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Voyages -

The Places We Sailed

Chronicles of the Cruising Club of America


A merica of

Cruising Club of the


Issue 61  2019

Issue 61  2019

Second Shots

Commodore’s Column To all Voyages readers: I—and everyone in our club—extend our sincere thanks to the many authors and photographers who have shared their works depicting recent passages, cruises, and adventures in this year’s edition of Voyages. Reading through the articles, I am, as always, impressed with the excellent quality of the writing and photography. I am also grateful to Zdenka and Jack Griswold for their editorial efforts and for the hard work of pulling it all together, for the support of the Voyages advisory team, and for the photographic expertise lent by David Pratt to Final Voyages. Pete and Harriet Pallette give a great recap of the historic club cruise they organized and led in New Zealand in March. Louis Meyer shares his solo crossing to the Azores and beyond— an impressive way to celebrate his 75th birthday! George Day offers a detailed account of the passage of Steve McInnis’ Maverick from Newport to Cowes, where the major challenges of the voyage were apparently too much speed or not enough wind. And if that’s not enough, Ernie Godshalk and Ann Noble-Kiley tell us more about what to expect next summer in Sweden, and whet our appetites for Finland and Russia. Ernie and Ann, along with David Tunick, have explored next summer’s cruising grounds in detail. Those lucky enough to be going on that cruise owe them a serious thank you.

We are reminded that Skip Novak and his Pelagic Expeditions vessels, Pelagic and Pelagic Australis, have been leading cruise-to-climb expeditions in Antarctica for ten years. Skip describes his latest adventure, truly challenging and humbling for seamen and climbers alike.

Bonus images from the issue ...

Ann Noble-Kiley and Golden Eye in ten-meter lock.


Commodore Brad Willauer.

Eric Forsyth describes his 27th transatlantic on his beloved Fiona, which took him, this time, to the Azores, Portugal, and ultimately back to his home port on Long Island, New York. Ellen Massey Leonard makes an interesting comparison of two different Pacific crossings, 12 years apart, in different boats and under very different conditions, which she and her husband Seth made together. And this is only a sampling! Each of the articles makes for fascinating reading. We hope that some of the stories will be shared outside our club in sailing and cruising magazines, and plan to offer them to the sailing public via our website.


Volvo racers in Auckland.


Captain and crew, provisioning in Rockland, Maine.


Crab boat lying just offshore.

Dale and Doug Bruce in New Zealand.


I regard Voyages as the National Geographic magazine of sailing. Cordially yours,

About the CCA


Cabot and Heidi Lyman at the helm.

The Cruising Club of America is among North America’s foremost resources on offshore cruising and racing and, together with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, co-organizer of the legendary Newport Bermuda Race. The club is comprised of more than 1,300 accomplished ocean sailors who willingly share their cruising expertise with the greater sailing community through books, articles, blogs, videos, seminars, and onboard opportunities. Ocean safety and seamanship training through publications and hands-on seminars is a critical component of the club’s national and international outreach efforts. The club has 14 stations and posts around the United States, Canada, and Bermuda, and CCA members are actively engaged with the next generation of ocean sailors as they look forward to the club’s second century of serving the offshore sailing community. For more information about the CCA, visit

Bermuda * Boston * Buzzards Bay Post * Gulf of maine Post * narraGansett Bay Post Bras d’or * ChesaPeake * essex * florida * Great lakes new york * PaCifiC northwest * san franCisCo * southern California 128 Keeping up with the snow.


Chronicles of the Cruising Club of America

cruising club officers Commodore – W. Bradford Willauer Vice Commodore – J. W. Robert Medland Secretary – Christopher L. Otorowski Treasurer – Peter L. Chandler

voyages editors Zdenka and Jack Griswold

voyages committee Editor of Final Voyages – Maggie Salter (BOS/GMP) Past Issues Manager – Cindy Crofts-Wisch (BOS/BUZ) Associate Editor – John Rousmaniere (NYS) Editorial Advisors: Dale Bruce (BOS/GMP), Doug Bruce (BOS/GMP), Lynnie Bruce (BOS/GMP), John Chandler (BOS/GMP), Doug Cole (PNW ), Max Fletcher (BOS/GMP), Bob Hanelt (SAF), Cameron Hinman (PNW ), Amy Jordan (BOS), Charlie Peake (NYS), Krystina Scheller (BDO) Photography Advisor: David Pratt (BOS/GMP)

editors emeritus Alfred B. Stamford, 1962 -1974; Charles H. Vilas, 1974 -1988; Bob and Mindy Drew, 1988 -1994; John and Nancy McKelvy, 1994 -1999; John and Judy Sanford, 1999 -2002; T.L. and Harriet Linskey, 2003 -2010; Doug and Dale Bruce, 2010-2017

design and layout Zdenka and Jack Griswold; Claire MacMaster, Barefoot Art Graphic Design; Hillary Steinau, Camden Design Group; Tara Law, Artist

proofreading Zdenka Griswold, Editorial Advisors, and Virginia M. Wright, Consultant

printed by J.S. McCarthy Printers, Augusta, Maine

cover photo Celeste catches the wind off a rain squall in the doldrums. See Ellen Massey Leonard’s Two Pacific Crossings on page 118. copyright notice Copyright 2019, The Cruising Club of America, Inc. Copyright 2019, respective author(s) of each article, including any photographs, drawings, and illustrations. No part of this work may be copied, transmitted, or otherwise reproduced by any means whatsoever except by permission of the copyright holders.



VOYAGES 2019 4

Cruising Nova Scotia: An Insider’s View

JOHN VAN-SCHALKWYK (BDO) guides us through his beautiful home cruising grounds.


A New Model for Sail Training

ALEX AGNEW (BOS/GMP), BEN HESELTON- CLEMENTS, TOM MCCLELLAN, and TORI WILLAUER (BOS/GMP) take a group of teenagers on a hands-on, sail-training Maine adventure.

18 Transatlantic on Maverick: 3,000 Miles from Newport, Rhode Island, to Cowes, England, in 18 Days

GEORGE DAY (BOS/BUZ), skipper Steve McInnis (BOS/NBP), and three friends successfully cross the North Atlantic.


Puerto Williams: A Winter’s Sojourn Near Cape Horn

MARK ROYE (PNW) and NANCY KRILL spend the austral winter living aboard and working in remote southern Chile.


Storms and Pirates

SCOTT and KITTY KUHNER (NYS) describe fearsome experiences from their two circumnavigations.


CCA New Zealand Cruise 2018: Down Under Adventure

PETER PALLETTE (SOC) and HARRIET LEWIS PALLETTE take us along on a successful, action-packed club cruise.


Antipodean Summer and Acquaintances Around the North Island: The New Zealand Club Cruise and Other Meetings

VICKI and TOM JACKSON (GLS) sail their home waters, joining the club cruise and meeting friends.


Following Flinders: An Adventure in Southern Australia

JIM and JEAN FOLEY (GLS) take on the Great Australian Bight.


Anecdotes from a Mediterranean Cruise, 1969-71


CABOT and HEIDI LYMAN (BOS/GMP) look back on a transatlantic cruise with college classmates. voyages

68 Fiona Finds (Mostly) Easy Sailing to Portugal and the Caribbean ERIC FORSYTH (NYS) meets new challenges as he crosses

the Atlantic for the 27th time.

76 The Stockholm Archipelago, Russia, and Other Baltic Gems ERNIE GODSHALK (BOS) and ANN NOBLE-KILEY (BOS) cruise Sweden and discover the charms of Russia and Finland.


A Crazy Cruise

LOUIS MEYER (ESS) celebrates his 75th birthday by sailing solo across the Atlantic.


The Forgotten Islands

KRYSTINA SCHELLER-de JONG and ERIK de JONG (BDO) explore the Aleutians.



WEBB CHILES survives a pitchpole of his 18-foot open yawl between Fiji and Vanuatu.

104 Closing with the Coast

DAVID BRIDGES (FLA) sails to the Azores and Morocco with his intrepid, new-to-passage-making partner.

112 Hands Across the Sea: Cruisers Working to Raise Literacy Levels of Eastern Caribbean Children

JANE GLENNIE BABBITT introduces us to the work of Hands Across the Sea, a non-profit organization run by T.L. and Harriet Linskey (BOS/BUZ).

118 Two Pacific Crossings

ELLEN MASSEY LEONARD (BOS) reminds us to expect the unexpected when we set out on passage.

128 Sailing to Climb

SKIP NOVAK (GLS) describes a harrowing adventure in a spectacular and unforgiving land.

88 52


136 A Key Approach to Offshore Passage-Making

DICK STEVENSON (NYS) shares his thoughts on attitudes which help to make ocean passages a success.

140 True Spirit: Preface

(excerpt from True Spirit: The True Story of a 16-Year-Old Australian Who Sailed Solo, Nonstop, and Unassisted Around the World) JESSICA WATSON overcomes failure to sail around the world.

146 BOOK REVIEW - The Atlantic Crossing Guide seventh edition by Jane Russell



148 BOOK REVIEW - The Schooner Maggie B: A Southern Ocean Circumnavigation by Frank Blair


150 BOOK REVIEW - Sailor for the Wild: On Maine, Conservation and Boats by Ben Emory


151 BOOK REVIEW - Yes, the World Is Round–Part 1: Sailing in the Wake of Early Explorers and History Makers

by Donna Hill Review by BOB MEDLAND (GLS)

152 Final Voyages Salutes to departed members. Edited by MAGGIE SALTER

118 128

(BOS/GMP), JACK GRISWOLD (BOS/GMP), and station historians.

173 Guidelines for Final Voyages, Photos, and Articles Useful information for authors, photographers, and other

contributors to Voyages.

176 Last Words from the Editors issue 61  2019


CRUISING NOVA SCOTIA An Insider’s View by John van-Schalkwyk, Bras d’Or Station

The churches of Mahone Bay. Photo by Shawn M. Kent.



“When I was first thinking about a cruise to Nova Scotia, Yarmouth, and Saint John and the Reversing Falls in New Brunswick, seemed the destination. I’ve yet to sail there ... Let me take you on my cruise.”


t is a little over 30 years ago that I bought my present boat, Morning Watch, a Luders 36, built in Hong Kong in 1970. It was early summer, and she was on the hard in a boatyard in Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod, covered in leaves. This was the boat to take me cruising. For several years I sailed the coastal waters of the Cape and Islands, and Boston to Maine. But Maritime Canada beckoned. When I was first thinking about a cruise to Nova Scotia, Yarmouth, and Saint John and the Reversing Falls in New Brunswick, seemed the destination. I’ve yet to sail there. Instead, I read the Nova Scotia cruising guides: from New England, Shelburne should be my first port of call. Let me take you on my cruise. From the Cape Cod Canal, we sailed across the Gulf of Maine to Shelburne, a port of entry, and the Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club (SHYC) at the head of the harbor. Of course, we checked the tidal currents in the Gulf of Maine to be sure to ride a favorable current around the southwest corner of Nova Scotia. The SHYC has floating slips and a breakwater to protect in a blow. Canada Border Services Agency is a phone call away, and you can call them up to four hours before arriving. They come from the ferry terminal in Yarmouth on a regular basis. The summer winds are generally southwesterly for a downhill sail from Shelburne to Lunenburg, the first colonial outpost after Halifax. The town is famous for fishing, its Grand Banks schooners, and the competitive races years ago with Lunenburg’s arch rivals on the banks, the schooners of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The harbor is large with room to anchor. There are 16 rental moorings and the waterfront development authority has just established six rental slips in town. In the first half of the last century, the business of the town was fishing. Now it is tourism.   Let me digress for a minute for some local history. In 1920, the last race of the America’s Cup in New York Harbor was canceled because the winds were forecast to be as high as 23 knots. The fishermen of Lunenburg were amused. They established the International Fishermen’s Trophy, and offered a prize for the winner of the races between the best of Lunenburg and the best of Gloucester. That first year, the Delawana issue 61  2019


ton newspaper as “light and winsome [with] the air of a Boston debutante.” By 1938, the days of the Grand Banks fishing schooners were over. But by then, the Bluenose had become the icon of Nova Scotia. In 1946, she was lost on a reef off Haiti. In 1963, a replica of the Bluenose, the Bluenose II, was built in Lunenburg by Smith & Rhuland, financed by a brewery. She was sold to the province in 1971 for $1, rebuilt in 2010, relaunched in 2015, and remains today a symbol of Nova Scotia and Canada.   From Lunenburg on the way to Halifax, we passed by Mahone Bay, a cruising ground known for gentle sailing with little fog. It is said that there are 365 islands in Mahone Bay and local sailors tell me that when Chester Race Week—generally held during the second week in August—is over, so is the summer. In fact, there is wonderful sailing well into the fall. The Lunenburg Yacht Club on Hermans Island is in Mahone Bay, with full facilities for visiting yachts. There are many wonderful coves and anchorages, and the town of Mahone Bay is known for its three picturesque churches at the head of the harbor. from Lunenburg lost to the Gloucester-based Esperanto. Shock. William J. Roué, Nova Scotia’s first naval architect, was commissioned to design the schooner Bluenose. She was launched in March 1921 and rushed off to the Grand Banks to fish in order to qualify for the race that year. She was captained by experienced Lunenburg fishing captain Angus Walters. From 1921 until the last of the races in 1938, she lost only once, in 1930, and that to the Gloucester schooner Gertrude L. Thebaud, described by a Bos6


On to Halifax. In the North West Arm is the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS), begun in 1837, and the Armdale Yacht Club. Both have slips, moorings, and full facilities including fuel. You can also anchor at the head of the North West Arm and walk to the local shops, or reserve a slip right downtown at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic or elsewhere along the waterfront. Farther into Bedford Basin is the Dartmouth Yacht Club, also with full facilities.  

Lunenburg. Left: The legendary Bluenose under sail, 1938. Photo credit: Library and Archives Canada/PA. Above right: Sable Island. Photo by Zoe Lucas. Below right: Nova Scotia suggested cruise itinerary.

We took a slip at the Maritime Museum, sharing the berth with HMCS Sackville, the last of the Flower-class corvettes from World War II. We were there for Canada Day and the Fourth of July. No sooner had we dressed ship at 0800 on the Fourth than the Sackville broke out the Stars and Stripes from her starboard spreader.  

there, anchored on the exposed north side, had an exciting tour of the island, and sailed back the following day as the winds slowly turned against us. We got back to the mainland just before a blow from the northeast filled in.  

Later we sailed to Sable Island, a difficult place, famous for its “wild” horses and known in Maritime Canada as “the graveyard of the Atlantic.” The island is a sand spit 90 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, surrounded by shifting sand bars and major ocean currents, and sits close to the edge of the continental shelf. Currents can run hard here. The prevailing summer winds are southwesterly, but the bad weather comes in from the northeast. You must anchor on the north side of the island, not a good place to be if the weather turns against you. We had a glorious sail

Many cruisers have sailed from New England to Halifax and headed straight to St. Peter’s and the Bras d’Or Lakes, missing some of the best cruising in Nova Scotia, the Eastern Shore (my cruising grounds). Wilson Fitt (BDO) has updated Mike Cox’s Cruising the Eastern Shore (now out of print) with his Eastern Shore sketch charts, available from Wilson and hopefully referenced in the new edition of the CCA/RNSYS Cruising Guide to the Nova Scotia Coast, expected to come out in the spring of 2019. issue 61  2019


Photo by Bob Guscott; by permission of Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

“ Shelter Cove is secluded and in all the times we

have been in, we have only twice seen another boat. The chart shows one-foot depth, but local knowledge knows there is at least eight feet.” St. Peters Lock.

