the Weekly Whiffle
special "Lee Hughes" edition
Wayfarer news that's crossed Uncle Al's desk this week
Tuesday, May 6th, 2003
Subject: Lee Hughes moves on towards head of Chesapeake Bay after "social whirl" in Annapolis
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Adrienne Faherty 
To: Sue Hughes ; ...
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2003 4:09 PM
Subject: HN25

Hughes Nughes 25

Hi folks, 

Boy, my social calendar has exploded lately! I got to Annapolis after a fastish sail of 90 miles or so from Salisbury to Hooper Island and then Tilghman Island on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Then I got the news about my book advance and now I'm still here because I've met so many nice people and now I can afford to slow down a little and enjoy the land as well as the Bay.

First up, as I tied up at the town dock (called Ego Alley because of all the power boaters who cruise in and out like teenagers cruising the strip) and I bumped into some folks I met when going through the Great Bridge lock coming up to Norfolk, VA, a few of weeks ago. We had a natter and they explained where all the good stuff for yachties was located (chandlers, showers, etc).

Then I met Chuck Rutkowski who anchored next to me in Spa Creek on his Bristol 24 yacht. He's living aboard, too, and like me, writes to his gal on email. She's in Scotland and sails -Wayfarers! I've had coffee on his boat the last three mornings, and yesterday he lent me one of his mini-bikes to get around on. Wasn't that nice? I'm on it again today. It folds up and I can even fit it in my inflatable dinghy, which I've blown up for the first time since St. Augustine. With it I can ride around Annapolis and see the lovely old Georgian houses and buildings of the old town. I love Georgian architecture - much nicer than Victorian. Anyway, I've made full use of the town - they have free public docks everywhere on the streets that end on the two creeks where everybody anchors for free (if they're like me and don't use the big marinas at the entrance to the Bay). The town is so well set up for boaties (good chandler on the water, $1 showers and free book exchange at the Dock Master's office, free internet cafe across the road from the big town dinghy dock at the bottom of Main Street, etc.) that I've decided to squander an opportunity to head across to the top of the eastern shore and go up the C&D Canal to the head of the Delaware River. I'm going to stay here till Monday when the southerly wind returns and then I'll leave.

Wednesday was a busy day for meeting people, too. I met a retired Baltimore policeman while doing laundry. We yakked away for 2 hours, and Gus invited me back to his 45-foot yacht for a beer and dinner. I went there at 5 pm and had two beers before motoring back to Spa Creek to anchor. I'd love to have stayed longer but I had another appointment. You see, earlier in the day when Wanderer was at the town dock, I saw that every time I returned to the boat to drop off groceries and laundry and so on, she had attracted a wee crowd. I got talking to some of them and that included a lady who walked up at lunchtime and stared at the boat and said: "I've got a Wayfarer, too." 

That was Anastasia who lives here in Annapolis and who has recently bought a Wayfarer (sail # 2639). She's refitting it and another small boat (a Bullseye) as well, which she rescued from dereliction. But she's a bit of a beginner like me, and so she had tons of questions about the modifications to Wanderer.

In the end, after work and after I had beer with Gus, she came down to the dinghy dock at Truxton Park near where I am anchored in Spa Creek. She brought a six pack of Foster's and a camera and I showed her all the bits and pieces that make my boat better than yours and she took photos of them so she could see if they'd work on her boat, too. She finished up by inviting me to have dinner and a look at her boat the next day. I liked that idea because to date, I've never seen another Wayfarer other than Wanderer. True - never seen even one of them before I bought this one over the internet from Frank Dye.

Well, I did that, and she and her boatie friend, Bruce, showed me all the things they were doing to get her boat ready to sail the bay again this summer. Then she dropped me back to the dock by Wanderer and I invited her to come sailing the next day if the weather permitted.

Friday, she was able to come out on Wanderer from noonish to 5.00 pm and she had a go at doing all the sailing things I knew how to do. It was a pleasant southerly of 5-10 knots and quite hot and humid, too. I docked Wanderer and Anastasia's fiend, Dave (a retired Brit) also looked her over. Then we loaded up and cast off. We motored half a mile up to the little bascule bridge on Spa Creek which opens in the middle for yachts (the bridge not the creek, I mean) and the first thing she did was lower the mast to go under it. Her boat isn't yet set up for that, so I wanted to show that trick off. 

Then she sailed it with the jib, up towards a channel marker, tacking back and forth and getting the hang of quick tacks and also a few intentional gybes. Then we practised heaving to with jib only and had lunch on the water and looked at the 200-yacht regatta that was racing in the bay far off by Kent Island. She had thoughtfully brought yummy ham and turkey sandwiches and bananas and some little pastry sweet things, but I was too keen to show off my neat little yachtyboat, so we just ate the sandwiches and then I got her sailing again. 

