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Wharram catamarans gathering at North Shore Park in Fort Myers, FL. Photo by Bonnie Crutchley.

Hui Wharram 2016 By Bruce Matlack Cover: Tucanu, a 35-foot Tangaroa, approaching the beach at the Hui Wharram. Photo by Bruce Matlack.

“M

y hands were tied behind my back from really promoting this event,” said Thom Delforge, the new host/organizer of the annual Hui Wharram catamaran gathering May 20-22 at North Shore Park in Fort Myers, FL, his home town. “But at the 11th hour, the city came through in support of beaching our Polynesian double canoe vessels at the...park.” Tom wound his way through miles of red tape with the city council to pull off this first-time Fort Myers event that for 15 years previous had been hosted in Islamorada in the Florida Keys off private beach property with no beach access issues. With the passing of the group’s oldest guru, Gene Perry, the previous years’ organizer, Dan Kunz, handed off the torch this year to Thom with a venue prerequisite requiring beach landings for the boats, along with great  accommodations  on site.  I was witness to the herculean effort he mustered to pull this off to get the city to allow a Polynesian, double-canoe beach invasion.  The beach landing permission was critical to the cause of a Hui, and permission was late coming, reducing participation to between 40 and 50 people. North Shore Park is also home to the Edison Sailing Center and nearby is the Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant which served as a gathering spot over the weekend and a banquet on Saturday night. The meal was exceptional, the service great, and the usual lies and lore of voyaging were abundant as the beverages flowed.   This was my first Hui event, and it was a really fun and interesting time to meet these fellow sailors and multihullers.  I have no doubt that future Wharram events held there will be huge successes now that the ice has been broken this year and the word gets out to the likes of annual

News & Views for Southern Sailors

SOUTHWINDS

July 2016

35

Southwinds July 2016  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

Southwinds July 2016  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...