Our stay here at Savannah Bend Marina reminds us of how tricky it is to fit 20 boats into a single facility during peak southbound fall season. And catamarans, with beams of 18 to 22 feet, make it all the tougher. But cats are no longer just charter boats in tropical islands—they are commonplace now among any cruising fleet. Here we introduce some of our catamaran crews.
Jere & Kathy Lahey on s/v Do Wah Diddy Diddy
You started to hum the tune, didn’t you? That’s part of why Jere and Kathy chose the name for their Lagoon 380. They thought it was a fun name, and that’s what getting this boat was about for them. It puts a smile on your face. They chose this particular model of cat because it can be single-handed, which means they don’t have to be clambering around to manage such a spacious boat.
Buying and retrieving their boat was a bit of an adventure in itself, requiring sailing it from St. Martin to Baltimore with a professional captain. Unfortunately they—or rather, he, since he was the captain after all!—ran it up on an uncharted reef enroute to Puerto Rico. The boat was on the hard for a year in repair thanks to “island time.” They did finally make it to Baltimore, and after more lengthy delays, were finally able to join the 2015 Rally. We’re glad that Jere and Kathy and sea dog, Belle, could make it!
Rich and Jayne Johns on s/v Ecola2
Rich and Jayne also have canine crew: a statuesque black standard poodle named Hurley, who is also a trained service animal. The Johns are on a 34 Gemini catamaran, named Ecola2 (squared, but WordPress doesn’t seem to allow superscripts!). This is their second Ecola, the first was a 1965 Alberg 30, now owned by their eldest son. Rich and Jayne live in New Hampshire, and sail on Lake Erie, Lake Champlain, and the Maine coast. But with their recent retirement, and after last winter with coldest temperatures in 30 years, they are ready to relocate south.
Steve Spracher on s/v Southern Cross
Steve is single-handing his Lagoon 38, named Southern Cross after the constellation he watched every night from Grand Canary to St. Lucia. He is a catamaran live-aboard, retired from working in the Public Defender’s office in Tennessee. He has lots of sailing experience and seems completely comfortable single-handing his beam-y boat. And, his Lagoon is often kindly offered as the gathering-place cockpit for social hours. Everyone in the fleet is jealous of all that space!
Mark Thompson, Instructor on s/v Mystique
This is the second year that Mark Thompson has participated in the Rally, working with Dream Yacht Charters to offer instruction and chartering aboard a catamaran sailing school yacht. This is an opportunity for people curious about the ICW— but who don’t own a boat yet, or are curious about catamaran sailing, or don’t want to do the entire 800 miles—to join for only a week. Each leg is about five days, and splits into Hampton to New Bern, New Bern to Wilmington, Wilmington to Charleston, and Charleston to St Augustine. It’s always great when Mark and his crew can find time to join us for fleet gatherings. He brings quite a lot of experience with his 25 years as a professional sailor in the U.S., Mediterrean, Caribbean, and Australian waters.