| Dear Friends:
I have often heard tales of the horrors of home rebuilds,
Larry and I have often been the folks on the other side
of boat rebuilds, but until we decided to bite the bullet
and fix up the 40 year old beach cottage that is our
home base, I didn't have sufficient sympathy for the
are the first pics of our rebuild (partially finished,
have gone sailing to take a break before starting
the next part of the rebuild). - this is Larry and
I proudly displaying the new front room wall and
the Col Wild Trophy we took home from the International
Classics regatta as half of the Bailey Design racing
The day after sailing Thelma home from the big city
and a very satisfying regatta, Tim Barnes, a builder
who lives just across the cove, arrived at 07:30 and
began literally tearing the walls out of my office.
Larry began milling timber, I began moving my office
into the downstairs play room, and the phone calls started.
I was officially designated "The Contractor".
That meant I was responsible for anything that didn't
work right, any materials that didn't arrive on time
and any coffee break that was delayed. At the same time,
as you can guess, work on the Care and feeding had to
be kept up, along with keeping food on the table etc.
As we live on an island with no shops, all supplies
have to be purchased at a village on the mainland which
means buzzing over in our 14 foot run-about, driving
8 kilometers to the shops and, if it was a large load,
towing our barge (which can carry 5 tonnes of materials)
from the island to the mainland, arranging for everything
to be delivered to the jetty, then, in most cases, hand-loading
each piece of timber, each bale of insulation, onto
I have my own special workspace, the Elf Office.
Larry named it and now, if I tic him off he can
tell me to Elf off.
Larry did not have any less of a load, only six weeks
after getting his hip rebuilt, he was milling materials,
moving materials, working alongside Tim, building doors,
fitting intricate pieces of wood into the original pine
floors to repair them so we could put a clear shiny
finish on the lovely pine timber we found under the
old wool carpets. Along with the barge work and of course
occasional diversions to help folks who had to bring
their boats into our little repair yard to use the tidal
grid, he often put in 15 hour days.
Since half of the upstairs of the house was being removed
for rebuilding, and since we were putting tongue and
groove cedar on the walls and ceiling, we had to learn
to enjoy sawdust; in our food, our clothes and eventually
even in our bed. As it was summer, with particularly
good weather this year it was okay to have walls missing
for days at a time. And, though it sounds like a bad
time, we actually had a lot of fun, making decision
after decision as the three of us worked together, coming
to appreciate Tim's skill, watching as Larry and Tim
initiating each other into the different methods used
by boat builders and House builders. To lighten it all,
we had just the right number of drop in visitors to
encourage us with the project.
easy to show you the whole bathroom, but from the
entrance you can get a taste of the whole, those
are the double sinks - not sure why, in a boat,
Larry and I can find ways to do our morning ablutions
without getting into each others way, but in a house
we need separate sinks to get the same job done.
Siggy and Carol Baardsen who were caught in the Queens
Birthday storm off New Zealand several years ago, came
to visit. (They are the folks who contributed their
story and lessons they learned for the last section
of Storm Tactics handbook). They have now sailed their
Rhodes 40 around the world and are based in the California
Delta. Now, like many returned cruisers, they are having
some time with family and trying to decide how to get
out cruising again, should they refit their current
boat, look for a different one
On the one really raining weekend, we had a grand lay
in, then folks from three New Zealand cruising boats
came in to wile the day away. They included Des Townsend,
a 72 year old yacht designer who regaled us with wonderful
stories of the history of New Zealand yachting, America's
cup gossip. No one seemed to notice the missing walls,
the piles of timber in the front room, the sawdust and
general disorder as the talk of boats and things carried
on through the afternoon and long into the evening.
The next day the real chaos began, with a friend from
the far part of the island deciding he had time to help
Larry frame up a new office for me, just 40 feet from
the house. "I know you will settle down and write
a new book if you have a proper place to do it,"
George said. What he didn't warn me was, with two building
projects going at once, I would also be a candidate
for a nervous breakdown. But some how, it all did come
together and, after six weeks, with less than 24 hours
to go before the big three day regatta that was scheduled
to take place at our home, we cleaned up to find I had
not only a new bathroom, new bedroom but a lovely new
office and guest room.
here is Larry's Lair, the boat shop. It's nice and
tidy, but often during the rebuild it was two feet
deep in cedar shavings. The shop only seems to get
this clean when we are planning a party or regatta.
Not much sailing talk in this newsletter, but we did
get out on Thelma for a few hours each week, and Larry
did manage to get her scrubbed and ready the regatta
weekend that turned out to be a grand finale to what
was a grand southern hemisphere summer.
May you have the wind on the beam more often than on
Lin and Larry
P.S. If you are near the Puget Sound or Seattle, we
will be doing two talks in June. Click
here for details.