|ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION
Tom and Kaye Assenmacher
Happy New Year
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK) are contemplating a cruise to Maine and possibly Nova Scotia in '98. He is still building the hard dodger - hope he finishes it soon so we can get the design plans. Wayne says this "retirement business is not for the weak - ha "
Frank and Gail Lavalley (MAROONED) have recently moved from Toronto to Montreal. They have owned her for 16 years and "next to marrying Gail, buying MAROONED was the best decision I ever made" according to Frank. Frank frequently meets A-37 owners in his business travels, throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and the Virgin Islands.
Ed Goveia (ESTORIL) sent a good A-37 contact in former Whitby Boat Works employee, Doug Stephenson. Doug is one of the foremost authorities on Albergs and Whitby's who runs a boat brokerage in Midland Ontario, and has a web page devoted to Whitby boats (mainly Whitby 42's and Alberg 37's. His address is Douglas Stephenson, Yachts with Experience, P.O. Box 333, Midland, Ontario L4R 4L1, Tel. 705.527.0442.
Guy Leroux (RED FOX) sailed last summer mainly in the Ile-aux-Grues archipelago region (80 miles east of Quebec on the St. Lawrence River), and did take a 2 week holiday on the Saguenay river with its wonderful fjord. He is looking for detailed interior and exterior plans for the A-37. We're not sure that such plans exist. Guy is also interested in replacing the quarter berth with a more functional nav station. There have been a lot of modifications on a lot of boats, the best suggestion is to get out and look at other A-37's. Guy is also looking for owners with autopilot experience. Most boats that we've seen use one of the belt or gear driven Autohelms. He also wants to contact any owner with a Perkins Pyrana 25 HP engine. He is swinging a RH 14 x 7 - 3 bladed prop and thinks the prop is too large for the engine. Anyone have prop experience?
Lois Jacob (INTERLUDE) recently wrote that while on a visit to Chicago she had spoken with Alex Magnone of Whitby Custom Boat Works (in the business of refurbishing Albergs - located in the old Whitby Boat Works facility). Alex had been the carpenter when INTERLUDE was built in 1981. He remembered Lois and their boat. They had ordered extensive changes in the interior layout, working within existing bulkheads, and he kept photos of the work. Whitby informally referred to INTERLUDE as the "MARK III". They really do love their boat and assume all A-37 owners do too! (Ed. Note: Lois didn't mention where INTERLUDE currently is, but the last we heard they were still in the Pacific.)
Charlie Deakyne (SCRIMSHAW) took part in the Governors Cup Race on the Chesapeake (Annapolis to St. Mary's City). Although they didn't place too well, they had a lot of fun. Kaye and I were anchored off the finish line and saw SCRIMSHAW cross. She looked good under full sail including spinnaker.
Steve Novak reports that he recently sold his Alberg and is now looking for another A-37. Steve would like to know if anyone knows of one for sale.
Dick Wilke wrote in October that he and Gord Murphy took IOLANTHE on a three week cruise up the Canadian shore of Lake Huron, through the North Channel, and down the Michigan shore. Great weather and mostly under sail. Dick reports that Gord planned to leave in late October for Indiantown, FL to launch INTERLUDE. He and Wendy plan to cross Lake Okechobie and sail some of the West Coast of Florida, then go back to the Bahamas. Dick also sent a set of A-37 instructions, wiring diagrams, rigging diagrams, water system diagrams etc. that were supplied with his boat by Whitby Boat Works. The set contains some neat information. If anyone would like a copy of these instructions, please send us a LARGE self addressed stamped envelope and we'll get you a copy.
Norman Wallet writes that he purchased L'ESCOUSSE from his father, Ron several years ago. Seems that Ron has gone to a 43' Cape Island Style powerboat. The Wallets hail from Shelburne, Nova Scotia.
WELCOME TO THE FOLLOWING NEW MEMBERS
Paul Falenwider of Williamsburg, VA, while not currently an A-37 owner, has joined the group and is actively looking for a good boat. He paid a visit to us in Kinsale in November for a guided tour of our yawl, and decided he liked the A-37. We haven't heard whether he has had any success in finding the "right" boat.
Deirdre and Peter Ireland of Coquitlam, B.C., purchased WINDPIPER, a 1982 A-37 (don't know whether she's a sloop or yawl) about 2 years ago. WINDPIPER is hull # 244 which makes her one of the last of the A-37 production. They are currently upgrading her from a "basic" boat, and would appreciate any information from members.
Skip Hilder of Traverse City, Michigan recently purchased DELIVERANCE, a 1978 sloop, hull # 190. DELIVERANCE was a 'derelict' boat that laid alongside in Shadyside, Maryland for years. We had received a call from the previous owner's daughter about a year ago wanting to sell her. She was little used, but, from Skip's description, she was in sorry shape. He is in the process of refurbishing her in anticipation of a trip south.
