Friends and a Fan

29 Oct

Gatekeeper 2.jpgwalt1.jpgI’m lucky. I have made a lot of friends in this business. Of course there was the builder from Florida that did not like his review in SAILING. He called and said he was coming to Seattle to “Cut your head off!” He didn’t come to Seattle and his boat was still a dog.

Then there is Dr. Walter Berdon. We have been corresponding for years. We met through my reviews in SAILING and Dr. Walter started writing me letters with ideas and comments on the boats I had reviewed. Dr. Walter is 81 years old and lives in Mamaroneck, New York where he sails a 25′ Dufour 1800. He is Professor Emeritus in pediatric radiology at Columbia University.He has been out to Seattle twice in the last two years to lecture at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital and while here he asked his host to arrange a meeting with me. I was honored. So two years ago Dr. Walter along with his companion Lolly showed up at the house on a nice sunny summer’s afternoon. We drank some wine and had a real nice chat about all kinds of things. We repeated the visit this year. Dr. Walter has been very supportive in my hours of darkness. He advises me on medical issues and is one of the reasons I quit drinking.
He’s a smart man and on demand by fancy doctors in Seattle. The fact that he has taken time to come up and visit me, twice means a lot. He tells me that I have brought a lot of pleasure to his life. I feel good about that. I look forward to our next visit. Google him, he’s famous.

Then there is Dr. Walters counter part Orlando Yen. Orlando is about 7 or 8 years old and lives in Australia. Somehow he got hold of a copy of GOOD OLD BOAT and found the article with the drawings for my 58′ ketch CATARI. His Dad Andrew emailed me and said  Orlando had taken a liking to the design and carried the magazine around telling people that this was “his boat”. But the magazine had not stood up to Orlando’s demands and it had fallen apart. Andrew wondered if I could send any drawings of the boat for Orlando. Of course I could and I did and I also sent him a whole bunch of my drawings for other boats. But Orlando loved that ketch.

Here is Orlando surrounded by drawings. He is studying the cockpit rendering that Rick did. Orlando did a three week passage on a traditional gaff ketch this summer.
I’m certain he enjoyed himself. The photos of the voyage show him with a very serious look on his face most of the time. This kid is paying attention. Orlando decided to build a model of the ketch and I have the finished model here next to me. It is a prized possession. I have about 60 half  models but I like this one. Here is Orlando working on the model. Not bad for a little kid. I had better keep an eye on Orlando.
Orlando is now building a larger scale radio controlled model of the ketch.


I have other friends too. There is Dan Faulkner back in Ontario. We call him Gatekeeper because that’s the handle he uses on line. It’s also the name of his boat. I met Dan on SAILING ANARCHY. We have never met face to face but we have exchanged a lot of photos. Dan has been a steadfast friend for a few years but he really was there to offer me support after Spike died. He didn’t say much. We talked about boats and how to win races. We talked about how to fold fitted sheets. We talked about cooking and we talked a lot about ice hockey. We talked about our boys. We just talked. Here’s a pic of Dan  cruising along with Jill his wife in a local race.

I am making chicken soup today. I’ll make some noodles tonight and my friends will come over and we will have home made chicken noodle soup. I’m really good at making it. My secret is a pinch of curry powder and lots of carrots and parsnips. I’m listening to Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI. I should mow the lawn but there’s tomorrow for that. I have now lost 17 pounds.


Orlando big model.jpg 

Orlando model.jpg


orlando yen.jpg

This article was syndicated from YACHT DESIGN


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