I hope you are all enjoying the best of good food, friends, and holiday cheer. I know, it hasn’t been particularly great boating weather with record rainfall and the current arctic high holding steady over our region… at least the snow is pretty, right? Most of our thoughts turn to warmer times and climes.
Amanda and I had the pleasure of being invited to, and attending, False Creek Yacht Club’s Carol Ship viewing party. It was wonderful to see some familiar faces and meet new friends and fellow boaters. A great time was had by all, and I’m not sure that too many people noticed there wasn’t really much of a parade of ships at all, given the snowy weather.
Speaking of the Carol Ships, Vancouver Squadron will be having our participation and judging night during the last False Creek Carol Ship cruise on the night of December 23. Remember, the best decorated boat gets dinner for two with us at the Beach House Restaurant in West Vancouver. I hope to see some of you out there! Details here: www.carolships.org
All right, time for talk of warmer days. While Wings
was having her rigging replaced
this fall, we’d met Simon Allan, owner of Anne Marie II
, a 66’ wooden gaff yawl racer-cruiser with lovely lines. She’d been built in the UK in 1911 and was formerly moored at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. She still had the VMM plaque attached with her “bio” and particulars when I’d met Simon. Having seen another boat at the yard that I recognized from the museum, I was intrigued. I spoke to him about Anne Marie
’s restoration and future plans.
I had first assumed Simon and his crew were just a volunteer work party from the museum getting her ship-shape for display again. Well, that wasn’t quite the case. Having completed several years of refit on a comparatively modern vessel myself, and knowing full well what’s involved and the plethora of sub-projects I hadn’t
intended on, I thought he was either naïve or crazy when he said they’d have her back in the water in a fortnight. Keep in mind that we’re talking about a wooden boat that is over a century old. From just my brief look at her exterior, it was blatantly evident that there was a ton of work to do. If that weren’t enough by itself, I was further surprised when he nonchalantly mentioned their plans, which weren’t simply taking her back to the museum… it was to set sail... for ENGLAND! Okay, at this point I figured he was both naïve AND crazy! Talk is cheap, but boats are not.
We watched him and the crew work tirelessly throughout that first day and well into the night. They were still working when we left around midnight. Their effort never waned.
We’d come down to the marina to check on Wing
’s newly reinstalled mast and rigging, a fortnight to
the day after that first conversation with Simon, and sure enough, there Anne Marie
was, next to Wings,
afloat and at the dock. She was abuzz with activity, and the dock was strewn with newly varnished spars, fathoms of old-fashioned running rigging, wooden blocks and every turn-of-the-last-century sailing accessory you could think of. I congratulated Simon and crew on meeting their very ambitious schedule, and joked with him about my initial thoughts of his timeline. We agreed that his weather window to head south was closing quickly, and that he really needed to start heading south soon.
I’m pleased to report, that after a brief stop in Victoria, they did just that! Anne Marie II
is now in Encinitas, Mexico! The crew is stopping there for some much-needed R&R, and to make some further repairs whilst waiting out the unforgiving Atlantic winter.