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October 2011

Posted by on October 13, 2011

Dear Friends:

Sometimes I wish I could yell “stop the action!” I’d like to freeze things long enough to truly savor the sight, concentrate on enjoying the emotions, the memories it brings to mind. One such moment happened when, late on a beautiful and breezy Sunday afternoon, I walked around the corner of the Situate Maritime Building and saw Larry seated in Seraffyn’s cockpit.

Larry at the Helm of Seraffyn

Larry at the Helm of Seraffyn

When we wrote to say we planned to drive to Boston and stop in Situate during our US tour, George Dow, who has owned our little Seraffyn for the past ten years, told us he would like to invite some of his friends and sailing mates for an evening with us. “I’ll have Seraffyn moored right in front so everyone can just step on board her if they want to,” he said. We arrived a few weeks after our letter and had a fine weekend with George and his family, then on Sunday Larry spent part of the day out sailing on the little ship that took us around the world so many years ago. (I’d been invited to share a lovely time with George’s wife Pam.) “I tried to use the best materials when we built her,” Larry told me after he came back from sailing. “ I hoped she’d last for 50 years. Guess she’ll make it ‘cause at 43 she’s looking great. George sure takes good care of her. Wait till you get on board.”

That’s George and his two boys on the porch at Situate

That’s George and his two boys on the porch at Situate

When we went back to the harbor for George’s gathering, Larry had rushed on ahead of me. So by the time I walked to a place where the building didn’t block the view to the water of this lovely bay, he was already seated in the cockpit, lounging back as comfortably as if he’d never been away from Seraffyn. Two folks were there with him and though I couldn’t hear his words, from his actions I could tell he was describing how the windvane worked to control the rudder which then controlled the boat’s course through the water. I stopped and memories flooded in, memories of the many times we’d come alongside docks in countries all over the world and folks had stopped to look at this handsome little classic, only to become fascinated by the simple details that made her so seaworthy. It a few minutes latter it seemed Larry had them on board, seated in her ample cockpit, offering them a glass of wine. Many of those casual encounters lead to friendships that carried us into the daily life of the places we visited.

We have literally toured from Sea to shining sea over the past three months. Brownie Lite has been a wonderful rolling home for us.

We have literally toured from Sea to shining sea over the past three months. Brownie Lite has been a wonderful rolling home for us.

On this day, Larry spotted me before I had time to savor the scene. “Come on down and see how well the mast has stood up,” he called. I climbed on board and went forward to caress the beautiful straight-grained spruce we’d carefully glued together. Then I climbed below and settled in to admire the new cabinetry that had been built in the galley to return “My boat’s” interior to the original layout. (it had been changed by her third owner to conform with his idea of a boat layout.) As I ran my eyes over the new and very nicely done woodwork, I noticed how well it blended into the old cabinetry. So little had changed since we built her. I felt right at home. Then I began to laugh. I rushed out to hug George who had just come down to the boat to join us. “You didn’t let them take out the dent,” I said. “Thanks you so much, that is a really important part of her life.” Yes, the deep dent right in the front of the varnished dish rack is a souvenir of her knockdown in a winter gale in the Baltic Sea. And everywhere I looked I saw memories, I saw reasons I wished I could stop time and recall each story. But George’s idea of a few friends was about 85 or 90 really great folks who had come along to share fresh oysters, lobster bisque, pulled pork sandwiches, wine and beer, sea shanty’s plus some sea stories. So time didn’t stand still, nor did I. What a special evening for us.

The stunning mountain parks of the Western US were part of our tour – that’s the Yellowstone river below Larry.

The stunning mountain parks of the Western US were part of our tour – that’s the Yellowstone river below Larry.

So now I look at the photos I took that day, the ones George sent along afterwards and do my remembering. The two weeks following that fine rendezvous with our past were just the beginning of our east coast tour. At each spot we’ve stopped to introduce Bull Canyon and to present sailing seminars, we have had encounters with folks we met during our Seraffyn days. Each has special memories of times on board a 24’4” long boat, that some would say, was too small for ocean voyage. But to us she was the perfect size, the perfect boat to fulfill the dreams of the young sailors we were when we finished building her.

You can see we never get too far from the water.

You can see we never get too far from the water.

Thank you George and Pam and family for caring for an important part of our life and for making us feel part of your special family.

Lin and Larry

5 Responses to October 2011

  1. glenn

    I’m from the West Coast, but I believe there’s a “C” in Scituate, but you don’t know it’s there if you’ve heard, but not read, the name.

  2. Sailhavasu

    Lin and Larry,

    My name is Sean Mulligan. I am and have been a huge fan for years. I sail a Lyle Hess designed Montgomery 23 named “Dauntless”.

    I organize a no profit Pocket Cruiser Convention each year in Lake Havasu City, AZ…during the month of February. The “Havasu Pocket Cruisers Convention” has grown tremendously over the last five years and is now a week long (plus) event with fun racing, cruising, seminars, and social events all geared toward trailerable sailboats. Last Feb we had about 130 boats attend from the US and Canada, and so far this year we have 100 signed up with crews from the US, Canada, Great Britian, and The Netherlands all converging on Lake Havasu for this week long celebration of sail (and we still have 4 months to go!) We beleive this to be one of the largest events of it’s type anywhere that is strictly for the smaller trailerable pocket cruisers. I do not know what your schedule might be, but if you are in the US in February we would love to have you join us…and better yet, would love to have you speak to our attendees. There are many Lyle Hess boats/fans that attend as Montgomerys are one of the most commmon boats at the event. I know Lyles boats hold a sweet spot in your heart. Jerry Montgomery, another name you may recognize also attends every year. Please take a minute and check out what we are doing. It’s a lot of fun. The website is:

    We would LOVE to see you here!

    Thanks for your time.

    Sean Mulligan
    Havasu Pocket Cruisers Convention

  3. Scott Sellards

    Lin and Larry,

    Thank you for this touching update. Great wordsmithing with delectable imagery. As with all your writing I feel as if I am there, living through what you are sharing; a rare gift.

    Just wonderful.


  4. soulfullspirit

    Hi Guys, Lin as soon as i read the first few words it choked me up you guys sure have lived life and hopefully many more to come
    Ciao William

  5. William

    I hope to meet you if you visit South Carolina.

    William Brown

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