Catalina Fleet 21 - Chicago Region
FleetSheet Newsletter


May 2007

May 2007


Joshua Slocum, broke and 51 years old, departed Boston in his tiny sloop Spray, on April 24, 1895. He sailed around the world single-handed, a passage of 46,000 miles, returning to Newport, Rhode Island on June 27, 1898. This historic achievement made him the patron saint of small-boat voyagers, navigators and adventurers all over the world. Despite leaving school after the third grade, he became an accomplished writer. His dry wit, wry humor and Yankee observations about nature led some to call him a "sea-locked Thoreau". His book Sailing Alone Around the World, published in 1900, has been translated into many languages and has never been out of print.

On Tuesday, May 15, Bill Strauss will "introduce" you to Joshua Slocum and take you through several of the most celebrated parts of the voyage sharing several items from Strauss’ personal Joshua Slocum collection. William Strauss has been a boat owner who has been sailing on Lake Michigan since 1984. He has been a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary since 1992, serving as Flotilla Commander for the downtown Chicago unit. He has also served as the District’s Public Education Officer, being presented the Most Effective District Staff Officer Award. He has also won first place for Public Education Instructor numerous times. He has taught all the classes offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and is a founding member of the Chicago Maritime Festival and acts as one of its associate directors. He is an active member of the Joshua Slocum Society International.

Currently Bill sails an Endeavour 38 center cockpit.named Speranza (Italian for hope docked in Waukegan Harbor. Bill was in Burnham Harbor from 1984-1989 and was a member of Burnham Park Yacht Club during that time.

Joshua Slocum


The meeting is at the Burnham Park Yacht Club, located at 1500 S. Linn White Drive. Follow the signs to the Museum Campus. The Yacht Club will offer a limited menu of moderately priced items. Come early and have dinner. Call the Yacht Club at 312-427-4664 for reservations. Tell them you are part of the Catalina Fleet. The meeting will begin at 8:00 p.m. Parking may be available in the old airport parking lot.

The new directory will be distributed at this meeting.


About this time a month ago when I was writing my Commodore’s message I was tempted to call the boat yard and delay our launch until June, maybe July. What a difference a couple of days make. Deborah and I had our best Spring trip back in the entire time we owned the boat. We arrived at the boat yard on Saturday morning about 10:00 a.m. By 10:15 they had our boat on the way to the travel lift. Based on past Aprils and early Mays we were prepared with long underwear, winter boots and layers upon layers of other clothing. I changed hats after one blew off but that was about it. We actually sailed down the Lake Michigan shoreline in April in normal Spring wear. I wish the same for all of you.

May starts the outing season. Our first outing, as always, is the Margarita party hosted by the Shereyks', Lauraitis’ and the DeAres'. If the weather is nice there will be sailing before hand and a short race out to the old water intake and back. If you are interested in either or both please contact Deborah Ruxton or David Green. Check the website for further information on outings. The early part of the year is primarily directed toward planning and so the information on outings and programs has been fluid. People who thought they had open dates had other plans and various harbors and yacht clubs needed to solidify their schedules. Lois Bretall and Robin Green have done a great job working around that and the website should now be accurate.

I consider it my personal duty as Commodore to try to keep everybody in this Club happy and satisfied with their own experience in this club. On that note I am reminding everybody that we are guests at the various yacht clubs that host our meetings and outings. Please try to be a little patient with the staff at our host clubs. Our use of credit cards is not their normal course of business. If we have a bar tab and a dinner tab it makes it that much more difficult for them. I’m going to try to remind everybody at the meetings and outings this year to settle up early if you have to leave early. If it takes an extra five minutes between the end of the business meeting and the start of the program, so be it. I would also ask that if you do have any issues please talk to me. I will then address the club manager in question and attempt to resolve the issue. For those of you who have dealt with me either personally or professionally you should know that if I am nothing else I am accessible and I will return your calls.

Again, please let me know how Catalina Fleet 21 works for you and if you have any suggestions to improve the Fleet. I will try to get notice to our board members or general members in advance of any meetings so we can have a constructive discussion of anything anyone thinks we need to address.

