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• December, 2015
mense support they offered at each stop. Thank you one and all. Tom Carr Bluebird, Mirror 19 Santa Cruz Tom — We're reminded of the lyrics of a song popularized by Barbara Streisand years ago. "People who need people," it went, "are the luckiest people in the world." As counterintuitive as it might seem, there is a lot of truth to it. ⇑⇓ BILL LEE MADE A DIFFERENCE FOR MY FAMILY & ME I enjoyed the November 9 'Lectronic reporting that Bill Lee has repurchased his legendary 67-ft sled Merlin and about the Wanderer's helping him drop sails after finishing the first-ever Singlehanded Farallones Race. Here's my Merlin Memory: Back in 1978 I thought I would see why my dad and grandfather were so crazy about sailing. At that age all I had on my mind were powerboats and waterskiing. So I went down to the docks in Santa Cruz late one Wednesday afternoon, stood on the fuel dock, and stuck my thumb out. A huge boat that was headed out — and moving quickly under sail — radically changed course, swung her bow to the dock, and turned just in time to avoid contact. "Jump!" shouted the guy at the helm. I jumped, landing in the cockpit. The guy at the helm turned out to be Bill Lee. He asked me what I knew about sailing. "Nothing," I replied. "See that rope?" he said. "That's the jib sheet. The thing it's wrapped around is a winch. The jib sheet controls the sail up front. Do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it." Bill Lee, the sorcerer of sleds, admires I stood there and did his game-changing creation. what Bill told me to do. He never stopped talking to me. He told me about the function of various parts of the boat. Why the sails were let in and out. How to read the sail for optimum performance. What a spinnaker was and why a boat needed one. He told me why he steered this way and that, and what the effects were on the boat and boat speed. He told me about how the wind would change as the sun went down. He told me more than what I thought my brain could absorb. But somehow it did. I have been sailing ever since. Thank you Bill Lee. You made a huge difference for me and my family. Frank Dietsch Shelly Shelby Shannon, Capri 16 Bend, OR
LESLIE RICHTER / WWW.ROCKSKIPPER.COM
Frank — One of Bill's greatest contributions to sailing was to make it as inclusive as possible. He wanted everybody to join in on the fun. ⇑⇓ THE MORE THE MERRIER ON MERLIN Bill Lee's 67-ft ultralight sled Merlin, which he just bought and brought back to Santa Cruz after many years, has always been a 'people's boat' and Bill always had a 'the more aboard the merrier' attitude.
The December 2015 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.