as no one's looking."
Hughes Nughes 5
This is being
on the computer of Phil DeClue who is another of the outstandingly
people that I have met. I found him by chance. I sailed into Newfound
(on Big Pine Key, 30 miles north of Key West) on Monday afternoon after
a lovely sail down the Atlantic coast from Bahia Honda Key.
I pulled into a canal (the canals in Florida are semi-private water roads that back onto houses. Everyone has a boat tied up at the bottom of the garden and the canals offer the smoothest water for overnight stops. Wanderer is very wind and rainproof, but being so light, any wake or waves makes her joggle and rattle a bit and then I wake up a lot, so I look for smooth water each night.
Anyway, I tied up to the bank by a vacant lot, walked to the library (closed as it happened), then did my shopping and came back to the boat, planning to move away to another spot as I thought the neighbours might not want me overnighting on that spot. I found another lot and was sneaking in to tie up when I hit the bank harder than planned and this fellow appeared and said -"What's the matter?" And I explained that I am a bear of little brain and that steering and turning down the throttle were two things and I could only do one thing at a time, and thus hit the bank hard enough to put a dent in the hauling-out ring on the bow. He said, "Well, you can tie up here if you want." and indicated his dock. So I did, and that was good because it turned out that he owned the vacant lot as well.
I went to bed and the next day the weather was too windy for sailing, I thought (20 knots + and gusty) so I walked to town and emailed from the library, etc. Then I returned and did some plotting of courses and diary work when Phil came by and said, "Boy, you look like you could use a beer." (Insightful fellow.)
Well, we sat in the sun and yarned away till we were joined by his friend, Bernard (who lives on a boat and reminds me of my older brother, Malcolm). We drank Phil's beer and he ordered pizza and finally I pootled off to bed at about 10.00 pm which is extraordinarily late for me these days (I'm usually in bed by 7.30 pm these days and up at 5.30 am). Anyway, after all this hospitality, I sailed away on Wednesday for Key West in perfect conditions.
I made a
kts all the way and was in the premier yacht harbour by 3:00 pm. I
to the Dockmaster who said, "We have a minimum length of 30 feet at
a foot which would be about $60 a day for you to tie up." Too much says
I. "Well, call the marina in Garrison Bight on this phone - they're
So I did, and they said "20 foot minimum - cost you about $36 plus tax
Well I was resigned to anchoring in the channel wake with the big boats near Wisteria Island when the dockmaster said - "Actually, I can charge you by the hour at $5 an hour" (which sounded like no bargain at all) "- until 5.00 pm when I leave and after that, what I don't see don't hurt me". So for $10 I stayed the night next to a superyacht and left in the early a.m. I took the rest of that afternoon off to sight see around Key West and managed to spend 50% more than my daily allowance of $20. But I was inordinately pleased to have
sailed 28 miles in 4 1/2 hours without problems of any kind, so I allowed myself a celebration. I ate out for dinner (first time on this trip) and went to bed well pleased.
as far south as you can go before you become a communist - South Beach, Key West
a sailing day - 10-knot winds from the west forecast, but actually they
never appeared. I motored out of the harbour at 7.30 am though, past
the giant cruise liners and around the headland and turned north,
for the wind. I was still waiting when I motored back into Newfound
five hours later. I had all the sails up but they just barely filled
added maybe half a knot. The water was smooth and clear and I could see
coral and sea plants as I puttered along. The wee engine did all the
and in five hours it averaged 5.5 knots at 2/5ths of full power. Burned
2 1/2 gallons of gas and ran like a sewing machine the whole way.
Phil said I should tie up here again on my way back from Key West and, since it was so convenient, I did. Well, Bernard dropped by again to help Phil (they are relining Phil's house), and I made a few improvements to the rigging on Wanderer. After finishing work about 4.00 pm, Phil announced it was Beer O'clock (he's a Miller drinker like me) and we blathered away until dark when he said it was time to cook. He fired up the barbie and I was prepared for something grilled but instead, by a process known technically as magic, he cooked two whole chickens (stuffed with apple to keep them moist) and three sweet potatoes (sooo sweet and orange, much better than kumaras or yams) and three very sweet pieces of sweetcorn. It was unbelievably delicious. I'm not a huge sweet spud fan but this stuff was brilliant. And there wasn't the least bit of grilled or charred flaovur about any of it. I don't understand how he did it on a teeny little Webber barbecue grill with a lid, but he did.
Sorry to go on at length about cooking but it really was surprising for me. And I haven't anything else to say because I'm not sailing today, either, it seems. Winds forecast still 10 kts from the west, but actually there's not a breath yet so I'm typing away on Phil's PC.
I'll try and sail again as soon as the winds come because, now that I've finished the shake-down cruise and am headed north, I have a strong desire to go as fast as I can. Trouble is, it's still way too early in the season to go north very far. Even at my slow speed, I could be in Georgia in 3-4 weeks, and that state is still getting snowed on. Plus, if you move too fast, it becomes like work. Therefore I have to linger and take it easy and that is hard for me. I'm constitutionally unable to loaf unless all the work is done, and that won't happen until I'm in Eastport, Maine next July. So the next few months will be a battle between my desire to get on and my need to avoid racing ahead of the climate and weather.
I looked at the Weekly Whiffle website and was tickled to see pics of myself posted there by the author - Al Schonborn, who got them from Brian McCleery in Canada. A word of explanation - the Canadian Wayfarer Association have a newsletter and website called the "Whiffle" (who knows why, but that's what it's called - ed. note: a whiffle is a small breath of wind) and they have weekly updates to it... Go there and look at the index and then go to the latest weekly bulletin and the one for Jan 6 2003 has pics of me and the boat taken with Brian's digital video camera in Sarsfield near Ottawa. If that doesn't work, just search "Whiffle" and you'll find the whole website with all sorts of news and info about Canadian Wayfarers and the Weekly Whiffle is part of that.
Well, that's it for now. Must check the weather and see if there is any chance of sailing. If not, then I shall twiddle my thumbs. Despite delays, I still plan to be back in Fort Lauderdale by about 16 Jan.