We finally made it to the Hui Wharram, hosted at Lorelei’s Restaurant and Cabana Bar on Islamorada, in the beautiful Florida Keys. We’ve been dreaming and wishing to attend this event for many years and in fact this was our last chance as it was likely to be the last Hui Wharram event to be hosted here.
One of the original and ongoing organizers/coordinators of this event Gene Perry sadly passed away January 2015 after a tough battle with congestive heart disease and Dan Kunz, also one of the originals, feels it’s time to step back and allow others to continue the Hui in their favorite port, wherever that may be.
Now for our take on this delightful event.
It’s great! A whole bunch of people with similar unique outlooks on sailing, and life in general. Everyone hanging out together and enjoying stories generated simply by owning and sailing a Wharram designed boat which, from their very inception, has defined the sailing edge-dweller.
People who, when out sailing, find a piece of their boat has broken or failed don’t bat an eyelid ’cause they know they can and will do the repair themselves; either out on the water or back at the beach. They thoroughly enjoy sitting back and watching some else steering their boat and not knowing which way to turn to hold the best trim of sail, then laughing about the situation with the newby as they help them work out what to do.
This year five boats made the gathering with all of them anchored on the beach in front of Lorelei’s. All went out sailing at some point or another, with other attendees and interested onlookers. The two big boats, Greg and Barbs Pahi 31 and Brandon and Danielle’s Tangaroa 35 could carry great groups of laughing guests and the smaller Tiki 21, Hitia 17 and of course Wilber, Tahiti Wayfarer 21, taking much smaller numbers, but the smiles were all equally huge.
On Saturday night we had a wonderful dinner with all the attendees and Dan gave a lovely memorial for Gene Perry and couple of people provided anecdotes of times with Gene, it was a very good, fun night.
The weekend gave us a great clarity of vision with regards to what type of boat we need to conduct the type of journeys we want, or more importantly the realization of the fact that Wilber, while a wonderful craft, isn’t a design suitable for the style of journeys we chase.
And so our search for what comes next continues, still with no real plan. We’ve been north to look at a couple boats and are looking at other possibilities from other states as well and are obviously open to new directions if we find them appealing.
For now we’re sticking with the no-plan, plan.