ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION

C/O Tom and Kaye Assenmacher

P.O. Box 32

Kinsale, VA 22488

804.472.3853

www.alberg37.org

 

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VOL XIV, NO. 2 (SPRING – 2004)                                                                                                                                      1April 1, 2004

 

 

NEWSLETTER EDITORS “GONE (Going) CRUISING”

We are tentatively planning on a “Down East” cruise aboard our yawl SHEARWATER from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine this summer, beginning in late May/early June, returning in September.  Consequently, there will be no “Summer” Alberg 37 Newsletter.  (We may try to publish a “late” newsletter when we get back home.) We will attempt (no promises) to periodically answer email.  All Alberg 37 Owners in New England are placed “on notice” that we may call on you this summer!!

2004 WINTER RENDEZVOUS

The Annual Alberg 37 Winter Rendezvous, held at Harrison’s on Tilghman Island, MD on March 6, 2004 was a great success. The evening began with cocktails in the "Living Room" at Harrison’s followed by a great dinner in the dining room. Members attending were:  Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK); Charles and Jane Deakyne (SCRIMSHAW); Tom and Kaye Assenmacher (SHEARWATER);  Bruce McFarland (AERIE); Mike Doucette (KINDRED SPIRIT); Wil and Paula Hewitt (IOLANTHE); and Ian Dunn (VECTIS). Lots of good "boat talk" and exchanges of photos took place.

2004 ALBERG 37 FALL RENDEZVOUS PLANNED

Tentative plans are to hold the 2004 Annual Fall Rendezvous at the Assenmacher dock on the Yeocomico River, near Kinsale, VA on the weekend of October 16-17, 2004.  This weekend was selected because it falls the weekend following the Annapolis Sailboat Show in Annapolis, MD, allowing any Snowbirds transiting the area the chance to attend the Sailboat Show and also the Fall Rendezvous.  Directions and additional information will be placed on the Alberg 37 Web Site as it becomes available.

ALBERG 37 BUILDER’S PLATE

Is the builder's plate on your Alberg 37 faded by time and sunlight until it's no longer readable? Is it missing? (It should be mounted just below the companionway, above the bridge deck). You're in luck. You can order a new one, courtesy of the Alberg 30 Association

 The cost per builder's plate is $12 U.S. 

 To order a plate, contact Mike Lehman (ALBERG 30 Association) by EMAIL (sail_505@hotmail.com).

 He'll need your serial number (it is something like 3775157 – length + year + hull number) and mailing address.   He will stamp the plate with your hull number and mail it to you along with an invoice and payment instructions. Payment must be in U.S. dollars only.  Non-U.S. payments should be by check drawn on a U.S. bank or an international money order. Check out the plate and ordering instructions on the website at:

http://www.alberg37.org/Builder_Plate/A-37WhitbyNameplate.htm 

NEW MEMBERS

Robert Lavoie, of Kingsey Falls, Quebec is the owner of the 1974 sloop ROBIN HOOD whose home port is Levis, Quebec.

Kirk and Tracy Cameron of Toronto are the owners of the 1967 Sloop MONSOON.  MONSOON’s home port is Toronto.

Joel and Kathy Baum of Toronto, recently purchased (October, 2003) the 1970 Yawl WIND MISTRESS whose home port is the IYC in Toronto, Ontario.

NEWS FROM MEMBERS

Bill and Toni Booker, who own the 1976 Sloop, SYRINX, plan to refinish the interior teak and requests information regarding products to use from owners who have had done this work on their boats.

 

Bill Horne and Deb Kinney provided an update in late January of their experiences aboard their 1967 Sloop SERENADE:

“We’ve been home here in Michigan since last spring.  We returned from the Caribbean via the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Turks & Caicos and Bahamas to Palm Beach.  Then via the Okeechobee Waterway to Indiantown where we hauled the boat for storage.  We got home around the end of May…..After 4 years aboard, we missed family so have returned for awhile.  Bill is heading to Florida next month (February, 2004) ….probably won’t putter much on the boat this winter,  but next winter am planning to tackle numerous projects and get “Ole SERENADE” ready to go again.

The old Atomic Four is worn out!  Needs rebuilding or replacing.  Want to re-bed all deck hardware, re-do exterior wood, do some wiring work, perhaps replace the old Shipmate alcohol stove, etc., etc.

When we left Florida, we half-heartedly hung a “For Sale” sign on her, but we don’t think we are ready to sell here.  We really enjoyed our life afloat and still have visions of taking a couple of years to do the Western Caribbean – perhaps Cuba, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala – we’ll see!”

Bill and Debbie

 

Dave Arbuckle (TIME PASSAGE) recently sent the following request for information:

 We are looking at a cruise this fall & winter aboard our friends recently completed 60 footer. The trip would see 6 of us leave Toronto the end of October, go through the Erie Canal & down the Hudson to New York. We'd then go to Bermuda and down to the Turks or Dominican Republic where the boat would stay until March as the owners have to return to Toronto. The trip back would be through the Bahamas and then straight north to New York. We can't use the Intercoastal due to a 70ft. mast. This group has done the Bermuda and back trip before. Where is the best place to anchor for the winter, (we will stay aboard with another couple)? I understand the Turks and Caicos are quite expensive; would Luperon or Porta Plata in the DR be a better choice. Are there any haulout facilities available? What kind of clearance should we give Hatteras on the way back? Any comments on the trip from fellow A-37 members would be most appreciated, either by email (lindadavid@the-wire.com) or through the Discussion Forum.

