FISHER OWNERS GROUP OF NORTH AMERICA
REPORT: Rendezvous at ROCHE HARBOR, San Juan Island September 30 - October 2, 2005The Roche Harbor contingent was very small but became obvious that we were exclusive. We were special, having braved the elements and perhaps commonsense, but we were tough. We may not have been a big party but it was a great small one.
Here are the various reports on the event from the real participants:
• John and Deb Morrow on Puffin (new Owners and first time FOG rendevousers)
Yes, it was fun! Deb and I had a great time and wish to thank everyone for the great initiation. Small group but big discussions.....cruising Alaska, wooden boat building, the art of climbing a lodgepole with a grizzly on your butt, sailing the Great Lakes, sabot sailing in the Pacific and I could go on and on. Lots of fun and lots of humour. Good food as well. As new Fisher owners, we enjoyed the opportunity to see the other boats and what you have all added or deleted. We are looking forward to the February meet in Vancouver and the spring gathering at Genoa Bay. Judging from all the positive comments, kudos to Charlie and Nancy Drake for the super job restoring Puffin.
Now, about the ride home [See Appendix below]. Hmmm let me put it this way, Deb should have been white knuckled and incoherent, vowing never toventure on the water again. Instead she was busy taking pictures of the giant swells and spray and restoring to their proper place the items strewn about the cabin. To quote Charlie, "The little Puffin was a lot like her namesake,taking big ocean swells like a duck". From Sidney home it was a pieceof cake, even had a rainbow. To top it off, Deb didn't want to go home Sundaynight so we spent the night aboard in Maple Bay.
Again, thank-you Don for the escort to Canoe Cove. It certainly made it convenient for us. I have attached some photos of our FOG trip.
taken at Sidney Spit the night before crossing to Roche.
Killer Wahles in Haro Strait was on the way over.
In Garrison Puffin is a tiny spot between an opening in the trees taken from Young Hill.
Haro Strait October 2, 2005 (see Appendix below)
Entering Satellite Channel with a rainbow.
•From the log of Ariidae (Kate and Claude Wreford-Brown)
October 3rd, 2005 1130, abeam of Searle somewhere.
Well, it was an extraordinary meeting with only the Fisher eliteattending. Elegance and sparkling extravagance was the everywhere
apparent. The last to arrive with his fleet securely berthed was, ofcourse, the Commodore and only his gentle humility prevented the Roche
Harbor from giving him his well-deserved 3-gun salute. As the flagship Kipper pulled gracefully to the dock the squadron dipped their pennants
in respect to this ancient and venerable mariner. And us junior membersfought eagerly for the opportunity to handle his lines and earn his
praise. Kate Wreford-Brown brought her team of Afghans to attention for the formal inspection.
Supper was of course catered by the FOG yacht club in the VIP tent. Refreshment consisted of the finest local vintages and a variety of
meats a la braise. As usual sophistication, high fashion, and urbanewere the hallmarks of any FOG gathering. Tales of past adventures under
canvas were recounted by the older members. As usual Chris and Marilyn illustrated how vastly more competent they were as sailors with their
tales of cross country navigation. There was it must be said a feeling of relief from some of us that they were there without Kingfisher as one
hates to spoil these events with any bitterness.
The main items on the agenda were of course the winter symposium that is planned for Vancouver again this year. A truly inspiring selection of
speakers appears planned and the Commodore insisted that everyone should plan on attending. A dinner cruise is being considered which will be available if enough members can commit to the date.
Club Quartermaster Chris Boulsbee proposed a club burgee. Cut to the characteristic "reverse rake" of the Fisher pilothouse on traditional
tannin bark (sp?) with the Club initials embossed it was adopted as representative of our venerable society. Once established, the next step
will be to apply for a royal warrant. One looks forward to the day wecan refer to ourselves as Royal FOG.
The Commodore was unanimously re elected for another term of office. Itwas unfortunate that his failing bladder required that he be absent from
the table at his re election although he was applauded warmly on his return to the gathering.
A mean Southwesterly dispatched the group on Sunday. Lionheart and Ariidae punched their way against the wind and tide in the more
protected waters of San Juan channel. Puffin and Kipper with theirheroic skippers scoffed at such cowardice and with a hearty "heave ho my
hearties" to their brave crews pitched themselves at the best thePacific could throw at them. [See Appendix below again]
Such are the seamen and women of FOG.