Start Sailing! Enjoy!
Brian Ruxton,

Let the fun begin! The 2007 outings start this month. You’ll find the summer schedule in this newsletter (I hope!) Mark your calendars and plan to attend. Is your harbor on the schedule? If not, there’s one way to get it there—volunteer to sponsor an outing. There’s no expense to you, you just need to plan it. Call Lois 708-974-4932 or Robin 219-306-2160 and find out what’s involved.

The traditional start to our Fleet activities is the Memorial Day Weekend Margarita Party. See the enclosed flyer for all the details and see below for a way to attend the outing and spend the afternoon sailing.

For all those that plan on driving to the Memorial Day Outing, starting this year you will now get the opportunity to have a day of sailing as well. Many of your Burnham Harbor Catalina Members have signed up to take you sailing before the festivities begin. So you no longer have to worry about missing out on a great sailing day because you drove to the outing. And you no longer have to miss a great outing because you decided to stay in your own harbor to sail. Sign up now and join in on all the fun. We have many 30's, 34, and one 35 Beneteau all waiting to take you out and enjoy the day. What a better way to get to know members and experience the sail of different boats. This is the year you can make it to all the outings and still enjoy the sail. All those that are interested call me at home and I'll set you up for a really great day. Deborah Ruxton 630.279.4533

New Buffalo Cruise
June 22-24
While we’ll have all the details in the June newsletter, take the time now to make a reservation in New Buffalo and join us for a cruise across the lake. We plan to leave on Friday morning or afternoon and return on Sunday. You can make reservations online by going to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources at . Reservations can be cancelled if necessary. One tip: the form asks for your MC number. If you’re not in a Michigan harbor, put in your Illinois registration number.

Do you own a 30? Consider entering it in the Catalina 30 Nationals August 3 – 5. Contact Ed Jakubas for more information or to help with this Fleet 21 sponsored event. For the official Notice of Race and for more information, go to the Association web site at or to For your convenience, enclosed in this newsletter are the Entry Form to enter your boat and an Order Form to purchase extra event tickets and souvenir items. Plan on joining us and reserve your place now!

Our first Fleet 21 race is planned for Memorial Day Weekend—right before the oh-so-popular Margarita Party.
Be sure to look at the back of your Memorial Day flyer for all the race details.

Other summer events:
Race to Mackinac July 1

Pete Duerr Memorial
A popular event at the LMCA Rendezvous is the Sunday (July 15) Pickle Race. This year the event has been renamed The Pete Duerr Memorial. Let’s all plan to be there as a tribute to a great sailor. More information on the Rendezvous is on the LMCA website at

America’s Cup racing is underway. Beginning May 14 races will be televised on the Versus Network (formerly the Outdoor Life Network).
Live coverage from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. (EDT); replays from 12-2:30 p.m. and 4:30 – 7 p.m. Louis Vuitton Cup Semifinals May 14-25; LVC Finals June 1 – 12; 32nd America’s Cup June 23 – July 4.

On June 16 (9 a.m.) and June 22 (11 p.m.) tune in to ESPN Classic for a new documentary “The America’s Cup, 1851-2007.”

On the Internet the event’s official website is

Racing chair David Green also invites all Catalina Fleet 21 members to join in racing at Michigan City.
Scheduled so far:
June 8 Cruise to St. Joseph, MI
June 9 St. Joseph River Yacht Club Invitational
June 10 Race back to Michigan City
July 4th Commodore’s Cup (Lady skippers)
Contact Ed Green if you need more info.

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 or fax to 630-668-8950 or email Carolyn DeAre . Phone: 630-469-6117. Ads will run for two issues unless requested otherwise.

It’s not too early to plan on attending Fleet 21’s Annual Awards Banquet. While many details are yet to be worked out,
We have a date: November 17
We have a place: Burnham Harbor Yacht Club
We have a band: Music Plus is returning
Can we count on you??

Starting next month we’ll begin publishing the story behind the names of our Fleet boats. What’s your boat name and why? Does it reflect a hobby, a girl friend, a memory? Send your story to the Fleet Sheet Editor at Carolyn DeAre Attach a picture of your boat if you have one.


Wishing a speedy recovery to Branson Stone who took a tumble working on his boat and suffered a broken ankle.

Get well, Branson!



Looking for more adventure?

Marilyn & John Lucy would like to sponsor a
North Channel cruise
at end of June to sometime in August.

Contact John by email at John Lucy
or by phone at 941-505-2603. 
At the end of May the phone changes to 708-250-1491