Catalina Fleet 21 - Chicago Region
FleetSheet Newsletter

January 2006


Summer, or at least the start of the 2006 sailing season, is here! And while it may be too early to launch your boat, it’s not too early to get involved in Fleet 21.

Get your fix of sailing talk at our first event of the year…a casual potluck supper at Corinthian Yacht Club in Montrose Harbor on Saturday, January 21. The main entrée is catered, but we’re counting on all you great cooks out there for appetizers, salads, and desserts. Beer and wine and soft drinks provided. If you’ve never attended a Fleet event, this is a great way to begin. You’ll get to meet other sailors, talk boats, and have fun. We’ll make you feel more than welcome.

We’ll top off the evening with a spirited brown bag auction. Bring a gift you’d like to re-gift, a nautical treasure you’d like someone else to treasure, or just something you’d like to give away (it should have a value of at least $5.00). Write a clue to the contents on the bag and staple it shut.

Corinthian Yacht Club has a cozy fireplace so bring along a log to burn. A flyer with all details on this event is included in this newsletter.

Next in our sailing year is the boat show at Navy Pier February 2 - 5 and our own Fleet Party at the Hampton Inn on Saturday night, February 4. Again this year we are manning a club booth. If you’d like to encourage other Catalina owners to join our Fleet, we need you to work the booth!

Call Dave DeAre at 630-469-6117 or email him at if you are available. One or two people are needed for 3 hour shifts throughout the show.

After the show on Saturday night ( 8:00 p.m.),
we’ll gather at the Hampton Inn (State and Illinois) for a Fleet 21/LMCA (Lake Michigan Catalina Association) get together. Meet in the large Hospitality Suite on the second floor.
We’ll have pizza, drinks, and snacks and party into the night. Bring a snack (it has to be store bought and in the original package) to share.
This year we have to buy our drinks from the hotel. There may also be a per person charge for the party. Contact Madalyn Duerr if you need more information.

Many Fleet and LMCA members are staying at the Hampton Inn. The deadline for making reservations is past, but Madalyn may still have rooms available—at a great rate. Call her or email her at

Strictly Sail offers great seminars in addition to boats and gear to drool over. From How To Build a Ship in a Bottle (Thursday, 3 p.m.) and Preventing Sea Sickness (Sunday, 10:30) to Cruising at Night (Friday & Saturday at 4:30), there’s sure to be a topic of interest to you. For an up to date schedule of programs go to


The best thing about the New Year in my mind is that we are that much closer to being off the hard and sailing with old friends. Sailing is coming back to the forefront of my thoughts as I go through my old issues of Main Sheet, Sailing, Cruising World, Good Old Boat, Boat Works and Yachting in Chicago. I especially enjoyed the article in Yachting in Chicago written by our own Lorelei Lauraitis. It really sums up what Fleet 21 is about.

Fleet 21 has had their 2006 planning meeting, where it was good to be with old friends while sharing some food, drink and conversation at the DeAre’s home before we got down to business. We discussed many things and exchanged a lot of great ideas for the 2006 sailing season. We worked on the details for the Potluck-Brown Bag Auction at Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club on the 21st of January, The Strictly Sail Winter Rendezvous the first weekend in February and Sail-A- Palooza in March. We also did some brainstorming for general meeting programs and sailing outings. There were a lot of exciting ideas exchanged, which will lead to great fun year for Fleet 21 members in 2006.

We are always looking for member support, input and feedback. The most pressing item at this time is the Potluck-Brown Bag Auction that is being sponsored by Deborah Ruxton and me this year. We will need help setting up and preparing for the event. If you can help, please call Deborah or myself soon.

We are also in need of someone to head the Programs Committee and Harbor Captains interested in promoting the club, increasing member involvement and interesting people in membership.

I will be communicating with members via e-mail and phone during the time between Fleet Sheet publications. If you have any ideas, suggestions or constructive criticism or want to know how you can help your club have a successful sailing season please let me know by e-mailing me at or call 312.749.1144 weekdays 6:00AM-6:00PM. If you change your e-mail address between directory publications, please let me know so that I can update my e-mailing directory.

Looking forward to hearing from you, working with you and most of all sailing with and hanging out with my sailing “buds”.

Richard “Rick” Roberts

Your 2006 membership renewal form is included in this newsletter. Please fill it out completely even if your information has not changed. Bring your completed form to the Potluck on January 21 or mail it to the membership chairmen.

Welcome aboard to the following new members:
Skipper: Gary Raphael
First Mate: Catherine Westphal
Crew: Vic Nelson
Glencoe, IL 60022
Boat Name Catherine Ann Size: 22 Sail #14958
Harbor: Wilmette Mooring: South Wall

Tribute to Kathy Ahern
Beautiful Sailor and Friend

Catalina Fleet 21 lost one of its cherished sailors when longtime member Kathy Ahern died on December 28, 2005. Together with her husband, skipper Walt, they sailed their 30’ Catalina Rhapsody to countless outings, attended many potluck dinners and Catalina meetings. And if a party was to in the works, Kathy was there to plan it!

Kathy held many positions on the Fleet’s board including Outings chairman. She was the chairman for both the Fleet’s 25th Anniversary party (remember that great pig roast?) and for the Fleet’s 30th anniversary celebration aboard the Windy schooner. Walt & Kathy received the Catalina Fleet’s highest honor when Rhapsody was named Boat of the Year in 1993.

