Seawind II, GAM 2002
Saturday, May 18th dawned cold, gray and blustery. A thirty-knot, north-easterly wind hurled the remnants of a chilly rain across the Long Island Sound but the report was for the precipitation to end by noon and the wind subsiding later in the day.
The small fleet of Allied Seawind Mk II yachts was assembling in scenic, Milton Harbor at the American Yacht Club in Rye, New York. Bert De Frondeville’s "Pianissimo" rode at her homeport mooring and nearby the beautiful and rare cutter, "Chautauqua", owned by John & Fran Morrison, a week’s voyage out of Choptank River, MD, rose and fell gracefully in the short-fetched, chop.
Only a few hundred yards southwest was "Flicka", owned by Ted Vander Wiede. Ted had purchased her five months before in San Francisco and had sailed her over 7,000 miles with a predicted log for this event. He was a day early despite an ailing starter motor that could have easily prevented his arrival.
Holed up in the protective lee of City Island, only about twelve miles to the west, was Jack Ganssle aboard his beloved "Voyager", he had sailed up from Baltimore. His plan was to meet his lovely lady-friend who was driving in from Newport and then drive east the remaining few miles to attend the dinner celebration for that evening. Weather permitting, they would sail her in to Rye, early on Sunday morning, and so they did.
"Sea Quill" and I were just then confronting only the latest in a list of dilemmas encountered during, our very elongated, day and a half trip around from Long Island’s South Shore. Some of them included the failure of the new auto-pilot due to an
initial, data set-up problem, a now departed, seasick crew and the vicious, wind-driven, pelting rain. However the latest conundrum was just how to single-handedly ship myself off the leeward side of the heaving, floating pier that I had elected for a brief layover earlier that stormy morning in Port Washington. "Sea Quill" lay portside-to the pier, facing bow-to the beach and down-wind only forty feet away lay another pier with two other yachts moored close abeam.
I decided to stream her down-wind held only by her bow on a sacrificial bow line and power her off the dock bringing the wind to my starboard beam. Failing that maneuver I fully expected to find us hard against the yachts that lay downwind with no other alternatives then prayers, tears and apologies.
Just as I began powering against the sacrificial line and slowly turning her bow outward, almost magically, a small, gnarled old salt skipped down the ramp and indicated that he would release the line and toss it aboard. Sea Quill was freed and motoring out of Manhasset Harbor. Rye was only about ten miles northeast and the wind was 30-knots from the northeast.
Entering Long Island Sound, "Thumper", her aging, original, but reconditioned and generally reliable Westerbeke-30, quit from fuel starvation. The conditions would not allow a filter change in the tight confines just outside of Manhasset Bay but she could certainly sail. With her teeth aimed firmly upwind she handled the gusty winds with casual aplomb under the 120% jib and her full mizzen. She seemed so determined to show the likely gallery of distant shipboard and shoreside spectators that a Seawind II, "Can-Do!"
Our arrival into the GAM was, however, inauspicious; at the end of a tow-line, but safety and security were certainly welcomed by her exhausted and by then, tardy skipper.
Bert had arranged a marvelous dinner at the clubhouse and this amazing group of owners assembled for the first time.
Although due to the necessary departure of a few of the attendees, a few hours on Saturday afternoon were dedicated to some ship-to-ship visiting by those only able to stay for the day. Sunday, after church services were attended by a few of our group, we retired to Bert de Frondeville’s home and were entertained regally by him and his lovely wife Barbara. Only after a wonderful, repast, more than a few champagne toasts and a much more intimate get-together on their sunny lawn did we return to the club.
"Pianissimo", "Chautauqua", "Voyager", "Flicka" and "Sea Quill" seemed quite happy to accommodate the frequent and intrigued visiting owners and crews. The club launch operators happily transported small groups from boat to boat and could be asked just where any other group happened to be at almost any time. They ferried groups during much of Saturday and Sunday afternoon among the five moored boats.
Each of them is a sea-going yacht, each faithfully used as a cruising boat. Most had extensive voyages firmly imbedded under their keels and noteworthy entries in their logbooks. As they gently nodded in the quelling chop they all anticipated many more.
Each of the jaunty little ships proudly showed-off the obvious and familiar profile that we owners have become so enamored of but the individuality added by each owner was the true signature of each of the sister-yachts.
Questions abounded and answers rebounded. The individual touches, carefully selected styles and unique solutions to so many of the items we so freely communicate about became so obvious to all of us. Oddly, although so familiar, no interior arrangement was totally similar. Stowage arrangements unique and just how each of us had addressed the particular ergo dynamics to suit our own needs immediately became incredible learning experiences for all.
