As I begin writing this [at the end of August] the annual ASA In the Water Meet is under way in the Walton backwaters, actually they are probably now at dinner ashore. I expect reports and pictures to include before this goes out.
Without a doubt our news highlight this time is the 26ft Albert Strange canoe yacht MIST — she was launched two weeks ago at Woodbridge [writes Dick Wynne, who was there] following a heroic 10-year rebuild by boatbuilder and ASA member John Krejsa. You may recall that we first learned of the abandonment of this once-lovely craft in 2006, when she lay on a beach at Gareloch in Scotland. Her immediate history involved sinking at her mooring through a neglect caused in part by a family sailing tragedy, being raised by the Navy and placed on a barge for some time, then being left to a bleak fate on the shore.
Jim Hill, a local boatbuilder, did a great job of first having her lifted into a nearby abandoned aluminium lifeboat, for a measure of protection; then enlisting a local farmer with tractor to haul her up to the nearest road; and finally making a supporting cradle for her to be removed by truck for safekeeping by a Glasgow transport firm until her 'white knight' restorer emerged.
That was all ten years ago now and her transformation has been fantastic. In the way of these things she was rebuilt one piece at a time, retaining her shape, until nothing original remained but the cast iron keel — but what a keel, splayed in cross-section to continue the wineglass shape of the hull, so placing its mass as low down as possible for maximum effectiveness.
MIST was designed in 1906 and launched (the only known example of the design) in 1907. Her Western Isles and Irish Sea cruises of the time were recorded in Yachting Monthly but the ASA had no knowledge of her whereabouts in more recent years until we learned of her plight in 2006.
THE CANOE YAWL
Meanwhile, since the July newsletter Dick Wynne and Lodestar Books has published THE CANOE YAWL, by our long time Technical Secretary, Rick Powell. Here is the notice that came from Lodestar and the link to purchase. I’ve been too busy to order a copy myself but putting this together reminds me I need to see this! Order now!
The Canoe Yawl, Rick Powell's long-awaited book on (arguably!) the best type for single- or short-handed estuary and coastal cruising under sail, is now available to order on our website, and you can learn more about it by clicking the link above or on this image.
This is one of Lodestar’s many wonderful offerings you should check out if you haven’t. [I am not paying Thad to say this! — Dick]
The weather had other ideas from our own, which resulted in two small Meets about 25 miles apart! We hope to have some words about it next time, meanwhile here are a few snaps to whet your appetite:
... and Charmina, windbound in the Blackwater
Aboard Charm, somewhere near Harwich
Meanwhile in MAINE...
I, of course, being on the wrong side of the Atlantic, missed the In-the-Water-Meet but I was not just sitting in my rocking chair. I spent the middle two weeks of August teaching at the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine. I did arrive a day early so I could find a ride in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta. My ride was with an AS connection in a 45’ double ended French yawl. There were more than 100 wooden boats sailing in shifting conditions, ranging from calm to 20 knots, including dead spots which nearly everyone found at one time or another. A great sailing day instead of the forecast rain and thunderstorms.
For my class I had 7 dedicated and fun students who built and finished a built-by-eye Norwegian pram and went from lofting to more than half planking a 12ft rowboat modeled on boats build by a man named Arthur Spurling who lived on an island not far from the school, building these boats still when over 90 years old. The finished pram and the rowboat in process:
Ok, back to Strange business. You might remember the ASA project to produce a set of greeting cards. This has now come to fruition as announced by John Hobson who did much of the work, with Russell Read. The cards feature beautiful watercolours by Albert Strange originally photographed for reproduction by our founding Chairman Bill James. You can order the cards (6 different in a pack, with a special offer for two packs) on our website here — or click the image below.
There are signs of Autumn in the air. A Hurricane crossed Florida and the forecasters threatened us here in New England but so far the storm has stayed at sea and is now expected to dissipate before doing more damage, so I have hopes in a few days of a little sail in SEA HARMONY. Nothing like late summer and fall sailing!
ASA Hon Sec
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