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October 2003

Dear Friends:

There is a lovely song from Scotland that starts out-

It's a joy to be simple,
It's a joy to be free,
It's a joy to come down where you want to be...

When you look at the photos here, you will see why that refrain is going through our minds.

After leaving Port Townsend, we began looking for a spot to spend the last months of this year, one where we could rent a small accommodation not too far from the water and move off the boat to spread out and write stories, prepare the camper for our seminar tour, winterize the boat and enjoy being in Larry's birth place - catching up with his family and old friends.

Brownie, our old pick up truck and camper.

There certainly are enough choices, with literally hundreds of anchorages on the smaller islands both Canadian and American stretching north from Port Townsend all the way to Alaska, dozens of marinas and bays on Vancouver Island too. After carefully thinking things over we decided to narrow our search to marinas that were close to the charming city of Victoria - a place my sister calls, A manicured city. Reasoning, we spend so much of our time in isolated places, even our home in New Zealand is on a small island with only about 50 people, no shops and self-entertainment only. We wanted to be able to walk to cafe's, entertainment and pleasures a city can offer. Also had the desire to be close to Larry's Mom who is in an extended care home. So we began looking for our first priority, a secure place to leave Taleisin. Using Brownie, our old pick up truck and camper. We visited harbours from Nanaimo south to Victoria. Then when we were checking marinas right near the city, we happened to look at the area called West Bay, only 3/4 of a mile due west of the Empress Hotel, 25 minutes walking by water-front track, 15 minutes by miniature harbour ferry. Not too pricy for the boat. So stopped at the café for hot soup and while Larry was looking around I happened to ask the waitress, "What's it like wintering here?"

She said, "I live on a boat right down there, you looking for a house or what?"

I mentioned we wanted a marina berth and a place on shore, just for two months.

"Mind being afloat? Friend is desparate for someone to sublet the little floating house right there!"

Meant to be. For only $750 Canadian $525 US a month we are in a one bedroom house with our boat alongside acting as yet another bedroom if we need it. And we did use it already as on Halloween Night I made a surprise party for Larry's birthday which is also our wedding anniversary and Taleisin and Seraffyn's launching dates. We'd only been in the Schoolhouse for two weeks, and I felt it needed a proper warming. Fourteen friends showed up, half ones from our past including Thom and Kath Riedl, a lovely couple we knew when they were building their 34 foot cold-molded boat in New Zealand 13 years ago, Richard Blagbourne who had sailed with Larry when he was only 19, Tony Latimer the local TV news announcer and his lady Pat Thomson who are both keen sailors and singers brought along thier guitar and squeeze box, Vicky and Craig Johnson who sailed with us on Taleisin's very first passage in 1983, down to San Diego brought a jack-o-lantern cut to look like a portrait of Larry, complete with grey and black streaked cotton beard. Then half way through the evening, a hoard of adult tricker- treaters in full costume stomped in, on their way from a boat party to the mid-night showing of the Rocky Horror Show and a rousing sing along began.

Now we have settled in and I am at my desk in the tiny bedroom for four or five hours each morning, Larry is the same in the bright and sunny front room. Afternoons we spend touching up the varnish work on Taleisin, cleaning her lockers and getting her ready for winter, or we work on the camper to make sure all systems are working, especially the heater as we prepare for the cold of the north east. We will be heading there on the first of January as, before we present our first program in at Mystic Seaport, we have the pleasure of consulting with Rick Waters, who is removing and replacing Seraffyn's 36 year old decks for her owner, George Dow. Seraffyn is in a barn right near the Seaport and Larry just might be able to help make the job go faster because he remembers exactly where each of the bolts went, how each piece of wood connects to the next.

We are both enjoying being in one place, glad we choose to be in what has turned out to be more like a town than a city. We've got plans to visit two more of the local museums, tickets for two shows, invites to learn old English Country dancing and plans for several more, make your own music, evenings. We feel surrounded by friends, but already I sense wanderlust setting in, plus a desire to be down at our real home in New Zealand soon.


Hope you are enjoying the autumn - we are as the rain has given way to magnificent sunny but cold days.

Sincerely,
Lin and Larry

P.S. Check back here about December 15th when instead of a news letter we will be adding a gift for your holidays, a story for you to read to friends on cold windy nights.

Note - We have added another location to our seminar schedule for the weekend of January 23rd and 24th, for folks in the Baltimore, and northern Chesapeake area. Click here for info.

 


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