Dan and Rita Stuart of South Lyon, Michigan report that FALCON, a 1967 sloop lies at the Ford Yacht Club on Grosse Ile at the mouth of the Detroit River. Although structurally sound, FALCON is "aesthetically challenged". They have invested the first 2 years of ownership in restoring basic systems including the head, fuel systems, reincarnated the shower, restored exterior teak, installed a battery charger, autopilot, loran etc. Next on the agenda is to rebed deck fittings, replace galley range, refinish the interior, etc. Having just started their restoration, they would appreciate advice from those who have "been there." They are unsure of the hull # as none of their paperwork shows hull # information, and there is no hull # embossed in the hull. (Ed. note: Does anyone know when hull ID embossings became mandatory? Also, from looking at the roster, and from previous knowledge, 1967 was the first year of production, and the hull # probably lies somewhere below #36 ). They have limited their cruising to Lake Erie destinations, however, they plan trips to Toronto, Chicago, and later, the Apostle Islands and Duluth on Lake Superior.
Chuck and Ruth Merrill of Wiarton, Ontario are the fourth owners of NIMBLE, hull # 36. NIMBLE had been struck by lightning last summer and had 5 holes blown in her below the waterline, the largest just off of the chain locker. These were not holes that one could look through, but charred, delaminated areas with the glass still mostly intact. The holes leaked well enough, but not so badly that the boat could not motor 10 miles back to port to be hauled. They got her patched up and in the water with a BIG groundplate. Chuck sent a comprehensive article regarding lightning strikes and protection from the October-November 1996 issue of "Professional Boatbuilder". If anyone wants a copy of this article, please send us a LARGE stamped, self addressed envelope and we'll get a copy out to you. They are now in the process of refitting/refurbishing/restoring NIMBLE. Chuck is interested in corresponding with anyone who has converted to and has a sail plan for a cutter rig. The only cutter rig that we have seen is that of Marcel Steinz' SOUTHERN CROSS. Marcel had only recently converted to the cutter rig and had very little sailing experience with the new rig. We do have a few pictures of Marcel's rig.
News from Brian and Kathy Marsh aboard TUNDRA:
(Written November 17)
I start back on August 21st - the day we sailed out of Sarnia into headseas on Lake Huron and made the big left turn down the St Clair river into a beautiful sunset. The first weekend we layed over at Fawn Island visiting boating friends Bill and Eva Doyle and generally organizing down below.Our son, Rod, drove down from a business trip to Toronto and we were able to have a quality visit. It was so great to see him, however short the time.
Our good cruising friends Herb and Barb were waiting in Detroit and gave us lots of local information and assistance through Lake Erie and the Erie Barge Canal. We were very appreciative of their experience as Brian had sprained his ankle early in the trip and wasn't feeling too peppy. At Tonnawanda we took the mast down and laid it on deck amidships in order to accommodate the lift bridges and 37 locks. The Barge Canal is a wonderful sail through early american history. The canal provided transport via packet boats for people and produce into the mid states frontier in the early 1800's. Mules pulled the barges and one can almost feel how they must have strained with heavy loads.
As we approached the Hudson we said goodbye to Herb and Barb as they travel much faster in their trawler than our 5-6 knot average. Our sail down the Hudson included a stopover to restep the mast, then several anchorages and much beautiful scenery before we sailed under the statue of liberty at 11 knots on an ebb tide. What a thrill! We've been in tandem with a couple from Port Stanley on Windswept 4, a C&C 40, for most of the trip. They're heading south and have just retired, too. We have lots in common. We experienced salt water first at Peekskill, just north of the Tappen Zee bridge north of New York and what an exciting time.
Mid september we left from Sandy Hook and went outside to Cape May. Our first `overnighter' in the Atlantic was very kind to us except for fog on our arrival. This necessitated standing off for a couple of hours as the sun burned off. Here we saw our first jelly fish alongside and talked to others in the same circumstance. Interesting to hear voices and sounds and not see people. One of the first sightings was of a great dane on a trawler. Brian insisted I come and see the horse on it's bow. Shortly after, the horse barked! Hilarious.
Cape May was jammed with boats of all description. Many fishermen, tour boats, crabbers, etc. It was a little tricky having a sunshower in the cockpit.
Next morning we powered through the Cape May canal and caught a flood tide up Delaware Bay. It was another record passage and just in time to transit the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and set anchor in Piney Cove before a howling northwester came through. Weather had been wonderfully warm and sunny and kindly to this point. The front was shortlived and we moved into the Sassafras river to gain some shelter. Here Windswept and ourselves happened on a crab fisherman and bought a bushel of crabs for $25.00. Cooking them was some feat. We thought we'd die laughing with crabs careening through our dinghys, boats, and everywhere except the pot. Subsequently we shared them around with neighbouring boats. What a great welcome to the Chesapeake.
Our next stop was Baltimore. Here Phil and Marie Clark, friends from SYC, guided us into a great marina where we left Tundra for a short visit home.
My sister and brother-in-law, Eleanor and John, arrived from Vancouver via plane and taxi. We were able to enjoy several days touring Baltimore, then sailed to the West River to commission Galiander who had been shipped from B.C. Several days of routine commissioning went smoothly and we were off to St Michael's on the Eastern Shore of the Bay. Here we enjoyed hospitality of Lea and Gerry Warwick, Alberg 37 friends. They generously let us use their car and we explored Annapolis for a day. A highlight here was attending the Tilghman Volunteer Fire Dept Fair. Oyster shucking and crab cleaning contests were great fun and we ate samples of all. Also, Sherrill and Wayne Bower sailed in on their Alberg 37, Teelock, for an eyeball. It was great to meet them and garner some of their local knowledge.