 

Rafael Negron recently sent an article for publication on the web site called  THE BEST OF TIMES”, an account of sailing his  1968 MK-I Sloop ELUSIVE from Salinas, PR to Fajardo, PR.  You can review the article on the web site at:

http://www.alberg37.org/Cruising/Negron-ELUSIVE-Sal-Faj-Web/saltofaj.htm

 

Nick Blady recently reinstalled the mizzen rig of his 1977 yawl NEW ORLEANS LADY after having removed the mizzen rig several years ago.

 

Ian Dunn recently send a CD containing photos of his 1967 Sloop VECTIS (hull# 18).  You can see an action photo on the web site at http://www.alberg37.org/ownerpics.htm.

 

Garth Jones writes that he “lives aboard, sails and dives full time” aboard his 1969 Sloop INCLINATION in Mulege, Baja California Sur, Mexico (must be a tough life!!!).

 

David and Joyce Lahmann recently sold their 1967 Sloop SHE ‘N  I.  David will soon begin a new career in Baltimore as a commercial Captain.

 

Dick Murphie recently wrote: “I have owned “MAJA”, a 1973 MK-II yawl, since 1980, and have sailed lots of miles. I’m currently in Daytona Beach, heading south. One problem I am becoming concerned about is the oil canning of the hull where the interior tabs for the chain plates for the main mast fasten to the hull. The greatest amount of oil canning (about 5/16 to 1/2”) being at the uppers. I am considering going to external chain plates moved aft of the inner tabs and using the present plates as interior back-ups. Does anyone have any suggestions? We are currently in the process of moving south to Ft. Myers Beach, FL.  Please respond via the Discussion Forum.” (Ed. Note:  This appears to be an uncommon problem and not often encountered on most A-37s).

 

 

TRAVELS OF THE EVERDEN

(1979 Sloop, Hull # 200)

By Bunkey and Geoff Cunliffe

(Ed. Note:  Geoff and Bunkey are cruising aboard THE EVERDEN in the Caribbean this winter – excerpts from their Emails.)

 

1/15/2004

After a long stay over Christmas and New Year in Antigua we finally shipped out and went to Montserrat, the island that’s had the volcano activity over the past 7 or 8 years. Today its relatively dormant again and people are getting their lives back together again. We were impressed with how friendly and upbeat the people there are. Met an English family on a boat in the anchorage and toured the island with them. Went to the Volcano Observatory and the lookout over what’s left of the old and mostly buried capital of Plymouth. The devastation is awesome and half the island is still off limits. The sad part is the hundreds of houses and businesses deserted and out of reach, and the people who literally lost everything. The new airport should be finished this year and will hopefully bring back some much needed tourist trade.  From there went NW to Nevis, planning to spend time there and St Kitts.

Arrived Saturday so couldn’t clear in and found a sheltered bay to hang out for weekend. Wind blew hard out of SE and neither Nevis or St Kitts main anchorages looked good, so we carried on up to St Eustatius (“Statia”). Island is Dutch and main town of Oranjestad is built on top of a cliff, so virtually everything is a serious climb. Went diving with Dive Statia, then hiked up to the rim of the “Quill” (Statia’s dormant 2000ft volcanic mountain) and part way down inside crater to  rain forest. Good hike! (Quill is a corruption of Dutch “Kuil” meaning pit or hole)

Went to Saba yesterday. Island is also Dutch, very small and very vertical, with virtually no shelter from weather. Even more than Statia, the towns are halfway up the mountainside, the lower of them being called “Bottom”, the other “Windwardside”. Checked in at the micro-harbour of Fort Bay, walked up to Bottom (major hike right there!!) and wandered around, had lunch then went back to move boat round to west coast for more shelter. Was tempted by dive shops but talked to “Saba Deep” and found it was $66.15US a dive (just over twice the price I paid at Dive Statia and NOT in budget!).

Tied to mooring next to “The Ladder” (over 1000 steps going up the cliffs to Bottom – didn’t even think about this one!!) and was getting dinghy loaded to go snorkeling in Wells Bay when I heard voices. Turned out to be 3 medical students from local college who swam out to boat. Ended up taking them to Wells to snorkel, swim through cave, diving off the rocks, etc, then back to boat for cold beer. They thought they’d died and gone to heaven! Think they took our message of “work hard, live cheap, retire early” to heart!! Even sheltered side of Saba rolled abominably, Bunkey hardly slept a wink, so left for St Maarten at first light.

We’ll probably stay here for a week or two. I major “portligh” stop but one we missed on way south. After here its an overnight trip across the Anegada Passage to St Croix, so we’ll just hang around till the weather’s as near perfect as we can find.

 

2/29/04 Mayaguana, Bahamas

Well we’re back in the Bahamas, as of last Thurs. Been ages since we did an update – I think it was Sint Maarten. 

