Catalina Fleet 21 All Catalina Owners Association, Chicago Region

March 2017 FleetSheet


For those of you who don’t know me, my name is James Caldwell. I have been a member of Catalina Fleet 21 – Chicago Region since 1994. I have many years of experience in both sailing and power boating.  I am a licensed 50 ton U.S.C.G. Captain in power and sail upon the Great Lakes and Inland Waters. In addition, I am licensed for power upon near Coastal Waters.

After mooring in Waukegan Harbor in 1994, I have been mooring in Burnham since 1995. I enjoy both cruising and racing along the shores of Lake Michigan. I am humbly grateful to serve as Commodore of the Catalina Fleet 21 – Chicago Region for 2017. There are many challenges associated with this position. However, I am up to the task with the support of dedicated volunteers.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of the board, committees and Harbor Captains who have chosen to stay on board for 2017.  We have great things planned for 2017. In collaboration with local vendors, we are looking at providing discounts for our members. In addition to our Boat U.S. membership discount, we are attempting to obtain discounted Unlimited Towing from Boat U.S. in a bulk package.

In regards to our traditional social activities, we plan to add a few more this year. For example, we have been discussing plans for a wine tasting party, a pirate’s rum party and a chili cook off (dates to be determined).

I would like everyone to plan on attending our Brown Bag Auction on April 22nd, 6:00 p.m. at Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club which is located in Montrose Harbor. This event is combined with our April General Membership Meeting. Anyone who has attended this event in the past knows that this is a fun and exciting evening.
Finally, even though our club has many dedicated members who have provided years of service on various committees, I would like to invite more members to join our committees. We welcome new ideas and energy. Feel free to contact me or the committee member serving on the committee in which you have an interest.


Our first General Meeting of the year takes place on March 17 at a place you may not know existed! The Chicago Maritime Museum located at 1200 West 35th
Street, Suite OE-5010 is a must for Chicago history buffs or anyone interested in Maritime history. The small, newly opened museum is in a space renovated by architect Dirk Lohan in the lower level of the Bridgeport Artist Center. The museum features exhibits on the earliest days of Chicago’s history as a canoe base for fur traders and later as a portage to the Mississippi, and still later as an inland seaport,  whose development permitted the rapid expansion of Chicago in a relatively short time. Located right on the infamous “Bubbly Creek,” free parking and the entrance are on the  North end of the building.

The program for the evening features Chicago’s Viking Ship in a presentation by Brian Ibsen and the Friends of the Viking Ship. Now located at Good Templar Park in Geneva, Illinois, The Viking was built at Christen Christensen’s Framnes Shipyard in Sandefjord, Norway in 1892-93. It was copied after the ancient Viking ship Gokstad. Excavated in 1880, the Gokstad had been called the most beautiful ship ever built.

The Viking is approximately 78 feet long, 17 feet wide, and 6.5 feet high from the bottom of the keel to the gunwale. Clinker built, its planks are fastened together with thousands of iron rivets. At sea, the Viking averaged 10 knots and the hull was observed to flex with the waves.  You’ll learn how this ship ended up in Chicago, where you might have seen it as a child and the ongoing efforts to preserve this magnificent ship. The Museum opens at 7pm and the program begins at 7:30pm. Before the visit to the Museum and the program the Fleet will gather for dinner at Zaytune Mediterranean Grill located at 3129 S. Morgan St.
We’ll meet there at 6pm.  The restaurant does not take reservations.

Do you have an idea or speaker for a Fleet Program? We’re always looking for new ideas! Please send your ideas to Nancy Bartlett at
or to the Commodore


In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick Herman Melville crafted his classic, Moby Dick, by drawing upon the dark ordeal of the Nantucket whaler, Essex.

The Floating Brothel by Sian Rees
In July 1789, the Lady Julian slipped away from England and set course for the penal colony at Sydney Bay, New South Wales. She carried an unusual cargo of 240 women, mainly convicted of petty crimes and slated to bring ‘sexual comfort’ as well as potential marriage and children to the male convicts of Australia. Not as racy as the title hints, but Rees’s chronicle of the Lady Julian’s voyage is still riveting.

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by David Sobel
This is not strictly a maritime saga, but the pages teem with 17th century mariners encountering disaster or near-disaster as they grapple with the most perplexing nautical problem since time immemorial: a means to determine longitude.