The wind was very favourable on October 21st so we beat up the Miles River and flew down Eastern Bay and Chesapeake Bay to the Solomons. Here we sat in Back Creek at anchor. The harbour was packed with canadian snowbirds, several german boats, and a swiss boat. Our dear american friends were really outnumbered and so hospitable again. Here we had Kaye and Tom Assenmacher, the editors of our Alberg 37 newsletter, for dinner on Tundra and enjoyed their company immensely. Here the weather perked up a little again and we sailed on down to Kaye and Tom's dock in Kinsale. Here we ran aground 100 feet from the dock and experienced our first `heel and tow', thanks to Windswept and friendly neighbours in their whaler. Tom and Kaye took us all to the local yacht club oyster fest and the hospitality and food were truly wonderful.
Temperatures were bouncing from 30 to 50 degrees encouraging us to head south more quickly. Some nasty weather ensued so we made several short hops down the Chesapeake. We spent a day drying out at Norfolk in the Portsmouth Hospital harbour located at mile 0 of the intercoastal waterway. As Brian said "The Chesapeake spit us out!" We had a most raucous and invigorating sail down the lower bay and this area just exudes the mighty american military presence. With depths being too `skinny' for us in the Dismal Swamp we proceeded down the Virginia Cut. Great Bridge was the next stop and this leg of the trip introduced us to ICW bridge manoevring. The dock was alongside a busy residential area of Norfolk. Provisioning was good and easy. Navigating gets much more challenging in this area and keen attention is needed to stay in adequate depths and accurately between the very dependable ICW markers. Winds picked up as we went through Coinjock so we snuggled in at the Buck Island anchorage to wait for weather to settle before tackling Albermarle Sound. We launched the dinghy and putted through the local marsh enjoying the early evening calm before trick or treating the neighbouring boats. Galiander even had a beautifully carved pumpkin on deck. Next a m we decided to move and motor sailed across the sound and into the Alligator river. Here we enjoyed some shoreside heat after crossing Albemarle Sound. As we approached the Alligator River, Tundra drag-bounced over a narrow spot. A look behind put us dead centre between the red and green buoys! I guess we can look forward to more of that. November 7th. We're still travelling with 3 other Canadian boats, including Eleanor and John on Galiander, and enjoying all very much. We're commonly known as the CCC (Canadian Cruising Contingent), a wing of the Canadian navy! Flotillas head south every day. Bellhaven proved to be a good anchorage with a Radio Shack right on the main street-amazing! Good friends, Jane and Ted Diamond-previous past commodores and retirees in North Carolina-came down for a fun breakfast visit. Off down the Pungo River to the RE MAYO company, a shrimping dock. Most interesting to see the local watermen bringing in their catch of mullet and rockfish-a good secure stopover after the traffic quieted down. Passing through the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers was entertaining in that we had our first dolphin sightings and some good sailing. An overnight in Oriental provided us a good visit with Pat and George KC9AC of our turkey net. More shrimping industry and it smelled very salty. From Oriental we trecked on down to Beaufort in less than ideal conditions and experienced lots of current in the entrance channel. Anchored in Taylor Creek proved a lovely experience. We watched wild ponies from our cockpit and relaxed in drizzly, windy weather. The museum here catered to cruisers providing a courtesy car for shopping. Their exhibits were very descriptive re local fishing industry and origins of the area. Navigating sure keeps us on our toes! The canals are narrow and we're starting to get into tides and currents again. The next leg took us through Morehead City and on down to Camp Lejeune. This anchorage was a bird watchers paradise with a few bugs invading. It's convenience to the ICW and pure beauty were great assets. One was not allowed to go ashore as it's in a military practice zone. The next morning was beautiful and bright and there must have been a 100 boats of all description moving along. Watching the currents and shoals in the area of Swansboro took all our attention until we noticed a crab boat coming directly for our bow. He veered off within 6 inches of our hull and our lives!!! We were shocked to say the least to see him returning to admonish us for being out of the channel in his crab area. Being in 20 feet of water on the track we told him we were staying where we were. What a scare. We reported him to the Coast Guard and they conveniently lost radio contact with us saying that they could not file a complaint unless we could give a better description of the boat. A friend reminded us that we are now south of the Mason-Dixon Line! Our next anchorage was Carolina Beach and we were glad to be there and slept not to soundly considering our crab experience. Snow Cut leading into the Cape Fear river was running quite a current next day. We appreciate current experience from our own SYC and the St Clair river. Several markers were out here which added to the fun. A flood tide took us into Southport where we fueled, had a welcome shower before heading on to Barefoot Landing via Myrtle Beach. En route we sailed through the `Rock Pile', and area of rocky ledges peculiar to this 15 mile stretch.Barefoot was a free dock with true american commercialism on deck. Factory outlets, etc abound. We left in the early morning rain for Bucksport. Here we saw the John Buck home (one of 3) in total eery ruin. He was the original lumber baron of the area and converted to shipbuilding in his later years. The docks weren't anything special but the shore power and heat and hot showers were a blessing as we had gotten pretty wet in the daily downpour. Georgetown was the next stop. It was entertaining in that several boats slipped clear through the anchorage in front of our very eyes. All dinghied to assist the abandoned vessels. The local residents did all they could to assist and we appreciated their care. Apparently there had been several robberies of yachties recently. I was pleased to move on to the salt marshes and a wonderful anchorage at Whiteside Creek. Here we watched all the bird life settle, the sun go down and a beautiful moonrise. Charleston City Marina is warm respite as the unseasonably cold temperatures have set in.
