June, 2004

During Fiona’s haul-out from October to approximately June of 2004 I will briefly list the work needed to get her shipshape for the next cruise.

This is the last haul-out newsletter–Fiona is in the water and should leave for 2004/2005 cruise on time. The boat was launched at the end of May. I was very lucky, just before the launch someone backed into the mast while it was still horizontal on saw-horses and wiped out the masthead fittings such as the VHF antenna and the navigation light. Why was I lucky? Because if he had hit 6 inches to the north he would have clobbered the mast itself and that would not have been so easy to fix. As it was, all the broken bits were replaced within a few days and the mast is now safely vertical. Now Fiona is in the water I was able to run the new freezer successfully. The new shaft generator still has technical problems but a fix is in the works. All the new cabin sole woodwork has been varnished and the interior is beginning to look like the old Fiona. On deck the rigid dinghy has been painted and two coats two coats of oil applied to all the teak. As of this writing the sails are bent on, new life-lines rigged, and a thousand and one items are being stored below.

Just before the launching I drove up to New Hampshire in the 1928 4½ liter Bentley for a five day rally. It was great fun driving in the spectacular countryside of the White Mountain region, if a trifle damp. Altogether this was a 1,400 mile thrash in five days. Shortly after the launch came the Bon Voyage Party. This was very successful, nearly a hundred friends attended. We had a Dixie band, continuous Fiona movies and lots to drink and eat. Many thanks to Weeks for their space, John for his tent and for the scrumptious food provided by many of the attendees. At the commissioning ceremony of the South Bay Cruising Club on Memorial Day I was very touched to be presented with a magnificent marble sculpture of the world in token of my many trips aboard Fiona. The plinth listed my long distance cruises since 1991.

I have a complete crew list for the upcoming cruise. Shoel Cohen, who has sailed aboard Fiona in the Pacific and Atlantic, and Joe Sullivan, a newcomer to the Fiona crew list, are the crew for the first leg to Canada and Ireland. Weekly updates will be posted on the website. I hope to write my next cruising newsletter at the end of the Baltic phase when the boat reaches London.

Until then, best wishes,


The new generator belted to the propeller shaft.

Eric poses with the old Bentley in New Hampshire.

Fiona is gently lowered into the water at Weeks Yachtyard.

The 50 ft mast is swayed up by the yard crew.

The Blue Point Diner, a cozy haven with friendly waitresses.

The restored dinette area.

A view of the Bon Voyage Party.

Some old crew members pose with Eric at the Bon Voyage Party.

The award from the South Bay Cruising Club.