Anastasia sailed with the main alone for a bit and then I raised the jib as well, and I explained about the slot effect and other stuff. After a bit of whizzing back and forth, we tried heaving to with the main and a backed jib. Then I showed her how to start off or get out of irons using the sail and by putting the tiller over to the wrong side. We didn't practise sailing backwards because I've not tried that yet, either, but by then it was time to come in anyway. 

We sailed back up the creek to the bridge and though it opened for us and other boats, I wanted her to see how it was possible to sail right up to the bridge with the mainsail and then lower the mast with all standing and glide under it. So she did that, too, while I steered and then she raised the mast again with the mainsail and off we went back to the mooring. And to make it all perfect, we did this in the sight of tons of boats that were anchored or sailing around us. Soooooo cool. 

To finish up, we went to a nice little neighbourhood bar and had a beer and some french fries, but I started to fade so she dropped me off back at the dock by 8.00 pm. And then I couldn't get to sleep after all that because the wind came up and my rudder kept making little creaking noises as Wanderer zigged and zagged in the wind and current. Finally nodded off at 1.30 am and woke again at 6.00 am. All in all, it was a lovely day and I had so much fun showing off my boat. I'm starting to realise that Wanderer really is a very pretty vessel (see photo below taken in Cocoa, FL) and extraordinarily well set up for cruising. Thanks of course to Frank.

On Saturday, I visited the Annapolis Naval Academy museum and saw their fantastic collection of dockyard models of 17th and 18th century British warships. They're gorgeously carved in wood and ivory or bone and well worth the price of admission (free). Plus they have the academy museum above it in the same building. 

Anastasia also invited me and Chuck to dinner with her on Saturday night. Two home cooked meals in one week is good for me, because that means vegetables instead of my steady diet of bread, ham, cheese and candy - plus pickles so I don't get scurvy - but I'm keen for a change after four months of that!

Well, the meal was fantastic - salad, Chateaubriand steak, baked potatoes with butter and vegetables, etc. and then apple pie. Plus a lovely Aussie red (Banrock Cab Sav - Shiraz) and a sweet Muscat Frascati with dessert. All under candlelight. With napkins and more than one fork each. Chuck and I looked at each other and thought: "What did two slobs like us do to deserve this?"

This was a shocking change for one who is accustomed to dining with his fingers and the ever handy ocean to act as a napkin. And the conversation - I'm used to snappy dinner-table wit like "Scraaaawk" or "Splooosh" or at best, when I go ashore something like "Would you like fries with that?" But last night, we ranged far and wide in our conversation, with each person being able to add a story or an idea to whatever we were babbling about because you wouldn't believe the range of experiences that Chuck and Anastasia have had. I thought I was well travelled but so far I haven't lived in Timbuctu (yes, that's the desert city in Africa) like Anastasia, and I haven't literally run away to sea one day to join the crew of a 170-foot tall ship like Chuck. The whole evening was just so civilised. Great food, great conversation. Wonderful. Now if only I could have clicked my fingers and got Phil De Clue there as well. He'd have loved it.

Then of course, our host chauffered us back to the dock and we rowed back to our boats and went to bed like royalty - all wined and dined and babbled. Both of us with a big wedge of apple pie in a baggie for breakfast, too.

And that's it for now. I'm staying put tonight but I expect to sail tomorrow  across to the eastern shore again and then up to the C&D canal. I'll have had a month on the Bay by then and that's exactly how long I planned originally. It wasn't the type of cruising I expected, but it's turned out to be a wonderful time. I got scared by waves but I got rescued by advice from Frank and Jeff and Al and Roger. I got poor but I got rescued by Michael and Random House. I got blue and lonely but got rescued by John and Eve and Chuck and Anastasia and Gus. And so now I'm fat and happy and ready to tackle the water again. Next big stop - New York.

Toodle o


Subject: pics from Anastasia??!!
Al Schonborn wrote:

Hi, Anastasia:

I see in the latest Hughes Nughes that you've been taking pictures. Any hopes of your e-mailing me a couple to spiff up the upcoming Hughes Nughes??? And how about one of your Herreshoff restoration project?? If you can manage that, the readers would love it, I'm sure. No Lee pics since Marc and I met him in early Feb!! Best regards,

Uncle Al (W3854)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Anastasia 
To: Al Schonborn 
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 9:50 AM
Subject: Lee pics?

Dear Al;

You read my mind!  One of the reasons I took the camera was to grab a few shots of Lee for his friends.  Will send them to you when developed.  Give me a week or two.

We got some cool weather this morning.  In the low 60's and cloudy.  So, I hope Lee stopped for a cup of hot coffee at City Dock, aka Ego Alley, before taking off.  Weather usually clears by late afternoon.  He'll have a great sail over to St. Michael's which is also a fun sailor's city to visit. 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Al Schonborn 
To: Anastasia 
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 12:02 PM

Hi, Anastasia:

I'll look forward to the pictures!!! Wish I were sailing with Lee!!! Taking off in cool, cloudy weather has its charm, too, I find - provided one is dressed for it!!

