Newsletter nr. 4 – December 1964

oldnewsheadIn Memoriam
We are very sorry to have to state the death of professor Dr. J. F. ten Doesschate the owner of “Iron Duke”.
Professor ten Doeschate was keenly interested in and sympathized very much with our Circle. We will miss him very much.

The Rally
The rally of our Alcyone Circle was held under the most pleasant weather conditions.

The following ships were at July 25th present in the harbour of the Royal Netherlands Sailing and Rowing Club and Muiden:
“Alcyone II”, “Alcyone I”, “Caecilia”, “Banckert”, “Blue Griffin”, “Dotterblume”, “Duyfke”, “Cormorant”, “Frinke”, “Dorine” and “Annabel”.

There has never been such a concentration of these types of ships.

About eleven o’clock all participants assembled on the terrace of the clubhouse where acquaintances were made and where old friends meet again. We saw there our guests: Mr. and Mrs. Gunning as well as the four Nalentijn brothers with Riet Valentijn. We met there too the owners of “Helena Anna” (at the time recommissioning at Valentijn Shipyard), “Sayonara” (at the time in Mediterranean), “Sven” (very unhappy for not being able to come) and “L 97”.

Mr. van Marle commemorates the death of Professor Dr. J. F. ten Doesschate.

Shortly afterwards the ships left harbour and set course to the rendez-vouz at the little isle of Fort Pampus. At the sign with signal flag “A” given by “Alcyone I” (the first “Gunning” ship, built 17 years ago and – has it to be said – still in very good condition) we started. It was – and especially under those most favourable conditions – a very beautiful sight.

In the afternoon we arrived at Volendam where the ships where moored in three rows, the first row the 4 “Cormorants”, then the four “Alcyone II” types and then 3 “ I” types. Here too the cameras were very busy and the cameras of non-Alcyone Circle people too.
It was late afternoon when the members of the Circle had their assembly. In the meantime Mrs. Gunning invited the ladies for a sherry-party on board “Alcyone II”.

Nearly 50 people were present at the dinner. It was a gay and lively party. The floodgates of eloquence were opened by Mr. van Marle. In his speech he addressed himself in the first place to Mr. Gunning as the spiritual father of our ships. It can only be after much thinking and with much experience, he said, that Mr. Gunning could conceive our ships. The first ship was “Alcyone I”. In each following ship there was always brought in the experience of its predecessors. And so in the course of time there came the “Alcyone II” and the “Cormorant” classes. We, the owners, are gathering the fruits of Mr. Gunning’s thinking, experience, skill, perserverance and enthusiasm.

It was therefore that Mr. van Marle on behalf of the owners thanked Mr. Gunning and presented as a token of gratitude from the members of the Alcyone Circle a silver frame for a photograph.

It was Captain Sanders who thanks the Valentijn brothers for so much craftmanship, for so splendidly materalizing the designs of Mr. Gunning and for their ideas for improvement that went into the ships. He thanked them too for their hospitality and for always helping out of any trouble shipowners experienced.

Mrs. van Marle spoke about the hospitality of Riet Valentijn and offered her a present.

Mr. Gunning thanked for the words of appreciation and said furthermore that it was not by chance that owners mix so well and find so much pleasure in each others company. Where sihps are a mixture of several desires and do not go in for extremes, people who like these yachts can not go in for extremes in their likings and their way of thinking and so will mix well.

After the speeches of the Valentijn brothers there followed still more kind words spoken by various people among others from captain van Waning, the president of the Club of Dutch flat- and round bottomed yachts.

Sunday morning we sailed for a rendez-vouz at a place near the lighthouse of Marken. “Caecilia” anchored illustrate the fact that there was no wind. Everyone went busy visiting other ships and it appeared that every ship was a very hosppitable ship!

In the afternoon there came gradually more wind and so it was a very pleasant sail before the wind, back to Muiden where we had dinner.
Summing up these two days it may be said, that it was a gay affair and that with much satisfaction can be looked back to the rally 1964.

The Assembly
After some discussion it was agreed that:
a. the name of the club will be Alcyone Circle;
b. the contribution will amount to DGkds 10,- a year, beginning with 1965;
c. the next rally will be in 1966 in the vicinity of Flushing and
d. the present committee will continue to look after the business of the Circle

Members are requested to send their contribution to:
Firma C. Lind & Zoon
Keizersgracht 564
with the information:
“Contribution Alcyone Circle 1965”
(For Dutch members the post giro-number is 47017).

News about Ships and Owners
“Langeraar” has crossed tha Atlantic. In a letter dated 31.7.64
to Will Valentijn Mr. Grove wrote:

“We completed our very interesting trip from Europe to Miami last week. Left Toulon, France on April 7 and have cruised since then with stops made at Palma, Gibralter, Canary Islands, Antiqua, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and the Bahamas.

Although most of our trip was pleasant sailing, we did have quite a gale off Casablance which drove us under bare poles for nearly 40 hours, forunately in the right direction. We made the leg from Gibraltar to Las Palmas injust over 5 days. Winds from force 4 to 7 in the gale. The ship handled beautifully and is nearly as steady below as mr. Gunning says it is. During the worst of the blow we made ourselves and the ship more comfortable by dragging lines and an old pice of canvas and dripping oil from the forward cockpit scuppers. I found the hardest part of the job was in slowing her down as she likes to race the big waves and although she tried to broach I was afraid she might and this was why I used the warps and canvas to slow her. The wind over the stern was so strong that when the bow threw water up, instead of coming aft to wet us, it was blown forward so that even the forward cockpit remained quite dry. Sometime in the future I plan on writing a log of trip and will send you a copy. In the meantime, thanks for building a good ship and my thanks to Mr. Gunning.

We changed the name to “Caravelle”. We both liked “Langeraar” but found it impossible for most people to pronounce correctly. As an example – last week some friends came to see us and asked for the “Long-ger-air” and was told that no such ship was in. So they drove back 55 miles.”

We salute Mr. Grove and his crew (his wife and two children, 5 and 2 years old) and congradulate them with their fine voyage.

“Langeraar” has no centerboard and her rudder can not be lifted.

“Spurwing” is being prepared for a voyage to Gambia and the West Indies, Sir Percy Wyn Harris intends to sail shortly from Gibraltar.
The following telegram was sent: Alcyone Circle wishes you god-speed on your voyage to America”. Sir Percy answered: “Warm thanks and greetings from Spurwing to Alcyone Circle for their good wishes”

A steering vane is installed now on Spurwing; Mr. Gunning was at Gibraltar to advise Sir Percy in making “Spurwing” ready for this voyage. Sir Percy has only one crew-member on board.

“Iron Duke” is sold to Mr. G. can ‘t Hull, Amsterdam.

“Helena Anna” finished her reconditioning at Spetember 15th. She is very beautifully renovated and a completely new ship again.

The greatest part of our ships are now in their winter quarters. Mr. Rogers has brought “Alcyone I” in his garne and put a removable shed over her. For the “do-it-yourselfers” an ideal solution!

Kindly forward correspondence to:
Mr. B. van der Ploeg
Jacob Mulferweg 22
Den Haag. 1A