Our season's greeting's to all our Alberg compatriots and a great big thankyou to Tom and Kaye for their efforts communicating on our behalf. These boats are pretty special and Tundra and crew are very happy going south.
Sincerely, Brian and Kathy Marsh
The Trip from Hell by John and Becky Long (SOLSKIN II)
This was to be a long awaited six week vacation. Looking forward to our annual rendezvous at Kinsale with other members of our organization. We tried to set up a mini "feeder cruise" to this meeting. As it turned out we did meet up with TEELOK at Harness Creek, after motoring to South River from the Magothy River. After a very pleasant evening in Harness Creek we motored to Solomons Island and anchored in Mill Creek, again with TEELOK. The next day we motored, again to St. Leonard Creek and had a very lovely meal at Vera's White Sands. The next day again, we motored back to Solomon's Island and anchored near TEELOK off Zanhiser's marina. T. J. and Kaye met us by dinghy for dinner on board. A very pleasant evening was had by all. Again the next day, 8/28/97, Thur. we again, motored to the Coan River on T. J.' s recommendation. Later on the radio TEELOK reported an "INTERESTING" entrance. We anticipated an interesting entrance also...it was. About 6" under our keel. The next day, Fri. 8/29/97 TEELOK motored out of the Coan River, it was literally touch and go for TEELOK and SOLSKIN II. TEELOK motored to the Yeocomico River, we sailed, jib and jigger. We arrived at the Assenmacher's residence later that day. After a very pleasant Friday thru Monday stay, we moved on. Next stop Mill Creek, off of the Great Wicomico River. The next day, we moved on to Indian Creek. A very nice anchorage, just follow the marks, to Pitman's Cove. On leaving the next morning we came across a sailboat in some moderate distress (no engine). We attempted to help, but couldn't get their engine started. It was a Catalina 30 with an Atomic Diesel. After about an hour we moved on, wishing them good luck, since they were in no real danger. After this attempt we moved South with a destination of Norfolk. No wind, but with an early start and a good tide, this seemed reasonable. As we approached the intersection of the lower bay and the York River channels in the late afternoon the engine made some strange sounds. I thought it sounded like a fuel problem, so I went below to swap fuel tanks. As I was doing this there was more noise , a lot of smoke, and that was that. The engine never ran again. Even after pulling the injectors, the engine was seized! On the radio I called SEATOW about their availability. No engine, no wind, 1/2 tank of fuel in the dink, becalmed in a major shipping channel. After more efforts I attempted to call SEATOW, no response. The wind picked up from the southwest. We sailed up the York River with a light wind on the nose. Our combined eyesight was poor to say the least. The depth sounder was working intermittently, but the G.P.S. was on. A small fish boat approached at dusk asking directions. We wished him well. Later that night, following an outdated chart, a flakey depthsounder, and a good G.P.S. we anchored in the York River off of Perrin River. As the dawn arrived we found that we were about one mile out, last nite it seemed close. Well, now the story gets more intense. With the dink we go ashore to Cooks' Landing. Knowing the engine needs to be pulled, I asked the questions. Can you pull the engine? Yes! Do you have enough water? Yes! On and on. Talked to SEATOW from the dink. Capt. Charles Duke seemed very helpful, he even drove us to York River Yacht Haven and introduced us to one of their managers. We explained our situation. Their solution was to put us up on the hard and then pull the engine, otherwise pay transient fees. This didn't make sense. Living on a boat on the hard is very difficult. Right or wrong we decided to stay at Cooks Landing at Perrin River. We then stopped at Cooks Landing office and made arrangements to stay. The person on duty gave us some reasonable rates. This seemed ok. Then we dinghied out to Solskin II, called SEATOW for a pick-up at their convenience. After some missed communication and they missing our location we got towed in, at about 10 knots. This may have been well worth it to knock some of the growth off of the bottom. We talked to the manager of Cooks Landing about the haul out of the engine, and he said this was no problem with their open ended travel lift. I thought about this, this won't work. Solskin II is a yawl. Now the manager said they could use their gin pole, after all they had pulled masts that weighed more than our engine and transmission. I checked this out, and well maybe, looked shaky. I worked until Mon. am getting the engine reay to pull. thinking about the gin pole I decided to get the engine off the mounts and beds and into the cabin, not trusting their gin pole to do this.
