August 22, 2013-Two of a kind, and Other Coincidences
Ed Dubois is a sailboat designer from England, race boats mainly, and you don't see too many of them out here among the cruising fleet, but sometimes they turn up and I always like seeing them; they have nice lines.
So it was a coincidence to see these two tied alongside of each other here at Club Nautico: Victory, an old Ed Dubois IOR 43 race boat and an un-named Wauquiez Centurion 49. I love the shape of the transom on these boats; beautiful.
But the coincidence does not stop there. Victory I know from before. In 1984 I sailed in the San Francisco Big Boat Series on Bill Rudolph's Challenger and that regatta was the first time I saw Wings, when Roger Hall owned her, a year before Judy and I bought her. She was parked right alongside Victory and both boats were racing in that regatta. Neither did particularly well but I liked their looks and dreamed of owning a boat like that. Little did I know at that time that a year later Roger would put Wings up for sale and Judy and I would wind up buying her. We are not exactly tied up next to Victory now, but as far as I know, that was the last time, and the only time before today, that Wings and Victory have been in the same marina together.
Those were some good days; the Big Boat Series in 1984. There were 68 IOR boats racing, one third of them were Doug Peterson designs including Wings and in fact there were 12 Serendipity 43's or other Peterson two tonners. The racing was close and exciting. I didn't have much of a role on Challenger, Keith Lorence was driving and he took me along as rail weight and to look after the owner. I remember one wild spinnaker jibe right in front of St Francis when Challenger rolled down until the mast was in the water, as well as me, still holding onto the stern pulpit 3 feet under the surface. I remember looking up at Bill, the owner, who was looking down at me, underwater, and I was thinking, probably Bill was too, "OK Keith, you can stand it up now."
Many of the boats from Big Boat that year wound up in Seattle and Judy and I sailed Wings against all of them at one time or another. They included Glory, High Noon, Chimo, Flying Machine, Challenger, Blade Runner, Earl of Mar, Whistle Wing V, Carissa, and Ondine (Atalanta).
I rather enjoy coincidences and this year we've had a few. In addition to seeing Victory again, while we were in Bonaire we ran into Andy and Greta, whom we last saw in Gizo, Solomon Islands, in 2002. Andy and Greta, who are now operating a big power yacht for a Floridian surgeon, happened to be in Bonaire when we pulled in and they recognized Wings from 12 years before . While we were getting re-acquainted with them another couple pulled up in their dingy and stuck their heads over the side of our deck and asked if it was Fred & Judy? That was Jan Eckmann and her husband Dave who, while we'd never met before, had a connection to us from Seattle. Jan worked at Bank of America in the same department as I worked in years ago, though at different times, and my old boss, Cathy Ackert used to always tell me I should look up Jan 'cause she was out there sailing around the world just like we were. Well, Jan saw Wings and she came over to see if it was Fred & Judy, and it was!
Just recently, since we have been in Cartagena, we had another one of these wonderful coincidences.
We'd been walking the shopping center in Cartagena one day and we stopped in a bar for a cold beer and they had music videos on. I looked up at the big screen and recognized the song that was being shown. It was Led Zeppelin, from the 60's, doing Stairway to Heaven. I had never before seen that particular Led Zeppelin video but I saw the original performance, live, back years ago and I recognized it immediately by the lighting and the sound, the same blue lighted fog, the same back spotlight on Robert Plant's big hairdo. It was at the Seattle Center Coliseum in Seattle in 1969 and I took some photos at that show. They're still around the family somewhere. They look just like the video.
You Tube-Stairway to Heaven (1973)
I thought that this was really cool, in 2013, in Cartagena, to see that particular performance from Seattle, after all those years.
But there was more coolness to come.
Back at the marina we saw Kenny, a boater like us, lounging on the back of his boat and we stopped to talk.
We told Kenny about the coincidence of the video.
His answer blew us away.
"Hey, I was there man, I was light and sound for that show!"
He told us how he stood back stage between two giant speakers and worked the light console himself while his guys did the spots and other of his guys worked the sound boards.
" I did all the shows that year for them."
But the coincidence I like to tell about the most happened in Hong Kong in 2005.
Two friends of ours, Murray and Allison from the yacht Kokomo, were visiting and while we were at a coffee shop in Mon Kok we heard a song playing that we all recognized, but we could not remember who the artist was. The words to the song, you will all recognize, as we did, go, "if you come to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair...".
When we got back to the boat I did a google search on the Internet and found the song which was San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) and that it was sung by Scott McKenzie and we all said, "Oh yeah, sure, we remember, how could we have forgotten that?" But while we were laughing about that and remembering where we were in 1967 when that song came out, I searched further for Scott McKenzie, and I found something else, something so delightful and fun that I almost fell off of my chair.
Looking up from my computer screen I turned to Alison and Murray, from the yacht Kokomo, and I asked, "Do you know what other real famous song Scott McKenzie did?"
They said no, they didn't.
I said, "It was a Beach Boys song, which McKenzie co-wrote with Tom Love and the other members of the Beach Boys band, in 1988. It was called Kokomo."
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Cartagena