Always one of the first to volunteer for so many of the fleet events, Kathy pulled together one of the most successful and truly zany outings several years ago in the form of a scavenger hunt. Kathy rounded up a dozen Polaroid cameras, assigning one per boat, with the requirement that each boat had to solve a riddle, sail to a harbor and find the clue. The teams where then required to record their findings in the most creative photos possible. This particular outing found its Catalina members looking for clues in the Burnham Park Yacht Club’s men’s room, the wall of the locks, and the hunt also involved some mast climbing. The winning team (aboard Allegro) spiced up its photos with a few ladies’ brassieres.

Kathy was a deft sail handler and managed the foredeck work with ease. Although Kathy and Walt have always been the ultimate hosts on Rhapsody, they had a couple unofficial rules for their guests: No fast food is to be brought aboard, and their sailing days must include a sense of adventure. No “tourist” sailing.

We will miss Kathy’s bright smile, her laughter, and quick wit. To our wonderful friend, fair winds and smooth sailing.

“Well I'm leaving my family
I'm leaving all my friends
My body's at home, but my heart's in the wind
And the clouds are like headlines
Upon a new front page sky
My tears are salt water
The moon's full and high

And the fog lifting, the sand shifting
I'm drifting on out
Old Captain Ahab got nothing on me
Swallow me, don't follow me
I'm traveling alone
The water's my daughter
I skip like a stone

Won't you please call my family
Tell them not to cry
My goodbyes are written
By the moon in the sky
Say nobody knows me
I've got no reason to stay
Shiver me timbers
I'm sailing away
-Bette Middler-“Shiver Me Timbers”

Another dear Fleet member also needs your prayers and good wishes. On December 29, 2005, Hazel Luther suffered an aneurysm at home and has been hospitalized at University of Illinois located at Damen & Taylor streets in Chicago, IL. As of today she is still in intensive care and electronically monitored under doctors' and nurses' care.
She is progressing slowly, talking a little according to her husband, John. Because she is in Intensive Care, he asked to have get well cards, notes or letters sent to the address shown below and John will be happy to bring them to her
Mrs. Hazel Luther
310 Quarry Ridge Circle
Aurora, IL 60506

Jack and Lois Bretall pulled off another successful Awards Banquet at the William Tell on Saturday, November 19. With great food, plentiful drinks, fabulous band and exceptional company, it was a night enjoyed by all. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the annual awards. They went to :
Boat of the Year to Leon and Gwen Anderson who sail their 350 Black Angel with their two children
Commodore’s Award to Carolyn DeAre for her work on the Fleet Sheet
Racer of the Year to Bill Luksha for his racing success out of Wilmette Harbor

Fleet members may list items they want to sell, trade, or buy in this column without any charge.
Send listings to Fleet Sheet Editor, 306 Linden Street, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Fax 630-668-8950   email:   Phone: 630-469-6117
Ads will run for two issues unless requested otherwise.

FOR SALE: Catalina 30, Rhapsody, 1988, one owner. Constantly updated, including upholstery, sails, instruments, bimini, even newer white mast. $36,900. Walt Ahern (847) 358-4295, (847) 922-6766


We at CLR Marine would like to invite all those members that have a boat for sale to please feel free to list it on our website also. You may also place one picture on the site at no cost. We are happy to announce that we are now a Universal, Westerbeke and Hurth dealer. Remember that you get a 6% discount off of all purchases over $100.00. You will not find products from Garhauer Marine or Universal engine parts at a better price.

Chuck & Linda Reed
Silent Dream
1983 Cat-36 Hull # 91

If you are not aware of it yet, there is a proposed bill that may reduce NOAA information that is available to us from them directly. We may also end up paying for a service in the future that our taxes pay for. Contact your congressmen and let them know what you think about this bill.
This information was provided by one of our members, Jim Wright, with a request to pass it on to all Fleet21 members:
Storm over weather service initiatives Santorum bill would protect private forecast firms

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Rick Santorum has introduced legislation that would limit the information that the National Weather Service can provide to the public, in what the Pennsylvania Republican's aides describe as an effort to make sure that private weather companies -- particularly those in his home state -- can compete in the marketplace and retain jobs.

Santorum's legislation directs the U.S. secretary of commerce to limit the National Weather Service's offerings to just those services that private-sector weather companies cannot or are unwilling to offer -- unless the information is related to "severe weather forecasts and warnings designed for the protection of life and property" or information that the government must provide under international aviation accords.
Some have criticized the legislation as a giveaway primarily intended to help Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather, whose employees have contributed to Santorum's campaign fund. But a spokeswoman for the senator dismissed that assertion as being without merit.
Foes of the legislation view the bill as a major change to the role the National Weather Service plays, one that could drastically restrict free information for the public as well as airplane pilots and farmers, who are among some 6 million people who each day access weather service data on the Web pages of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

The legislation "could be read to say that it prohibits the National Weather Service from providing any services online that are available from private vendors," said Chris Dancy, director of media relations for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. "The National Weather Service provides weather data online and through a number of other outlets that are vital to the safety of all flight. ... Everyone needs to at least start on the same page with the same basic information."
Staff members for Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat from hurricane-prone Florida, said they were already working to prevent Santorum's bill from even coming out of committee. Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin said that during four hurricanes last year, many Floridians depended on National Weather Service data for information that ranged beyond emergency warnings.
"The legislation appears to be aimed at restricting or closing off a free information service for consumers and, in turn, benefiting one or two big companies that sell weather forecasts and other information," McLaughlin said.