We skipped through the British and US Virgin Islands pretty quickly, as they strictly cater to the charter trade. The Spanish Virgins (between Puerto Rico and USVI) are much less developed, and much more cruiser friendly. They don’t have every decent anchorage full of $20-25US/night mooring balls for a start!!!

We spent a lot of time on Culebra, and visited the East side of Puerto Rico (Fajardo) via the ferry from there. It has a Wal-Mart and a West Marine. The ferry takes about 1-1/4hr to 1- ˝hr each way and costs only $4.50US return. Thank you to all you tax paying Americans on the addressee list!! (I reckon it should be at least $50 return). Went south and around Vieques Island on our way back to PR.  Lots of nice anchorages along the coast. The eastern end of Vieques was a US bombing range and off limits until quite recently. Its quite strange looking up from a virtually deserted anchorage and seeing a row of twisted and burned out tanks, etc looking back at you from the hills ashore.

From Vieques we had a glorious downwind sail to Salinas (surfing most  of the way) where we stayed for quite a while. We took a side trip up to San Juan to look around the “old town” there and the associated forts and cathedral. Very charming, full of history. The lady who runs the travel agency in Salinas drove four of us there and back for the day in her Cadillac. Only problem was it had a leaky radiator. We filled it up a couple of times on the way there, then  she met us in the early evening very proud of herself for having managed to get it fixed for $100. So we started out back, and yes, it leaked!! We eventually stopped behind a tow truck on the side of the road, and after deciding that another gallon of water wouldn’t do it, we rode the rest of the way back (~18 miles) hanging off the hook of the tow truck. Definitely a different sort of day.

We had a few more stops along the S coast of Puerto Rico, then headed out from Boqueron towards the Turks and Caicos. The Mona Passage was like a millpond. Bunkey took dozens of glorious photos of Dolphins playing in the bow wave, crystal clear because there wasn’t even a ripple to disturb the surface. Coming along the NE coast of the Dominican Republic we ran into the cold front we’d been expecting, except that by the time we found it, it had turned into a trough lying right along the coast. Instead of passing through it in less than an hour, we ended up spending 18 hrs in really nasty black skies, gusty 20 kt winds, rain and choppy seas, so in the end we decided to put into Luperon in the DR and cut the trip short.

Luperon is always a nice stopover though. Very unassuming; some say squalid, but I think it has loads of character. I cheapest place in the Caribbean, and also one of the best hurricane holes. Lots of boats spend all summer there. It simply isn’t worth cooking – you can eat out just as cheaply. So people tend to stay there. While in Salinas, we met up with some old Canadian friends of ours on “Scandia”. Last time we’d seen them, was a year ago in Luperon but planning to go to Cuba for several months. It turned out they’d been in Luperon for a full year and only arrived in Salinas the day before we did. Drew, the skipper and retired head of the diving section at DCIEM, had taken over the job of cleaning boat bottoms and props in Luperon for $1/ft and had lived like a king for a year.

From Luperon we set sail for here, deciding to skip the Turks and Caicos. Turned out we had just perfect winds for a fast beam reach and had to divert to the Caicos banks (French Cay) to put the anchor down for several hours and have a siesta so as not to arrive here in the middle of the night (not a good time to negotiate your way in through the coral reef).

Since we got here we’ve had a fairly strong cold front go through leaving us with several days of NE 20-25kt winds and big seas, so we’re just vegging out until it settles down a bit, and maybe go to Rum Cay of Aklins later in the week. We’ll see.

Planning to be back in Florida in April, then leaving the boat there, be back in Canada for the summer.

 

3/30/04 Enroute Chub Cay to Lake Worth

Well we finally got out of Nassau after waiting 10 days with high winds, and after an overnight in chub are on our way across the banks.

As I've mentioned before, we've now got THE EVERDEN up for sale, and Bunkey is still hoping to buy a catamaran if and when we sell her. The plan at the moment is that we're leaving the boat at Titusville for now; maybe taking it north later. If we don't get any interest in the boat through the summer, we'll try Cuba in the fall.

 

Geoff and Bunkey

s/v “The Everden”

 

INFORMATION REQUESTS

Geoff Cunliffe requests information regarding autopilots used on Alberg 37s:

“After having spent the past few years "Down South", the one thing we both agree is that if we do go south again in THE EVERDEN, we have to get a new autopilot. The one we have now is a Navico 5000 (now Simrad), which is a belt driven wheel pilot. Maybe the basic unit is man enough, but with any wind gusts or sizable waves the belt just slips and the boat slews around. I've gone through several belts during the last two years, and by the time its 15kts and 4-6ft seas we're hand steering. Another feature of the Navico which I don't like is it doesn't have a fixed control algorithm but "learns" (Kalman Filter) the appropriate response from the prevailing conditions. Let me tell you; it doesn't work in varying wind conditions; its much too slow a learner. We've found ourselves hove-to several times thanks to its remedial control theory. As Alberg owners, what autopilots do you have, how do they perform, and would you recommend them? We're looking forward to your responses. Thanks.”

(Ed. Note:  Please submit replies via the Website Discussion Forum as this request has been posted  there and  since they only receive email via Winlink.  Also, Jay Zittrer also request ed similar information regarding autopilots.).