The first stop when cruising the Eastern Shore is Jeddore Harbour, 30 miles east of the North West Arm. You can anchor just past Bakers Point, or go all the way into the Eastern Arm or the Western Arm. It’s about a five-mile trek all the way in, but well protected once in. You can also continue a little farther on to Owls Head. 8


Shelter Cove is secluded and in all the times we have been in, we have only twice seen another boat. The chart shows one-foot depth, but local knowledge knows there is at least eight feet. From Shelter Cove, one can go outside to the Liscomb River and up the river to Liscombe Lodge, or take the inside passage through the 100 Wild Islands. Along the way we have anchored overnight at Malagash Cove and Beaver Harbour, and have never seen another boat. The lodge has a float with fresh water and fuel, and Chester, the dock master, will loan you his minivan for a trip to the grocery store—the rumor is that he has never had to put a liter of gas into his van in the summer because we cruisers always top up the tank. From Liscomb, it’s 40 miles to Yankee Cove in Whitehead Harbour. Pay attention going in, but once in, the cove is well protected. There’s lots of room to anchor, but you will share part of the anchorage with a mussel farm. This is a popular anchorage, and you will almost certainly see another boat or two.   Forty miles more and you are at St. Peters Lock, the southern entrance to the Bras d’Or Lakes. If cruising in June or July, you will probably have been sailing in fog, either continuous or off and on. Now the fog will be lifting as you

sail through Andrew Passage, well marked and beautiful, or around the outside of the Canso Ledges.    

Shelter Cove.

The Bras d’Or Lakes are generally fog free, with gentle sailing and plenty of wonderful anchorages. On the way to Baddeck, the major town in the lakes, one should drop the hook in Maskells Harbour where, our history tells us, the CCA was founded. From there, sail on to Baddeck and take a slip or mooring at Baddeck Marine, or anchor off the Bras d’Or Yacht Club. A visit to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum on Beinn Bhreagh (“beautiful mountain” in Gaelic) is a must.   The sailing around the outside of Cape Breton is exciting and the destinations wonderful: Mabou, Cheticamp, Dingwall, Ingonish, and Louisbourg. Or you can continue into Northumberland Strait to Prince Edward Island, north to the Magdalen Islands, or northeast to Newfoundland. From Fortune in Newfoundland it is 20 miles to France. Yes, France: St. Pierre and Miquelon. But that’s another cruise.     Cruising Nova Scotia can be a challenge in the early summer months because of fog. Come with radar. Remember that when you sail from one anchorage to another along the eastern coast, you are sailing in the North Atlantic. But if you are arriving from Maine, you will find our waters almost lobster-pot free! The summer winds are southwesterly, fine for cruising east. Later in the season there will be occasional northerlies, good for sailing home. We have busy, historic harbors—among them Halifax, Lunenburg, and Louisbourg—and many, many quiet, pristine, secluded anchorages where you will not see another boat. Peter Loveridge in the preface to his cruising guide (recommended below) said it best: “… the coast of Nova Scotia remains the finest accessible cruising ground in North America.” No bias on my part. 2

RECOMMENDED CRUISING GUIDES: Cruising Guide to the Nova Scotia Coast, Cruising Club of America and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. The current edition is being updated and should be available next spring. Cruising Guide to Nova Scotia by Peter Loveridge: Free download of Cape Breton chartlets:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR John van-Schalkwyk, known to his friends as John or van-S, learned to sail on the south coast of England and the Norfolk Broads. Later he lived on Cape Cod for twenty years. Sailing south on a cruise to the Caribbean he met Heather, a Canadian, in Hollywood—that’s Hollywood, Maryland. A year later they were married and sailed together to Nova Scotia, where they now live and cruise. Van-S has crewed for friends to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Azores. He has made a number of passages from Nova Scotia to New England, the Chesapeake, and Key West, and twice crewed for friends from the U.S. directly to Ireland. He is a longtime member of the Ocean Cruising Club and is the OCC port officer for Halifax. issue 61  2019


Getting ready to drop the anchor. Inset: How about we go here tomorrow!



A New Model for Youth Sail Training by

Alex Agnew, Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post Ben Heselton-Clements Tom McClellan Tori Willauer, Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post

issue 61  2019



he pilot program Cruising for Teens, a new model of youth sail training developed by the CCA’s Gulf of Maine Post in partnership with The Apprenticeshop and Tall Ships Maine, set sail in July 2018 from Rockland, Maine. The program focuses on teenage sailors who have not yet had the opportunity to experience cruising and links them with CCA members aboard their sailboats. The seamanship curriculum is based on current sail-training practices used for big groups on tall ships. The smaller vessel and group size bring a more personalized experience to the students and offer opportunities for CCA members to educate and recruit the next generation of sailors. The ultimate goal is to inspire young adults to begin a lifelong connection to all things sailing.   Cruising for Teens ran for one week out of The Apprenticeshop, which is known for traditional boatbuilding and a program that teaches sailing to over 400 youth every season, starting at six years old. Tori Willauer, co-author of this article and until recently The Apprenticeshop’s sailing director, observed that “when our students became teenagers, their interest in sailing waned. I wanted to show them how much more there is out there in the world of sailing and help them connect to all of the possibilities. For me, it was obvious: the CCA has tremendously experienced sailors who want to pass on their knowledge, and we had the kids who were looking for a new experience. All we needed to do was to connect them.”

Top to bottom: Consulting the chart; Plotting a course, the old-fashioned way; Deciding where to go next; Working through the next day’s itinerary.



The captain was Commodore Brad Willauer (BOS/GMP) aboard his J-46, Breezing Up. The crew consisted of four local teenage boys and two instructors (and co-authors), Thomas McClellan, 17, and Ben Heselton-Clements, 24. The structure of the program consisted of basic gunkholing along the Maine coast, with the students crewing on Breezing Up while studying charts, plotting positions, and learning basic seamanship. Every afternoon, the students anchored in a new secluded cove and went ashore. “This trip mattered because getting everyone out there is a very special thing,” McClellan said. “We have access to the most incredible coastline in the world. Allowing our youth to get out on the water is essential to their personal growth. Experience like that expands their horizons to have a greater picture of the natural world around them. The time spent on and in between these islands is magical. Having the opportunity to share that with those boys was something I am so grateful for.” Heselton-Clements added, “The program is exciting for students who get to learn the basic seamanship and teamwork that can be transferred to any vessel, but they also learn the idiosyncrasies of their captain’s boat, in this case a J-46, and understand the passion mariners feel for specific vessel models, ideally becoming aficionados themselves.” In one memorable moment, the students were invited aboard Gust Stringos’s (BOS/GMP) Bluebird, a Morris Justine 36, while anchored in an isolated cove near Buckle Island. “These students … had a fascination with different boats’ designs already, so comparing the two boats was an enriching part of the experience,” Heselton-Clements observed.

“After we anchored, [Stringos] rowed over asking for help going aloft,” Brad Willauer added. “We all went over and cranked him to his masthead so he could fly his CCA burgee! This made a great part of the experience for the kids.” The cruising lifestyle is fundamentally different from the tall-ship lifestyle, especially in the cruiser’s ability to spend the night in secluded locations that are impossible for larger ships to reach. “That trademark quiet beauty of the cruising life was a memorable gift for students,” Heselton-Clements said. “On this summer’s program, we anchored in silent coves near uninhabited islands and woke up at sunrise to hike the beaches and explore.”

Top: Crossing paths with a schooner on Penobscot Bay. Above: Galley duty.

As a deckhand educator on a schooner, HeseltonClements has found that teaching the history of tall ships is often neglected, and students therefore fail to appreciate the history of the boat they are sailing on, through no fault of their own. “One of the benefits of small programs is that there is issue 61  2019


“That’s the fun,

sharing the mystery of how sailing works and making it safe …

Eggemoggin Reach in the fog.

simply more time to teach everything you want to teach with less time spent disciplining,” he said. “If that sounds like an obvious advantage to teaching a small group versus a big group, good. I think it’s an obvious advantage too. All the advantages of working with a small group are amplified tenfold on a boat, and the result is a better program for the captain, the deckhand educators, and the students.”

Origins of the Program In the fall of 2017, a group of CCA members, including co-authors Tori Willauer and Alex Agnew, Peter Chandler (BOS/GMP), Peter Stoops (BOS/GMP), Doug and Dale Bruce (BOS/GMP), Frank Cassidy (BOS/GMP), Willy Ritch (BOS/GMP), and Ed Tarlov (BOS), agreed to take kids sailing and provide the spark needed to get the pilot program going. Tori Willauer, then at The Apprenticeshop, performed the key role of hosting the program, hiring instructors, and recruiting the students. “It was a great experience,” Brad Willauer said. “It was fun to be with young people on a boat. That’s the fun, sharing the mystery of how sailing works and making it safe … I did it because we gave the kids a chance to see what it was like to be on a boat bigger than a 420. All of the kids enjoyed it. They were ebullient in front of their parents. They learned that you can operate in the fog, how to sail a large boat, how to tack, how to put the sails up and down, how to cook and clean and live in community aboard a small boat.” 14


Willauer said he’d do it again. “Our sport needs young people,” he pointed out. “The kids don’t have the big-boat experience. There would have been more weeks, but we couldn’t find students. It was challenging to enroll students because many kids and parents had no experience with sailing and did not see why this could be a compelling experience. Many believe that sailing and access to the water is an exclusive opportunity. We worked hard to break down these barriers, educating parents and students about the amazing life-changing experiences that happen while cruising for a week in Maine. After the program, one student said he was shocked that he was allowed to take the helm, make decisions, and hold responsibility for the group. The sense of purpose and responsibility builds confidence and curiosity.” “I got frustrated seeing the decline in sailing participation, the decline in used boat prices, and the decline in new sailboat sales,” Agnew said. “And I thought CCA members would enjoy doing something to bring the next generation into the sport. Because CCA members are good sailors and nice people and don’t need to be paid to participate in the program, a lot of barriers to cruising under sail were removed by this program.” Student Cabot Adams, 13, of Appleton, Maine, said, “It was really exciting to learn sailing on a much larger boat than the 420s we learned on at The Apprenticeshop. I really liked the experience of sailing on a 24,000-pound boat, and taking the helm felt awesome!” Cabot’s parents, Claire and Tom

Adams, added: “We cannot make sailors learn but we can provide the right conditions for them to learn. The Cruising for Teens Program … was a wonderful, engaging opportunity for teenagers to learn sailing with an experienced captain on a 46-foot boat. Captain Willauer’s straightforward, good-tempered style and instruction method ended up being dinner table conversation for many weeks after the sailing ended. He made an outsized impression on our 13-year-old son, Cabot, who learned good seamanship, navigation by the stars, chart reading, journaling in the ship’s log, provisioning food for the week, and teamwork. The Cruising for Teens program is something we are looking forward to for the next few summers (until college).”

Clockwise from top left: Keeping a journal, checking the chart; Comparing journal entries; All together in the cockpit; Keeping up with the journal after a long day’s sailing. Below: Scanning the horizon; Rare fresh-water swim in Burnt Coat Harbor water hole.

issue 61  2019


Above and top right: Taking turns at the helm. Right: Securing the sheet. Opposite page: Quiet night at anchor.

James Phyfe (BOS/NBP), head of the Boston Station membership committee, has agreed to take kids sailing next summer on his Contessa 35, Andara. “I obviously am a huge supporter of the idea, given the apparent decline we are seeing in young cruising sailors. I’d love to see it take off. This type of thing is what sparked my lifelong passion for cruising and voyaging. I can remember gunkholing around during CCA cruises as a kid, and I loved every minute of it. If we have the opportunity to create that passion in others today, we should take it.” Willauer pointed to other CCA member-driven programs involved in introducing youth to cruising, ocean sailing, and ocean racing. Peter Becker (NYS) organized the loan of High Noon, a Tripp 41, by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Sailing Foundation to the Young American Junior Big Boat Sailing Team at the American Yacht Club in Rye, New York, to participate in the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race. Under the leadership of Bart Dunbar (BOS/BUZ), the Rhode Island-based tall ship Oliver Hazard Perry serves as the largest civilian sailing school vessel in the United States, and the first oceangoing full-rigged ship to be built in the U.S. in over 100 years. Ocean Passages offers sailing education on board the Harvey Gamage, a 131foot gaff-rigged schooner owned by Phineas Sprague (BOS/ GMP) and restored at his boatyard, Portland Yacht Services. The Harvey Gamage took more than 80 teenagers sailing on one-week voyages during the spring and summer of 2018, and hopes to increase that number in 2019. 16


The program will continue in 2019 in collaboration with The Apprenticeshop, and possibly with other clubs. The Apprenticeshop will provide instructors, and volunteer CCA members need only show up with a boat. Tori Willauer has agreed to continue to drive enrollment in the program, including taking applicants from other youth organizations. The Apprenticeshop intends to offer separate girls’ and boys’ programs in 2019, and students can sign up online at The 2019 tuition will be approximately $650 for the week. Financial aid is available through The Apprenticeshop, and any fundraising for the program will go through The Apprenticeshop as well. CCA members who are interested in participating as skippers should contact Tori Willauer at Program schedules are designed around member boat schedules, so knowing these sooner will help with recruitment and secure enrollment.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Alex Agnew is publisher of Ocean Navigator and Professional Mariner magazines. He is president of Tall Ships Maine, the lead organization for Tall Ships Maine 2020, the upcoming celebration of Maine’s state bicentennial. Tall Ships Maine sends teens on fiveday trips on sail-training ships, including the Harvey Gamage and Oliver Hazard Perry. Ben Heselton-Clements, a Cruising for Teens instructor, crossed the Pacific on Argo, a 112-foot two-masted staysail schooner, in 2017. In 2018, just prior to his work on Breezing Up, he sailed for two months as a deckhand, teacher, and writing instructor on the 131-foot schooner Harvey Gamage, where he encouraged students to write about their experiences. He left the Gamage for a week to participate in the trip on Breezing Up.   