This gathering served us all well and the common agreement was that we will certainly plan another East Coast GAM to be held within a year or two. The understanding was that the boats have always spoken for themselves. The owners however had found that, as a group, they shared more than just ownership, they shared themselves. In this came a strength and unity that must be spread to other owners in the more distant regions. The GAM’s of the future will perpetuate not only the yachts, their increasing value but a spirit that elevates us all as SW II owners, sailors and people.
Perhaps we shall all meet again, perhaps somewhere in the Chesapeake next time or in Florida’s well sailed Tampa Bay area but without saying, none of us will ever forget this treasured experience.
A Few Happy Owners
ASW II Plaque
Flicka at GAM
Voyager at GAM========================================
Without further ado it appears we will proceed with the American Yacht Club in Rye, New York on May 18th & 19th, 2002 for the Seawind II Gam 2002.
At this writing, the sail-in attendance includes eight Seawinds.
The Arriving owners without their yachts:
We have heard from John & Allison Banfield, "True Blue", Ft. Lauderdale, FL and they will not be attending. Their plans for this winter are in the Caribbean and probably through to the vast Pacific between February and May of 2002. We wish them Bon Voyage and fair winds.
Very soon I will provide navigational information for those arriving by yacht, car and by aircraft.
Bert & I will set up a loose agenda for at least one cocktail hour and dinner at the club. Hopefully, we may possibly expect a short, lively "round the buoys race" with the enthusiastic help from our hosts from the yacht club. The inevitable photo album exchanges, photo sessions, shipboard cocktail gatherings and the like. Good Old Boat Magazine has provided a few gift subscriptions as "door prizes" and hopefully they will be awarded for some very appropriate winner or deserving attendee.
*** Certainly if an award for the yacht to sail the furthest to attend may easily be gathered by new owner Ted Vander Weide who will depart from Los Angeles where he has purchased Flicka. His travels are expected to take him possibly through the Sea of Cortez, Panama Canal, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida and possibly some of the Caribbean before his arrival in New York.
Efforts have been made to contact the office of Tom Gilmer, Cruising World Magazine and Good Old Boat Magazine to extend invitations.
We have sent out email invitations to most of the "members" who have current addresses listed. A mail-out to the postal addresses listed will be complete by the end of October.
If this is your first visit to the site and you wish to contact our network group please do allied_seawind_II@yahoogroups.com
New commitments will be posted to this site as each commitment is offered.
Date: Fri Sep 28, 2001 5:26 pm
I have just returned form a very delightful few hours with Bert at his home and also a visit to his yacht club in Rye, NY. We were able to spend about an hour aboard his SW II, Pianissimo comparing notes, equipment and ideas.
She is moored off the American Yacht Club in Rye and an inviting scene it is. Moorings are placed well apart from each other and the panoramic view of the Sound, the marshes, the NYC skyline and the stately old homes typical of the area are simply inviting.
We briefly toured the club-house and once again each area is beautifully maintained and courteously staffed. The facilities include several launches, a sumptuous dining room with spectacular views of the harbor and Long Island Sound, a taproom with the wall lines with half-hull models and authentic nautical artifacts, models and artwork.
The club provides three official guest moorings and apparently can offer others in close proximity. The moorings are heavily rigged with twin pendants and given the adequate space between them Bert indicates the likelihood that two Seawinds would be welcome to raft on each one for the weekend.
Several reasonable hotels and motels are located just off Rte. 95 and within a short drive of this location and it is just a twenty-minute drive from the Throggs Neck Bridge, thirty minutes from La Guardia Airport and about forty from JFK.
Even as this is the first of a few planned visits to establish the location for the ASW GAM 2002 I admit it would be difficult to find a more accommodating spot.
Unfortunately, I have had little response from a mass email I sent out about two weeks ago but another will be prepared and tried once again.
For any of you who are aware of another ASW II in your area and are able to contact the owner Bert & I ask you direct them to the web site or this group for any information they may be able to provide regarding their intensions.
Greetings Seawind II Owner,
I contact you today to inform you of a rare event.
A "gam" or general reunion for all Seawind II owners is currently being planned for May of 2002 in the Long Island Sound area of New York or Conn.
At this moment we have established May 18th & 19th as the date. The potential location will be chosen shortly based upon the attendance commitments of any SW II owners who may wish drive or fly in to the New York area.
It is our intention to establish a meeting place that accommodates the sail-in attendees as well as those unable to bring their boats. With your input we hope that either drive-ins or fly-ins will find our gam convenient and accommodating.
Please try to join the Allied Seawind II chat group by sending your request for recognition to the address link posted herein. The group of very active participants awaits your input and reunion eagerly.
I do realize that some of you contacted may not still own your boats. If this is indeed the case I would appreciate any information you may be able to provide regarding the whereabouts or new owner information to update the records of the Allied Seawind II Owner Association by contacting Howard,mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our chat address isallied_seawind_II@yahoogroups.com
Sea Quill (formerly GiGi) # 29K