the Weekly Whiffle
Wayfarer news that's crossed Uncle Al's desk this week
Monday, May 5th, 2003
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Subject: the Lee Hughes Wanderer odyssey continues up the U.S. east coast
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Adrienne Faherty 
To: Sue Hughes ; ...
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 4:32 PM
Subject: HN 24

Hughes Nughes 24

Hi folks, 

Yahoooo! Random House have bought the book! They've advanced me enough money to keep sailing until my visitor's visa runs out in early August. My clever agent in NZ got them to do this by convincing them that:

1. the story of this trip will delight and entertain readers everywhere, and
2. I'll live long enough to tell it.

Let's hope he's right, though all's looking well so far. Spring is finally sprung - weather is warmer and winds more favourable. 
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I got the news here in Annapolis. I left Salisbury on Sunday and made a dash of almost 100 miles up the bay and across to this western shore by Tuesday morning. I was only coming here to buy more charts but found it so nice that I've stayed a day longer. I'm moored in Spa Creek which is like being anchored on a street in Mt Eden, Auckland. Same slopes leading down to the water with tall Victorian houses and lovely lawns and shady trees. It's not yet busy with boats and today I woke up to songbirds instead of scrawtchy seabirds.

I'll finish my chores (laundry, groceries, shower, emails) and then do the tourist thing and look at the Naval Academy and old buildings.

In short, all's well except for a disturbing mystery. 

ANOTHER beer can has died on me. That's the third one to go. I can only tell when I smell stale beer at night and my bilge starts to froth a little when I pump it out. I keep a few cans under the floorboards to cool, but lately they've been developing pinholes and leaking. Why? Is the rolling and banging they get in heavy seas busting them? Hmmm. And it's only the Miller cans. My one Budweiser can has lasted all the way from Wrightsville Beach. All very odd. And troubling - I mean we are talking beer here, aren't we?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Must now go and do chores. 

Toodle pip

Lee

PS. Mo Faherty - you're right. Tom Wolfe's book 'A Man In Full' was very good. Loved it. 

PPS. The book will be called "The Biggest Boat I Could Afford' and will come out some time later this year or early next year. It will have pictures, too, and some of you will be in them!

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Subject: good heavy air advice from Frank Dye
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Frank Dye 
To: Adrienne Faherty 
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2094 9:57 AM
Subject: Hughes Nughes 21

Dear Lee

I have just been reading Hughes Nughes 21, having been away for a few days. It brought back memories - I remember the area well for much the same reasons!

Regarding the technical stuff:  Running is the only point of sailing when it is possible to overpower a sailing boat without realising it, and by the time this is realised, it is almost too late. We have all done it, so you are in good company - but it is quite frightening! 

The trouble arises when travelling downwind at near wave speed but reduction of sail is still possible. At the same speed as the waves it's exhilarating with long surges on the front faces. But Overtaking the waves quickly becomes damn dangerous and often it is too late. Reasons: As the stern rises, the rudder loses grip because it is immersed less; the waves are tending to crest and the water is aerated; the boat's own stern wave causes the wave to break at the rudder thus losing grip; also, as the hull rises (as the wave passes under) the mainsail gets more wind and the press of the sail also pushes the bow down into the back of the preceding wave. By this time it is almost too late to avoid a broach and often impossible to get the mainsail down as it jams on the shrouds and in the mast track. Answer: Reef or get the mainsail down in good time - before the boat approaches wave speed. Never overtake waves downwind unless racing and there is a safety boat. I always found it much easier to reduce speed early after I scared myself the first time and I knew the different 'feel' of the boat. 

It is worth mentioning it is possible to 'run' in almost impossible conditions of wind and sea under jib alone - all the pull of the sail is forward, preventing a broach; speed is reduced, so waves are not pulled onto the stern. It's almost enjoyable provided you are certain of your position. Marg and I once ran under foresail only across the Minch, Outer Hebrides to Cape Wrath in a force 6 increasing 7. But it was deep water and we knew that we could find shelter safely. 

Glad you survived. There is only one worse experience - running down to a lee shore in bad conditions when not sure of your position. 

Changing the subject to other transport, I got onto a friend's horse recently and cantered round - I couldn't believe how unstable it was or how far to the ground. I'm sure it didn't use to be like that!

I received an E'mail today from a man in The Bahamas who was seriously interested in buying Wanderer last year and he was enquiring about shipping. I formed the impession that he was a genuine bloke but I had already committed to you. Anyway, he enquired again if Wanderer may be for sale. I'll give him your E'mail address and he can contact you direct.

Regards to Wanderer

Frank

----- Original Message ----- 
From: lhughes@ihug.co.nz 
To: Adrienne Faherty 
Cc: uncle-al@cogeco.ca ; cathie.h@actrix.co.nz ; dianne.rod@xtra.co.nz ; adriennef@ihug.co.nz 
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2003 1:06 PM

Hello Frank, 

Thank you for that excellent advice. It accords with Al Schonborn's suggestion of sailing with jib alone - and even furling it a little if needed. I shall do this if I get worried again this way. I have always had great respect for your advice about reefing early, and as it's time consuming to heave to and do this 
alone, I tend to reef very early indeed. But then, with foul weather gear and lifejacket and even safety line on, I feel well prepared and that makes the me happier. I don't give a toss how slowly I sail since it's NOT A RACE. 

I might not know in advance all the technical reasons why these things happen, (though I understand very well why steering can be lost at various speeds and in certain waves and with certain degrees of heel) but I know when things are going wrong, so as soon as it started to happen, I got busy. I also recalled a story about a chap who drove a schooner under by carrying too much sail in a storm so that was another reason why I dropped the main. 

