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March 2008
Dear Friends:

It seems we may be the only folks to have gained from the legal hassles surrounding the America’s Cup.  In our last newsletter we mentioned we were doing a lot of virtual rather than real sailing. Now we are back on board Taleisin and have seen the first proofs of our virtual sailing project, we feel comfortable that it will actually happen, so can tell you more.

A nice afternoon walk away from my office at Kawau is Gael Archers wonderful home. If you can’t read the sign easily it says – Mother Archer’s Seaside Home

 When we went down to New Zealand last October, one of Larry’s first projects at home base was to rewind and review over 46 hours of videotape we had shot during previous voyages.  We hadn’t viewed it for a long time and knew tape has to be rewound every year or two or it sticks together. As Larry went through the footage we shot during some of the most interesting times of our recent voyaging life, he kept calling me from my office to look at some especially wonderful memories.  A story line began forming in my mind and I suggested calling Chris Gurr who did the editing work on our Storm Tactics DVD, and who incidentally won three Emmys for his work directing Iron Man competition TV coverage in Hawaii.  When we called, we learned that over the previous two years Chris had been doing the editing for the Swiss on Team Alingi, creating the programs that went on TV all over Europe. Now he was, like so many other New Zealand sailors and folks who helped with America’s cup stuff, on reduced pay waiting day by day for courts to decide what would happen next. “How about I come over and look at some of your shots. See if we can all come up with a good program.”

And this is the view from the front  porch

 

A few days later, we showed Chris some of our favorite bits, and began talking. Larry accidentally let one tape from our days in Zimbabwe running on the TV monitor. All of a sudden Chris – ever the editor/director, became hooked on some footage that we hadn’t thought to show him, shots of a Shona sculptors co-op village. That did it. Over the next few months Chris became a very big part of our life as did visits to the editing suite he uses, doing pick up filming with Thelma and at our place on Kawau (between rain squalls at times.) Together, all three of us created something completely new for us, a program that shows why we love cruising instead of like our previous ones, practical ideas for cruising.  Chris kept assuring us it would all come together and be an enjoyable program, that he would keep the costs under control. We felt lucky to have him do a low budget project which we knew he only did because he had to sit and wait to see what happened with the America’s cup.

And this is the view from the front  porch

Now that we have finally seen the rough cut and are doing the final narrative here in California, we believe him. We have become a bit of a joke with my family. When Chris asked us to add some narrative just a few weeks ago, we needed to find a place that could work as a sound studio.  My sister, Bonnie Masculine, is truly generous with her home, which is only 25 minutes from where Taleisin is moored – giving us the combo to her locks and saying – use it like your own.  But I think we tested the limits by closing ourselves into her big wardrobe closet to talk into our video cam mike, especially when she came home from work, took a swim then came upstairs to get some fresh clothes and had to wait patiently and quietly until we finished yet another bit of talking into our video camera.  It’s been really interesting and fun and the sailors who have seen the first cut have given us a lot of encouragement. With luck Cruising Has No Limits will be available in mid-June. (Click here if you would like to know what the program will be about.)

The Bitchen Pardey crowd warms up for the evenings festivities

The last month of our southern hemisphere summer held some of the best parties we have had in a long time. One of them could only be called a Bitchen-Pardey. Through the years we have become friends with Jody and Bob Bitchen who run Latitudes and Attitudes sailing magazine. When we heard they were coming down to New Zealand, we invited them to come out to the island for a day or two.  In his inimitable way, Bob said, “Can I bring along 30 or 40 of my closest friends?” Turned out he was coming down on what he calls a “share the sail” charter to celebrate his birthday. “Why not?” was Larry’s response. “Good excuse to clean up the boatyard, finish a few details around the place.” So Bob and a crowd of 41 of his readers spent a week cruising from Auckland, out to some of the islands around us and finally to our cove. The whole lot came ashore for a long leisurely barbeque at our place. Best of all they brought along their own band, Eric Stone and a wonderful young guitar player named Kyle Rife.  We decided to invite along ten of our neighbors who like sailing.

The Bitchen Pardey crowd warms up for the evenings festivities

 

What a fine time. The weather was wonderful; Eric had been taken fishing by one of our neighbors and arrived with five generous-sized fish that became the hors d’oeuvre.  A sailing friend had brought along about 4 kilos of his homemade chorizo sausage (organic of course) and everyone added meat and salads to what became a feast. We were delighted with our little homes ability to absorb this crowd so easily.  With the band just inside the cottage and dancers on the 700 square foot deck, it was just great.  Then late in the evening, when about half the crowd had wandered back to their boats, Kyle began playing my soft string guitar. Larry and I joined in and we had a sing along to end a lovely day. We definitely got a lot of kudos from our neighbors who agreed it was truly a Bitchen party.

Captain Woody earned his keep by being in charge of the Barbeque most of the evening

The next week brought a wonderful display of classic 1950’s wooden 35 footers to our cove, the K class yachts. One of our neighbors, John Pryor, had bought a K class boat Gypsy to restore and enjoy. He hired Larry not only to survey it but to help him get his project started. Then 7 other K class boats decided to rendezvous in the cove. And finally, just five days before we had to get on an airplane to fly to California, we hosted the annual Mahurangi Cruising Club Easter regatta.  The weather was wonderfully kind to all of us. Nineteen big boats went out racing, Larry and I acted as committee boat since Thelma was already winterized.  Though we missed the fun of sailing and racing, we considered it payback for all of the times other folks have worked as committee so we could enjoy racing through the years.  The after race party at our place had an even bigger crowd than previous parties. Glad we hadn’t had the exercise and sun/wind exposure of racing as we enjoyed the late, late in fact almost morning part of the night more when Larry ended up in his shop with some of the younger guys discussing rigging and showing them some wire splicing tricks.

The pot luck dinner was truly a feast

 

We did find Taleisin in safe and very nice condition when we arrived in Ventura, California though we were amazed at the destruction caused by the westerly storms that sent surges through the Ventura Keys. Not only were 20% of the docks where she had been secured, damaged badly or completely destroyed, but three of the lines holding her had snapped, yes snapped, not chaffed through, pulled apart. Must have been some terribly forces going there. Thank you again Phillip Morgan, for watching her and getting her secured before she got damaged.  Every time I am away from her, I enjoy coming back and seeing what a fine cruising home she is. Now, between seminars and boat shows we are going through every locker and readying her for some good sailing plans we have.

So what goes here? A neighbor is helping an American guest find the Southern Cross

 

We have added one more seminar to our schedule.  The details for our talks at Ventura on the 17th of May and at Marina del Rey on the 22nd are listed under newsflash (click here for info). Now we will also be doing a talk for a group of sailing women on the 20th of May in Seal Beach. The topic is The Compelling Power of Adventure. You can see details at their website – www.sailingchicks.com.

Bob and Jody were the first to arrive, the last to leave – Thank you guys, we enjoyed the whole weekend.

 

For those who might enjoy reading a transcript of an interview we did when we visited the Spaulding wooden boat center last year, click here(Webmaster's note: This link is not available yet, please check back). It’s 22 pages long and has not been edited, just taken right from the tapes.

Lin and Larry
at Kawau Island, New Zealand






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