During this time we were befriended by an English couple on the yacht John Martin of Rye. We borrowed a come along and a 4 X 4 from them and lifted the stricken diesel from the bed and got it into the main cabin. Monday afternoon we moved Solskin II to the pit, about 300 yards, with the dink. This is something we learned. In calm, short ranged conditions, it is easier and more controlled to tow with the dink in reverse, (nose to nose). When we, with the help of our new friends, got positioned under the gin pole, their electric winch didn't work. Confronted with this they said they would use a truck through blocks, very carefully for power. I said no! I hooked the come along to the nylon line on the gin pole and stretched their line. OK, try again. Hooked my 6 to 1 main sheet rig to their gin pole. I managed to stretch their rig about 15 feet and still never moved the engine. With this and a falling tide we called Marcus at Trans -Atlantic Diesel . He had previously offered the use of his truck with a knuckle boom to lift the engine and transport it to his business. Now all of the sudden he was uninsured for this operation but offered to call a construction Co. for a crane. They arrived within 30 min. and lifted the engine professionally, and delivered it to the shop, ($150). Tuesday , with the help of our English friends we got to meet Marcus and he said the engine was history, unless we wanted to wait for a total rebuild, or a partial which he wouldn't guarantee. we were shown a "floor model" BLUE PERKINS. We assumed this was the remanufactured engine we were going to get. stuck 150 miles from home, no transportation, and time running out, I gave him a check. Thursday we went back to Trans - Atlantic Diesels and paid the remainder. He said he would arrange for a crane to transport the remanufacture engine to us at 1600 the next day, (high tide). So , after several phone calls, the remanufactured RED ENGINE showed up on the boom of a tow truck. Now keep in mind that Becky and I again moved Solskin II from the dock to the pit with the dink. The tow truck operator was very professional and careful, but the boom, in length, was marginal. It got lowered and transferred to the come along, with some difficulty, safely (only $100) this time.Now we moved Solskin II back out of the pit, under dinghy power, to the end of the "T" again. I got the engine hooked up and aligned and ran it for about 15 Min. It sounded pretty good, but discovered a small oil leak at the bell housing. The same place I had a small oil leak on the old engine. Some coincidence? The next day, Sun. Pete, from John Martin and I planned a shake down run from Perrin River. to Sarah Cr. for fuel etc. and back, a distance of about 10 mi. During this time Becky was shopping for provisions to head north. The weather was clear and hot with a flat calm. we got as far as the main channel in the York River, off the oil refinery and it quit. Sounded like a fuel problem, I've been there before. Tried bleeding the system, repeatedly, no success. Now here comes a tug and tow, he went around us. Pete had a go at this, no good. Now I got a call from Solskin mobile. Where are you? Broke down on the York River! Silence! With the dink low on fuel, we lashed it alongside and worked our way back into Perrin River. Monday I tried everything to eliminate any possibility of this problem of being my own, Thinking fuel, I went to the extreme of hanging a jerry can of fuel from the hatch eliminating my entire fuel system. Out of frustration I called Marcus and asked for suggestions. He said there was a possibility that an injector got stuck open and the compression was blowing air back into the fuel system. I didn't think of this, I was thinking of the suction side. Trans - Atlantic Diesel said they would send a mechanic to help. he arrived at 1730. this guy (RANDY) tried very hard, but with the same results as I. He eventually replaced 3 of the 4 injectors, that evening, with the same results. The diagnosis was the injector pump. What else could it be with a remanufactured engine? The next day Randy arrived with a new injector pump, worked all day and got it running. I then asked him if he told Marcus about the oil leak? He said yes, so I called Marcus about this and he wanted to know if it was an issue. YES was the answer! Surprise surprise! The engine would have come out again, but he would pay for the crane. Well here we go again, Becky and I are getting pretty good about moving Solskin II around with a dink in reverse.
Well, the crane he paid for was the one that was not insured for this operation, and it worked very well. While removing the engine this time a rear engine mount was broken. The remanufactured Red engine was taken back to the shop. It was supposedly set at an exaggerated angle and ran for hours. No wrench was put to it and no oil leak was found, he said. Marcus' best guess that was fuel from when we had the fuel problem. I had discovered the oil leak before there was a fuel problem. The engine was delivered back to us on the uninsured crane on a falling tide. Again we moved Solskin II under dinghy power to the pit. A new engine mount was installed. The trouble with that was it was 1/2" taller than the previous one and engine alignment would be impossible. Swapping mounts around was the answer. Now the engine was lowered into the boat and transferred to the come along and the mechanic helped me hook up the controls. We tried to move from the pit but were aground, with all kinds of critters running up and down those walls.
I continued to install the engine waiting for a rising tide. Our patients were wearing thin, to say the least. The tide returned, and after dark we again moved Solskin II under dinghy power. The next day I got it running. Sounded great, no leaks, almost. After some very close scrutiny I discovered a leak in the riser where the raw water is injected into the exhaust. Not much wonder after all this thing has been through. Pulled the riser and give it to a local mechanic to take to a machine shop. Later I got a ride from a local to the machine shop, no riser. It had been picked up by the same person that had dropped it off. Great, but I needed some high temperature gasket material, the local auto parts dealer didn't have it. Back to Trans - Atlantic Diesel. Marcus gave me Gaskets just to get rid of me. Reinstalled the riser, still leaked, I' m tired of this. Time for epoxy, that seemed to work so far.
Now, two weeks later my one for one exchange diesel seems to be working ok, less the hot water heater, tachometer and galley sink. We are doing dishes in the head.
Now we headed North, licking our wounds, making cell phone calls of apologies for missed appointments etc. The "new diesel" seemed to be behaving itself.
