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Christmas Letter

By James Wharram

Dear friends,

Some people make fun or deride the development of Christmas cards with personal story greetings. Indeed I have done so myself, but I am beginning to think that one time of the year to catch up on the life story of one’s friends is not such a bad idea.

95% of our income now comes through sales in our internet shop. Cookie, Emma and Hanneke, who are responsible for ‘The Office’ and thus our income, are working on how to make our website more interesting and easier to navigate, but this improvement does take up much of Hanneke’s creative time, she is looking for a helper.

This week Hanneke sat me before her big Apple computer screen and made me look at websites and Youtube films, where people are showing their Wharram catamarans being built and sailing fast in beautiful areas of the world. It is hard to grasp sometimes that this all started with me building a little double canoe to cross the Atlantic more than 50 years ago. The Wharram World has taken on a life of its own.

Best wishes for Christmas and the new year, from all at James Wharram Designs - James, Hanneke, Ruth and Jamie

Since the end of the Lapita Voyage in April 2009 various physical failures, i.e. my cancer (cured) and new knee joint, Hanneke’s new heartvalve last January (successful), this year Ruth a small stroke after her 90th Birthday in May and now in need of more care, has turned us somewhat inward.

Still that special ‘waveband’, that other ‘time stream’ that the Wharram catamarans emerge from is still working. Our pictures with this message show the new design we built this year, the ‘Amatasi’, we test sailed her last week at the first weather opportunity for many weeks. It is hard to describe Amatasi, she is a design that is in the family, but different. In the coming months we will get to know each other.

However the Amatasi must not overshadow our 63ft ‘Spirit of Gaia’; she has been waiting for several years in a small island in Greece. She must be brought back to life again and this will be done in the coming Spring when Hanneke, who is now physically strong again, will lead a team of helpers to make Gaia shipshape again.

The great pioneer of ocean sailing, Joshua Slocum wrote about 100 years ago: “The sea is for sailing on”. The coming year, seagods willing, we intend to ‘sail again’.

Thanks to all our friends who have given us advice, help and example.

Enjoy Christmas and we wish you a happy and healthy New Year.

- James, Hanneke, Ruth and Jamie