Newsletter nr. 15 – February 1973

oldnewsheadMeeting on Saturday, February 10, 1973
On February 10th, we had another wintermeeting. Mr. and Mrs. Dijkgraaf had invited us again in their charming home, but on account of the illness of Mr. Dijkgraaf we could not meet there.

When Mr. and Mrs. Wil Valentijn heard this news, they immediately placed their house at our disposal and so we had the meeting this time in Langeraar. Wil Valentijn showed us colour slides of the 1972 rally and some members showed us their slides and films. So we also enjoyed a film of Jan Bruining about his summer cruise and a film of the journey of the Sea Gypsy from Le Tréport to Zierikzee.

In the name of the whole Alcyone Circle, Mr. van Marle gave a gift to Wil, Nol and Jan Valentijn, consisting of a set of beautiful silver teaspoons. Afterwards we had some wine. It was a very pleasant evening and it was rather late when the last guests departed.
From Mr. Wil Valentijn our circle received the following letter:

“The year of 1973 is a very important one for all our members because it is exactly 25 years ago that “Alcyone” was launched and made her trials. They turned out to be successful and that really made a start for more boats to be built. However, it took 7 years before the next boat after this design had been built. During those years Mr. Gunning had the opportunity to test several improvements and fittings out and with success. We all know after all these years how great he was. We all feel very obliged.

For the boatyard this year is an earmark too, because we celebrate our 25th anniversary of the business being a “firma”. My mother made a contract with Nol and me to continue the yard in the future on a joint account basis for the 3 of us. We still feel very sorry that she died after 20 years. Most of the members used to know her and they will agree that she made a very wise step for the continuing of “her yard”, for which she entirely lived.

Without being properly announced it occurred to us that most of our friends seemed to know this important fact. During our winter meeting in my house we were very astonished to receive from our friends in the “Alcyone Circle” beautiful “Biedermeier” teaspoons, to commemorate this 25th anniversary.

Thank you all very, very much for this thoughtful gift.

Wil Valentijn”

The “Willemstad” Rally 1972
On Friday August 4th in the evening we gathered together in the old harbour of Willemstad where the harbour-master had kindly reserved moorings for our members.

The following yachts were present:
Alcyone I RW Rogers, Horton Kirby
Banckert Drs. KT Broekens, Zaltbommel
Caecilia Mr. JCM van Marle, Amsterdam
Spurwing Sir Percy Wyn Harris, Woodbridge
Alcyone II E Jannink, Buurse
Gwenllian HP Sturm, Gorinchem
Eenhoorn Ir. H. Liebert, Knaphill
Frank Justin AFJ Schaap, Loosdrecht
Margaretha HK Bolte, Amstelveen
Marmara Miss AJ Scheltema, Zwijndrecht
Teddy’s Puffin JJ Bruining, Gorinchem
Zeepaard CC Dieleman, Rotterdam

Mrs. J. Gunning and her daughter Anne-Marie were also present, and of course the Valentijns, Will Valentijn with his wife and Nol with his wife.

The Friday evening was spent pottering about on the boats and enjoying the hospitality, drinks and mussels.

After the Captain’s “palaver” on Saturday morning we sailed out of the harbour with a fresh breeze which quickly took us over the “Hollands Diep” to the bridge which presented difficulties to the captains of the Alcyone I and II class. The bridge is about 12 meters high above the water level and the masts are ± 13 meters high. This meant either lowering the masts or running the risk of losing the top of the masts. A fresh wind from starboard however, helped solve the problem for those lazy captains, who were content to allow their boats to heel over just sufficiently to get under the bridge. We made a quick passage to the island Tien Gemeten, rounded it and returned to Willemshaven for drinks on board followed by a delicious dinner in the nearby restaurant. Here Michael van Marle commemorated the death of the spiritual father of our ships, Mr. Max F. Gunning. A fine speech was made by Sir Percy Wyn Harris, who presided the dinner. Wil Valentijn promised to send the ship owners a medallion for their ships to commemorate the 1972 rally, which everybody highly appreciated.