Anyway, all's well here now, and though I haven't moved since last Monday, I'm busily engaged in writing my book by means of the local library computers and a couple of floppy discs. Plus the weather is not really very good at present (rain and 20 knot northerlies for two days) so I'm staying up-river here in Salisbury till Monday.

When I got back on a horse last August (for only the third time in six years), I had to restrain myself from a feeling that I should be buckling a seatbelt! Same thing happens when I get on a motorbike now, too. 

Fortunately, the feeling of being too high off the ground on a horse's back is a good feeling - the opposite is often too easily achieved. 

Glad to hear about any possible buyers of Wanderer, though giving her up will be a hard thing to do. 

Hurroo

Lee

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Subject: Chesapeake W meets Lee Hughes
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Anastasia 
To: uncle-al@cogeco.ca 
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 11:51 PM
Subject: Lee Hughes

Al;

I am a resident of Annapolis, Maryland and was walking downtown to a business appointment when I spotted a Wayfarer at City Dock.  Lee Hughes had just pulled in for a brief stop before heading off to Truxton Park to anchor.  He's sailing Frank Dye's Wanderer, as you know.
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I met up with Lee later at Truxton, which is near my home and where I put my Wayfarer in (#2639).  We spent a couple of hours going over the boat in every detail.  Your advice to him was taken to heart in so many matters.  He kept pointing to this and that and saying "Al suggested it, and it really works well".

He is very happy, really enjoying his sail.  He, like me, is a beginner sailor.  Though he's much more courageous than me.  Says he's been in the boat for 139 nights, not a night ashore!

The boat looks great, too.  Lee keeps it neat and clean, shipshape. I offered to buy it from him upon his journey's end.  I'm hoping to get more Wayfarers in Annapolis and having Wanderer here would make an impression, of sorts.

Just wanted to pass along to you the good news that Lee's doing well and looking forward to continuing his voyage.  He expects to complete by July.

Best,

Anastasia 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Al Schonborn 
To: Anastasia 
Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2003 2:41 PM

Hi, Anastasia:

How nice to hear from you again! I recall that you were asking a couple of years ago, whether the W would be a suitable boat for you to sail on the Chesapeake Bay and that we responded with an enthusiastic "yes". I'm glad that you did indeed join the Wayfarer gang! Thanks for keeping me posted on your encounter with Lee. I'll post your note in the Weekly Whiffle where we also post weekly reports from Lee as to his progress... It makes me feel really good that Lee finds some of the things useful, that Marc and I suggested when we met up with Lee in February in Cocoa, Florida. Thanks for letting me know!!

Best wishes for great sailing in 2003 - and do keep in touch!!

Uncle Al (W3854)
 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Anastasia 
To: Al Schonborn 
Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2003 11:34 PM

Dear Al;

Just took Lee and his anchorage buddy, Chuck, back to Truxton Park in Spa Creek on the Severn River of the Chesapeake.  They were over for dinner.  Lee left with a small pint of good whiskey and a big slice of apple pie, tucked in his rucksack.  He departs Annapolis on Monday for the rest of the way up the Chesapeake Bay to the Delaware thru the canals.  The Intracoastal waterway takes him up to NY.  And then it's out to sea for the run to Maine.  Quite an adventure.  He'll need every drop of that Scotch! 
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We had a grand evening over dinner, telling tales of adventure and mishap, and the general laugh-at-oneself view of the world that Lee has.  A sheer delight.  I hope Lee comes back to Annapolis and stays some while to regale us all again with more adventure tales.  We talked about the possibility that his love, Adrienne, would join him, though that doesn't seem possible for this trip.  Maybe another time.

Your advice and suggestions were most beneficial to Lee.  And he said so often, pointing out this or that, that had been recommended by you.  He's really benefited from what you suggested, especially in the rigging. 

And, in turn, I also learned a great deal from Lee.  He instructed me quite well on how to sail.  I am very much a beginner.  He trusted me to skipper the boat.  Giving instructions and waiting quietly until I gave the order to act... to demonstrate that if I don't do something, nothing happens, which may be worse than something happening!  So, just do something, quickly, and see what happens.  And, if it doesn't work out, do something else.  But don't do nothing 'cause then nothing happens.  And, at worst, the boat goes in irons and I've basically little control.

That day was a glorious afternoon and I learned far more than just about sailing.  I tend to think things over and hesitate a bit.  As Lee says, sometimes the opportunity to make a decision passes by.  Better to make a mistake and learn something than to not do anything at all.

I've greatly enjoyed Lee's company and look forward to more Wayfarers on the Chesapeake Bay.

Best,

Anastasia
 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Al Schonborn 
To: Anastasia 
Cc: Dick Harrington 
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2003 9:27 AM

Good morning, Anastasia:

Thanks for yet another lovely report. I have to say that Lee is the most unique person it has been my pleasure to meet, and I feel lucky to know him! I will add your letter to the Weekly Whiffle which I will post this morning. Best wishes for great sailing,

Uncle Al (W3854)

PS: I don't know if Dick Harrington has you on his cruising contacts list and have copied this to him in case he's not aware that you are out there with a W. Have you heard about the Rally that Dick organizes each summer? It attracts a great cross-section of cruisers and racers of every level of experience and is perfect for beginners, since all we do is relaxed day sails to a variety of fun destinations.

If you are interested meeting lots more W's and in picking up a few more sailing tips, this year's Rally is at Button Bay, Vermont on Lake Champlain, July 10 -13. You don't necessarily have to bring your boat, as we often go 3 or 4 to a boat, and those not bringing a boat always get a ride and - if they like - a chance to helm. Camping sites are becoming limited but we're allowed two tents per site so that someone would be sure to be able to squeeze you in! 

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