Newsletter nr. 53-III – July 3th 2010

Newsletter headerAhoy captains, yachtsmen, guests, dear members,

Short impression Summer meeting 25-27 June 2010

A splendid weekend in and around Stavoren: mediterranean temperatures, lovely people and long hot nights. That’s how it was.
Eight Gunning yachts and Ida Scheltema’s classic motor boat ‘Dieuwertje’ were given nice places in Stavoren harbour by our jovial harbour master. Amongst them three newcomers to the Summer meeting. Welcome to Marco and Maria (Vrouwezand), Niek enWies (Cathalijne van Cadzand) and Willem and Selma (Margaretha). Special guests were Brooke and Roberta Westover (Florida, ex Puffin) and Kathryn Walker (Australia, Cicci) with her two young children and sister Inger. Thanks to the hospitality of our dedicated member Ida also 84-year-old Brooke was fortunately able to be present. Marc Eichhorn’s mother was a welcome guest too. She, like Brooke in her eighties, climbed boats and landing stages like a Bambi. She reminded us, members of the board, of the beautiful short story ‘The centenarian’ by Godfried Bomans in his bundle ‘Kopstukken’. For Kathryn and Inger the weekend was special because of all the reminiscenses of the Alcyone II ‘Cicci’ and their adventurous father Jimmy Walker, who died too young. A warm relationship with the Alcyone Circle was established.

On the Saturday morning everybody was woken at nine o’clock sharp by a real reveille, sounded by Peter Hoogenberk on his trumpet. Not all runs were played smoothly, which made us all hope and fear. Nevertheless the reveille was complete in the end: Our thanks to our striking looking captain of the Adriana van Texel. During the palaver at 10.30 hours on board the Sayonara, the ladies were heartily invited. “Times are changing” as Bob Dylan sang in the sixties. It did not seem to distress our gentlemen-sailors. Joost van’t Hull recited the legend of ‘The lady of Stavoren’. It was decided to design our own Circle ensign in a setting of a medieval coat of arms with the mythological Halcyon (kingfisher) for a symbol.

On the Saturday afternoon we had a splendid sail on the IJsselmeer. The scenery was very Dutch and beautiful. Blue skies, blue green waves and hazy shore lines in the distance. We sailed free as much as possible, so that everybody could enjoy themselves to the full. For the second time in a row the ‘palaver concept’ of ‘no wind then motor to Laaxum’ was speedily abandoned as soon as we left the harbour. This was nót the fearless Cormorants’ captains’ fault, who were to pilot the Gunning fleet past the Vrouwenzand shoals. No, the true cause was the wind suddenly picking up and freshening to 3 Beaufort. Sailing at a speed of 5 knots over shoals, instead of motoring, seemed unwise. Refloating the Sayonara (18 tonnes, 1.20 m draft) would have needed a tugboat, which we could ill afford. So, for practical reasons, we chose a splendid sail back and forth instead of a dangerous hop over the shoals. Notwithstanding, or perhaps owing to, a continuous change of course (discussed on channel 77 and decidedly chaotic to the outsider) everybody could sail to their hearts’ content and our guests could enjoy themselves to the full. A great afternoon.

During the dinner party on Saturday night in ‘De vrouwe van Stavoren’ the crystal Alcyone Circle Challenge Cup, beautifully engraved by the artist Jan Post and filled, even during the dinner party, with an excellent twelve year old whisky, was handed over to Dirk van Slooten, the Sayonara’s captain. He had proved convincingly that he is a loyal Member of the Circle, simply by being present notwithstanding pressing duties abroad. Ánd for bringing his Sayonara, looking resplendent after a thorough overhaul. Bravo for this mother ship, her captain and Marieke’s much appreciated hospitality. Also Bert and Janneke were present, this year not yet with their Cormorant ‘Woest maar kalm’. Sic!

As usual, the Sunday was for getting up on time and depart for home. Again it had been a real pleasure to be together with our special ships and our special crews. In the near future pictures will be exchanged via email addresses. Dirk Jan Schenk surprised us by sending photographs on the very Sunday evening. A section of our flotilla is now getting ready for the rally to Greetsiel (start July 12th), where, weather permitting, the Gerdtses will join our distinghuished company with the ‘Harmonie’.



Warmest greetings, all the best,
Arjen van Boekel en Joost van ’t Hull

Board Alcyone Circle