Uncle Al (W3854)

Subject: another Chesapeake W heard from
----- Original Message ----- 
From: William D. Harkins 
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 5:15 PM
Subject: Hughes in the Chesapeake

Hello Uncle Al,

I have been enjoying the Hughes saga as he comes up the coast, especially since I am a Keys native and also know well most of the east coast of the US.  I had hoped to catch him in the Chesapeake.  It seems he just left Annapolis -- do you know of any more planned stops?  Also, could you please send me Anastasia's e-mail address?  It would be fun to contact her, and as I remember that Dick Harrington is planning to be down this way soon, perhaps we could organize something.

Thanks for your, and Dick's continued efforts with the Whiffle!  See you guys at Button Bay!

Bill Harkins
Arlington, VA

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Al Schonborn 
To: William D. Harkins 
Cc: Lee Hughes ; Anastasia W2639 
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 7:00 PM

Hi, Bill:

As soon as I saw your name as the sender I was wondering if you and Anastasia had been in touch -  since you are both in the same general area. I'll copy her and perhaps she knows where Lee plans to be in the next few days. Will also copy Lee so that perhaps he can get in touch with you the next time he reaches a library computer. More Hughes Nughes to be posted tonight in a special edition of the Weekly Whiffle. Look forward to seeing you at Button Bay,

Uncle Al (W3854)

Subject: more from Lee; reply with mosquito "cures"? from Uncle Al
----- Original Message ----- 
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2003 4:41 PM
Subject: 'Napolis

Hi Uncle Al, 

Congratulations on tieing for 1st in the Cottonwood Regatta. Bad luck about the sail-off but I see from the report that there'll be another chance next year. Just read the latest Weekly Whiffle and saw Anastasia's letters. She is an absolutely lovely person and very generous. In addition to restoring her 
own Wayfarer, she worked for months last year on a Bullseye - a Herreshoff 12 1/2, I think it is. It's almost ready to rig and looks so pretty sitting on its trailer. She's had help and advice with the work but she's the driving force, and I find that quite remarkable, that a woman with not a great deal of prior boat and sailing experience would tackle two projects like this. She's a plucky lil gal. Anyway, it's late pm and I've just watched Ted Turner's old America's Cup boat Courageous and her challenger, Freedom, come in to the city dock after a weekend of racing in the bay here. Ted skippered his old boat and won 3-1 over Freedom. Lots of boats on the water in bright sun and pleasant breeze. There's something like a maritime festival here and they have a couple of tall ships (a Baltimore Clipper and a Schooner) and numerous other Chesapeake boats  - skipjack, deadrise workboats, skiffs, prams, etc., etc. All very summery with tons of folks at the Ego Alley dock. I'm away tomorrow and I shall miss Annapolis. Had a great time here - it's very friendly to wee yachtyboats. New HN 25 on its way to you soon, too.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: Al Schonborn 
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 9:41 AM

Hi, Lee:

Thanks for the lovely note. Sounds like you've recovered well after a much needed break or two "ashore". Will do a Special Ed. of the Weekly Whiffle today to celebrate. I'm pretty sure I copied the anti-mosquito recipes to you (for what they're worth??!!) but will put them in here in case you want to test any of them. After all, who better than you??!@! Best wishes for continued fair winds and fine sailing,

Uncle Al (W3854)

Some interesting ways to keep mosquitoes under control

  • Use Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets...Best thing ever used in Louisiana.. just wipe on & go... Great for Babies 
  • Bob, a fisherman, takes one vitamin B-1 tablet a day April through October . He said it works. He was right. Hasn't had a mosquito bite in 33 years. Try it. Everyone he has talked into trying it works on them. Vitamin B-1( Thiamine Hydrochloride 100 mg.) 
  • If you eat bananas, the mosquitoes like you, something about the banana oil as your body processes it. Stop eating bananas for the summer and the mosquitoes will be much less interested. 
  • This is going to floor you, but one of the best insect repellents someone found who is in the woods every day, is Vick's Vaporub
  • Plant marigolds around the yard; the flowers give off a smell that bugs do not like, so plant some in that garden also to help ward off bugs without using insecticides. 
  • "Tough guy" Marines who spend a great deal of time "camping out", say that the very best mosquito repellant you can use is Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil mixed about half and half with alcohol. 
  • One of the best natural insect repellants that I've discovered is made from the clear real vanilla. This is the pure Vanilla that is sold in Mexico. It works great for mosquitoes and ticks, don't know about other insects. 
  • When all else fails--get a frog. 
Fight West Nile... pass this along to all your friends in skeeter land!!!