Thomas McClellan, also a Cruising for Teens instructor, sailed with The Apprenticeshop for 10 years, starting when he was a boy. He is a U.S. Sailing Level Two instructor and grew up sailing on the 35-foot schooner Simplicity, designed by William Hand, with his parents, including a passage to the Caribbean when he was only four. Thomas is passionate about passing on his love of sailing to anyone he comes in contact with. He just hiked the Appalachian Trail, and is currently teaching skiing at Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He would love to get work on boats and do some offshore passages. Tori Willauer was until recently the sailing director at The Apprenticeshop, a position she held for five years. She recently sailed 4,000 nautical miles with her husband, Tony Fitch (BOS/ GMP), and three kids. Her passion is all things sailing, and she continues to volunteer for The Apprenticeshop sailing programs while working for Brimstone Consulting Group in Camden, Maine. issue 61  2019


Transatlantic on


averickk averic 3,000 Miles

from Newport, Rhode Island, to Cowes, England, in 18 Days by George Day, Boston Station, Buzzards Bay Post


he first glimpse of the bright flashing light from Sankaty Head lighthouse on Nantucket’s eastern shore came into view soon after midnight. Every seven-anda-half seconds the white beam swept across the sea that lay between us and the island, giving us a positive visual bearing of where we were in relation to the dangerous shoals than lie all along Nantucket’s southeastern coast. Many ships have foundered here and we did not want to be one of them. Aboard Maverick, my friend Steve McInnis’s (BOS/NBP) Hanse 505 sloop, we were just getting into the rhythm of our night watches. It was our first night at sea after departing from Newport, Rhode Island, earlier that day. There were five of us aboard: our skipper Steve, Mark Gabrielson, Henry DiPietro, young Drew Augustine, and me. Between us, we had many ocean crossings and offshore passages, so the sense 18


of excitement that always pervades a first night at sea was somewhat tempered by long experience as we settled down and got on with the business of sailing offshore. We still had 3,000 miles to go to our destination in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England. All the first day we had sailed east across the banks south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Fishing boats were dragging their nets all around us, and sea gulls followed them in hopes of a meal. Out there on the continental shelf, two large wind farms have been approved for development, and we saw several survey ships gathering data on depths and bottom configuration. In the years ahead, this whole region of ocean will be populated with giant wind turbines that use only the wind to generate electricity. We are sailors who travel on the wind, so the whole enterprise makes perfect sense.

we ring shorts as Steve still wea t. en rr Cu or Labrad approach the

Sunrise in the Gulf Stream.

We cleared the Nantucket Shoals and sailed into deeper water. Late on the first night at sea, the flashing beam of the Sankaty Head light moved farther and farther astern as we sailed east at eight knots. Maverick was sailing fast and steady in the fair southerly breeze. Then, before dawn, we saw the light flash one last time before it sank beneath the western horizon. All was dark except for the moon and stars. We had left land and civilization behind and were now truly at sea.

Drew standing a cold watch.

Hammocks full of veggies as we depart.

THE GULF STREAM It took us two days of fast sailing to get to the edge of the continental shelf and to what is known as the western wall of the Gulf Stream. As we sailed east, we saw fewer and fewer shore birds and with every mile, more and more pelagic birds. The shearwaters were everywhere, soaring effortlessly issue 61  2019


and endlessly over the waves, and flocks of little Mother Carey’s chickens bobbed up and down on the surface. The water over the continental shelf is a gray-green color, made cool by the threads of the Labrador Current that flow southward along the Canadian Maritimes and northeast U.S. coast. The water is rich with nutrients and thus full of sea life and fish. When you sail across the western wall of the Gulf Stream, the changes to water color and temperature are dramatic. The water turns a perfect sapphire blue and is so clear that you can see right through the tops of waves as though they were made of glass. Over the course of a few miles as we entered the stream, the water temperature went from the low 60s to the high 70s. We were able to strip off our extra layers of clothing and don shorts and T-shirts for the first time since leaving Newport. We were sailing faster now, as the wind had built to the low twenties and the seas were piling up. There was a large high-pressure system parked in the middle of the Atlantic, called the Atlantic high or Bermuda high, that was generating the stronger southerly winds on its western side. High-pressure systems are usually calm in the middle, while the winds at their edges rotate around the center in a clockwise direction. We were sailing in the western quadrant of the high, so the winds were southerly and brisk. We occasionally saw gusts of 25 to 30 knots. Plus, we had the current of the stream behind us. The Gulf Stream is a huge river in the Atlantic Ocean that runs from the Florida straits up the U.S. East Coast and then eastward to the Grand Banks and the open Atlantic Ocean, where its name changes and the river become the North Atlantic Current. East of Nantucket, the stream flows at two to three knots in a north-northeasterly direction. But it is not a continuous, uninterrupted river of water in this part of the ocean. It is instead made up of streams and eddies, so you can find yourself with a fair current for a few hours, then no current, and then a contrary current for a few hours. Still, we were seeing a steady Sailing through fog south of the Grand Banks.

boost most of the time, and our speed-made-good was hovering around ten knots. The stream can be your friend, as it was for us, but it can also be one of the wildest places in the Atlantic Ocean. When deep low-pressure systems move off the U.S coast at Cape Hatteras, as they often do, the counter-clockwise revolving winds will blow from the northeast as the storm tracks to the northeast. This is what creates a nor’easter storm in New England, and what creates mountainous and dangerous seas in the stream. Combine two to three knots of current flowing against a gale of wind, and the results are something no sailor wishes to meet at sea. For us, the strong southerly breeze was kicking up some waves, but nothing that was disturbing. Maverick is a modern design with a fin keel and large spade rudder. Under the water, the hull is fairly flat and she has a very broad and buoyant transom. This hull shape makes her very fast under sail, but also means that waves running at her from the stern have the effect of lifting the transom. If the waves are from the quarter, as they were for us, then the waves tend to lift the stern and shove it sideways, creating a corkscrewing motion. This made a lot of work for the autopilot that was steering us across the ocean. Henry had made this passage across the ocean twice before. On our second night out of Newport, he remarked, “The issue with Maverick is not how to get her to sail fast but how to slow her down.” And that was what we spent our time doing as we rode the Gulf Stream eastward in a strong following wind. We reefed the main and reefed it again, then rolled up some of the roller furling jib. The goal was to keep the speed just under eight knots and to trim the sails so there was no weather or lee helm. This reduced the boat’s sudden corkscrew turns and relieved the pressure on the autopilot. We didn’t intend to steer the boat ourselves very much, and I doubt any of us could steer as consistently and tirelessly as the Jefa autopilot with the B&G control head. Making the autopilot happy made us happy, and we were still making 180-mile daily runs. THE GRAND BANKS On our fifth day out, the strong southerly breeze abated a bit and came in at 15 knots from the southwest. This was the breeze we expected to ride across the ocean. But, while we had a great day of sailing in fine weather with a warm Gulf Stream current under us, it wasn’t to last. The southern tip of the Grand Banks lay ahead, as did the cold contrary Labrador Current. By midafternoon, we had sailed out of the warm current and into a fog bank. The sea temperature dropped from 73 to 57 degrees in the span of two hours, and we went from shorts and T-shirts to fleece and foul weather gear. Fog and cold are what the Grand Banks are all about, as well as fish and oil. This huge shoal region of banks has played a leading role in the history of the North Atlantic. They were first identified by the Italian explorer John Cabot, who led an English voyage of exploration



in 1497. That the banks were loaded with fish, particularly cod, did not remain a secret for long. Soon, fishing vessels from the north of Spain and Portugal were making the dangerous passage to the banks in search of cod, and the cod fishery continues today. In its day, salted cod was the one food that could be stored for long periods and thus enabled sailors to make long, slow passages across oceans. It also could be stored ashore all winter and thus provide a ready source of protein when fresh stocks of meat were exhausted. Cod was so important to the life and economy of the Massachusetts Bay colony that a 200-year-old pine carving of a cod hangs in the House of Representatives in the State House, and the speaker faces the cod during meetings. Now that oil has been found on the banks, several fields of oil rigs have been built and pipelines have been run to shore bases in Canada. This has been a boon to the Canadian Maritimes, but it has also increased ship traffic on the already crowded banks, which can be a real navigational challenge for passage-makers like us. We had initially set our first waypoint at 40° north and 50° west, a point that would be well below the fog and potential for icebergs. But, as we rode the stream eastwards, we could see that there had been no ice reported near the Grand Banks and that the weather was fair. So, we skipped the “40-50” waypoint and sailed straight to the

Drew going aloft at sea.

Mark shoots the sun while Henry records the sight. issue 61  2019


Mark and Steve with navigation tool that may have been used by the Vikings.

southern tip of the banks. As we passed the tip and sailed across the Labrador Current, we had two days of fog and cold winds. The sea temperature was in the low 50s, and the air temperature about the same. And then the wind died. We had been riding a good breeze for six days, but on the seventh as we sailed out of the Labrador Current, the wind faded away and we were forced to motor. This, it turned out, was to be our fate all the way across the ocean. SHIPPING When we passed the southern tip of the banks, we changed course for the English Channel. Our course followed the “great circle” route, which is the shortest distance between two points of a globe. It looks curved on a Mercator projection chart, but is actually a straight line. We soon discovered that we weren’t the only ones who were sailing the great circle route across the North Atlantic. While still in the fog, we began to see the Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals from ships steaming east and west. AIS is a system that all commercial ships and most offshore yachts now use. It broadcasts a radio signal that is received by all AIS-equipped vessels within 20 miles or so. The signal identifies the vessel and gives course, speed, and other data. When we saw a signal appear on our chartplotters, we could click on it and a box would pop up on the screen that named the ship and gave us all of the ship’s data, including the time and distance of its closest approach to us. Several times a day, and, it seemed, more often at night, we had ships’ signals active on our chartplotters. The risk of being run down by a ship is any offshore sailor’s greatest fear, since it can happen so quickly that no one would ever know 22


it happened. AIS almost eliminates the problem, and thus is perhaps one of the greatest boons to safety at sea to come along in the last generation. Most often, ships pass safely and we rarely had one inside a mile or two from us. But out in the middle of the ocean, a mile does not seem like much of a distance when the ship is a 900foot bulk-crude carrier. The wind remained fickle as we sailed and motorsailed across the ocean. We would have light northerlies for a few hours or even a day, and then they would fade. They would be replaced by southerlies that also would not blow for more than a few hours or a day at a time. In between, we burned a lot of diesel and became, like the rest of the ships out there, another motor vessel crossing the Atlantic. The problem was that we

We ate well.

Unnervingly close pass by U.S. Navy ship.

didn’t have enough fuel to get all the way to England, so sailing as much as possible was the game plan. On the twelfth day out, as we motorsailed east, we saw two ships seven miles off our port bow. One was a warship that looked like a U.S. destroyer, and one was a Navy supply ship. The two ships were stationary and side by side when we first saw them, then broke apart and steamed their separate ways. Neither of the ships was broadcasting an AIS signal, so we relied on the radar and our visual sighting to keep track of them. The destroyer steamed off to the east and we surmised that it was on picket duty, probably listening for submarines. The supply ship steamed east for a mile or two and then did something inexplicable. It turned hard to port and laid a course directly toward us. Without AIS, we could not see the time and distance of the closest approach, but we could take bearings on it and could see that we were on a collision course. Way out at sea, close encounters with ships can be unnerving. A close encounter with an American naval vessel had us on edge. There have been two serious collisions caused by U.S. naval vessels in the last year, both with fatalities and both caused by crew errors. Was the ship bearing down on us manned by an alert crew? When the ship was about a mile away, Steve got on the VHF radio and gave it a call. “Warship, warship, this is the sailing yacht on your starboard bow. We are on a collision course. What are your intentions?” Soon a reply came in a clear American voice. “Maverick, we see you and will pass across your bow.” That was all he said. We slowed down and the ship did indeed cross our path by a few hundred yards, which we all thought was too close for comfort.

Henry and Mark in battle dress.

LANDFALL By the time we closed the coast of England and made landfall on the Isles of Scilly off the tip of Cornwall, we were running very low on fuel. We had burned through all nine of the fivegallon jerry jugs that we carried as spare fuel, and all three fuel tanks were nearly empty. The decision was made to head into Falmouth, England, and refuel. Yet this presented a problem, because we didn’t want to dawdle in Falmouth while clearing customs and immigration on a Saturday morning. We wondered if we would be allowed to simply fuel up and go? What if we didn’t mention this to the fuel dock folks? As we were pondering our strategy, Steve read in a cruising guide to the English Channel that we should call the customs officials by phone as we approached the country. So, using issue 61  2019


Landfall at the Needles in Cowes, England.

his sat phone, Steve called and got a polite response. We were instructed to photocopy our passports, digitize the files, and email them together with copies of Maverick’s ship’s papers. It was a Friday evening, so we did not expect to have any response from customs until Monday morning. Having traveled to England many times, we all expected the polite customs official to be in the pub by now, having a pint with his mates. But something remarkable happened. At 9 p.m., we got an email back from the polite customs official. Attached to it was

a form that declared that all crew and the U.S.-flagged yacht Maverick were officially cleared into England by both the Home Office’s customs and immigration divisions. We were legal, and didn’t have to skulk our way to a fuel dock after all. We picked up a mooring in Falmouth late that night. Early next morning we topped up the fuel tanks and set off for Cowes, a day’s sailing up the English Channel. The day was fine, the sun was shining, the sea was a deep blue, and the wind was fair behind us. We got the spinnaker up and sailed east past

Classic regatta in Cowes.



such famous landmarks like the Eddystone Light, Plymouth, Exmouth, and Dartmouth. The coastline was remarkably undeveloped. Green pastures, hay fields, and cropping lands ran right down to the cliffs above the rocky beaches. There were little villages tucked into the hills and a few great houses, but on the whole England looked ever so much like “that green and pleasant land.” The wind died as the sun set, so we motored through the night to make our “real” landfall on the Needles that mark the entrance to the Solent and our destination at Cowes. Our last night at sea was clear and bright, with a new moon. The stars were as bright as you ever see them. We had Venus shining in the western sky, Jupiter high overhead, and Saturn and Mars

rising in the eastern sky. With these four planets all visible, it was easy to visualize how Earth and her neighboring planets all revolve together around the sun. After 18 days at sea, having lived under the stars, seen the full cycle of the moon and 18 sunrises and sunsets, we all felt as though we were a piece of the big picture, whatever it was. Dawn saw us enter the Solent. Once more we were close to land, buzzed by motorboats, passed by many sailboats, and stunned by the smells and sounds of civilization. It was all jarring. But, we found a place to moor Maverick in Cowes, got her secured, and wandered ashore to find a proper English breakfast. We all just about stumbled as our legs failed to adjust right away to the inflexibility of terra firma. ✧

George Day

ABOUT THE AUTHOR George Day is the founder and publisher of Blue Water Sailing magazine. He also publishes Multihulls Quarterly and the weekly e-newsletters Cruising Compass and Cruising Odyssey. George was an early editor of Cruising World, and after 13 years at the helm of that magazine took five years off to sail around the world with his wife, Rosa, and sons, Simon and Tim, aboard their Mason 43, Clover. The Days live in Middletown, Rhode Island. 

issue 61  2019


PUERTO WILLIAMS A Winter’s Sojourn Near Cape Horn by Mark Roye, Pacific Northwest Station Photos by Nancy Krill

As cruisers, we are too often compelled to hasten along our way, racing seasonal weather systems, seeking annual trade-wind shifts, or, in some cases, returning home for business or family gatherings. It’s all too easy to forget that the journey may in fact be more elemental than the destination.



Yachts alongside the Micalvi, the world’s southernmost yacht club.