The next stop was in Barrett Cr. off the Great Wicomico. Our objective was to meet Isabel and Ralph Rose, ex owners of BRIGHTLINGSEA. After meeting some local sailors who were good enough to take us in to use their phone. We discovered that we were anchored almost under their balcony. We ran across the creek by dink and met them at their dock. They invited us in. What wonderful and gracious people the Rose's. The next day we headed north again, under sail, hurrah, heading for the Patuxent. We called T. J. and Kaye and met for dinner. We gave some of the details, T. J. said send him a letter. (This is the letter - Ed.) Again we moved North, this time to Harness Cr. off of the South River, one of our favorite anchorages. Suspecting our friends from the sailing vessel La Esmeralda were in the area, Becky gave them a call on the radio. There was an immediate response from Spa Creek. We had not seen them for about five years, when they were recovering from a lightning strike. The next day we sailed to Annapolis and met in Spa Creek. They were again recovering from another lightning strike. La Esmeralda's dodger and sun shades had been perforated by burning metal. Now we moved on to our own dock in the Magothy under power.
Weeks later most everything was operational, except the tach. I'm back to my part time job, Becky is back to work. What a Trip! But on the upside we made some friends, hopefully long lasting.
Enough of this. Hopefully next year will be better.
Thanks for listening
Becky and John
BRIGHTLINGSEA II's Trip South, by Tom Westran
BRIGHTLINGSEA II arrived at Hartges' Yacht Yard in Galesville, MD on a trailer on September 23. We spent almost three weeks at Hartges finishing fitting out and getting things fixed. There cannot be a better yard for service. I would highly recommend them to anyone.
After leaving Hartge's we spent the Boat Show Weekend in Annapolis and are happy to report that we didn't see anything that made us want to trade BRIGHTLINGSEA II in on.Because of our late start we didn't spend much time cruising the Chesapeake and regret that we couldn't make the Rendezvous. One of the trip's highlights was returning BRIGHTLINGSEA II to her former owners, Ralph and Isabel Rose. We had a good visit with them and look forward to seeing them again on the North-bound journey.
Due to various mechanical and electronic gremlins that crept into the systems, we didn't get into the ICW until November 5. During the various delays we mad good use of our time doing the various tourist sites. The Mariner's Museum in Newport News should not be missed by anyone heading in that direction. We can also highly recommend the Bluewater Marina in Hampton where we were delayed awaiting parts. The service we received made the delay quite enjoyable.
The ICW has proven to be much more enjoyable than either of us had expected. There has not been much sailing apart from a very good sail across Albermarle Sound. We hit the weather just right with about 15 Kts and 1' - 1 1/2' seas. The sail down the Neuse River was more to BRIGHTLINGSEA II'S liking, winds in the 20+kts range but in the right direction.
We have spent our share of time "dredging" the ICW. We have the routine down pat to get off without help. The Lewmar electric windlass is one piece of gear that has been flawless to date and has made grounding a minor hassle.
The only hard lump we landed on was at Swansboro where we swung and were dropped onto a lump of old oyster shells on a falling tide. There was 5 ' of water at the stern and 10' at the bow. We would advise anyone anchoring in Swansboro to favor the channel and to use two anchors to limit swinging. The holding is also not the best. What is the best however is the value in your dollar for the lunch at Yana's "Ye Olde Drug Store Restaurant". Their $5.00 lunch special cannot be beat.
Our slow pace South has meant that we are chasing the warm weather. Although the lows are a long way from the -25C that has been experienced at our home port, Ottawa, we are certainly grateful for our SIGMAR diesel heater. This is another piece of equipment that certainly works. It is pricey, you could by two Force 10 bulkhead heaters for the price of the SIGMAR, but it has performed great, and it looks good as well.
We have only met one other Alberg 37 on the trip, Dave Mann from GANGAWA. He had just finished installing a new engine when we met him at Myrtle Beach. (Ed. Note: We no longer have a good address on Dave - mail has been returned - does anyone have his current address???)
The main highlights of our trip have been the great people we have met and the excellent service we have received from everyone. It is hard to single out any particular place or individual but we can recommend a new marina at Little River, CRICKETT COVE as a superior facility. It has deep water and personnel that go out of their way to make your stay pleasant. The service at the Charleston City Marina also cannot be topped.
Tom promises to send us more their adventures aboard BRIGHTLINGSEA II in the future.
The Perils of Peregrina, by Larry Bradley (Ed. The following was found on the Internet - Giving a cruising account of PEREGRINA, owned by Brice and Teresa Wightman.)
Once again this spring, Diane and I spent 3 weeks in the Bahamas aboard "Peregrina", and Alberg 37 yawl owned by Brice and Teresa Wightman. Followers of this saga know that this tale tells about cruising like it REALLY is, not the rose-coloured-glasses view one gets from the magazines. With this in mind, put on your foul weather gear and your safety harness, batten down the hatches, reef the main and hoist the storm jib - we're off sailing!
For a change, Peregrina was actually IN Nassau when we arrived, was at a dock, and everything was working. A minor problem was that she was NOT at the dock where she was supposed to be, and where the cabbie left us off. A quick call on channel 16 using my handheld raised "Peregrina", whereupon the skipper informed us he was on the gas dock at Yacht Haven, NOT at East Bay - just as the cab pulled away. That's OK - cabs are as ubiquitous in Nassau as mosquitos in Pontiac Bay.