There followed still more kind words, spoken by various people. Sunday morning we sailed over the Hollands Diep, ending near a fine sandy beach, where we anchored for the sherry-party. There was swimming and Baron and Baroness Collot d’Escury from Amsterdam with their sons came to take a view of the ships and joined us for sherry. At about 5 o’clock the boats departed, every ship to its home port with the memory of a fine weekend.

Ships and Owners
We were most interested to hear about the various voyages undertaken by our members this summer.

Mr. HA van Olphen made a trip with “Sayonara” from Majorca to Ibiza, meeting a gale underway of force 9-10. He managed somehow but some sails were torn.

Mr. van Marle went with the “Caecilia” to the Deben River where he met Mr. RW Rogers and his wife on the “Alcyone”. They sailed together up the river to Woodbridge, where Sir Percy Wyn Harris welcomed them on board the “Spurwing” and later the whole party had drinks and a delicious meal in the hospitable house of Sir Percy.

“Vita Nova” of Mr. G. van’t Hull went to Denmark, staying a few days in Heligoland. Mr. van Hees and Mr. Ingen-Nousz also sailed to Denmark with the “Hooge Springer” and the “Breewijd”. Mr. HP Sturm sailed to England in the “Gwenllian”.The “Polly W” has changed her name and her owner. She is now called “Bataviae Princeps” and the owner is Mr. WA Verbon. We saw Mr. Verbon already on the “Spurwing” during the Willemstad rally. Welcome in our circle, Mr. Verbon! We hope you will enjoy plenty of good sailing on the “Bataviae Princeps”.
Captain CB Sanders sold his “Blue Griffin” to Dr. Jean de Montbrison of Avignon. She is now called “L’Amour de la Vie”. Welcome to Dr. Montbrison! We hope to see you as often as we saw Captain Tiny Sanders, who attended all our rallies from 1964 to 1970. We are very sorry we shall not see “Tiny” Sanders again in all kinds of costumes and with his silly jokes and poems at the dinners. Thank you for all you did for us, Captain Sanders!

Dr. Med. Erw. Oesterle sold the “Flibustier” to Mr. H. Baron Collot d’Escury, who renamed the ship. She is now called the “van Linschoten”. We met Baron d’Escury already at the sherry party near Willemstad. We are glad to welcome him and his wife and his children. We wish him and his family success with their new yacht.

Mr. Haszard had to move to Washington (DC), USA. They took the “Koet” with them to America. We hope Mr. and Mrs. Haszard will much enjoy sailing in the waters there in the “Koet”. Mrs. Haszard used to correct the English of the newsletters before they were published. We shall miss her very much. Many thanks, Mrs. Haszard, for all the trouble you took so gladly for us.

Mr. and Mrs. Robbins made their first overseas trip on the “Sea Gypsy” from Le Treport to Zeeland.

Mr. Ir. AC Dros fell very ill with a heart attack, and was unable to sail on his “Zeekameel”. We hope he will make a good recovery and enjoy many more good sailing days on his ship.

Mr. AFH Dijkgraaf had his “Helena Anna” changed into a motor ship with twin screws. She is now about 1.2 meters longer, and has a lot of room. We wish Mr. Dijkgraaf and his wife many fine days on the “Helena Anna”.

News from the Wharf
The Valentijn brothers are busy building a new ship of the Alcyone II type for Mr. John L. Shedd of Lennia (USA). They are also very busy with many changes on the former “Polly W” now “Bataviae Princeps” of Mr. Willem A. Verbon and on the former “Flibustier” now renamed “van Linschoten” of Mr. H. Baron Collot d’Escury. Both these ships will be taken to the next Amsterdam boat show the HISWA.

Yacht owners are kindly requested to pay their subscriptions of £ 2.-.-, DM 15.-, or Hfl. 15.–, to the account of the Alcyone circle at Lind, Jarman, Westerouen, van Meeteren N.V., Amsterdam; Postgiro 25816. Our thanks in advance.

After the printing of this letter we heard that Mrs. Weisbach sold the “Phoca” to Mr. CAF Groenman. Thank you Mrs. Weisbach, for all you did for our circle. We shall not forget the kind way you received the circle in 1967 in your house.
Welcome to our circle, Mr. Groenman.