ANCY AND I INITIALLY INTENDED TO TAKE VERY LITTLE time to round the tip of South America on our return from cruising the Labrador Sea region. But while anchored in Brazil, we were asked by a French cruiser, “What’s ze rush?” We reconsidered. What was ze rush? So we slowed down, found secure havens for Tamara, our 44-foot Swedish steel ketch, and traveled very extensively inland, crisscrossing southern South America several times by bus and plane, spending time deliberately trying to experience the region and understand the people and their culture as well as we could. In the course of these excursions, we came to meet and befriend people from all walks of life. Among them were the head of the Argentine national police; a woman who, as a university professor, was one of the leading DNA specialists in South America; a retired electrical engineer in Chile who had experienced both Marxist and military regimes, and who as a result kept his savings beneath his mattress; ship captains; a mining engineer; a noted geologist; an equally noted marine biologist and head of an institute in Brazil who asked that I address a large crowd about fisheries management practices in Alaska; and a television executive who insisted on an interview. Tradesmen, merchants, riggers, welders, and sail makers figured in as well, as Tamara, like all cruising boats, required maintenance along the way. These encounters served not only to enhance our understanding of the region, its economy, politics, customs, and culture, but of course its languages as well. Such intercourse could never have happened had it been confined to our own native English. One particular episode elicits a smile from me still, as I recall the almost comical threeway discourse between me, in my then very rudimentary Spanish, a Brazilian naval official, and a Dutchman who understood no romance languages and spoke English only poorly. Pressed into service by the Portuguese-speaking naval official to serve as translator, I was somehow able to use my poor Spanish with him, then relay inquiries and instructions back and forth to the Dutchman. We all came away satisfied, and feeling that we’d somehow gained from the experience.

Entrance to the small boat harbor at the Micalvi.

But—more on this later—we reached the high point of this cross-cultural experience when we were asked to spend an entire austral winter in Puerto Williams, Chile, teaching English to the captain of the port’s staff and the two teenage sons of the commander issue 61  2019


Picturesque armada garrison village of Puerto Williams, Chile.

of this small, picturesque, and very isolated naval garrison. The process of clearing into Chile at Puerto Williams was without doubt the most streamlined and pleasant such experience anywhere we’d cruised, with perhaps the exception of Canada. Formalities begin here with a required radio call about an hour before arrival to alert officials. Taking turns daily, one of the four officials involved in this bureaucratic necessity then picks up the other three in a small SUV or pickup. Together they make their way to the 1925 steamship Micalvi that has been deliberately sunk to form a facility for visiting small boats. On the Micalvi’s ancient decks, the officials greet the new arrivals, assist in making fast the yacht, then expeditiously and efficiently stamp passports, review zarpe permits, and process all questions of customs, immigration, naval, and agricultural requirements. No need to wander about trying to find each office, puzzling as to what the process requires. Instead, they all collaborate and render the potentially unpleasant obligation a cultural experience. Welcome to extreme southern Chile! As noted above, our initial arrival at the Micalvi had one additional element beyond the usual procedure. Having been alerted by one of the commercial charter operators that we might be suitable candidates, we were greeted on our arrival by the ranking petty officer of the Capitania del Puerto’s staff and asked if we would agree to teach English! After formalities were concluded and we were officially offered the position by the captain himself, we were welcomed to the village like honored guests. This would make our lengthy sojourn in this small village, just miles from Cape Horn, a uniquely memorable part of our 28


Middle school students perform a popular Chilean folk dance, known as the handkerchief dance.

entire cruising experience. Career advancement in the Armada de Chile requires a certain English proficiency, and our students were to prove to be not only highly motivated, but very gracious to us as well. We quickly became part of the armada family. Puerto Williams is located on Isla Navarino, facing the Beagle Channel, with spectacular peaks just behind, and Argentina across the channel. It is the southernmost incorporated town in the world, and is the administrative center for Chile’s Antarctic Province, Cape Horn, and much of Chilean Patagonia. As such, it serves as a port of entry and a hub for considerable scientific activity linked to Antarctica and the protected Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego region. Visiting yachts, cruise ships, and extensive commercial shipping transiting these waters must deal in some way with armada officials in Puerto Williams. Incidentally, pursuant to the SOLAS treaty, most of this interaction is conducted in English, further motivating our hosts.

Annual blessing of the fishing fleet. With the priest is the captain of the port and his young daughter.

Puerto Williams’s population, at the time of our stay, was about 2,700. Locally they liked to say that there were 2,500 armada personnel in the village, but in the reckoning of the armada, all dependents are considered navy. Indeed, even the lowest rated enlisted man, if married, enjoyed a modest but very comfortable small cottage or duplex housing unit, and officers were housed in very well-appointed apartment units. Many of the civilian residents of the village had also once been armada personnel, and had chosen to remain in the picturesque community. Other than the armada and its direct support, the primary industry is a local fishery for a large crab species, lithodes santolla, or centolla, as it is called in Chile, Argentina, and Peru. Also known as southern king crab, the species enjoys high market value, permitting product to be economically transported from the remote location. In addition to his other duties, the captain of the port’s responsibilities include handling the port's own version of what we’d call “float plans” for this fleet, as well as twicedaily radio communications intended to promote safe fishing operations. The armada is also charged with patrolling Chile’s Exclusive Economic Zone and enforcing fishing regulations. Puerto Williams, at 54˚ 56' south, has a climate very similar to that of Sitka or Cordova, Alaska, or the coasts of Norway and Scotland, referred to as a sub-polar oceanic climate. Rain and snow are common, but the temperature is generally moderate

due to the proximity of the ocean. In the winter, this means that substantial snowfall is often followed by warming temperatures or rain, at times resulting in very slippery, hard-packed snow and ice cover on roads and walkways. One of our fondest memories of winter here was watching armada personnel walking to work early in the morning, wearing only one of the naval-issued slipon spiked-rubber crampons on one foot, then a few hours later seeing wives on their way to the store wearing the other of the pair on the opposite foot. As generous as the armada seems to be, evidently the issue of this essential piece of equipment is made only to actual personnel, and necessity has driven this creative solution. The peculiar gait that results seems not to bother either member of the family, and everyone makes out well enough with what they’ve got. The 850-ton, 181-foot Micalvi is certainly the most unique yacht facility that we’ve encountered, and that includes time we’ve spent in Newfoundland, Labrador, and Alaska. Built in Germany in 1925 and powered by a 380-horsepower tripleexpansion steam engine, she was sold to Chile in 1928 and steamed from Europe loaded with ammunition for the Chilean battleship Almirante Latorre. On arrival in Chile, she was refitted as a supply vessel for the Puntas Arenas region, as well as for colonists in the extreme southern regions of Tortel and Navarino islands. In 1961, the ship was decommissioned and anchored in Puerto Williams as a museum. Eventually, with a wonderfully issue 61  2019


while a few small restaurants and bars afford occasional evenings off the boat. But one of our favorites, as well as that of the villagers, was the middle school’s production of a very popular Chilean folk dance known as the handkerchief dance. Similar to many folk dances familiar to us North Americans, this dance involves the use of a handkerchief, not only as a fan, but also to unite the couple while limiting their distance apart as both partners grasp a corner of the handkerchief.

The Micalvi offers winter haven for small boats.

practical sense of re-purposing, she was deliberately sunk in a very protected caleta (Spanish for “sheltered cove”) and converted to a clubhouse and facility for yachts. Electrical outlets, toilets, and showers were added, and a bar built into her superstructure. She is used, of course, by visiting yachts, as well as by armada officers as an officers’ club. In addition to availing ourselves of the pleasures of the bar on the Micalvi, alongside which Tamara lay for several months, we found many other activities to occupy ourselves during our time in the village. Excellent hiking opportunities are afforded on the island, including a popular five-day backpacking circuit around the jagged pinnacles south of the town. Called locally the Dientes (teeth) de Navarino, the peaks were always spectacularly visible from Tamara’s berth. The armada sponsors numerous activities to engage and entertain the entire community. This includes flea market sales in the gym, celebrations of various national holidays complete with military bands, sailing regattas in which yachts crewed by personnel from both the Chilean and Argentine navies as well as private competitors vie for important recognition, and religious ceremonies like annual blessings of the fleet in this officially Catholic country. Naval officers often hosted celebrations and receptions, both at the Micalvi and in facilities ashore. The entire community participates in most of these events, but adds to the opportunities as well. The library and local entrepreneurs offer good internet access and video rentals, 30


While the armada maintains its own small supermarket, it no longer is open to non-navy shoppers. This is in part due to requests by local merchants that they not be forced to compete with the military. Though our position with the navy would likely have allowed us access to their store, we found it rewarding to do our shopping at the small, privately run markets. This introduced us to more members of the community, but also afforded other opportunities. One of the smaller stores not only stocked all that we ever needed, but a former naval rating operated an excellent bakery in conjunction with the market. Every day at 11 a.m., fresh bread, and that most emblematic of Chilean delicacies, the empanada, were almost ceremoniously carried to waiting shelves to be immediately thrust into paper bags by eagerly anticipating customers. Within an hour, the shelves were bare. The same phenomenon would occur at the fresh produce bins just after the arrival of the once-weekly ferry from Punta Arenas. But more durable produce like potatoes, onions, cabbages, carrots, chili peppers, frozen meat, fish, and certain vegetables, as well as red wine and beer, were always in plentiful supply, and frequent trips to the store helped us maintain a close connection with the small community. As the only norte americanos semi-permanently resident in the village, we were easily identifiable by naval and civilian residents alike, and we were always greeted most graciously. Our time at Puerto Williams held, for me, an even greater appeal. I hold in the highest regard the accomplishments of mariners who came before us. They not only imbued us with a penchant for adventure and exploration, but with the skills they passed down over the generations that make possible our own efforts today. We call it seamanship, but it’s much more than just the tradecraft required to safely navigate far beyond our familiar horizons. It’s elemental, part of what enables us to share an ethic that not only utilizes that tradecraft to achieve our objective, but to do so as part of an aesthetic that nearly rises to an art.

Puerto Williams holds an important place in this ethic. It is not simply situated in a location that figured large in the age of exploration and saw such iconic vessels as the Beagle sail close in to its shores, but it is the gateway port for Antarctic voyages today. That spirit persists still. This is perhaps best exemplified by a simple memorial just outside the navy store in the village.

Memorial to the Chilean vessel Yelcho for its efforts to rescue the crew of the Endurance.

Following the destruction of Endurance by the ice of the Weddell Sea, now just over a hundred years ago, Shackleton’s crew finally made landfall on tiny Elephant Island. They were nearly at the limits of all human endurance, but the very name of their ship and Shackleton’s superb leadership combined to grant them super-human fortitude. The epic small-boat voyage in the tiny James Caird, so ably sailed by Endurance captain Frank Worsley, and the ensuing crossing of the mountains of South Georgia to summon help, are now of course the stuff of legend. Less well remembered, however, was the eventual rescue of the crew left behind on Elephant Island. Skilled whalers and others failed to penetrate the ice imprisoning them, but the rescue was eventually accomplished by a modest steam tug commanded by a little-known Chilean mariner. Shackleton himself paid homage to this effort: “Finally, it was the Chilian [his spelling] Government that was directly responsible for the rescue of my comrades. This southern Republic was unwearied in its efforts to make a successful rescue, and the gratitude of our whole party is due to them. I especially mention the sympathetic attitude of Admiral Muñoz Hurtado, head of the Chilian Navy, and Captain Luis Pardo, who commanded the Yelcho on our last and successful venture.” — Sir Ernest Shackleton, Preface to South Today the efforts of piloto Luis Pardo, as he is called in Chile, and the Yelcho, are honored by a simple monument. The bow of the Yelcho, ensconced on a base of concrete, accompanied by

a bronze plaque, serves to remind us not only of this spirit of human endeavor, but of the skill and consummate seamanship of all of those involved. It is this heritage of Puerto Williams, the graciousness of its citizens, and its role in both the past and present that made it, for us, a most rewarding sojourn during our voyaging. We were able to both spend an extended time here as residents, as well as to embark on our own Antarctic voyage and to return to this welcoming port as mariners, playing our own small part in its enduring heritage. 2

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Mark Roye and Nancy Krill make their home in Port Townsend, Washington. Their 44-foot Swedish steel ketch Tamara has safely carried them more than 60,000 miles, mostly in high latitudes, both north and south. After a voyage that took them from the Arctic to the Antarctic, then to Alaska, they continue their search for adventure in the vastness of the north, regardless of the season. They were awarded the Charles H. Vilas Prize in 2011 and the Royal Cruising Club Trophy in 2012. Their adventures are chronicled at,, and in numerous sailing publications. Their slide presentation has been widely acclaimed.

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After the knockdown, Bebinka’s grab rails were gone, the spray dodger was gone and the main hatch was blown off. The author covered the hatch with a plywood board that had protected the life raft. BELOW: The cockpit where the life raft was kept. This is what it looked like down below after the knockdown.

“The next morning, we reviewed all the damage. Seeing that

everything had been blown off the cabin top and even the main boom had broken in two, we couldn’t believe we had survived.



d n a s m r Sto

s e t Pira by Kitty and Scott Kuhner New York Station


ost people have no idea what it’s like to be out on the ocean away from our very comfortable lifestyle here in the United States. Back in the early 1970s, Kitty and I spent four years circumnavigating the globe on our 30-foot Allied Seawind ketch, Bebinka. When we returned home to Westport, Connecticut, the first thing that friends asked was, “Weren’t you afraid of storms?”

We’d never been much afraid of storms because whenever the wind started to blow, we would heave to and ride out the bad weather. However, on July 14, 1974, midway between Cape Hatteras and Bermuda and only 500 miles from completing the voyage, we got caught in a fearsome storm and finally understood why others were always so concerned about such things. When the wind started to come up, we hove to. A few hours later, the wind continued to build, and the roar was deafening. The wind-speed indicator showed 70 knots. We took all sails down and lay ahull. We became lulled by the apparent calm from the way Bebinka was riding out the storm, heeling over with the wind. That changed in the middle of the night, when we fell off a wave and hit a trough upside down with such force that the main hatch blew right off, as did the teak grab rails on the cabin top, our spray dodger, and our self-steering wind vane. Kitty and I had been down below, and as Bebinka fell over, we both rolled onto the cabin top. As we righted, the now-open hatch scooped up so much water that down below it came up to the level of the bunks. When we fully righted, I looked out and saw that the life raft was still in the cockpit. I thought, at least we still had a safety net. I thanked the Lord that it was

Bebinka headed for the Panama Canal.

there, because had it been on deck, it would have been blown off with the rest of the stuff. I grabbed the piece of plywood that had been over the life raft to keep us from stepping on it and bolted it over the open companionway to prevent more waves from breaking over us and coming down below. Meanwhile, Kitty grabbed the big wastebasket that had been in the galley and ferociously started scooping up water, dumping it out the companionway. The next morning, we reviewed all the damage. Seeing that everything had been blown off the cabin top and even the main boom had broken in two, we couldn’t believe we had survived. We thankfully saw that the mast was still standing, no doubt because in New Zealand we had rerigged with galvanized steel two sizes bigger than we’d had previously. We had also taken both the jibs below and furled and tied the main and mizzen sails to the boom. After cleaning up the mess down below, issue 61  2019


I tried to fix the broken boom by sticking a piece of four-byfour into each end at the break and securing the broken boom to the wood inserts. It worked to the point that we were able to set some sail and limp our way home. Approaching New York City, I was finally able to hand-crank the 18-horsepower diesel engine and get it started, which enabled us to power up the East River and through the narrow tidal strait of Hell Gate.

