Newsletter nr. 20 – December 1977

oldnewsheadWintermeeting 1978
We hope to have a wintermeeting again for all members with their crew. We intend to have this meeting in the clubhouse of the “Koninklijke Ned. Zeil- en Roeivereniging”, Westzeedijk 7, Muiden, on Saturday the 25th of February 1978. The meeting will start at 6 o’clock in the afternoon. At about 6.30 we will have dinner and after dinner at about 8 o’clock we shall start with the films and colour slides. The dinner will cost approx. ƒ20,–, wine included. Those members who cannot be present at the dinner are of course very welcome at 8 o’clock.
Please inform Mr. HK Bolte if you intend to be present at the dinner and with how many people. Mr. Bolte’s address is: Zonnestein 9, Amstelveen. Tel. nr. 020-413714.

Those who have good films or colour-slides made this summer of their cruises are kindly invited to bring those with them. If time permits, we might show them.

Ships and Owners
It was very interesting to hear about the various voyages our members made in their boats last summer. We heard about the “Margaretha” and the “Puffin” sailing in Zeeland. The “van linschoten” sailed to Belgium. Mr. Jim Walker stayed in Paris for some time with his “Cicci” and went through the canals to the South Coast of France. We are informed he is crossing now the Atlantic on his way to Antigua, W.I.

Mr. van Marle made a cruise with the”Caecilia” around the Aegean. Enclosed a review of this cruise. Mr. Shedd has his “Sesame” in the Mediterranean. This year he sailed from Porto S. Stefano up the Adriatic. Last year he made a fine cruise from Spain to France.

The “Bataviae Princeps” has changed her name to “Bonnathure”. The new owner is Mr. MJ Krijgsman of Rotterdam.

The “Breewijd” also has a new owner, Mr. CT van der Togt of Haarlem and he named his ship “Festina Lente”. We do not know what he exactly means by this name.

“Spurwing”, the ship of Sir Percy Wyn Harris, was sold to Mr. MC van Elsacker of Geertruidenberg.

“Puffin” was bought by Mr. A. Kleywegt of Amsterdam.

All new owners are very welcome to our circle. We hope to meet them often at our meetings and rallies, and gladly wish them pleasant sailing with their ships. A word of farewell is due to the old members of our circle. We quite understand for some of them it was not easy to say good-bye to their ships. This is surely the case with Sir Percy Wyn Harris, who has sailed his “Spurwing” around the world. He stood at the cradle when our circle was born and often acted as the principal speaker at our meetings and rallies. Twice he told us at a wintermeeting about his cruise around the world and was very often present at our rallies. Thank you very much, Sir Percy, for all you did for the members of our circle!

Rally 1978
We hope to have our rally next summer again. In 1964 we started, so this will be our 8th rally. As a possible date we suggest the weekend of the 19th and the 20th of August. At the winter meeting we shall discuss this. Suggestions as to the place where we might have the rally and other suggestions are very welcome. But in any case, keep the above mentioned date free until after our meeting.

Rally 1976
It might interest those who were present at our 1976 rally to hear that the restaurant where we had our dinner had completely burnt out. We hope, however, to have a future rally again at Numansdorp when the restaurant has been rebuilt.

News from the Wharf
This summer many members of our parliament visited the yard of the Valentijn Brothers on the occasion of their yearly fishing out with the Press. They all visited the exhibition in the yard, where a.o. one could see the ancient models and tools used a long time ago for caulking of decks. A couple of their ship-models can be seen at an exhibition in the “Vleeshal”, Grote Markt, Haarlem.

Owners of ships are kindly requested to remit their yearly subscriptions into Postgiro account no. 3721241 of the Alcyone Circle, Amsterdam. (£ 2.-., DM 10.-, US#4.00, or Dfl. 10.–)

Voyage of the “Caecilia’ around the Aegean Sea
The Aegean is really a beautiful sea to sail in. Clear blue skies, quiet anchorages, pleasant harbours and friendly people who welcome yachtsmen very cordially. and when ashore there is nearly always some interesting thing to see. The temple of Poseidon on Cape Sounion, the palace of Cnossos at Crete, the beautiful nature at Rhodos with the old historical monuments of the Greek history and of the time the Knights dwelt there. Think further! Kos where Hippocrates lived and still the old plane tree is to be seen, where he used to teach. One can also see the Asklepeion, the medical school and hospital of Hippocrates. Samos, where Pythagoras was born, Patmos from the revelations of St. John, Ephese, Troy, Istanbul, the monks-republic of Athos with its beautiful monasteries, etc. etc.

