Posted by: Sandy Graham | February 22, 2019



Fifty-four years ago, five of us built this Thunderbird (Osprey, #444). Since all of us were engineers, the boat had a number of innovations and unfortunately a 500 pound penalty associated with its sturdy construction. The added weight prevented us from winning a race over the first few years and it looked as though we never would.

One of our group, Max Turner, took a field service assignment in Germany. He sent us a bottle of Himbergeist (ghost of the raspberry or more literally, raspberry spirit) to celebrate our first victory, if it ever occurred. Ray Overlie kept the bottle ready for over a year until, lo and behold, we won a race!

Four of us met at Ray and Marge’s house and broke open the bottle to celebrate. We drank over half of it and progressed from drunk to sick. We all had splitting headaches the next day and Ray buried the half-empty bottle in his back yard. We marveled at its potency and didn’t think kindly toward Max and his gift.

Last night (half a century later) I got a call from Peter Morton, the third member of our group (Pete Wheeler is the remaining one). Peter was attending a conference  back east and had sat next to a German lady at dinner. They got talking about sailing and Peter recounted the story about Himbergeist.

“Himbergeist?” she said in a dismissive Germanic accent. “You don’t drink Himbergeist, you cook with it.”


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