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Gallivanters 08-14-2009 01:41 AM

Hi Jeanne!

Greetings from French Polynesia!

While sailing north along Raiatea's eastern lagoon passage a few days ago - I heard someone hailing Watermelon on VHF ch 16 and thought that maybe your old boat is somewhere in the neighborhood!

I only heard a scratchy reply and certainly wasn't close enough to see if they had a watermelon on their mainsail cover... but I will keep an eye out for them and send a foto if they do turn out to be on your old boat.

Small World - Big Yacht Club!

We've been loving life in French Polynesia since the end of April and will be heading back toward the Marquesas sometime next month (after we tire of Bora Bora) and then steer a course north across the equator and return to Hawaii... where we will connect the dots on our globe and thus complete a 15 year circumnavigation.

God only knows where the wind will blow us after that. All I know for sure is that I have no intention of selling the boat and swallow the anchor.

The Great Adventure continues!

To Life!


JeanneP 08-14-2009 02:15 AM

Hi, Kirk! *And how is everybody? *Oh, how beautiful Fr. Polynesia is, one of the places we just didn't spend enough time in!

Last we knew, sv Watermelon was owned by a German fellow living in Singapore. *I would be so happy if she was sailing again, she does it so well.

Closing the circle of your circumnav. is a milestone, but I think you and yours have many more to reach.

Hugs to all and, of course,

Fair winds


Peter Owen 08-14-2009 01:38 PM

Jeanne, I seem to remember reading that Watermelon was a Jeanneau - maybe a Sun Kiss.

Am I right? What size was she, how old, what was her layout and how did she rate as a world cruiser - pros and cons?

If it's all documented somewhere else a steer in the right direction would be appreciated.

I ask cos I helped sail an "older" Jeanneau 49 footer from Darwin up to Singapore and was really impressed and ....

... thanks for your help; best regards


JeanneP 08-15-2009 12:10 PM

SV Watermelon is a Jeanneau Sun Fizz, 38.5 (or 39.5) feet, to which we added 3 feet while in Australia in 1993-4. *

The French could sleep 11 people in a Sun Fizz. Two in each of the aft cabins, two in the forward vee berth, two on the port settee when the table was dropped down, one on the starboard settee, and one in each of the pilot berths.

When we bought Watermelon, Peter’s first two jobs were rewiring the boat to 110V with shore power, and converting the pilot berths to bookcases and storage compartments. It worked very well.

The aft cabins were rather small for two people, but were perfect for even the roughest passage. A few pillows on the lee side of the coffin-like berth and no matter how much the boat was bounced around one got a calm and comfortable sleep. There was a porthole into the cockpit, so under reasonable conditions it was kept open so whoever was off watch could hear any calls or problems easily. Even when the weather was bad and the port was closed, a kick on it usually woke up the off-watch sleeper.

Those cabins were so comfortable that on our nasty passage to Vanuatu, when I blew out the mainsail in 50 kts of wind, Peter never woke up until I yelled – loudly.

The trip is described here

Watermelon had an incredible amount of storage. The cockpit lazarettes were almost big enough to build a mother-in-law berth in one of them, so I installed lots of hooks and hook-and-loop straps to suspend dock lines and other light stuff that would otherwise wind up on the bottom of the lazarette, too deep to reach without practically standing on one’s head inside the compartment. I appreciated the storage, though it was almost too easy to overload the boat, which we tried hard not to do.

The reason we added the three feet to her stern was that we wanted a locker to store explosives (propane and gasoline) with no connection with the bilge, and we wanted to extend and close the sugar scoop to add buoyancy when she sailed faster than 6 knots. When she reached 6 knots the stern would squat so low that the sugar scoop was under water and it didn’t seem to be improving the boat’s sailing ability. With the extension, we added a knot to her speed, particularly in light winds! Came in handy when the transmission packed it in on our passage from Borneo to Singapore and we had no engine. (doldrums) *That trip is described*here

Photos of Watermelon, and some of the gear and improvements including the stern addition, HERE

I miss her, the sailing was glorious.

Fair winds,


Peter Owen 08-15-2009 06:14 PM

Thanks for this, Jeanne, her size came as a little bit of a surprise cos, for some reason, I'd thought she was a 45+ footer.

Makes the Sun Kiss's that I've developed a bit of an interest in look a bit too big for two at 47'.

Ah well, still some time before finances have recovered enough to buy so .......!

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