 

 

 

TRAVELS OF PIKA (Continued)

(1967 Sloop, Hull # 20)

 By  Lou and Jean Wayne

(Ed. Note: We pick up Lou and Jean’s Bahamas Email cruising account …)

1/12/04

PIKA moves south….But only by fits and starts.  Right now it’s more fits than starts.  We are still hanging on the hook in Marsh Harbour. We tried to go once but convinced our selves that the wind was not going to die as predicted so we did not put ourselves at the jump of point of Little Harbour.  The second missed opportunity was Friday when the seas died much sooner and more dramatically than predicted and of course we were not where we needed to be to take advantage. Come Tuesday however we will be ready along with at least a dozen other boats.  The trip is about 50 miles of open ocean and will be much more pleasant if the South West North Atlantic is behaving itself.  We are promised ideal conditions both Tuesday and Wednesday so we surely will be able to go.  For those of you who have never lived on, been on or been around an island let me assure you there truly is something called island time.  It’s a zone, an aura that surrounds an island which simply cries out and infects people with “manana”!  I’ve notice this from Maine to the West Indies.  Oh for sure the effect becomes stronger as you decrease the latitude but even in the north there is a less hurried pace on islands.  (The obvious exception to all this is of course Manhattan.)  So since we are under this mystical influence, imparted upon us by Great Abaco, we have lost the drive to “forever push on” which so infected us while traveling south back on the mainland. But even in retired life we have obligations and commitments so for us tomorrow has arrived, it’s on to Georgetown.  Lou and Jean aboard Pika, finally leaving Marsh Harbour.

2/7/04

George Town, the Mecca, the Medina, the Bethlehem, whatever, it is the end of the pilgrimage for hundreds of warmth seeking cruisers.  Many are hear before Thanksgiving and will stay well past Easter.  It is a small town of perhaps a thousand souls but that number is equaled and more by the cruising crowd. It seems a town that has grown just large enough to support itself and those who come to visit.  They have retained enough negatives (limited and questionable water supply, high prices, limited grocery items, poor marina facilities etc.)to prevent a growth level which could not be sustained and would surely lead to economic collapse. So hundreds of us put up with the deficiencies and look toward the positives such as ease of getting guests in and out, food and drinking water are available albeit at a cost and of course the weather. We need only go one mile to the south to cross the tropic of cancer and be in the mystical tropics.  This means that many of the cold fronts which plagued us up in the Abacos have dissipated or stalled or significantly weakened before reaching this far south.  Some people use Georgetown as a base and take the day long trip to Long Island or Conception Island, stay a few days and return. Most however put the hook down and don’t move for months.  These are the folks who have turned the whole area into “adult summer camp”. There is organized softball and volleyball as well as bridge, backgammon, dominos every day.  The artists in the crowd hold jewelry making and watercolor classes and workshops.  And if all that is not enough there is the annual cruising regatta.  This is basically a one race one day event which the movers and shakers, organizers and doers have turned into a week long affair.  I do believe that there is some segment of the population  which is simply destined (and therefore determined) to organize, sit on or chair a committee.  They do knock themselves out and there is a pretty significant economic impact to the town given the crowds that are drawn so I guess it’s a good thing.  Each morning on the radio net they announce they are still seeking a chairperson for the ‘children’s’ events.  Those of you who know me must know how  hard it has been for me to restrain myself from just leaping at that golden opportunity.  Not sure if we will be hanging around for the actual race or not. We have a friend leaving on the 3/2 and the race is 3/12.  By then we would like to be heading back north as we had little time to spend in the more northern Exumas which are beautiful. Then we need to get serious about heading north if we are to catch up with our friends heading to Maine from the Chesapeake.   Meanwhile there is a front coming through which means we will move over to the west side of the harbor for Saturday night then move back here to Sanddollar Beach on Sunday afternoon.   A life of endless challenges really. Lou and Jean George Town, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

 

3/6/04 Regatta Week

Well, so much for no crowds. Yesterday, many more boats rolled into the harbor for the Georgetown Cruising Regatta events which begin today and last for approximately a week.  Look for photos on the web later this week at www.georgetowncruisingregatta.org.  Tonight is opening night which is titled ‘The Prom’ with dancing on the beach before a King & Queen are selected.  There will be a bonfire on the beach as well as fireworks (cruisers outdated flares which have been donated),  in addition to the pet costume parade and competition with judging for the best costume.  We may miss this event as we are doing laundry in town and having lunch at 2 Turtles restaurant before heading back to Sanddollar Beach.  Other events of interest are the coconut harvest where many hundreds of coconuts are set adrift.  They are to be retrieved by cruisers in dinghies, teams of 4 people each with 1 flipper to be used for propulsion (no oars, paddles or motors allowed) and 1 bucket for bailing or whatever.  The rules forbid ‘stealing’ coconuts from other boats but if they happen to float out they are free for the taking, hence the buckets put more water into boats than they remove. The goal being to harvest the most floating coconuts from hole # 1.  There are also sand sculptures, volleyball & tennis tournaments, variety show, scavenger hunt, and the sailboat race & fishing contest around Stocking Island – should be another busy week.  We will soon need to set sail before we take root in this beautiful place, possibly later this week (take root or leave???). Lou & Jean aboard Pika, Sanddollar Beach, Georgetown

