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March 2000
Photo Larry may do a lot of digging in the mud out here, my forte seems to be chain saw butchery - clearing brush and small trees out of the way of the buildings. (Larry gave me a pink electric chain saw for valentines day).


Dear Friends:

Awesome - said with a good long AAAA is the only word to describe the sight of the J class boat, Velsheda charging along to windward at full speed and passing only 8 feet from our stern at the start of the Logan Cup in Auckland a few weeks ago. Larry and I were delighted to be on a far smaller, but just as impressive yacht for the racing that brought true classics from ten countries together to celebrate the Americas Cup events. The woman who owns Jonquil, a replica of a Nathaniel Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 25, designed in 1914, lent us the boat, then acted as crew for three days of excellent racing. Over 85 classics, many over 50 years old, joined in, Velsheda being the largest, but four other 100 foots making the start line a bit crowded to say the least.

Final results of Larry's efforts, this lovely boatshed. Now he is assembling pre-fabbed hatches for us to take back to Taleisin - nice to have a well-lite place to work.


We sure learned a lot about tuning a gaff rigged sail, also learned that old Nat was a magician. It is the first time I have been racing an open boat (i.e. though 32 foot long, if we heeled too far the boat could sink). Also first time we raced a gaff - and to add to the learning curve, we had only sailed the boat for a total of two times, and 4 hours. But the two other women with us were great crew - not experienced but eager and strong and we took 3rd, 4th and 1st to get a lovely silver platter for the owner as second in our class for the series. The boat is amazing to windward, going over chop without pitching and beating 40 foot modern racing boats to the windward mark. On a reach she is a witch. Love to have one like her to play with, one like Taleisin to cross oceans.

The house came out just great, a well shaded small cottage that we can upgrade if ever we really feel it needs anything more.


Which brings up the boat I call "Big T." She is very much in our minds as we begin packing up here in NZ. Larry has spent the last week finally cutting into the teak and black locusts we have gathered during our travels. Now we have a tidy pile of pieces representing fully pre-fabbed forehatch, deck box lids and seat tops for the boat. My luggage will definitely be over-weight when we fly out.

This view from across the water (we are on a friends veranda) shows the lovely pohotakawa trees in bloom at Christmas time.


Parties here have been great as not only the millennium but the Cup regatta have brought friends from all over the world to visit. Many have come by yacht and it was fun to catch up with Sandy and Andy Peterson on Jakaranda who sailed through the Pacific with us in 1985. They became resident sail makers in Tonga, Sandy took over teaching public health nursing and only now are they thinking of leaving their Tongan friends to create a home base here in NZ. They made us lovely sail covers back then by sailing their 57 footer alongside, tieing up and doing the measuring, cutting and fitting right on site. Other non-locals who have joined in, photographers we met in Australia, skippers from Africa, you name it someone from that country has sailed in, flown in, swum in. Unfortunately we took on far too much work in reconstructing the cottage and boatshed and jetty here so have not had time to do the writing we planned. (Nor as much partying as we would have enjoyed or even just laying back and enjoying being in a lovely place without ice storms, snow or blizzards). But the result is a place we look forward to using in the future when life afloat is not so enticing.

Best of all is that we got in some good sailing. Here is Jonquil the Nat Herreshoff 25 Buzzards bay sloop. She has a huge gaff mainsail (500 sq feet).


Plans are only set as far as getting Taleisin kitted out, painted up and ready to explore the Chesapeake. Would love to sail up to Washington D.C. and see the cherry blossoms and Smithsonian.

Other set dates are Woodenboat Festival Port Townsend in September (we'll fly there) and Annapolis Sailboat Show in October (We'll sail there and share Taleisin with Friends at the Show). Will do only one all day seminar and that is at Annapolis.

We had the pleasure of using Jonquil for a week before the races and taking friends out too.


Thanks for the notes and messages some of you have left for us. We do not have email so if you write please include your mailing address, if you want a direct reply. Matt at Paradise Cay forwards your messages to us.

Best wishes from that little country with a big welcome,

Sincerely,
Lin and Larry Pardey


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