We were allowed to stay at the gas dock overnight. First thing next morning (Sunday), up and off the grocery store to stock up, then we were under way by 9:30. Sunny, warm, nice breeze for a reach to Norman's Cay, about 40 miles away. Anchorage was not too crowded - about 25 boats. There is a vicious tidal current in the anchorage, as there is in many anchorages in the Exumas, so two anchors were put down - one in the direction of the flood tide, and one for the ebb. A nice supper and a peaceful night's sleep. (Right about now you are wondering "what's going to go wrong" - things are going too well. Keep reading.)
Up around 6am the next morning. Skipper says "I've got good news, and I have bad news." Say's I, "What's the good news?" Skipper says "I found the spares kit for the head." Indeed, that is good news. Stupid me, forgetting the axiom "Never ask a question to which you REALLY don't want to know the answer", asked "So what's the bad news?". Answer: "We need to USE the spares kit - the head has exploded - just AFTER I used it". Argh! It turned out that the gasket in the waste outlet side of the pump had given way, and instead of the pump pumping the stuff over the side, it was pumping into the head compartment. Messy stuff! So - take head apart - remember, it just has been used - this is worse than changing my grandson's diaper! Replace all gaskets. Clean scale (and other less pleasant stuff) out of pipes. Put head back together. Try pumping. No go. Argh! Take head apart again, this time to replace joker valve at the outlet hose. That's where the problem started - there was a blockage at the joker valve, and the pressure built up when the head was pumped blew out the worn gaskets. Finally, after 5 hours, the job in the head (no pun intended) was done.
That evening, the wind started to pick up from the south-east. Now the anchors are set in an east-west line and that's how the boat lies, 'cause that's how the tidal current flows. But with the wind a-honkin', the boat now lies bow to the south-east, the wind being strong enough to overcome the current. No problem - anchors are holding just fine. Until around 11pm, as the tide goes out, there is a "bump" from the keel as "Peregrina" touches the sand bottom. The water was a tad thin where we ended up after the wind took over. And at night, in a crowded anchorage, with high winds and a vicious current, we were not about to try to move. The boat has a full keel, so she rests on it quite safely. However, as the tide went out, she heeled about 30 degrees. This made sleeping in the V-berth an interesting exercise. The final solution was to sleep athwartships, feet down, rather than try to stop rolling down to the low side.
Next morning, the wind was still blowing 15-20 knots SE, so we headed out onto the banks to sail on to Warderick Wells, another 30 miles or so south. Up went the number 2 and a reefed main, and off we went, close-hauled, for a heavy, but fun sail.
Warderick Wells is a fascinating spot. It is the headquarters for the Exuma Land and Sea Park, operated by the Bahamas National Trust. Within the Park, which extends for about 50 miles along the Exuma chain, the flora and fauna are protected. The Park Warden, his wife and baby, live in a small wooden building which also houses the Park Headquarters office. The building was constructed to a great extent by volunteer labour, with most of it coming from the sailing fraternity. Many of the cruisers (your truly included) spend some of their time at Warderick Wells working around the HQ. The anchorage is a crescent, perhaps 100 feet wide, between the island and a huge sandbank that dries at low tide. A vicious tidal current flows through here. There are about 25 mooring buoys which are available by reservation over the VHF - anchoring is not allowed. $15 gets you a mooring for two nights maximum. However, the really dedicated volunteers get to stay longer - I met a couple that had been there for 6 weeks, working around the place. There are all sorts of trails around the island for exploring, and there are always cruisers hanging around the Park HQ to chat with.
After two days in Warderick Wells, it was back on to the banks for a close-hauled sail in 20 knots to Staniel Cay, some 25 miles away. We tied up at the Staniel Cay Club, which had recently re-opened after a 2-year closure. Here one can get fuel, water (at 50 cents per gallon), ice, and supplies. There are three small grocery stores on the island, an airstrip, church, two marinas (the Happy People is the other one). Both marinas server dinner. You make reservations early in the afternoon, and place your order then. When you arrive at 7:30 for dinner, it's all ready for you. And delicious. We only stayed on the dock for one night to stock up and eat. The next day we motored out to a lovely anchorage behind Big Major's Spot. This is a huge anchorage that could easily hold 100 boats. Sand bottom in about 12 feet of water, with several nice beaches. Other than the odd yahoo on a seadoo (the larger motor vessels tend to carry several of these obnoxious machines), it was a peaceful spot.
The next morning at slack tide we carefully eased "Peregrina" through a 20' wide channel between Big Major's and another small key in order to get out to the deep waters of Exuma Sound for a sail to our next stop - Farmer's Cay.
by the Editor
The purpose of the newsletter is to provide a vehicle for the exchange of ideas relating to our Alberg 37 experiences (good and bad), maintenance tips, cruising information and to maintain a roster of Alberg 37 owners.
We suggest $10.00 a year to cover costs of publishing the quarterly newsletter. We also might suggest to our Canadian members that they send either U.S. currency or a Canadian Postal Money Order payable in U.S. dollars. Unfortunately, in order to cash a check drawn on a Canadian bank (even if in U.S. funds), a $5.00 fee is charged.
Also, you should be aware of our group's agreement with BOAT U.S. whereby we get membership for half price ($8.50 vice $17.00) as members of a cooperating group. Please mention that you are a member of the Alberg 37 Owners Group and include the Cooperating Group number GA 83253 S when you join Boat U.S. or send in your annual renewal of membership dues. Boat U.S. membership is no longer required to make purchases from their stores or catalog, however, membership is still required for the purchase of boaters insurance.