3/10/04

Hi all from Pika. Haven’t written for quite awhile, but then again things here in paradise don’t seem to change much. Over the past month and a half we hosted 5 of our close friends from Rochester and all were very happy to escape the snow and cold albeit for only a short time.  The weather here is wonderful but not always perfect.  For nearly a week now the wind has blown 20 to 25 kts.  This makes dinghy trips wet and lumpy so our travels are somewhat limited.  Fortunately the windward side of Stocking Island has a marvelous beach which stretches for several miles and is easily reached with a short dinghy ride and hike through palm forest.  The amazing thing is that on any given day there will be fewer than a dozen people scattered along the whole three miles.  I say amazing because here on the leeward side of the island there are in excess of 300 boats anchored, each with two or more people aboard.  Where is everyone?  Organized activities of course.  Let’s see -  there is tennis, softball, volleyball, dominoes, backgammon, bridge etc.  I guess when this many people gather it is inevitable that someone will “organize” things.  Well that isn’t our thing but we support it since it leaves the beach and snorkeling spots uncrowded for us.

3/13/04

First of all I was mistaken in an earlier note when I stated the regatta consisted of only one race, in fact there are two. The first is sailed over a 4 mile course, twice around, within Elizabeth Harbour, making for an 8 mile race. The second race is around Stocking Island, a distance of approximately 18 miles. This race takes the boats out into the relatively unprotected waters of Exuma Sound. The in harbor race took place on Tuesday morning in moderately light winds with boats ranging in size from 47 ft to just under 24 ft.  The boats were divided into three fleets, large, medium to small, and multihulls.  The weather mark was directly behind us so we had an excellent view of the action. The whole event was enhanced by the running commentary of Stewart an expatriate Englishman living aboard his aptly named yacht “Union Jack”.  The start for the in harbor race was unusual in that the boats were required to be anchored behind the start line so at the sound of the start gun!

 , the anchor had to be raised, the sails set and the boat motored all ahead full up to but not over the start line.  Once the sailing began it was pretty much your average sailboat race. The moderate wind allowed the two smallest boats to excel, finishing first and second overall.  By far and away the fastest boat on the water that day was a Tek 36 catamaran which finished one minute behind the fastest monohull, having started ten minutes behind.      The start of the around Stocking Island race was the normal type start with boats vying for favorable position at the gun.  We were anchored about a mile down the course from the start so the fleet had settled more or less into position as they passed. Some different boats sailed this race most notably a custom C&C 62 (Marauder) and a 42 ft. aluminum, junk rigged schooner (Whisper).  After the boats sailed by Pika we went ashore and climbed a bluff on the weather side of the island to watch the race from on high.  The big C&C was doing a horizon job on the rest of the fleet while taking tones  of green water over the bow while close reaching at 10+ knots.  None of the competition was giving any slack, and given the (PHRF) handicap Marauder needed at least a horizon.  As it turned out the best corrected time was by a 1967 Morgan 41 who crossed the finish line about 45 minutes behind Marauder.  An added attraction of the long race was a concurrent fishing contest. This lead the second slowest boat in the fleet, the junk rigged schooner to take a flyer way out into Exuma Sound searching for bigger fish.  The awards on Friday was great fun with not only the sailing and fishing prizes but prizes for the best dressed racing crew, least dressed (you guessed it the winner of this one crossed the finish line in the buff!).  There was also a “Golden Throat” award for Stewart who’s commentary enhanced the two races enormously.  Tonight we are attending the finally event of Regatta, the variety show, I’ll have to report on that a little later.

 Lou and Jean aboard PIKA, George Town Exuma, Bahamas.  

       

TUNDRA’S TRAVELS

(1977 Sloop, Hull # 181)

By Brian and Kathy Marsh

(Ed. Note: For several years Brian and Kathy have alternated between sailing TUNDRA in the Caribbean area during the winter and spending the summers at their home in Sarnia, Ontario.  The following has been excerpted from their cruising website: http://www.galiander.ca/tundra/index.html )

 

January 25, 2004: Resting quietly in Porlamar, Margarita, with Tundra on a bridle.

We’re back reprovisioning in the busy city of Porlamar once again. It is an amazing city with such a diverse population. Just off our anchorage is a mangrove swamp with banditos exuding poverty, yet several blocks away there is an extravagant shopping mall with upscale stores from all over the world. Since we left the US dollar has gone up to 2800 bolivars and it is predicted to devalue more. There is apparently going to be a review of the November referendum by the election committee to ascertain if it was legitimate. It is rumored that more than half of the population voted against Chavez. We’ll see.