But here the record of our voyage:
The boat had been on a wharf in Lavrion near Athens during last winter. Before leaving I had submitted a list of work to be done to the boat. When I arrived at the yard in April this year, only a few things were done. While I was present they did some more and I myself worked more than 12 hours a day for 14 days, so the 4th of May with an engine running well, a well painted ship, a toilet which worked, water tanks with water not tasting too badly, and sails well washed to get the dirt and salt off, everything was ship-shape.

We sailed in southerly direction stopping at various islands of the Cyclades, all of which with its own character and charm. The island of Santorini is the most beautiful. This island used to be a volcano, which had been split by several eruptions in many parts, but the circular form still remains. We berthed at the quay beneath the main village and climbed the sheer, brown cliffs to have a magnificent view on the other islands of the archipelago with their splendid colours.

Then we sailed to Herakleion on the island of Crete. A very rough crossing, but with only the genoa we made a good headway to the south in the northwestern breeze often making 5-6 miles per hour. A comfortable berth in the yacht harbour of Herakleion awaited us where we laid protected from the N. wind by an old Venetian castle.

We were able to stay for only several days before sailing further along the N. coast of Crete to the East-end where we anchored in a quiet bay next to a kind sponge-fisher.

Next day to the island of Kasos. Here we anchored in a beautiful deserted bay. When we sailed away the following day we first had a good West wind force 4, but when a short distance from the island we first becalmed and then we got different forces of wind from every imaginable direction. Close to the island the sea was white, whipped up by the downdraft of the wind off the cliffs. We kept the sheets of the sails in our hands for easier maneuvering. For half an hour the log went back and forth from 0 to 7 knots. However, when clear from the island, the wind steadied to North force 4-5, bringing us safely into the harbour of Pigadia on the island of Karpathos.

From there to the bay of Lindos on the island of Rhodos, really one of the most beautiful anchorages of Greece. High above us the acropolis with the dark walls built by the Knights. Beneath it the village with its white sparkling houses. Naturally we stayed here for several days. And then we went on against the strong N. wind to the town of Rhodas. Very crowded but quite interesting.

The medieval walled city looks forbidding but the beautiful bougainvilla and other flowers growing in abundance along and over the walls compensate for this. After a week in Rhodos the sea called us again and we went in northerly direction along the coast of Asia Minor and the Greek islands opposite it. Fine sailing grounds and quite interesting to see. Kas, Samos, Patmos, Ephese, etc., but it would take too much time to tell it all in detail.

Near the island of Lemnos we had engine trouble, so we had to rely on our sails only. After about one day they took us quite well to the capital of the island, Merini, where a mechanic was able to find the cause of the trouble. The plate in front of the engine appeared to have a crack. The mechanic removed the plate and managed to repair the crack.

From Lemnos we went through the Dardanelles to the Sea of Marmara and to Istanbul. Underway we visited the interesting ruins of Troy. We stayed here more than a week to see the beautiful city and to work again at the engine. The seawater cooling of the engine did not get overboard. The opening in the exhaust had gradually become silted-up by the oil and dirt in the cooling water. So we had to make a new connecting hole into the exhaust. And also the plate which has been repaired in Lemnos showed some small cracks again. Luckily one of our crew had to fly to Amsterdam and he returned with a new plate, which was fitted quickly.

During our return voyage we had a good NE wind which took us after some days once again to Lemnos. And from there we went to Thessaloniki. Underway, a lack of wind made it necessary to use the engine, but to our great dismay we heard a strange creaking noise in the bilge. The bearings of the alternator appeared to be worn out. We solved this problem by removing the rubber fan-belt from the ax, the pump of the seawater cooling system and the alternator, putting a nylon stocking around the pulleys, connecting only the ax and the pump. So the engine could work again, but only the batteries were not charged. In Thessaloniki we changed crew and got a new alternator. Then we visited Chalkidiki with its 3 peninsulas. There is also the monks-republic of Athos with its beautifully situated monasteries. Sometimes they are high on the rock and one wonders how the monks there get their supplies upwards.

Next we visited the island of Thasos and then went southward to the Sporades. All of great beauty.

From there we went to Volos and further southward between the island of Euboia and the continent. In Chalkis is a bridge of about 4 metres high. To the astonishment of the spectators we lowered the mast to get underneath the bridge, which only opens for big commercial ships.
So we went further on direction south, in the end helped by a northerly wind reaching force 6-7.

In Piraeus our crew left and we took the boat to Glyphada, where she was hoisted onto a lorry and taken overland to the yard where she is now, waiting to be fitted out for next summer.