As Bebinka lay ahull, the 70-plus knot winds blew the weathercloths off.

Following our return to Westport, we spent the summer fixing all the damage. The lessons learned: 1) don’t keep the life raft on deck because had it been there, it would have been blown off with the rest of the gear; and 2) when crossing oceans, always have a parachute anchor and a set of drogues ready to keep the boat stern to the seas in nasty storms. Rather than becoming fearful of ever going to sea again, we got back on the horse in the fall and set sail again for St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands to take jobs that had been offered to us. After a year in St. Thomas, we decided that it was time to go back to Connecticut, get “real” jobs, buy a house, and start a family. However, we had loved our time on the sea, meeting new people and learning about new cultures, so much so that we always had it in our minds to do it again sometime. Even after we started a family, the desire to go again never left us and was reinforced by wanting to show our kids that there was more to the world than Fairfield County, Connecticut.

We met a few other cruisers while we were in St. Thomas. Tom Corkill, an Australian, had sailed the smallest multihull ever to cross the Indian Ocean. While rounding the Cape of Good Hope, he was shipwrecked in a storm. He was rescued by a passing freighter and after a few years of land adventures, went back to Australia where he built himself a 35-foot catamaran, sailed back to South Africa, met his wife-to-be Sherri and convinced her to sail with him to the Caribbean.

In 1982, we were fortunate to buy Tamure, a Valiant 40, from an old friend who was moving up to a bigger boat. In 1987, when our two boys were nine and eleven, we felt it was the perfect time to let go of the mooring lines once again and head out on the next adventure of a lifetime. That October we packed the boys and tons of gear onto Tamure and sailed off on another four-year adventure. On the first trip, we had sailed from northwest Australia across the Indian Ocean and down under South Africa. On this voyage, we wanted to go somewhere new. When we told friends that our plan this time was to go up the Red Sea, they immediately asked, “Aren’t you afraid of pirates?” We shrugged it off, but when we got back home in 1991, we did have a scary “pirates on board” story to tell.

Dropping the anchor in Charlotte Amalie on Bebinka.



In New Zealand, we decided to sail to New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, and New Guinea. From there, we continued on to Bali in Indonesia. After spending a couple of weeks in Bali, we headed up the Java Sea to Singapore and on to Malaysia and Thailand, before going up the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. We left in company with two other boats, Bob and Beth Lux (BOS) on Rhodora, a Bermuda 40 yawl, and Carl and Peri McIlroy on KuKara, a 40-foot Cheoy Lee. The first night after leaving Bali, we anchored off Bawean, a little island north of Bali in what I had considered to be a truly remote area. However, Indonesia is

“That October we

packed the boys and tons of gear onto Tamure and sailed off on another four-year adventure.

very densely populated, and after we were securely anchored, a local fishing boat with about 10 men on board anchored only a hundred yards from us. Painted in psychedelic designs, it looked like a seagoing version of Tom Wolfe’s bus in his 1968 book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Once anchored, they all hung over the side and stared at us, as though they were sizing us up. However, they made no move to approach us, and by late evening I thought that if they had had any nefarious ideas, they would have already acted, so I went to sleep.

TOP: Tamure, pictured during a Bermuda One-Two Race. LEFT: Sailing over the top of New Zealand in a blow. ABOVE: Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test boat.

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“Another ski mask was peeking up out of the hold. Just as the boat was about to hit us, the guy at the tiller slammed it into reverse, and before I could react, the fellow on the foredeck jumped on our boat and tied their boat to ours.

The next day we all headed up the Java Sea, bound for Singapore. As we approached the south end of Borneo, Bob Lux came on the radio and said that he and Beth were going to divert to Borneo. “After all,” he said, “I will never be by this place again and I would love to see it!” The day after they sailed off, we saw a freighter coming toward us. We were sailing under spinnaker, and we called them on the radio to make sure they saw us and would alter course for us. After acknowledging our presence and agreeing to change course, the captain asked us where we were headed. When I told him Singapore, he came back on the radio and ruined our day! He said, “Listen, from here on in be very careful. In the last month, two of our ships were boarded by guys with automatic weapons and the crew held up at gunpoint. There is still piracy in the area, so be careful.” That was just what we had not wanted to hear. To increase our anxiety, that night we encountered a violent thunderstorm and had to dodge numerous thunderheads while praying that none of the ferocious lightning bolts would find our mast to be the shortest route to the ground. The next day we were exhausted. We decided to anchor off Pulau Karimata, which appeared on the chart to be a little deserted island southwest of Borneo. We dropped our hook. After a short rest and a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, Kitty and the boys went below, broke out the schoolbooks, and started doing their lessons for the day. In the meantime, I was up on deck doing a few of the never-ending boat chores. A few minutes later, I looked up and saw a fishing boat not too far away. I didn’t think anything about it until I looked up again and saw that it was coming right at us. There was a man on the foredeck wearing dark clothes and a ski mask. Another ski mask was peeking up out of the hold. Just as the boat was about to hit us, the guy at the tiller slammed it into reverse, and before I could react, the fellow on the foredeck jumped on our boat and tied their boat to ours. In an instant, three dangerous-looking men in ski masks were on board Tamure. I yelled at them to get off our boat. They yelled back at me in Indonesian. They didn’t understand a word I was saying, and I didn’t understand a word they were saying. Just then our oldest son Alex stuck his head out the companionway hatch to see what was going on. I yelled at him to get down below. Two 36


“Pirates” inviting the author to their boat and loading him with fish.

minutes later, as we were all still frantically yelling, Kitty stuck her head out the hatch and handed out three Cokes and a pack of cigarettes. Suddenly, the men whipped their ski masks off and broke into big smiles. We started communicating in sign language as we all sat down in the cockpit. I brought out the chart I was using to navigate and asked them where they were from. They pointed at the chart and jabbered away at each other, as if this was the first time they had seen an actual chart of their fishing grounds. One of the men then poked at the chart, looked at me and held up two fingers. I took it to mean, did I have two charts. I did have another usable chart in a different scale, so I gave them the chart. With big smiles, they looked at me as if we were their new best friends. Kitty kept looking out the companionway and after an hour started to wonder how we could ask them to leave. Finally, they stood up and brought me over to their boat. They opened their hold and loaded my arms with fish. I had to point out that I could not hold any more and thanked them. I climbed back onto Tamure, and they started their engine. As they drove off, they each made a fist and wagged a thumbs-up as they drove off. Later a version of the Coca Cola jingle kept playing in my head: “I’d like to buy the world a Coke … and live in harmony!” Just a few years ago when we were in the Bahamas, we invited another cruising couple to come on board for an

TOP TO BOTTOM: The Kuhner family with Tamure at home in Connecticut. The Tamure crew in Tonga. ... and in Bora Bora. LEFT: Spencer and Alex taking a sight.


afternoon sundowner. As we were telling them our story about being boarded by “pirates,” the woman guest told us that she was from that area of Borneo and explained that fishermen and construction workers wear ski masks despite the heat in order to protect their faces from the sun. She also told us that there is no such thing as private property in the way that we understand it. People just walk into someone’s home and say hello. I wish we had known all that before we had sailed there. It’s another example of why we love sailing to far horizons to make friends in different parts of the world and to learn about their cultures.

Kitty and Scott Kuhner’s extensive offshore voyaging has included two circumnavigations, the first one in 1971-74 on Bebinka, a 30-foot Allied Seawind ketch. They sailed around the world again in 1987–91 with their two sons, Spencer and Alex, on Tamure, a Valiant 40. In the fall of 2003 the Kuhners sailed from the Bahamas to Portugal via Bermuda and the Azores. The following year, after spending the winter in Portugal and exploring Spain, they sailed back across the Atlantic by way of the Canaries. They have since cruised extensively along the U.S. East Coast and throughout the Bahamas. In 2017, the Kuhners received the CCA’s Far Horizons Award for “a particularly meritorious cruise or series of cruises which exemplify the objectives of the club.”

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New Zealand Cruise

Down Under Adventure Auckland waterfront.

by Peter Pallette with photos by Harriet Lewis Pallette Southern California Station o the phone rings and the voice at the other end says something like, “Hi Pete, this is CCA Vice Commodore Brad Willauer, and I’d like to ask the Southern California Station to host our 2018 cruise in New Zealand.” My reply, “Sure, Brad. Anything else?” Thus began an odyssey that took Harriet and me Down Under in March 2017 for some reconnaissance of our cruising grounds, followed a year later by about 135 members and guests who sailed the Hauraki Gulf for two weeks under blue skies and memorable sea conditions. The cruise took about 18 months to produce and saw us navigate a 126-plus-or-minus-mile clockwise course around the gulf in varying easterly winds, stopping at five shore calls along the way, and generally enjoying the camaraderie of new friends and old. From the get-go, there was no reason to reinvent the wheel. In 1999, Bob Van Blaricom (SAF) and a couple of his San Francisco Station mates staged a well-received predecessor to the 2018 cruise, so we simply dusted off that plan and went sailing. Rangitoto, the landmark volcanic island one encounters upon entering or departing Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, beckoned with our first kia ora (Maori for “welcome”). Following the opening 38


Mansion Bay, Kawau Island.

Auckland sunset.


re lcome ce Haka we


Rangitoto, the landmark volcanic island one encounters upon entering or departing Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, beckoned with our first kia ora (Maori for “welcome”) ... complete with a Maori tribal haka (a native dance, of sorts, to welcome visitors, but let them know who’s in charge!)


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Party at the Pepper Tree, Coromandel town.

Les Crane (BDA), Vice Commodore Bob Medland (GLS), Commodore Brad Willauer (BOS/GMP), and Tad Lhamon (PNW).

Commodore Brad Willauer.



Kaka parrot, Glenfern Sanctuary, Great Barrier Island.

Lidgard House, Kawau Island.

begin here, leading to beaches, an abandoned copper mine and smelter, and ancient kauri forests. A hiker’s delight.

Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island. Green-lipped mussels, Coromandel town.

Tuesday saw a few set sail into 25–30 knots, on the nose, en route to 28-mile-distant Port Fitzroy on Great Barrier Island, our next landfall. Others explored Kawau for the day, avoiding a victory-at-sea experience, then made for Great Barrier on Wednesday in better close-reaching conditions. That night, the Port Fitzroy Boat Club hosted our third event, a cocktail party at their hillside location several hundred yards uphill from the rather spartan Port Fitzroy Wharf. Winded—but not wounded—we enjoyed delicious pupus, generous libations, and a sunset view of colorful cumulus cloud formations of departing showers. The fleet rested comfortably that night in Port Fitzroy’s snug harbor, with our 54-foot custom-built catamaran, Cool Change, secure in about two feet of water at low tide. Gotta love those cats! By the way, this one had unstayed masts (foils, actually) stepped in each hull athwartships rather than fore and aft—unique, efficient, and a great sailing boat. In fact, she makes about six knots under bare poles in 40 knots of breeze. Port Fitzroy is home to the Glenfern Sanctuary, a significant restoration project founded and sponsored by the Bouzaid family. Chris Bouzaid, a winner of New Zealand’s legendary One Ton Cup, along with his wife, Lydia Langston, joined us on the cruise as the guests of Steve and Missy Kasnet (BOS). Chris explained that the sanctuary’s mission is the preservation and restoration of the island’s native forest and several species of flightless birds. Until relatively recently, and uniquely, New Zealand had almost no natural predators, at least as far as birds were concerned, so many—most notably the kiwi—evolved flightless. Rats are the biggest threat today, and the locals won’t rest until the final one breathes its last in a rat hotel.

reception at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) Friday, March 16, complete with a Maori tribal haka (a native dance, of sorts, to welcome visitors, but let them know who’s in charge!), our intrepid group of 27 boats sailed east, then north toward our next landfall, Kawau Island, about 30 miles up the coast. Many paused to watch the start of the 7,600mile Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil, of the Volvo Ocean Race, with seven 65-foot one-design sloops competing for line honors. Exciting—sort of like sailing in a blender, since most of Auckland jumped into their boats to offer competitors a suitable send-off and the related wake maelstrom was prodigious. Next stop, Bon Accord Harbour for a rum-barrel-based cocktail party at the RNZYS-owned Lidgard House and a dinner party at the adjacent Kawau Boating Club on Monday evening. We were on the north side of this scenic and secure harbor, home to several safe anchorages. On the south side is Mansion House Bay, where Governor Sir George Grey’s home and grounds have been converted into a national park brimming with bird life and an occasional wallaby. Several island trails also

Thursday morning, we “broke camp” and headed south along Great Barrier’s scenic west coast. This was our longest leg—about 36 miles—so most of us chose to overnight at one of several inviting anchorages along the way. Sailing inside the Broken Islands and passing Whangaparapara Bay, with its island trails and access to hot springs, we continued to Tryphena Harbour and went ashore to explore the town. Vice Commodore Bob Medland (GLS) and his crew, meanwhile, hijacked a taxi for transportation to the east side of the island and Medlands Beach. If memory serves, this was also a Medlands taxi, so rumor holds that Bob and company may have been treated like royalty. Up came the anchor after breakfast Friday morning as we departed Great Barrier’s southwest coast on a beam reach across Colville Channel, making for the Coromandel Peninsula and a west side anchorage. Don and Marilyn Logan—our friends and hosts aboard Cool Change—once farmed in the area and knew every nook and cranny at sea and ashore. In fact, some of the critters grazing happily on the abundant green grasses issue 61  2019


Ponui Island.

of Coromandel’s rolling hillsides seemed to welcome them back. Don spotted their old house and workboat in a secluded cove, proclaimed that “this is as good as it gets,” and dropped the hook. We launched the dinghy and headed ashore to check things out, while Brad and Rosie Downey (PNW), our shipmates and longtime pals, remained behind as anchor watch (which, as it turned out, was not needed). I’d swear a lot of livestock ambled in our direction to say hello to the Logans, who still knew how to open every pasture gate in the place. Next day, Saturday, the fleet reassembled in the shallow waters off the Coromandel township wharf for a dinghy ride up the one-mile access channel into this quaint town for lunch at the Pepper Tree Restaurant & Bar. Time has largely stood still here. You’d almost expect Wyatt Earp to step out of the shadows. Though our meal at Pepper Tree was outstanding, the best part was an after-lunch treat made with hokey pokey, New Zealand’s signature concoction, from the ice cream stand down the street. Though we might have stayed here all day, the ebbing tide was not favoring our exit down the shallow channel to our waiting vessels just offshore. Once back aboard, the fleet was reminiscent of the man who got on his horse and rode off in all directions at once, with several of us headed to a “snug” in the popular Te Kouma Harbour area, passing lovely Smokehouse Bay along the way. A beautiful Sunday morning—comfortably warm, with blue skies and a light easterly breeze—seemed perfect for a little gunkholing and a favorable 12-mile sail past Ponui Island, 42


Food truck at the closing dinner.

which the Logan family has owned and farmed for generations, to our next landfall, Rotoroa Island, home to a Salvation Army drug and alcohol rehab center from 1911 to 2005 and now a conservation park. Securely at anchor in Southwest Bay, we headed ashore for a hike and some exploration at the former facility, now a museum. It’s a beautiful place, and frankly, I’d be inclined to ingest whatever booze and drugs might qualify me for admittance if it were still in operation. That afternoon, Don, armed with his knowledge of the island, jumped in the dink with his scuba gear, returning 45 minutes later with a bucket filled to the brim with scallops. Dinner was indescribable! Monday produced another storybook day, so after one of many swims taken along the way in 70-degree water, we braved

Coromandel town.

the high seas for the three-mile crossing to Waiheke Island’s Man O’ War Bay, site of our final event. We didn’t even hoist a sail. This is one of several coves on the east end of the island, somewhat exposed, but very popular in anything but a howling easterly.