We recently placed an order for 12 pennants and have about 8 remaining for $26.00 U.S. (cost plus postage). This is a very tastefully rendered and durable pennant. The next order that we place may cost a bit more, so let us know if you want one of the pennants we now have on hand.
We are soliciting any members having E-mail addresses and are willing to have them published in the newsletter/roster, to please send them to us.
We have a couple of requests: When you write to us with a long cruising account/maintenance tips etc. (and you have a computer), could you send a diskette of the text? That would save us a lot of re-keying. We can probably read about any word processing file (MS WORD, WordPerfect, ASCII, etc.). The second request is if you no longer own your A-37, or for some reason no longer desire to receive the newsletter, please let us know, and we will take you off the mailing list. The postage and printing is quite expensive. We also request that you take a look at the roster and help us fill in the blank spaces (several boat names, hull #s etc. are missing).
Finally, to all A-37ers transiting the Chesapeake, Kaye and I extend the offer to stop by our homesite near Kinsale, VA, about 10 Nm from the mouth of the Potomac River (Point Lookout), on the Hampton Hall Branch of the Yeocomico River, and is an easy sail from Solomons Island, MD. We are there every weekend, and sometimes during the week. We have several slips, water and electricity, deep water, great scenery in a very rural setting, good protection, and best of all, it's free. We have been very fortunate last fall to have had several Canadian members stop off on their trips south.
In my cruising on the Internet, I recently came across a MONITOR Windvane testimonial written by member Gene Farrell:
January 6, 1997
You may recall that I bought a MONITOR from SCANMAR for my Alberg-37 yawl, about a year ago. Because my boat is yawl-rigged, installing and operating the system presented something of a unique challenge. You were most helpful in advising me on a number of questions.
Subsequently, in 1996, I sailed from Mission Bay, California to Honolulu and back, a distance of 5,000 nautical miles, through unusually rough weather. You may be interested to know that of all the boats equipment, the MONITOR was just about the only one which rendered flawless, trouble-free service throughout the transits of the Eastern Pacific. It is a Godsend to sailors on a long offshore voyage, especially for solo or short-handed crews.
Most cordially yours,
Eugene H. Farrell Rear Admiral, United States Navy, retired.
It looks like anyone who may be thinking of using a windvane on a yawl should contact Gene.
Big news for Kaye and I in Kinsale. We have moved into our new home there on the Hampton Hall Branch of the Yeocomico River. After having lived aboard SHEARWATER for nearly 3 years (mostly weekends), we have finally moved off the boat and into the house. We actually celebrated Christmas in the new house even if all the appliances were not hooked up. It sure is nice to sleep in a "bed" again instead of the V-berth, use a "bathroom", fix dinner in the "kitchen" and have all the water, electricity, heat etc. that one needs. We had a great builder, and although it took about 15 months to build, it was a pleasant experience. We even have a hot tub outside on the deck. We will continue to live during the week on a 1970's 42' houseboat near our jobs in Maryland (that's why we have 2 phone numbers).
Mark your calendar for Saturday evening, 7 March, 1998, for the annual A-37 IOC Winter Rendezvous. It will be again held at the Harbourtown Resort on the Miles River, near St. Michaels, Maryland. See the enclosed flyer. A very informal event, we plan to meet for cocktails at 1800 with dinner at 1930. Harbourtown has very nice cottages (all on the water) or rooms (all with water view), we enjoyed our stay last year. Make your own reservations if you plan to stay overnight at Harbourtown. Please contact us (Tom and Kaye Assenmacher - our numbers/address on the masthead) as soon as possible if you plan to attend, as we need to determine the number attending/space required for the cocktail hour and dinner. Bring photo's, cruising stories, tall tales etc.
Dan Sullivan is offering his 1986 Alberg 37 Yawl, INISFAIL for sale. Dan has recently moved up to a Pacific Seacraft 40. The boat is located for the winter in Biddeford, Maine. Dan is listing INISFAIL for $75,000 (says the price is somewhat negotiable). If you know of anyone interested, contact Dan at 508.741.8049, FAX 508.741.0222, or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Lois Jacobs (INTERLUDE) still has the custom cockpit cushions for sale. Consist of 3 pieces: one across the bridge deck, and one each for port and starboard with a fabric "hinge" at the forward edge of the cockpit locker hatches. They are 2" closed cell foam with blue Sunbrella tops, sides and bottoms, with blue sunbrella corded edges. They have been little used, mostly on weekends and are in storage at Lois' mother's home in Chicago. The reason for sale is that they were a storage problem while cruising, and they didn't want them to get too "salty". They were made by Karen Lipe, the owner of the Cover Loft in Annapolis, in 1982. Lois is asking $400 plus UPS shipping from Chicago. Anyone who is interested should contact Mary Jacob (Lois'mother) in Chicago at 773.779.3885.
We have had several requests from prospective buyers wanting to know if any of our members are interested in selling their A-37's, or if we know of any A-37's on the market. Some of this interest has probably been the result of the Cruising World feature on the A-37. If you know of any A-37 that may be on the market, please let us know, as we may be able to assist in finding a buyer.
Till next time, best regards to all, and above all, keep in touch.
Tom and Kaye Assenmacher
P.S. Don't forget to make plans for the Winter Rendezvous!