Our visit to Blanquilla was fabulous. Jose showed us the huge caverns along the shoreline filled with fossilized shells. The island is of volcanic origin, so all the coral reef heaved upwards in the 1500’s. Another tour was to the donkey bone yard. Apparently this breed of donkey all respect a certain spot for death rites. It was eerie, but amazing. Lots of archaeological significance evident. Another interesting area was a seismology study rock. Jose said it is claimed to radiate positive energy so we all climbed up on it and breathed deeply. Great fun. A functional airstrip is used for emergency purposes and importing military and guests. It was indeed hard to leave such wonderful hospitality. Anthony, the cook, had us in for a lesson on how to prepare and cook arepas. We had a great time trying to perfect Anthony’s skill shaping the dough, taking notes and all enjoyed the results. With weather settling Sunrise sailed for Magarita to fix her refrigeration.

Bocce ball was a big hit, too. I translated the directions into espanol and it is so great to observe our learning techniques in reflection. Studying the words and hearing them in context is pretty exciting. The pronunciation is quite a different matter. Our stay at the station was a real treat for us as well as an immersion course. Lots of study! We took our dictionaries everywhere. On January 12th with the north swells dissipating, we sailed around to the west coast of Blanquilla to Playa Yaque. Here we rejoined our sailing contingent from Canada and Scrammin’. They were anxious to sail for provisions and fuel, but Brian still had a cold. We stayed on a few more days in company with Stormbird from Britain, Watercress from South Africa and Kairos from Hungary. The morning that our contingent sailed, Ed from Kairos arrived with bad news. His starter motor was broken and thence he was without an engine. Brian and he, Jack and Terry all worked on the motor with parts from this boat and that, and managed to rebuild it successfully 3 days later. Whew! We all gave a chorus of hooray when we heard the ‘music’ of his engine again.

During this time the fishermen were coming back from holidays on the mainland and Margarita. One evening we traded sugar, lunch, hats, hose clamps, motor fittings and much more for two lobster. Kairos and ourselves roasted them over the open fire on the beach. Delicious. Next eve, all came to the fire and Noni on Watercress cooked up a tasty corn beef omelet. Pat and Jack made wonderful meat shish kabobs. Home early with a lovely fishing pinero anchored only 20 feet off of Tundra. The fishermen are our friends everywhere here.

Goodbyes around and we sailed for Robelad at the west end of Margarita in the wee hours, 0300 hours. The moon was bright so we could see close vessels. Radar is very comforting here as there are so many boats out fishing all night. Kairos sailed southwest to Tortuga so we hailed each other until out of range. Once the sun came up I rigged up my trusty fishing rod and lo and behold , didn’t we catch a lovely dorado i.e., dolphin fish. Not the mammal. It was terribly exciting and our first since entering the Caribbean. Needless to say we had fish for lunch. Deliscioso.

Robelad was a shallow, rolly anchorage, so we moved on bright and early to Boca del Rio. Northerly swells were back so the protection on the south side was wonderful in spite of no-see-ums and mosquitoes. We are thankful for our screening. (training grounds-north channel of Canada!) Next am we ventured into this little town to meet the locals, find some fresh provisions and enjoy a lunch of scrumptious tuna. Everyone is delightful. They go out of their way to help us and giggle at our Spanish attempts. A ‘lagoondola’ expedition with Tika was a great treat. He took us through the mangrove swamps to the north shore. Here we spent the afternoon on Playa Restinga with breakers rolling in viciously. We were glad to have Tundra in a protected harbor. The beach was literally composed of tiny clam shells i.e., guacucos sporting exquisite patterns.

Radio contact with Scrammin’ was successful and they sailed back from Porlamar to meet us in Cubagua. This delightful island produces most of the oyster dinners for Margarita. The 50 or so locals were happy, but extremely needy, with milk at the top of the list. Many young children abound. We gave them all we had and told them we’d pass on their needs to other cruisers going that way. Brian and I fell in love with a wonderful dog there, named him Pal and wished we could take him with us. The shelling on these islands is incredible. Walking across this tiny little island, we explored ruins and shelled, attempting to avoid the scorching sun. A huge dry salina covered the core area.

On the 22nd , Scrammin’ and ourselves arrived back in Porlamar. This completed our first circumnavigation of Margarita. It’s been a delightful experience. Midweek we will sail to the Isle of Coche en route to the Golfo de Cariaco for the next few weeks.

February 10th: Anchored at the easternmost end of Golfo de Cariaco alongside Scrammin.

On the 28th of January we hauled anchors and sailed over to Isla de Coche. Anchoring in front of the old hotel was fine until we discovered that it was closed and dilapidated. Fortunately for us we found a taxi driver who gave us a fine tour of the island and suggested that we move up to the north under a new all inclusive development. This was more comfortable, plus we treated ourselves to lunch and a swim in their lovely fresh water pool. Feeling pretty spoiled we headed back to the boats and watched while the fishermen surrounded us with their bait nets. Yes, we were very secure! Departure for the Golfo was planned for 0300 so we changed our plans and stayed another day. Next evening before they set their nets we moved out a short distance and slept soundly until our early departure.