Mansion Bay: Jane Schock (SOC), the author, Seymour Beek (SOC), Tom Schock (SOC), Rosie Downey (PNW), and Bobbie Daniel.

That afternoon featured a remote-control model sailboat regatta won (handily) by team Sunstone—ringers Tom Jackson (GLS), Doug Bruce (BOS/GMP), and David Mitchell, with Tom Schock (SOC) and a couple of proteges eking out a second. The beach party spawned by the regatta eventually morphed into a wonderful closing ceremony with cocktails and dinner at the beachfront Man O’ War Winery. The staff and caterers were exceptional. We wrapped up the evening with awards to a deserving few, an exchange of gifts (including a beautiful commemorative plaque to the SOC Host Committee from Glenfern Sanctuary, Great Barrier Island.

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Commodore Willauer), a tribal departure haka (yes, the Maoris are still in charge), and a last chance for friends to exchange hugs and well-wishes until the next gam. The Man O’ War venue and festive atmosphere provided a fitting completion to our cruise, which was blessed with a very friendly host country, outstanding cruising grounds, favorable weather, and exceptional camaraderie. As a bonus, 24 of us took a land tour of New Zealand’s South Island subsequent to the Hauraki Gulf adventure, engineered by Jim and Jill Morgan (SOC), but that story will have to wait for another day. The cruise disbanded Tuesday, March 27, and most of us had a delightful 20-mile sail back to Auckland to turn in our chartered boats, once more passing Rangitoto, which offered haere ra (“farewell, goodbye”). It was an honor, and fitting, to dedicate this adventure to the memory of Sir Peter Blake, a true seafaring icon and New Zealand hero, for his many accomplishments and contributions to the world’s maritime community. May his fabled red socks campaigns be recalled for all time!

The author with Peter Blake socks on at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

So concluded our “circumnavigation” of the Hauraki Gulf and the CCA’s 2018 cruise in New Zealand. The Southern California Station Host Committee is grateful to Commodore Willauer for providing the opportunity to produce this event for our fellow CCA members and their guests. ✧


Man O’War Vineyards, Waiheke Island.



It was an honor, and fitting, to dedicate this adventure to the memory of Sir Peter Blake, a true seafaring icon and New Zealand hero, for his many accomplishments and contributions to the world’s maritime community. May his fabled red socks campaigns be recalled for all time!


Man O’War Bay, Waiheke Island.

Peter and Harriet Pallette

Laissez-Faire, chartered by Mags and Les Crane (BDA).

ABOUT THE AUTHORS East meets West: A New England sophisticate hailing from Hingham, Massachusetts, (Harriet) and a Southern California beach rat from Newport Beach, California, (Pete) met nearly 30 years ago. They were married in 1996 at Newport Harbor Yacht Club, and have enjoyed multiple CCA and Newport Harbor Yacht Club cruises in various parts of the world ever since. They reside in Newport Beach, California. They are members of CCA’s Southern California Station, where Pete is currently rear commodore. They are pictured here on a glacier in New Zealand.

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ANTIPODEAN SUMMER AND ACQUAINTANCES AROUND THE NORTH ISLAND: The New Zealand Club Cruise and Other Meetings by Vicky and Tom Jackson, Great Lakes Station

Top: D’Urville Island, Tasman Bay. Bottom: Lin Pardey on board Sahula, Gisborne.



CCA yachts anchored in Man O’War Bay, Waiheke Island.


n every year of the 37 that we have owned Sunstone, there have been “firsts.” In 2018, this was taking part in a 12-day club rally, the CCA New Zealand Cruise around the Hauraki Gulf. This provided a focus for our summer sailing and not a first, but rather a fourth circumnavigation of the North Island of New Zealand. One of the joys of so many years cruising is that we “anchor up” with friends in many harbors just about wherever we sail, but we also make new friends sharing our mutual passion for the ocean. We believe we are the CCA’s only New Zealand members, and so it was important for us to sail the 625 nautical miles from our home port in Nelson, on the northwest corner of the South Island, up to Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. Our normal route north is up the west side of the North Island in one hop, since there is only one marginal harbor the length of that coast. Sunstone rounded Cape Reinga, the northern tip, close in and we sailed south, down the northeast coast to Auckland. The North Island was particularly green in March, after above-average, earlysummer rainfall. We berthed in Westhaven Marina in time for the opening event of the CCA cruise, at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and to meet with our crew and longtime friends from Camden, Maine, Doug and Dale Bruce (BOS/GMP). The harbors for the CCA cruise were not new to us on Sunstone, but it was new to be among so many CCA burgees. On reaching Bon Accord Harbour, on the west side of Kawau Island, we anchored in Mansion House Bay. The evening social events—a keg of rum and dinner at the Kawau Boating Club—were only

Vicky admiring her hero, Captain James Cook, Gisborne. issue 61  2019


Sunstone flying flags at Westhaven Marina, Auckland.

Friends in Sunstone’s saloon: Nick Orem (BOS), Rod Van Sciver, Doug Bruce (BOS/GMP), Dale Bruce (BOS/GMP), Nancy van Sciver, and Phyllis Orem.

two nautical miles away. The Mansion House, restored to conserve some of New Zealand’s colonial history and furnished with period furniture and artwork, is open to visitors. From 1862 to 1888, it was owned and lived in by Governor Sir George Grey. There were other attractions: though the wallabies were hiding, we did see some highly colourful peacocks. We also took a lovely walk on a well-found track through the native bush, in dappled sunlight and a few specks of rain. With Doug willingly chained to the helm, we all enjoyed the beat from Kawau to Great Barrier Island in 18–24 knots, as did Sunstone. Like most 1960s S&S designs, her windward performance in these conditions is remarkable. Great Barrier Island has always been a favorite destination for us. In distance, the island is only 50 nautical miles from Auckland; in lifestyle, it is decades away. Very slow internet access may be available in some harbors, credit cards have only been useable in recent years, and a supply ship sails just once a week into Port Fitzroy. If you want to purchase fresh produce, your selection will be limited for five days a week unless you grow it yourself. Great Barrier, with a population around 1,000, is the third area in the world, and the only island, to be declared an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association. With minimal mains electricity, stargazing is exceptional. We enjoyed the informal CCA party at the Port Fitzroy Yacht Club. Rarely had the bar and deck enjoyed the company of so many cruisers and probably never so many Americans. Our previous meeting with Sheila McCurdy (BOS) had been in a very different place—Newport, Rhode Island, in 1998, before the start of the one and only Bermuda Race in which Sunstone, with full crew, has competed. 48


Somehow, we manage to find Jim Forrest and Jeanette Denby on board Dancer all over the world: Pirates Bay, Tobago, December 1997; Banan Bay, Vanuatu, June 2001; Port Davey on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia, March 2007; and Marsden Cove, Whangarei Harbour, New Zealand, December 2012. The first meeting, in 1997, was just four months after our departure from England for our world cruise. They are our longest-standing cruising friends, a friendship that reconnects every four or six years; it did again in Port Fitzroy on Great Barrier. Throughout the 12 days of the cruise, there were opportunities to “update” existing friendships and start new ones. Nick and Phyllis Orem (BOS) we knew from a family connection; Tom’s sister and her husband know them well, and the two couples live 100 miles apart on the U.S. East Coast. Previous meetings had been around a dining room table, but this year it was in Sunstone’s saloon. David Mitchell, a visiting Royal Cruising Club (RCC) member, is a long-standing friend. David’s signature is perhaps

his attire—a sarong with T-shirt or dress shirt. He was joined on board Shandon by Sue Cockrem, though David often sails as a single-hander. We made new friends and enjoyed the company of Arthur and Barbara English (GLS) and Andy and Jo Jones (GLS) from Toronto. With similar-sized yachts, Sirocco and Sunstone became racers when sailing close together. As ocean sailors who have never sailed a yacht on fresh water, we found it refreshing to get to know our fellow members of the Great Lakes Station. Walking ashore at Te Kouma, near Coromandel, provided intimate contact with the essentials of some of New Zealand’s largest exports — cow’s milk and lamb. The final dinner on the eastern end of Waiheke Island, with all the cruisers anchored in Man O’ War Bay, was a fittingly joyous event for all the participants. In the afternoon, there was some aggressive competition—racing model sailboats from the beach. This required very serious concentration from all the teams, with fingers working the remote controls and eyes looking for the wind shifts and port/starboard incidents. With expert coaching from Doug, team Sunstone came out on top. All this racing, for the cruisers, built up a thirst to sample some excellent New Zealand wines with hors d’oeuvres on a sunny lawn, followed by dinner at the Man O’ War Winery. With seamless efficiency, the CCA organisers kept everyone happy, well-fed, and hydrated, and with a little assistance from

the weather gods, they even gave us some excellent sailing days. Having parted company with Doug and Dale in Auckland, we headed back east across the Bay of Plenty, around East Cape, a notorious headland with strong tidal currents, and into Poverty Bay for our first visit to Gisborne. Back in 1769, it was the first landing place in New Zealand for Captain James Cook on board Endeavour. The early explorers gave place names to reflect their impressions; there was not much available for Cook in this bay. Today the small port of Gisborne is busy, exporting logs grown in the surrounding hinterland and citrus, kiwifruit, and apples. We had our lines ready for tying up in the small marina. With a fresh crosswind and limited space, we knew it would require concentration; while Sunstone’s sailing qualities can hardly be questioned, berthing under power can be challenging. We identified our allocated berth and lined up for entry, with a fair bit of power to avoid being blown sideways. Two sailors from a nearby yacht jumped onto the pontoon and took our spring and stern lines. It all worked perfectly with the expertise of our linehandlers ashore. Suddenly we recognised Lin Pardey and David Haigh from Sahula, two sailors who can count thousands, indeed hundreds of thousands of miles sailing. Yet again we had found long-standing friends in a serendipitous meeting. Within the last year, perhaps our most unusual serendipitous meeting was in the far south, in South Georgia. With her varnished hull, we had chosen not to sail Sunstone south or east from Cape Horn in 2005. We did not want to meet ice in ocean waters, so we had sailed north and west from the Falkland Islands issue 61  2019


“ Over the coming winter months, we would remember the stories and

shared memories from our new cruising friends and from those we have known much longer. If you are willing to look, listen, and absorb, all of us can learn from time on the water.”

Rock art, Rotoroa Island.

for a while. In December 2017, we filled in this gap of our world travels, visiting South Georgia and the Antarctic peninsula the soft way. As our 337-foot cruise ship, carrying 102 passengers, entered Grytviken, once the largest whaling station in South Georgia, we spied a small sailing yacht tied up near the shore. Later that afternoon, we were sipping tea on board the 30-foot Wanderer III with Thies Matzen and Kicki Ericson. Sunstone and Wanderer III had never shared an anchorage, but the four of us had shared the oceans of the world in a lifetime of cruising and all the connections that makes, including both couples having been awarded the CCA’s Blue Water Medal. The afternoon on board, in the small saloon, reminded us of a cruiser’s life afloat in comparison to our pampered existence on our much larger vessel. The small, traditional yacht is wellknown for her previous owners too, RCC members Eric and Susan Hiscock, who circumnavigated and cruised extensively in her from 1952 to 1968. Over the three days in Gisborne we found new cruising friends as well. Along the docks was a Dickson-designed 55-foot cruiser, Fruition. Bill and Margi Thorpe had spent many winters in the “islands,” cruising to Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. Between cruises, Bill manages and chairs First Fruits, one of New Zealand’s largest fruit growing and exporting companies. Bill was more than happy to share his knowledge about growing, picking, packing, selling, and exporting citrus, kiwifruit, apples, and persimmons. The seafarers were equally happy to soak up more “earthy” facts. 50


Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand, is a harbor that we have visited many times. It was a very long “day” sail from Poverty Bay, from 0400 to 2000, before we berthed. The homes, shops, and public buildings are all from the 1930s. A major earthquake in 1931 levelled the city, and the new buildings all feature the distinctive architecture of the period. We were welcomed into the small marina and the Napier Sailing Club. The next leg for us, down the Wairarapa coast, is one we have come to respect. The coast is barren, desolate, rocky, and in parts uncharted, with no harbors. After five days waiting in Napier, with headwinds, we set off; a light beat for the first 12 hours changed, as predicted, to give a reach when the wind backed. A 34-hour passage took us to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, at the south end of the North Island in Cook Strait. “Windy Welly” lived up to its reputation. We were not in a hurry and with a berth in Chaffers Marina giving us a downtown “hotel room,” we enjoyed the sights of the capital, even if we did struggle to stand upright at times. Te Papa is the national museum, showcasing many artefacts and traditions from Maori and Polynesian culture and more recent New Zealand history. With free entry, there is no excuse not to keep going in and finding more to see and learn. Arty Bees Books is a place we love to browse around when in Wellington. In our view, together with Title Wave Books in Anchorage, Alaska, it shares our prize for the World’s Best Secondhand Bookshop. The problem is that we always come away with more to read. There are cafes around every corner in Wellington, serving an excellent caffeine fix. The

capital is called The Little Big City; it is compact and easy to walk around, with an interesting mix of older and newer buildings nestled together. On a rare sunny day, the shared pathway on the waterfront is a hive of activity: walkers, kiddy strollers, dogs, runners, scooters, wheelchairs, cyclists, pedal-powered trikes, and even skateboarders towed by their dogs. After seven days, we took our opportunity to escape. One longer day motor-sailing took us across Cook Strait to d’Urville Island. This is our favourite local cruising area from Nelson. On the eastern side of the island, we anchored in Catherine Cove, with good protection. The island is sparsely populated, but has some very sheltered coves to the east, west, and north. D’Urville is separated from the mainland of the South Island by French Pass, a deep but narrow, rock-strewn gut, with tidal streams peaking at eight knots. Given the tidal stream, it is essential to arrive at the turn of tide in your favor. Not only does the current flow fast, but eddies swirl and take the unwary sideways very quickly. Indeed, some smaller boats have been sucked under by these eddies.