Deadly Straits by R.E. McDermott McDermott justifies the name of the book with his fast-paced plot. As the name suggests the book deals with marine terrorism and piracy.What adds to the book’s speciality is the fact that the author is able to put into written context, his imagination for the audience – especially for those who might not be that well-versed in the marine aspect.

TOP 10 SAILING MOVIES (from Classic Boat)
The Riddle of the Sands Film version of Erskine Childers’ classic novel. It does full justice to Childers’ 1903 boys’ adventure for grown-ups. 1978, Dir Tony Maylam, Rank Organisation, Cert U, 98 mins.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Adaptation of a slice of Patrick O’Brian’s Nelson-era sea epic series. 2003, Dir Peter Weir, Universal Studios and Miramax, PG-13, 140 mins.

Down to the sea in Ships—A classic New Bedford whaling tale. Dean Stockwell & Richard Widmark.
1949, Dir Henry Hathaway, B/W, 20th Century Fox, PG, 120mins.

Knife in the Water  Roman Polanski’s first feature-length film is the classic rivalry of older successful guy (Leon Niemczyk), young wife (Jolanta Umecka) and a seemingly dispossessed youth (Zygmunt Malanowicz) thrown together on a 24-hour cruise in a 30-footer in 1960s Poland. 1962, Dir Roman Polanski, B/W, Anchor Bay, PG, 90 mins.

The Boat   Produced three years before Keaton’s famous The Navigator, The Boat is a delightful short film about what not to do at sea. Buster builds his own boat in his garage and destroys his house as he tows it to the dock. 1921, Dir Buster Keaton, Edward Cline, B/W silent, 27 mins.

Moby Dick  The bleached-out photography of this film only adds to the grim telling of the Herman Melville tale of hardship and madness aboard a New Bedford whaler in the 1840s starring Gregory Peck. 1956, Dir John Huston, Moulin Productions, PG, 110 mins.

African Queen  This legendary Technicolour Boy’s Own adventure set in 1914 German East Africa is a love story cleverly wrapped in an intrepid river journey. Bogart and Hepburn. 1952, Dir John Huston, Horizon/Romulus Cert U, 105 mins.

Captains Courageous  It’s not just the star-studded cast that brings this movie to life; much of the footage takes place aboard real working Grand Banks schooners of the American northeast fishery. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s excellent novel of the same name. 1937, Dir Victor Fleming, B/W, MGM, Cert U, 112mins.

1492: Conquest of Paradise  A $47m extravaganza starring Gérard Depardieu as Columbus in one of his most believable roles: seemingly hapless at court and yet trusty in his trade at sea. If you like passage-making to new places this is it! 1992, Dir Ridley Scott, Paramount etc, Cert 15, 154 min.

The Old Man and the Sea
Hemingway’s last great novel of 1952 is required reading for anyone who goes aboard a boat more than seven times. We’ve chosen Anthony Quinn’s portrayal of Santiago in 1990 but the story was first told in film in 1958 and many readers will prefer the scratchy, low-tech Spencer Tracy, version. 1990, Dir Jud Taylor, Granada Ventures, Cert U, 93 mins.

Your 2017 membership renewal form is included in this newsletter.  Please complete all information and return it along with your check to membership chairman Pat Shereyk, 13418 Choctow Trail, Homer Glen, IL 60491 by April 1. Please consider including a donation to the Mariner’s Fund when you renew your membership.  This fund was established by the Fleet in 2000 as a means to give back to the sailing community.  You don’t have to have a special occasion to contribute, but donations can be made in honor of a special birthday, anniversary or as a memorial contribution. The chairman of the Mariner’s Fund evaluates possible recipients and recommends distribution of the funds. Last year donations went to the Jackson Park Sea Scouts and the Rickover Naval Academy.  The fund is also used to bring speakers from the sailing community to Fleet 21 meetings.  If you know of a group worthy of a donation or have a speaker you would like us to sponsor, please contact Ray Kalinsky, our Mariner’s Fund chairman or the Commodore.

Ted Kuenzli would like to thank all the Fleet members who sent cards and condolences on the death of his mother at age 96 on December 13, 2016.

The following Fleet members were honored by Commodore Shereyk at the November Awards banquet:
Pete and Laura Pohl – The Rookie of the Year was chosen for a couple who joined the club during 2016. They have been sailing for a while but purchased their
Catalina 320, Copy Cat, for the 2016 season.  They sailed to several outings including Michigan City their first ‘long distance’ attempt.