• From Lionheart (George and Carolyn Woodbury)
On this, our first opportunity to bring Lion Heart to a Fisher
rendezvous, we discovered an important fact about our own natures: we must be even more Anglophilic and Canadaphilic than we had known, for all attending had some connection to the Queen. Evidently only such people are attracted to Fishers. (Carolyn suspects if we keep our Fisher long that we too will eat with our forks upside down.) Granted, Claude and Kate are fellow Washingtonians and Claude spent years in our old Montana stomping grounds. However we could detect no Montana "old boy" mannerisms in Claude, and Kate's dogs definitely are not typical of Two Dot, Montana.
Dinner was a pleasant affair, thanks to the conversation, food, and the warmth offered by the blazing propane heaters and grill.
We had a great wind going home against which we could havetacked--and tacked--and tacked some more. However we stayed warm in the pilot house and bashed our way home with the engine.
This event was fun thanks to kind, pleasant, and even hilarious Fisher owners as well as a hospitable and interesting marina.
• From Kingfisher (in absentia but represented by Marilyn Campbell and Chris Boulsbee)
As always, the Wreford-Browns tell such a beautiful story - they cast, shall we say, a POSH perspective on the soirée. They did neglect to mention one of the highlights of the event - the comedy team of Kate and Claude once again thrilled their audience with stories of laps, middle Cs, dog psychics and the like. A standing ovation is definitely in order.
• And Kipper (Sally and Don Hamilton)
FOG had its first meeting at Roche Harbor back in 2000. That was a tense affair as everyone had to find out about everyone else and no one was really sure if they would be taken seriously. This version was no different although some members persist in trying to raise the level of conversation.
It was great not having Kingfisher on site (She is resting on the hard in middle Ontario awaiting Spring about June. Kingfsher's constant upgrading and improvements are usually hard to take and it was refreshing to be able to relax. Puffin is a great boat however and I'm glad it is not a 30. We did have Widgeon on the dock but it was in the final stages of being sold. It has just been sent to Alaska via freighter...in one week for $3000! Photo below
Widgeon going to Alaska on board via Northland
APPENDIX...Information supplied by several ladies in attendance regarding the ocean.
• From Deb Morrow (Puffin)
Ok, now my version of the trip home. My hands have finally stopped shaking, my knees are not wobbling, and my mind is somewhat clear - that was a wild ride! I am not planning to do that again (no matter what John says) but, I must admit the trip would not have been possible (me or the boat) in our old Catalina 27...nope..
not going home on Sunday nite was a combination of factors - pouring rain, cold, very very tired (exhaustion from the wild ride) not necessarily that I wanted to stay on Puffin for another night....so...remember there are two sides to every story! Thanks to you all for the great weekend and all your support! Deb
• From Kate Wreford-Brown (Ariidae)
Well Deb - it is now nearly a week since we bounced our way back to Friday Harbor and I think I am still bouncing....I made the mistake of
thinking that those days would be over when we got the twin hulls , but in fact it just double bounces! I wonder how many times I have really
believed Claude when he says that "It'll get better when we are round the headland, out of the broad siding wind or past this choppy bit" -
but it never is!! I have also learned that if the engine doesn't start right, the weatherreport is poor or the head doesn't work - don't leave port!! You see
they don't have the same level of being petrified as we do - it simplydoesn't occur to them ..it's an adventure!!
We Fisher ladies are of the same mind it's high time there was a Mutiny!
Preferably somewhere with nice shops and a good restaurant!
Bye for now from Kate
• From Sally Hamilton (Kipper)
I agree with both Deb and Kate. The Haro Strait seas were horrible last Sunday. Quite the worst and protracted crossing I (and Kipper) have made. I was seriously wondering whether my "Youth" life jacket bought for a grandchild years ago was really up to the task of keeping me afloat. I resolved there and then to test it in a swimming pool. Of course that has not happened.
News about the second conference at Granville Island February 10, 2006
There was talk of going to Genoa Bay in the Spring but further discussion may confirm or confuse that idea at the Conference planned for February 10-12 on Granville Island...details soon.