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March 2008
Dear Friends:

Soon after this letter goes out, we may get to meet some of you face to face.  We will be leaving New Zealand earlier than normal this year, to take part in the Strictly Sail Expo in Oakland, and to do evening seminars in Sausalito, Ventura and Marina del Rey. Both Larry and I are torn, reluctant to leave this wonderful spot down under, but eager to be back on board Taleisin, to catch up with friends along the coast of California and also to partake in family celebrations and tribulations. (Since it is one of my nieces getting married, three of my nieces with brand new babies, my mother who is facing the perils of being 87, I may be more eager to be there than usual, but Larry is being supportive, even going along to baby showers.)

Thelma at rest on her mooring

We’ve done far less real sailing than normal this summer – two reasons – a minor accident and too much virtual sailing.  Accident first – Thelma was glowing, fresh topside paint, the scroll work on her fancy trail-boards blazing bright after Larry re-carved them then put on two coats of crimson paint. (Next season we will add the gold leafing to make them really stand out.) We had wonderful weather as we headed south from our cove, to take part in the annual Mahurangi regatta. A fast beam reach, two reefs in the mainsail, staysail set, took us into this beautiful river where we anchored among a fleet of handsome classic boats and shared an evening of boat visiting, laughing and planning for the challenge of the next day.  We had dozens of compliments on Thelma’s latest improvements; we raced her hard against the 87 other classics in the fleet. Unfortunately, our normal crew – Craig and Kay Compton, instead of flying down from Seattle for the third year in a row, decided to spend the season sailing their own boat south through the Pacific to race the Mahurangi regatta in 2009. We were lax about finding extra crew – we’ve sailed so much with just the two of us on Taleisin – didn’t seem too important.  But, after getting ourselves into a nice position on the start and through the reaching part of the race, Larry had to do all the work of setting the whisker pole – I made the mistake of trying to get clear of some of our competition and ended up to leeward of two boats and unable to get through their wind shadow.

This years upgrade project was to clean up her trailboards. They had been left unfinished and eroded by salt water, dings and dents.

When Larry came back to the cockpit, both of us were really getting ticked off at being blanketed by their sails. We bided our time, took a chance, and tried a quick turn into the wind to get astern of them.  Timing was just that bit off – between two and six inches to be exact. Thelma’s bowsprit caught the backstay of Gipsy – a neighbors boat, the bowsprit snapped off clean and left us with a tangle to clean up. Well, we limped around the rest of the course, getting calls of sympathy from all those who had just a while before been giving us compliments.  Fortunately, Gipsy’s hull and rig weren’t hurt at all and neither of us really liked the old bowsprit – Larry is my “In house” boat builder and over the next two weeks he built a bowsprit that is a vast improvement, along with a better dolphin striker.  I guess, after 42 years of enjoying some pretty close club racing, putting our bowsprits into some pretty tight situations, it’s okay to have one f…k-up.

As for the virtual stuff – It has been really interesting getting the newest edition of Storm Tactics Handbook ready for press. Dealing with a book designer in New Zealand, a book editor in Maine, a printer in Michigan, all over the internet while Larry and I work from a beautiful spot on a quiet island.  We are really pleased with the final product and eager to have the first copies of the book waiting for us when we reach the US. It’s evolved a lot from the previous edition and we had a lot of proof reading to do, a lot of sailing friends to contact to verify facts, check details (thanks to all of them).

Larry deepened the carving, repaired the damage – a pain-staking but pleasurable job

We’ve had frequent updates on Taleisin from folks in Ventura. Seems there were some pretty strong surges running through the harbor there. But sounds like she is in fine condition. It will be good to remove her winter covers, untie her dock lines and get out sailing on a boat that is easy to handle with just of the two of us. Meanwhile, in two weeks Thelma will be hoisted out of the water for the first time in years (she usually is cleaned and anti-fouled on a tidal grid.) She’ll be settled securely in our little boatyard to dry out while we are away. That way we can forget about her completely and enjoy whatever adventure the northern summer brings our way.

With the first coats of crimson paint on them, they already look good for the Mahurangi Regatta

incerely,

Lin and Larry
at Kawau Island, New Zealand

P.S.
Our publisher is offering a discount for early orders on Storm Tactics DVD, click here for details.
For those who wish to know more about our seminars, click here.






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