What a wonderful night sail downwind to the entrance of the Golfo. Many dolphin and pineros (fishing boats) were there to greet us in the early dawn. Rounding the western tip of the Araya peninsula into the Golfo was a challenge as we pointed our bows east again. Williwaws shriek down the hills and create huge headwinds. Cruising knowledge advises us not to go to Cumana on the south shore unless one plans to stay in a marina. As the first city in South America it has an impressive skyline and very regular commercial sea traffic. Our first anchorage was at Puerto Real just short of 10 miles into the Golfo on the north shore. It is a fishing village with many dogs, goats and roosters, obviously independent. We screened in against the flies and slept soundly. Fishing shelters along the shoreline and lookouts up higher in the hills are everywhere. Laguna Grande is only 4 miles east. This is a spectacular area that is laid out much like Oak Bay in the North Channel of Canada. We subsequently coined it our South Channel. The desert topography is eroding ochre coloured hills full of cacti of every description. The rocks of quartz, iron and many more are a study in geology. Picturing this fringed by bright green mangroves at the waters edge is tricky but the vistas are exceptional. The only inhabitants are a few fishermen who appear to exist on oysters, conchas (clams and various shells) and rays, which they trap at the eastern head of the bay. With Scrammin, we lazed away a week exploring and relaxing, even polished the stainless. What a treat! Magnificent frigate birds and pelicans roosted on an island just off our portsides. They were entertainment plus at dawn and dusk.

On February 6th we moved on to Medregal Village, a resort area that caters to cruisers. Yolaida and Jean Marc, with their 2 year old daughter, welcomed us royally. Fresh water showers are a big draw. On Saturday Jean Marc trucked 8 of we cruisers off to the Cariaco market. Bumpety, bumpety! En route we glimpsed a caiman and coot in the roadside swamp. Our first. A caiman is a small crocodile. Very fast. Colorful and friendly describes the market perfectly. Vegetables and fruits were plentiful. All were cheerful and happy and helpful. No lemons available, but it was great fun looking.

Sunday we took another day off to swim in their saltwater pool and enjoy lunch ashore.

Yesterday, with anchors hauled once more, we powered into the head of the bay and are anchored in 12 feet of muddy water admiring the bird life. Several dinghy expeditions later we have seen scarlet ibis, beautiful hawks, large white herons, magnificent frigate birds in mating prime, pelicans, amazonia kingfishers and more. Quite spectacular.

Tomorrow we return to Medregal Village for a cruisers potluck lunch. The next day Jean Marc is taking on a tour to the bat caves of Caripe, and then we’ll sail on downwind to Puerto La Cruz sometime next week. Reading is now on our agenda too, so one can see we are finally slowing down.

Our best wishes to all. We send you brilliant sunshine.

Brian and Kathy

A-37 COFFEE MUGS AND PENNANTS AVAILABLE

A-37 Coffee Mugs are available for $15 U.S. which includes postage (within the U.S.). The mugs have a line drawing of the A-37 (sloop or yawl – please specify your choice) imprinted with “ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION” and a color drawing of the A-37 Pennant printed on the outside of the mug. (We can place your BOAT NAME under the line drawing for no additional cost if you so desire – please specify). Please allow at least 3-4 weeks for delivery, as we have them made up individually. 

Also, a few A-37 Pennants are still available for $30.00 U.S. which includes postage (within the U.S.). This is a very tastefully rendered and durable pennant.

For those ordering mugs and pennants outside the U.S. please add $5.00 for additional postage. We can only accept payment by check drawn on a U.S. bank, OR an International Money Order (for Canadians, a Canadian Postal Money Order works best.)

 

GEAR FOR SALE/WANTED

For Sale – MK-I Portlights 

Replacing all portlights on my 1969 A-37.  If anyone wants the old original portlights after I remove them, you can have them for $20US per portlight plus shipping and handling.  Call Bruce McFarland.

(302) 999-0100 Days

(302) 994-8850 Nights

Email: mbmcf@verizon.net

 

For Sale - Mizzen sail from a 1973 Alberg 37 yawl. In fair condition $100 plus shipping.  Contact Stanton Smith at sailstan@highstream.net

 

For Sale - HYDE STREAMSTAY Roller Furler

Bill Kellett recently replaced his HYDE STREAMSTAY roller furler on his 1969 Sloop, WANESA.  He is offering the HYDE roller furler for sale (less extrusion), which is useable for spare parts.   $100 or best offer  plus freight for all parts (less the extrusion). (Information regarding the Hyde Streamstay can be found at Rig-Rite Inc.)

Contact:

Bill Kellett

(612) 929-1215

 

Wanted - Step for the Alberg MKII; the first step as you enter the salon that mounts above the sink.  Contact Stanton Smith at sailstan@highstream.net

 

WEB SITES OF INTEREST

(Disclaimer – A-37IOA has no financial interest in any products listed.)

Cruising Club of America

(http://www.cruisingclub.org):  Excellent resource for the cruising sailor.

 

Maritime & Coastguard Agency

(http://www.mcga.gov.uk): British website containing much marine safety and medical related information.

 

Standards, Tables, International Equivalents

(http://www.pkys.com/Reference.htm):   Useful information including ABYC standards information, wiring codes, etc.

 

Yachting and Boating World Forums

(http://www.ybw.com/cgi-bin/forums/wwwthreads.pl): Multi-thread comprehensive list of sailing forums.

 

Zimmerman Marine Technical Articles

(http://www.zimmermanmarine.com/tech) : Technical articles contributed by Steve D’Antonio.

ALBERG 37 WANTED

(We often get inquiries regarding A-37s for sale.)

