By Derek Osmond / Wanita Gray

Excerpts from a letter from Derek and Wanita in August, 2000:

"DREAMWEAVER III is back in Toronto after a year and a bit of sailing around the Atlantic Ocean. We left in May to sail out the St. Lawrence River to Newfoundland. The whales, icebergs and fog were breathtaking. From there our Alberg 37 yawl took us to the Azores, Madeira, Canaries, The Gambia West Africa, across to Brazil, French Guiana, Surinam, Trinidad and Windward and Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, to Bermuda, up to NYC and through the Hudson River / Erie barge canal to Lake Ontario.

200 Miles before we reached Madeira, in hurricane seas, our forestay snapped off at the tang (a notable weakness for Albergs apparently.) The furled jib was soon snapping at itís fullest with the furling gear still attached. The furling tubes (foils) were bent at the shrouds, so the sail could not be taken down and we could not then get it back up. We wrapped the sail as best we could with a spare halyard and along the life lines. A line was attached to the bottom of the furling gear, threaded under the bow roller and tightened back to the windlass. We sailed with the main into Madeira, and with his best Portuguese, Derek found a welder to repair the tang to his liking. Out of difficulty comes good as we enjoyed getting to know the "locals" the way few people do.

It took 3 years to get the boat the way we wanted it. We rewired the entire boat, Derek may expand if someone is interested (Ed. Note Ė Yes we are!). We installed a Cougar Muir windlass and an extra heavy stainless steel bow roller (Derekís design) which never lit us down even in the heaviest blow. A Ham radio kept us in touch with Herb Hilgenberg of South Bound II fame and the Mississauga Maritime net even in Brazil! An E-Z Kold refrigeration system was kept running by 2 solar panels placed forward of the mast on either side between the stanchions. We were strictly 12 volt {no hair dryer for me! (Wanita)} A large alternator on the MD-11 Volvo engine never failed. A PUR water filter was installed but never needed and considered an emergency source of water since running it meant running the engine and using up fuel. Plus, the pickling involved to put it back to "bed" is time consuming. Even up the River Gambia, on which we traveled up 160 miles, we found a good source of water.

A monitor windvane did 99% of our steering and never let us down, even in the roughest seas.

The only remodeling of the interior was the huge icebox which we separated into a freezer section (on the engine side) with over flow into the icebox. The chart table area now houses our instruments and electrical panel. The old liquor cabinet was updated with new teak and cane doors in Trinidad and an area to hold wine bottles on their side.

All the plumbing hose was replaced as well as the 45 gal holding tank which was replaced with a stainless steel tank which is now our water tank. The 15 gal water tank is our holding tank for inland purposes or an extra off-shore diesel tank. The extra (fuel) tank can be pumped into our main tank via the heaterís pump.

The steering cable pins needed to be replaced and all the stanchions had backing plates installed and the deck sealed beneath them. The two front cleats were moved back onto the deck and reinforced to accommodate the bow roller, and we finally found two chocks to match the others for the bow.

After all this and more we are left with a few projects still wanting to be done, but we had a date set and we stuck to it."

Ss. Derek and Wanita