The pass is not really suitable unless your boat has a reasonably powerful engine. We transited the following morning, our final day, at 0630. Out into Current Basin, at dawn, we set the main and motorsailed into Tasman Bay, our home waters. Six hours later, we came through The Cut into Nelson Harbour, to bring us back to our home berth in the marina. It was the end of April and the nights were closing in, with a chill in the air. The greens of the familiar rolling hills, the bluegreen color of the water, and the rounded pebbles and stones of the Boulder Bank told us we were home. Over the coming winter months, we would remember the stories and shared memories from our new cruising friends and from those we have known much longer. If you are willing to look, listen, and absorb, all of us can learn from time on the water. 2

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Tom was born in Germany, but grew up in New York. He began sailing at an early age in Rhode Island and taught sailing while in college. After service as a U.S. Navy officer, he attended Cambridge University in England, where he began offshore sailing and met Vicky through racing with her father. Vicky was born in Australia to British parents and grew up in England. She also grew up sailing in family boats and sailed her first offshore race at 16. She and Tom became engaged during a cruise from Spain to England in her parents’ boat. They were married in 1972. In 1978, the couple began living afloat, initially aboard a 31-foot Kim Holman design and then, from 1981, aboard Sunstone, their 1965, bright-finished, S&S 39-foot sloop. They lived afloat continuously until 2013. Despite being a “house-boat,” Sunstone proved very competitive racing offshore under all rating rules, even against much more modern competition. She won the 1985 Channel Race overall and her class in four of the eight Fastnet races which she completed with Tom and Vicky as skippers. She was twice part of the English team in the RORC Commodores’ Cup, which won this international event in 1996. In 1997, Tom took early retirement as principal of Portsmouth College and Vicky as assistant dean of faculty at Southampton Solent University. Two weeks later, they

sailed away to begin 150,000 miles of world cruising. They have crossed the Atlantic twice and the Pacific Ocean six times, five of those between New Zealand and Alaska. Their six-year circumnavigation was eastward, taking in the five great southern capes, but also reaching 61° N and 57° S. During their cruising, Tom and Vicky have continued to race, competing in the Bermuda Race and winning their divisions in the Sydney-Hobart Race and Swiftsure. Since moving to New Zealand in 2007, they won the Two-Handed Round North Island Race and completed the Two-Handed Round New Zealand Race. When not cruising, they now live in Nelson, in the South Island of New Zealand, with Sunstone berthed in the local marina. They have been regular contributors of articles and photographs to yachting magazines. issue 61  2019


South anchorage, Kangaroo Island. Inset: Port Davey, Tasmania.



Following Flinders: An Adventure in Southern Australia by Jim and Jean Foley, Great Lakes Station

issue 61  2019


“In the middle lies the intimidating Great Australian Bight, which captures the deep lows swirling north from the Southern Ocean to break upon its barren shores. This was the part that worried me.


fter a hard 33-day crossing in the Roaring Forties from Cape Town, Jeannie, my wife and shipmate of over four decades, and I arrived to kiss the dock in Albany, a small but well-serviced Victorian town on Australia’s southwestern coast. We were glad that trip was over, but after repairing and provisioning Onora, our 62-foot, Chuck Paine-designed, Kelly Archer-built aluminum cutter, I was excited about the prospect of following in the wake of Matthew Flinders, the English naval officer who surveyed these shores 200 years ago in competition with the French captain Nicolas Baudin. They left their hopscotched tracks, here English and there French, in the names they gave these islands and bays after their homes, patrons, and sacrifices. The distance from Cape Leeuwin in the west to Tasmania’s South East Cape is 1,600 miles, inhabited by many kangaroos and a few people, and noted for challenging sailing. We would cover long stretches of uninhabited sandy shoreline broken by the Recherche Archipelago, the Spencer Gulf, Kangaroo Island, Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay, and finally, below the Bass Strait, Tasmania. In the middle lies the intimidating Great Australian Bight, which captures the deep lows swirling north from the Southern Ocean to break upon its barren shores. This was the part that worried me. 54


Albany and the Southwest Coast On arrival in Australia, we were lucky to hand our lines to Aussie Mark McRae, who calls Albany home. There he makes a living running his small sailing school, making yacht deliveries, and skippering in the occasional Maxi race on the Russian Open 85 Alye Parusa. While I quizzed him about the coast ahead, Mark helped me get my ripped jib serviced in Perth and make a bullet-proof collar for our rudder bearing, which had sheared off mid-passage in the Southern Ocean. Mark also loaned us his Freemantle Sailing Club Western Australia Cruising Guide, annotated with hand-drawn charts and club members’ experiences. Mark dashed my hopes that Australian charts might fill in C-MAP’s uncharted patches and provide more large-scale detail. For many locations, the charts lacked shallow depths and, we would discover, had not all been updated for GPS, often showing us on dry land when we were still floating. On the plus side, the water is so clear that with an overhead sun, we had the eerie sensation of floating in air. Mark’s advice on crossing the bight was patience. Wait for an easterly gale, and as soon as the strong headwinds pass, leave on the veering northeasterlies. They would slowly lose strength as they moved to the west, giving us a run, and diminish over

Sailing upwind.

the next two days. We would then turn on the engine and push the throttle before the next gale arrived in our face. After a week in Albany, we left for Esperance, the next town and the last before the bight. I had picked uninhabited Bald Island for our first anchorage. It promised shelter from the wind, but the prevailing southwest swell from the Southern Ocean drove us out. We continued on to Dillon Bay, arriving after dark, where we discovered why Mark had shaken his head at our anchor. He had pointed to the local boats with unique anchors that looked like a plumber’s copy of a longhorn rack with “hook ’em” flukes. Believing that bigger is better, I was confident his fears were unfounded. Onora sports a monster 220-pound CQR. But this first night was our introduction to “carpet weed.” The CQRfriendly golden sand patches are easy to spot in sunshine, but disappear when the sun goes down. In the dark, we found only weed, and could not get the anchor to hold. In the end, we relied on its weight, the forecast of light winds, and the anchor alarm. We went to bed with the vow “anchor before sunset.” We were just underway in the early moonless morning when Jeannie uttered her first words of the day: “Something’s wrong.” I hate it when she says this. I deny, she persists,

Proper ground tackle for South Australia.

and I investigate. I reluctantly grabbed a flashlight and ducked into the engine room to find a blood-colored puddle of hydraulic fluid under the gear box. The engine was smoothly spinning, but the shaft and the propeller were not. Meanwhile, the current was carrying us toward rocks in water too deep to anchor. Jeannie rolled out our reacher to catch the few breaths of wind, while I issue 61  2019


Top: Rough coast, Kangaroo Island. Above: Chuck Paine-designed Onora, built by Kelly Archer.



reseated the gearbox O ring and poured in our little remaining automatic transmission fluid, which was not enough to wet the dip stick. We were fortunate that the outpost town of Bremer Bay (population 240), was just ten miles away. We ghosted in just as the Sunday sun came up. By 8 a.m., we had secured the entire supply of transmission fluid—three liters—purchased from the only open establishment, a gas station/convenience store/café. Our hungry hope for a shore breakfast vaporized when the proprietress reported that with six store customers, she was too busy to cook. By 10 a.m., the transmission was set and the wind promised a rare downwind 85-mile run to Investigator Island, our best wind in two weeks in this land of easterlies. “No way,” said Jeannie. “We will get in after dark.” It killed me to waste such a good wind, but the vow was still young, so we sailed just ten miles to the only other good anchorage in this wind, Doubtful Bay. The wind held the next morning, and we left early to make Investigator. On February 19, nine days out from Albany, we arrived at Esperance on the western edge of the sweeping Nullarbor Plain, which forms the land rim of the Great Australian Bight. It boasts of its Nullarbor Links—an 18-hole, par-72 golf course, the longest in the world at 1,365 kilometers. Truck drivers carry a couple of clubs to break up the monotony. An Aussie told me that nullarbor is an Aboriginal word for “no trees.” I did not mention that this also works in Latin. I

Onora at anchor in the Recherche Archipelago.

thought it a pity that Thor Heyerdahl, who sailed his raft, KonTiki, from South America to the Tuamotus to prove that the Polynesians came from Peru, had not stumbled across this. With carpet weed everywhere, we failed to get the anchor to grab and had to tie up on the windward side of the Esperance jetty, along with a fishing boat and a small tourist ferry. This required running lines around rocks to hold us off from bashing under the high commercial dock. I had hoped to gather some bight-crossing knowledge here from the locals, but I struck out. I was left silently wondering if there might be a good reason why no one seemed to cross it. After two fitful nights, Onora jerking just short of the threatening dock, our nerves gave out and, sorry to miss the weekend gathering at a famously welcoming yacht club, we left before sunrise in search of sandy patches in the jewels of this Recherche Archipelago coast. We sailed to Cape Le Grand and dropped the anchor in front of emus roaming on the white sand beach, backed by rocky scrub-covered hills. Each day was a reward for the many miles it had taken us to reach this sunblessed land. We spent peaceful nights in Lucky Bay, aptly named by Flinders, who sailed, without charts of course, through the dark night past the surrounding reefs and dropped his anchor, which held, and in Victor Harbor, where we were surprised to find a bloke surfcasting on the lonely shore.

“How is fishing?” I asked. “Just killing time, mate.” He was down from the Kalgoorlie goldfields in the Australian Golden Outback, 250 miles north. Our strange accents prompted him to question us and he was taken aback to meet his first-ever Chicagoans. “You don’t look like gangsters.” He had seen us in the water and cautioned against swimming. “A white pointer (great white shark) got a surfer right here not long ago.” This curtailed our swimming for two days. We moved on to Cape Arid and finally Middle Island on the eastern edge of the bight, where we explored the 180-year-old ruins of an encampment built by John “Black Jack” Anderson, an escaped American slave who was reported to be Australia’s only pirate. He could not have been a very good pirate. With a shortage of plunder on this barren coast, Black Jack’s gang went semi-straight by enslaving several women to render seals into oil and pelts. The island includes a shocking-pink lake and the Keyhole, a flooded canyon on the rugged south coast where Black Jack supposedly kept his boat. We sailed down to have a look, found the opening, and entered the deep limestone-sided, cavepocked hideaway. It gave good shelter from the wind, but not the relentless swell. We concluded that Black Jack could not have slept here, and neither did we. issue 61  2019


“Carol, Kangaroo Island’s radio operator,

also warned that heading east meant facing the washboard mix of wind, current, and shallows known as the Backstairs Passage between “KI” and the mainland.

The Great Australian Bight A month of worry had passed since our arrival, and we needed to get the bight behind us. Now we were on the precipice. Each day I downloaded GRIB files over the SSB to feed my MaxSea routing program. We set February 28 as the decision day. The Great Australian Bight is a 630-mile crescent of desolate beach, backed by the desert. With the exception of the occasional northerly scorcher, the prevailing summer winds wheel easterly around the top of a semi-permanent high that lives in the bight, offering a quick east-to-west trip, but we were going the other way.   East-bound mariners are advised to wait for winter, when the high moves north and westerlies arrive. Aussie sailor Roger McMillan admits that the bight can be done in the summer; in fact, it “can be crossed anytime … just don’t ask me to go with you.”   The GRIB files gave us two choices. We could leave the next day into the high and motor with light winds, or trust the computer model, wait a few days for a low to arrive, and head well south to squeeze between the low and the bottom of the high to sail the whole way.   We are seasoned sailors and know that deadlines are dangerous, so we decided to wait a day, which we repeated for the next three days. The forecast was surprisingly consistent. The computer’s track swung in a great southern arc away from land that would take us beyond our 250-mile insurance limit. I emailed our intentions to our insurer, Pantaenius. They quickly responded, “Good luck.” Trusting artificial intelligence, we left Cape Arid at dawn on March 3, dropped down to uninsured 35˚ south and found the sou’easter. As technology predicted, it ferried us north under poled out headsails and delivered us four days later to the far end of the bight. This left me believing, for six months, in using models for sailing—but that is another story. I was reading the excellent Flinders: The Man Who Mapped Australia by Rob Mundle at the time. Matthew Flinders named a number of places in the bight during his heroic trip of discovery in 1801–03. We had already passed Doubtful Island and Starvation Bay and were happy to round Cape Catastrophe, marking the end of the bight where Flinders’ survey crew disappeared without a trace. Top: Safely landed in Port Lincoln. Center: Port Victoria, once a destination for grain ships. Bottom: Port Victoria.



In the quiet, dark early hours of the fourth day, our anchor dropped in sheltered Boston Bay, and we fell into bed. We awoke at noon, happy to see Port Lincoln across the bay. The Spencer Gulf to Melbourne Our planned week stretched into nine months after meeting Miles Stevens—Port Lincoln sailor, entrepreneur and itinerant cruiser’s benefactor, who owned the agency from which we rented a car for a day. He invited us over for a family feast and refused further payments for the remainder of our stay. We were drawn in by this tuna-fishing port of 15,000, where fishermen, sailors, and isolated sun-seekers live. We loved the place. A hundred years ago, Port Lincoln, on the west shore of Spencer Gulf, and Port Victoria, on the east shore, were grain destinations for the great sailing ships that would race from Great Britain around the Cape of Good Hope. They would load grain here and return by way of Cape Horn, with the goal of reaching England before others arrived to drive down the wheat prices. We sailed the 60 miles across Spencer Gulf to Port Victoria where, in June 1949, the last of the grain sailing ships, Passat, loaded grain and rounded the Horn to England. This closed the book on the sailing merchants. We walked Port Victoria’s empty, sunbaked main street without seeing a soul. On our return, we went into what looked to be a deserted fish shop to buy a flathead for our evening meal. A rubber-aproned, white-booted young lady in a hair net emerged from the back. Assuming that we must be from the sailboat because few strangers stop here, she asked where we had come from. We then wandered back to the small store at the head of the pier that served as the post office, convenience store, and tea room. As we sat with our coffee, Timothy, age 87, introduced himself, pointed to Onora, and explained authoritatively that she had sailed all the way from New Zealand.  Timothy reminisced that as a young man “on this very spot,” he had watched bags of grain travel down the long-gone railroad tracks to the end of the old wharf—“not this one, the one lost in the storm”—to be loaded onto the last sailing ship. The brave brotherhood that had sailed these vessels formed the International Association of Cape Horners, which met in St. Malo each year until 2003. The last of the Cape Horners reportedly journeyed here to Port Victoria for a three-day farewell party to the disbanded Australian Cape Horners Society. On January 9, we shed a goodbye tear for Spencer Gulf and headed south to Kangaroo Island.   A big low had turned Kangaroo Island’s normally sheltered north coast into a lee shore. I called Carol, the island’s radio operator, who invited us to tie on the seawall at American River, named by a homesick sealing crew in 1803. Carol told us that our only choice for dinner was The Shed, the dining hall of American River’s Community & Sports Association, where volunteers cook up communal chow twice a week. Carol also warned that heading east meant facing the washboard mix of

It sure looks low.

