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August 2005
Dear Friends:

The day was warm and still. Birds squealed and flitted in the bushes just a dozen yards from us. The quiet sounds of motors marked the to-ing and fro-ing of boats in the busy marina a few hundred yards to the south. The occasional light lapping of water against Taliesin's hull reminded us that she was restless to be away from her winter berth. But as the two of us worked sanding her cabin sides, chatting about our summer plans, remembering past pleasures, I was transported back through the years to the days we'd had together when we first met. Larry was a yacht skipper in Newport Beach back then. I was a bookkeeper/piano player from the San Fernando Valley who knew nothing about boats. On one of our first dates he had to finish some deck work before we could go play together. I joined in to speed things along and two or three hours later commented, "This isn't like work. This is a great way to spend an afternoon." Larry's answer came back to me now, "if it's for the man, its work. If I was doing it on my own boat I'd feel it was a treat."

Back on board Taleisin, I was going through some photos and reminiscing. Here I am putting provisions on board in Madiera for an Atlantic crossing. Sure is easier to provision around the Gulf Islands.

It has been a treat over the past few weeks since we returned to find Taleisin in fine condition in Victoria. Hidden Harbour, which has become our unofficial winter base, is unique. A tiny privately owned marina at the Esquimalt end of the Victoria harbour, it is home to a dozen liveaboards, plus its owner and family who live in the apartment above the marina. Because of the layout, we can park our pickup truck/camper about 100 feet away from Taleisin which means we can use the camper as a spare bedroom. Local shops are just over ½ mile walk, downtown Victoria is 1-1/2 miles the other way, and can be reached by a lovely boardwalk that skirts the waters edge. Or if we prefer we can take the tiny ferry from the next marina and be in downtown even quicker. With this easy living arrangement, we found we didn't move directly on board, but slowly savoured life on two levels, water level for cooking on board Taleisin, street level for sleeping as we removed winter covers, put a fresh coat of varnish on spars and hatches, and caught up with a lot of friends. Then there was the Folk festival in and around downtown to fill several afternoons, and just sitting and talking to the other folks on the docks, rowing out to set my crab trap (unsuccessfully but it didn't matter as I had a fine piece of fresh salmon waiting for dinner). For the first time in years we weren't in a hurry to go anywhere, we were just messing around in boats and I loved it.

It's been fun catching up with old friends as we cruise waters where Larry grew up. Even caught up with an Ocean Cruising Club Rendezvous, a club founded by Humphrey Barton and Mary Barton. We joined when we were in Malta on Seraffyn back in 1974. Took this picture of Mary and Hump back then. Hump crossed the Atlantic for the last time at the age of 81. Mary, at an age she says is - 85 plus, is still sailing and flying all over the world.

But of course there comes a time when you look at each other and say, enough is enough, we are definitely taking the easiest option here. So we drove Brownie the truck up to Canoe Cove, twenty miles from Victoria, where Doug Barron, another sailor who is trying for endless summers, has a tiny marina and spare land. With Brownie safely stored away we set sail and were reminded just how much we love this boat of ours. With breezes that never got over 10 knots and often were only 3 or 4, we crossed the straits to the San Juan Channel and headed up to Friday Harbour for clearance into American waters. (Interestingly customs clearance required we tie at the customs dock, but no one came down to see us. Instead I spoke into a telephone with a special video camera next to it, showed our passports to the camera, answered questions, smiled at the camera when asked and agreed to leave my grapefruit and lemon which I had bought in Canada in a bag next to the customs office then we were given a long clearance number and wished good sailing.

This is another bit of reunion nostalgia. Jimmy Moore is a favorite sailing friend from the days when Larry and I first met. He loaned us the old house Larry and I lived in while we built Taleisin in the mountains 40 miles southwest of Riverside California.

Talk of faceless officialdom. But she did have a pleasant voice and manner.) We are now officially on our way to no where and enjoying one more wonderful aspect of "just messing around in boats" as Taleisin lays quietly at anchor, Larry lazes the day away reading a good book, I answer letters and plan a rendezvous ashore with Barbara Merritt, a woman sailor I have met two dozen times in two dozen places. The weather is glorious, there are some interesting boats anchored near by, we've chosen the next islands we want to explore when we set sail tomorrow…wonder who and what will happen into our lives as we meander through these island filled waters. Only definite plan is to hopefully meet our friends, old and new, in September when we have Taleisin in Seattle for the Lake Union in the Water Boats Afloat show.

As we cruise through these lovely islands on board Taleisin, we are keeping an eye out for more second hand rubber shelled blocks to use in re-rigging our second love, Thelma. The blocks we like were originally made by South Coast and have soft brown shells and bronze strapping. They look far more appropriate than the stainless steel blocks we have been replacing.

Happy messing about in boats to all of you,
Lin and Larry


P.S. Hope those of you who have received the bonus CD interview of Larry and I offered by Paradise Cay with our Cruising DVD's, enjoyed the talk. It was done by telephone between New Zealand and California very early one morning just before we actually purchased Thelma.





VICTORIA























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