the Commodore's Retreat: Aug. 21-22, 2004
Lexington, Michigan on Lake Huron
a report by Mike Anspach (W4271)

Attendance at this year’s Commodore’s Retreat was on the light side, with just 3 boats participating. Returning were Morris “Mo” Metcalf from Lawrenceville, Georgia, who brought his boat and sailed with John Cedarstrom of Bay City, Michigan. Sean and Elyse Ring came from Cincinnati. And Ronna and I were again happy to host the event.

Sean and Elyse arrived Friday evening and attended the concert in Lexington Park, which drew a very large crowd. They stayed at the Lexington Bed and Breakfast, which they described as a truly wonderful experience.

Mo and John arrived Saturday morning. We had breakfast on the front porch overlooking Lake Huron, relaxed for a while, had a light lunch, and then we set off sailing. We sailed north up the coast, keeping the boats fairly close together. Winds were from the northeast, fairly strong, but not scary. The Lake Huron waves were 2-3 feet. When someone got too far ahead, he would sail back. After a couple of hours, we decided we had enough, and returned to port.

We returned to our condominium, snacked and drank some interesting craft beer which Sean generously brought. After discussing other possibilities, we decided to return to Uri’s Landing for dinner. This restaurant overlooks the lake in Port Sanilac, 11 miles north. Once again, the food was excellent, the drinks were fine, the view beautifully, and the camaraderie the most important thing of all. Mo and John checked into a motel, and we all agreed to meet not too early the next morning at the condo for breakfast.

Sunday the wind had shifted to the southwest, and although it didn’t seem too heavy within the harbor, the minute I got past its mouth I realized that I would be overpowered sailing single handed, so I headed back. Shortly after I returned, Mo came back. Sean seemed to be having some problem returning, so John appealed to a power boater for assistance. It turned out that Sean’s rudder had snapped, so he had lowered his sails. Sean and Elyse were towed back, but as usual, the Wayfarer held up fine (except for having to replace the rudder, which Sean was planning to do, anyway) and everyone retuned safe and sound.

After packing up the boats, we said our goodbyes, after first unanimously agreeing that we must get together next year. We hope more of our fellow Wayfarers will join us. Unlike racing, there is no competitiveness, and unlike organized cruising, there is no particular timetable and for those who would prefer, there are various lodgings in the area. No need to bring food or camping equipment – just come and have a good time. 
a Retreat report from Sean Ring and
a part that the Rings could have done without?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 1:01 PM
Subject: Here's to one more mug for the bottomless keg

Hi Uncle Al,
Missed you at the retreat this past weekend.  It turned out to be a rather epic adventure.  Good wind on Saturday and big rolling waves.  Sunday brought high winds and very gusty with many breaking waves, exciting.  I hadn't yet gotten around to modifying the rudder, but the elements did it for me yesterday.  As we were sailing along on a very fast reach, we rounded up into the wind then spent the next 20 minutes trying to get out of irons.  Every time we filled the sails we rounded back up immediately, so when it finally occurred to me there might be something going on beyond a lack of skill or stupidity. I looked back over the stern to see the rudder turned up 90 degrees flat on top of the water snapped near the top of the blade.  I spent the next hour trying to steer with a paddle wedged under the traveler track while trying to keep the crew calm ...  We ended up hove to waiting for an eventual tow.  Anyway, it was exciting, but now I am without a rudder. ...  Do you happen to know someone that has an extra rudder blade that they would part with?
Take care,

Sean W1887
plus a few pictures courtesy of Elise Ring
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 11:40 AM
Subject: Retreat pics

Uncle Al,
Here are the photo's that I have.  I scanned all but one at 100dpi, and one at 150.  They are a bit grainy, I hope you can still use them.  Photo #4 is a sailor in the making (my son in his Sunflower "The Mighty Quinn"), not from the retreat.  The only one I have of other people are Morris Metcalf with John Cederstrom as crew, and Mike off in the distance.  You will probably only want to post that one.
... See you this weekend in Tawas!!
Sean (W1887)

The Ring machine in action: W1887

The Captain: Sean Ring

Morris Metcalf with John Cederstrom as crew, and Mike off in the distance

Sean's "sailor in the making" in his Sunflower The Mighty Quinn