John and Lee Cunningham previously owned the1968 Alberg 37 sloop, "QUICKSILVER" for 12+ years and had a great time sailing her out of  Gloucester, MA and in Maine.  They sold her 4-5 years ago while working on other projects, during which time they were members of the A-37 IOA.  They are hoping to find an Alberg 37 that has had good care and the occasional upgrade. Their preference is for a sloop and the closer to New England the easier it is for them to see and think about.  They are not planning on any distant voyages or live-aboard status. They had a lot of fun with short trips, daysails and cruising in Maine aboard their first Alberg 37, and look forward to more of the same. They have a slight lean toward the early boats, but will consider any Alberg 37 that is available.

Please contact:

John and Lee Cunningham

122 Dennison Street

Gloucester, MA 01930

 

A-37s FOR SALE

(Check the Website for further details and photos

we often get inquiries regarding A-37s for sale)

Recent offerings include:

MAROONED

1981 Alberg '37 Sloop. Hull # 217. Lightly used Great Lakes only, single owner. Lying at Whitby, ONT.

US$59,500.00.  (Click here for photo)

Contact Frank LaValley at 647-223-3536

EMAIL: franklavalley@hotmail.com

 

ENVY

1970 Alberg 37 Yawl, equipped for cruising.  On the hard at the Indiantown  Marina, Indiantown, FL.

U.S. $34K

Contact:

Ron and Cindy Strahm

2820 S. Crenshaw Road

Independence, MO 64057

Email: rstrahm228@aol.com

TEL: 816.228.6325

FAX: 816.229.6100

 

OWNERS FORUM IS BACK ONLINE!

The Owners Forum/Discussion Forum (www.alberg37.org) is back up and operating with a new format.  The new forum requires members to initially establish a Username and Password to gain access to the forum.  A simple check-in process is required each time you visit the forum.  The new forum seems to be working nicely, and so far we have not had any “spam” input.  Unfortunately, the previous Forum data are no longer available.  We invite all to access and provide input to the forum, as we all are “experts” when it comes to answering questions regarding the Alberg 37.

 

FEATURED ALBERG 37

The current Featured Alberg 37 is SOUTHERN CROSS, a 1977 MK-II sloop owned by Marcel Steinz and Karen Kinnear of Oakville, Ontario (SOUTHERN CROSS recently returned to Titusville, FL from a Bahama cruise).  We are always looking for Alberg 37s to be the “new” Featured Alberg 37.  If you would like to have your boat “featured” on the web site, send us a dozen or so GOOD digital photos (preferably on a CD), and a one page write-up on the boat – we’ll do the rest!

 

WEB SITE

 

Due to the proliferation of SPAM on the Internet, we no longer publish Email addresses on the A-37 web site (or in the quarterly newsletter) unless you request otherwise. We also invite you to send maintenance, project, cruising, etc., articles to us for inclusion in the newsletter (and for posting on the web site). We prefer you send the text material in WORD format via email attachment (text in the body of an Email is OK, but takes a bit of “massaging” to get it into the proper format).

We also welcome photos of your boats for inclusion in the “Photo Gallery” – we like the photos to be in JPG format if at all possible but can handle most other formats (we can also scan your photos if you want to send a hardcopy). Keep the file size fairly small (50-60 Kb works well). We still need your Email address updates for the A-37 Roster, which is not publicly posted (Note – email address lists are not provided to any third parties- only members).  If you want a copy of the roster let us know and we'll either Email a copy to you or send a hardcopy if desired.

 

SPINDRIFT

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, and cruising information and to maintain a roster of Alberg 37 owners.

We suggest a donation of $10.00 U.S. a year to cover costs of publishing the quarterly newsletter, postage, Xerox services, and of course, maintaining the web site.

We suggest to our Non-U.S. members that they send an International Money Order payable in U.S. dollars.  A Canadian Postal Money Order works best for Canadian members.

You will notice a date on the label of the newsletter mailing, reminding you to help maintain the newsletter / association. For those receiving the newsletter notice via Email, we ask that you honor your commitment to the Association. The Association appreciates your help!

The A-37 IOA, participates as a cooperating group with BOAT U.S., and members receive BOAT U.S. membership for half price ($9.50 vice $19.00). Just mention 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

 

If you are transiting the Chesapeake Bay, please plan to stop by Kinsale for a few days (or longer). It's only about 12 miles off the Bay (up the Potomac to the Yeocomico River), and our area is very secluded, protected (good hurricane hole) and quiet, and a very good cruising area, especially in the fall. We always have a couple of open slips.

Each fall/spring we have several ‘snowbirds’ stop on their way south/north.  Please note our Kinsale VA phone number: (804) 472-3853 - leave a message if we aren’t at home.

If we inadvertently missed any of your correspondence, just hit us again – we like to receive correspondence, especially email, as it’s the grist that makes the Newsletter interesting. REMEMBER, THIS IS YOUR NEWSLETTER!

Have a great Alberg Spring and keep the letters and emails coming (at least until the end of May when we have “Gone Cruising”).  Dust off those commissioning lists too!

 

THINK SAILING!!!!!!!

 

Tom and Kaye Assenmacher