James Caldwell – Racer of the Year.
James and Sheila crewed on boats from Jackson Harbor on the Wednesday Beer Can and many other races during the summer of 2016 including the Tri-State from Chicago to St Joseph and Michigan City on Labor Day weekend. James and Sheila Caldwell, captain and first mate of Island Retreat-Boat of the Year.

This year’s decision was close, but the winner has distinguished himself by attending nearly every Board and general meeting and outing.  He joined the fleet many years ago, but became more active recently after retiring from the Chicago Police Department. He assisted in the investigation and award process for the Mariner’s Fund donation to the Jackson Park Scouts.

Pat Shereyk and Lori Lauraitis – Commodore’s Award. These two ladies who have served the fleet well for over 20 years.  Both have served as Fleet Commodore and held positions on many Board committees.  Lori Lauraitis has been a reliable Fleet 21 representative to the Chicago Yachting Association for many years.  She also procures free parking in the Burnham harbor parking lot for meetings and outings, whenever possible, for our membership.  My wife, Pat Shereyk, was so helpful, at times relentless, in advising me on my duties as Commodore for the past two years.  She has advised me, and my Officers as well, on the fine points of fleet business.  She assisted me my in writing monthly commentary and took meeting minutes for the Secretary in his absence.  She also served as Membership committee chairperson during my two year tenure.

Fleet 21 lost one of its most vibrant members this past winter.  Linda Sadlowski passed away on December 22, 2016. Linda and her husband Pat Reynolds are long – time Fleet members sailing their boat Karizmaddie from Hammond Marina.  Linda was our Vice Commodore in 2016.  If you ever saw one of her desserts you would remember it!  Her fanciful sailboats, gorgeous cakes and creative appetizers were always the hit of any get-together. Linda wasn’t about to let cancer mess up her plans.  She fought, worked, laughed, lived and loved until she no longer could.  She will be missed.










Reported by Sheila Caldwell There will be a Blessing of the Fleets Ceremony set for a tentative date of May 20th.  The ceremony has traditionally been for commercial boats but the organizers are looking for recreational boats to participate.  The celebration would consist of a ceremony on one of tour vessels near Navy Pier at the end of which a wreath is dropped into the water.  The participating boats will then parade through for a blessing.  The Shipmasters Association is in charge of this event.  Commodore James is a member of this organization and will keep us informed as the plans are firmed up.

Windy City Yachts is going to be the lead charter on a venture involving two not-for-profit organizations whose mission is to get inner city young people (ages
13-21) out on the lake in a safe and supervised way allowing them to see the city from a different/new perspective.  These two organizations UCAN and Yachting for Inner City Youths will provide the transportation, to and from the harbor, for five youths and one chaperone for each boat.  They are looking for skippers with boats to take youths out.  Currently they have a about 200 youths interested.

Venetian Night is going to be either the last weekend in July or the 1st weekend in August .  The date should be known by the next meeting on February 23rd.  All Commodores are being asked to start recruiting early from their membership for skippers who would like to participate. In addition to Venetian Night, plans are in the works for a Riverwalk Parade of Lights possibly for sometime in 2017, but definitely for 2018.  It will take place on the river for powerboats and a portion on the lake which would include sailboats and powerboats.

Commodore Caldwell accepted a certificate of appreciation on behalf of Fleet 21 in recognition of the Fleet’s support of CYA.

by John St. Pierre in Lake Michigan Surf Westrec Marinas has been selected and contracted by the State to manage North Point Marina in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois. We look forward to having a cleaner, safer and competitive marina facility. I have already met with Scott Stevenson of Westrec and there was a lot to process. They have aggressive plans for our marina and pledge to spend up to $2M in clean-up and improvements in the first 18 months. For the 2017 season, they will honor current slip fees and all applicable discounts to returning slipholders. They would however, really like to know who will be returning (hopefully everyone) so please go to and complete the form – if you haven’t already.

If you were in the Chicago Harbor system in the late 80’s and early 90’s you may remember Robert Nelson. He was the director of harbors and marine services for the Chicago Park District. Nelson has recently published a book titled Dirty Waters that details his experiences in what he describes as a corrupt system. You can read the Tribune article about the book here Or buy the book from Amazon.

Fleet members may list items they want to buy, sale or trade in this column. Listings are free and run for 3 issues of the newsletter. Send submissions to the
Fleet Sheet editor at