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May 2000
Photo We found this old photo of Taleisin when we were packing up in New Zealand. He is racing in Newport Bay, California a week before we set off for the South Pacific.


Dear Friends:

Not only did Taleisin survive the 15 months in storage; we survived 15 months without her. None of us suffered for the separation one bit more than would be expected. But, it did take us two days to remove all of the covers we secured over the boat to protect her from the ravages of sun, wind, ice and snow. Though she was afloat in a covered boatshed, we knew sun could hit during the late afternoons and early mornings. Inspite of this, the varnish came out looking just as it had the day we left, so our covers paid off.

Our last two months in New Zealand were filled with wonderful classic boat races. A special treat was the Mahurangi regatta where Fenton Hamlin raced his newly launched sister ship to Taleisin. You can see Pateke in the background, winds gusting 30.


Had a funny incident on our way home which underscores why New Zealand won the America's Cup. Doug Schmuck, a good friend in New Zealand, gave us a brand new l6 foot long ash oar to replace the one we have used for l6 years (it is getting skinny and skanky looking). We arrived at Auckland Airport with six large boxes, each weighing the regulation 32 kilos, plus cardboard wrapped l6 foot oar weighing 9 kilos. The conversation went something like this:

Check in desk lady, "Sorry, you can't take that on the plane with you. It will have to go over to that window; the one marked odd sized or overweight luggage. Sorry you guys lost the cup. Coming again next time?"

Air New Zealand Service Counter, Los Angeles Airport, "Your oar? Did you get to watch the cup? What kind of boat you have? Going sailing? See you out there some time."

Delta Airline counter LA , "You want to take a what? To Virginia? Can't put that thing on a plane. You could try our cargo people but they'll probably say the same thing."

Delta Air Cargo LA, "Sure, be $60 but what is that thing? Do I classify it as sporting goods, can it be used on a boat?"

Delta Air Cargo Richmond, "Sorry, it appears to be lost, it got to Cincinnati, but they can't find it."

Delta Air Cargo Cincinnati, "Exactly what is a l6 foot oar, can you describe what we should be looking for?"

Yes, it did finally arrive safely, five days late. But since we have at least four weeks of outfitting to do, all is well.

Peter Bailey, Jil, Wayne and the favorite dog of the fleet, Murphy, made us feel welcome on board Sorceress at each regatta.


We assume many of you have either had our last newsletters or seen them this site so I'll skip right to our current doings and plans. Larry has just finished splicing up all new rigging for Taleisin out of 3l6 wire (7 by 7), we've stripped and refit the boom - after 17 years the varnish was getting funky. Our lovely stainless steel stove has all new innards and works a treat. Now it is time to assemble the new forehatch, deck box lids, cockpit seat tops and dinghy mast, all pre-fabbed in our New Zealand shop. Then its haul-out, paint topsides and bottom and re-step the mast.

But we tried to race with different friends each time to get to know how other boats feel and perform. Here is Larry headed out on Balieceau, a Herreshoff 60 foot Bounty type ketch, skippered by Hugh Gladwell.


Sailing plans are modest this year, but longer term we want the boat in tip top shape so are using the good facilities here to get the work done. Sometime in May we want to start exploring the lower end of the Chesapeake, visiting some of the classic boat builders around here to get ideas for Larry's boatbuilding book part two. If the mood is right, we may sail up to Buzzards Bay, Mystic or even Boston for the summer. In September we'd find a safe spot for the boat and fly out to Port Townsend where we have been invited to present a slide show and talk on building wooden boats for offshore cruising - keeping the maintenance easy.

A real highlight, as we wrote in the last letter, was the Logan Cup regatta with 85 classic boats all at the start at the same time.


After that we have to hurry down to the Chesapeake and get to Annapolis by the end of September. Taleisin will be open to the public during the boatshow (0ctober 3 to 9th) to help raise funds for a small group of sailors with disabilities. Made lots of friends up that way last time we visited (l998), looking forward to spending more time with them.

Our crew was great, we laughed, worked hard, got very wet and finished second over-all on handicap. Here we are actually working, two crew being boom-vangs for the downwind run.


Really special treat for us right now, we are going sailing on Seraffyn sometime soon. Her owners, Norma and Wayne Tillett have invited us on board. Will be the first time we have seen her in almost 20 years.



Best to every one,
Lin & Larry


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