wind, current, and shallows known as the Backstairs Passage between “KI” and the mainland. In a perfect world, we would wait for the right sunny day with 15-knot winds on our beam— but we were under pressure to meet Jeannie’s two nieces in Melbourne for the Australian Tennis Open.    When the 25-knot winds backed, we locked in our weather boards and climbed aboard in the bucking seas. Thirty-six hours later we arrived in Portland, which impressed Carol—“only racing boats with big crews make it that fast!”—but we had plenty of wind from the right direction and were motivated by a desire to beat the darkness and a wind change. A Port Lincoln friend, Ross Haldane, had called ahead, so Garry Kerr, a Portland-based crayfisherman, author, and filmmaker was waiting on the dock to take our lines and lend us his car. Garry came for dinner the following evening, Jeannie’s birthday, with a present—his maritime history DVD, The Last Cape Horners, with priceless interviews of the last of the Grain Race sailors. Garry had traveled from Port Victoria to the Aaland Islands in Finland to capture the recordings before the sun set on the last of these legendary sailors.   We left for Melbourne with “high wind” warnings pushing us. Now we were not racing. We traveled under just a staysail to time our crossing of the bar entry to Port Phillip Bay, known as The Rip. Twenty-four hours later we quietly glided across at slack water, not knowing the extent of our luck. issue 61  2019


At the time I was much more concerned about getting our 25-meter mast, plus antennas, under the 25-meter Bolte Bridge to reach the Docklands marina in downtown Melbourne. We had 12 hours to cover 33 miles and arrive at low tide at 7:33 p.m. The tidal range was about 0.7 meters so we should have inches to spare but, with 12 hours to worry, I wondered how much water a 30-knot southerly wind could pile under a bridge that far to the north. As we crept under bare poles, I called the marina, which thought we would be OK, but suggested I call the Coast Guard. They in turn suggested the Port Authority, which recommended CityLink, Melbourne’s tollway network. None wanted to give me the definitive answer. The last, CityLink, responsible for roads and bridges, said the bridge clearance was 25 meters, but the representative was baffled about my “at what tide” question and referred me back up the chain. But finally, CityLink took pity on my plea and allowed that the bridge was probably a bit higher. They suggested, however, going under at a 90-degree angle, adding, “Don’t forget that you are bound by law to call us if you hit it.” I discarded my thoughts of towing Onora sideways with the dingy using a midship bridle. We held our breath, waiting for the scrape and shattered plastic rain from our masthead light. Much relieved when this did not happen, we tied up at the Docklands 15 minutes later next to a boat with an even taller mast.   Our departure for Tasmania was delayed by a large sluggish low in the Tasman Sea and the high in the bight, which funneled a constant stream of cold southern headwinds. We remained in and enjoyed Melbourne. As Australia Day approached, com-

memorating the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships in Botany Bay, New South Wales, barges of fireworks arrived in our basin. The empty marina filled up with boats, barbecues, and beer. It was quite a show. Our windshift finally arrived, and we dropped the lines for the 500-mile trip down to southwestern Tasmania. But first, we had to deal with re-crossing The Rip, which I had been researching on the internet.   I had discovered precise how-to advice from Yachting Australia, including a suggestion that “one is well advised to take a course from the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria” before attempting the transit. I ignored this and waited for a lovely morning with a can’t-miss slightly-out-running tide and winds at my back. The seas buried the foredeck and green water hurled over our pilothouse to flood the cockpit. But nothing broke, and we were soon crossing the Bass Strait under sunny skies with sails flying from the poles. Tasmania As the light broke the next morning, Tasmania’s mountains appeared as a hazy serrated silhouette below the soft cirrus clouds. Onora moved in light winds, gently rocked by the southwest swell, one meter every seven seconds, telling me the new low was far away. On the second morning, we slid behind Breaksea Island and discovered Port Davey, 217 years after Matthew Flinders sailed by. This southernmost sheltered water on this rugged west coast must stand up against the worst fury of the Roaring Forties, fetching all the way from Cape Horn. Amazingly, in the 1940s, it was considered as the site of the Jewish homeland. Port Davey, Tasmania.



Left: Brian says these might be the world’s best sausage rolls. Right: Checking out the weather at the Hobart MetService.

Because of its unique flora, beauty, and advocacy of the late tin-mining naturalist Deny King (incongruous but true), Port Davey is part of the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site. With no roads, it is a magnet for the few adventurers willing to arrive by foot (six days from Hobart) or boat (24 hours from Hobart around a cape windier than Cape Horn). Unfortunately, it can also be reached by air—just 30 minutes on a twin Cessna—but there are no facilities for these camera-toting tourists. They must follow a boardwalk for a twohour taste of this wilderness feast that we were able to explore for a week. The area is a climax of mountain, water, weather, and sky. I wish Deny King had never built the airstrip, but he did, scraping the surface with muscle and a WWII surplus Caterpillar bulldozer so his Sydney-bred wife and children could fly to Hobart for medical attention, school, and a break. The aero club that provided free rides morphed into a small airline, which bought a too-large plane and successfully lobbied the government into closing Deny’s small airstrip—gambling rightly that Deny would instead lengthen it for the benefit of his wife and children. He did, and this bailed out the airline. Now our tranquility was broken by five pesky flights a day. From here we sailed on to Hobart to join Miles, our friend from Port Lincoln, and Brian and Eva Oldfield, Perth sailors on Zofia, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42DS, who, like us, had stopped and been snagged by Miles in Port Lincoln. Brian and Eva were a year into their dual quest of circumnavigating Australia and fulfilling Brian’s dream of finding Australia’s best sausage roll. Brian was especially fond of Hobart, where he believed he might have found the Holy Grail, announcing that “bundles of joy” were available at Jackman & McRoss, just up the hill from the dock. Brian, as our pied piper of pies, led us up the steps to the very busy bakery/café, where the flaky sausage-stuffed pastry is created. Two hours later, Brian (“don’t tell Eva”) insisted that Miles and I accompany him for more.   The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania is a special place for us. We were last here on February 5, 2005, and our return completed our second circumnavigation. This time Brian and Eva had appointed themselves our “advance team” and had hyped our reputation, so that expectations were out of control. We were hosted and toasted and decided to leave before the glow wore

off. Our next stop was the Hobart MetService, which predicted strong winds and swells from opposing directions and an uncomfortable start, but promised that this would settle down under the mid-Tasman high to allow for slow sailing or motoring for the last half of the 1,250 miles to Nelson, New Zealand. We considered waiting, but were under time pressure. We had a date to be in New York. The Cruising Club of America would present their Far Horizons award to us at their annual meeting on March 6. It was on the other side of the world, and I had thought we might ask them to mail it to us. Jeannie, however, given the chance to see grandchildren in New York, did not agree. And so, we left.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Jim and Jean Foley hail from Chicago and the Great Lakes Station. In 1993, they left the Great Lakes on Mara, a Mason 44, to complete their first circumnavigation, east to west. This story marks the end of their second circumnavigation, completed in 2015, a ten-year, west-to-east and south-to-north odyssey with stops in Antarctica and Svalbard. They now sail on Onora, a 62-foot unpainted aluminum expedition boat built for them by Kelly Archer in Auckland. She has big tanks and simple systems, and has survived hard groundings in Patagonia, Scotland, and the Baltic. They thank their boatbuilder.  

issue 61  2019



from a Mediterranean



by Cabot and Heidi Lyman Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post



“ We have had some great

offshore trips, but Heidi and I look back on this trip, sailing with three classmates from the University of Vermont, as one of our best, with the fun we had. Perhaps this was because we didn’t know much!”



off we sailed on Chewink, our 42-foot double-ended Hannadesigned gaff-rigged ketch. Back then, when most offshore cruisers were closer to 30 feet, our 120-mile daily average was not bad. Today, I’m pulling my hair out at such a slow speed. We have had some great offshore trips, but Heidi and I look back on this trip, sailing with three classmates from the University of Vermont, as one of our best, with the fun we had. Perhaps this was because we didn’t know much! One crewmember’s method of waking up the next watch was to use a foghorn in their ear. Running before a gale in huge seas, I told Ben at the helm to look at the awesome sea approaching us. He retorted, “No, I don’t think so!” Using Slocum as our cruising guide (still the best sailing book ever written), we decided on Horta as our destination on the way to Gibraltar. With clear days and good sun sights, I thought we might see Flores 60 miles out with its high peak. All day, the crew was looking for this supposed island, and the comments from the cockpit increased as the hours wore on: “Cabot has really done it this time—he’s gotten us lost!” and “Perhaps he should read a few books on how to navigate.”

Hearing enough of this and getting worried myself, I came on deck wondering what I had done wrong. I looked up and saw the mountain towering above us. Keeping my cool, barely, and figuring that the mist was far greater than we had realized, I suggested they look up and went below to cries of “We are saved!” We had no sun or stars for four days. Relying on dead reckoning, we found ourselves 40 miles south of where we thought we were. I blamed the crew for doing a terrible job of both steering and estimating our average course. Then, in Horta, I pulled out my pelorus and checked the compass: it issue 61  2019


“ In Cagliari, Sardinia, we had several local people aboard. We were a real anomaly back then, and a young American couple traveling on an old wooden boat with baggywrinkles in the rigging 20 years after WWII was incredibly welcomed.”

was off by several degrees on an easterly course. I was afraid what they would do to me if I told them. Heidi is our water captain, and we restricted the use of our water religiously. I checked the tanks on our arrival after 18 days at sea and found them almost full. I quickly screwed the plate back on and did not show the crew, as again I thought my life would be in danger. We were carrying 180 gallons, which, as it turned out, was ample for almost any trip. From the Azores to Gibraltar we had a mirror-flat calm and arrived sucking fumes. Still the longest motoring ride I have ever had. After Gibraltar, we landed in Marbella, just as the southern Spanish coast was becoming the vacation spot for the English. Moored next to us were four great English blokes who had sailed in from England on a Hilyard, one of the first wooden production boats and seen quite often as they sailed everywhere. They asked Ben (whom I literally grew up with), “How was it sailing with four men and a woman?” We all looked young and healthy, but Heidi especially so in her bikini. Ben’s response was “Oh, her? She’s just one of the guys!” Their response was, “Bloke, you’ve been to sea way too long!” In Almeria we discovered wine. For a few pesetas a bottle we loaded up the bilge, not realizing it would all go bad in a couple of weeks. On clearing into Spain, the customs and immigration agents looked at our small Maine state registration card (the size of a driver’s license) and asked, “All the way from America with just this?“ So, assisted by a fair amount of the cheap wine from the bodega, we (and fellow cruisers) pulled out some blank documentation papers with a large eagle across 64


the top and some impressive writing, and filled out a lot of statistics. It was funny and nonsensical, and it worked for the next two-and-a-half years as most people in Europe did not speak or read much English at that time. (However, when we finally returned to Gibraltar, I presented the same documents without a thought. The English official started to read them and I went into a panic, suddenly realizing this was the first person in two-and-half-years who could understand them. He read for a few minutes, looked at me, then read some more, put the papers down and said in a stern voice “What is this all about?“ We were in our early twenties on a tight budget and looking a bit ragged—not always favorites with the authorities. However, once I told him why and how we had filled these papers in such a ridiculous fashion, he loved it! The wax seal with a school ring insignia and a ribbon was the selling point.) In Cagliari, Sardinia, we had several local people aboard. We were a real anomaly back then, and a young American couple traveling on an old wooden boat with baggywrinkles in the rigging 20 years after WWII was incredibly welcomed. They asked us how long we had been married. When we told them almost five years, they all looked really sad and left us wondering what we had said. We finally caught on—we had no children! What fun to experience new cultures! We learned another lesson trying to clear out of Palermo. The rules stated that we were to check in with the port captains in most places to let them know we were leaving. It was a Sunday and the port captain was busy, in no way interested in us. Exasperated, he managed to convey that my clearing out was a lot of work, and why didn’t I just go. Realizing that you present a lot of work for other people has been valuable over the years.

Near Palermo, an older woman came aboard and asked us to her house for a glass of wine. We accepted and up the streets we went to a small apartment. She spoke a lot of English, but with GI slang in spades, and when we saw her apartment decked out in red velvet, we realized she had been of great service to a lot of lonely American soldiers. What a character she was! With its proximity to Yugoslavia (then under Tito), Brindisi was a small port of some importance at the time, with several ferries. A person we assumed was a dock worker helped us tie to the large commercial pier and then asked for a very large dockage fee. Because there were almost no recreational boat facilities back then compared to today, we usually tied to town or city docks, which were either free or about 25 cents per night. I pointed to the harbormaster’s office and suggested we walk down together and I would pay the fee there. I started off and found he was walking the other way happily whistling— he had tried and failed, no hard feelings! It is easy to fall in love with the Italians. An English family cruising in an old wooden boat cleared into Croatia, close to where the Russians were apparently keeping a small fleet under wraps. The customs and immigration officials were very suspicious of this family and their small children: deck cluttered with bicycles, paint peeling, and a lot of gear. A cruising boat normally looked pretty scruffy in those days. They looked at the couple’s charts and noticed the many handwritten symbols (updates made to Admiralty charts before printing used to be done by hand, and buoys and lighthouses were noted by hand as well). The officials were convinced the English family were spies. It took a couple of days for them to get things cleared up.

In Croatia, near Dubrovnik, Heidi’s father and mother joined us from Oregon for a couple of weeks. A double-ended gaff ketch was not a luxury vessel back then, but they were good sports and wanted to find the best restaurants to make up for the lack of luxury. The local markets teemed with good fresh vegetables and some meats, but because of Tito’s communist regime, the restaurants served primarily tasteless boiled food. We ended up eating on board! It was here in Dubrovnik that I met Irving Johnson when he pulled alongside, anchoring stern-to. He was famous and my idol, but as he was immediately inundated with officials and our U.S. ambassador, I wanted to give him some space and pretended not to notice him. After two days, however, I saw him from the corner of my eye as he marched off his gangplank and stormed aboard Chewink. With his hand out, he remarked that we were perhaps the only two American boats in that part of the Mediterranean and he damned well needed to meet us! Like a puppy dog latched on to your trouser, he couldn’t get rid of me after that. In just a few days he taught us more things about sailing on a gaff-rigged boat, including rigging, anchoring, and places to go. I watched him, at the age of 70, climb hand-over-hand up the mast! We had several dinners with Irving and his wife Exy. On the last night she looked at us with a tear in her eye and told us how she wished she were young again and could join us. We might have rock stars who do amazing things, but Irving Johnson was in another league—a real high point for us back then and today. In 1969, Corfu was a delight. We could tie stern to the city dock, along with a few other cruisers. With a limited budget, we usually ate on board, but every night we would take a stroll to sample the delightful desserts. All the small towns of the Ionian Sea were welcoming. We would often be the only cruising boat in any given port. Everyone had a relative in the United States. Did we know them? Our stuffing box was a problem. The norm in those days was to have an outside bearing and an inside stuffing box. The outside bearing gave up the ghost, so I found a small machine shop which fabricated small lignum vitae pieces perfectly formed to fit around the shaft and act as a bearing. With just a hose clamp holding it together, the repair lasted all the way back to Spain where I could haul out and where my father had a new stuffing box and bearing waiting for us. There was no sign of wear and it probably would have lasted forever. Looking for a place to haul the boat in Greece, we went a little north of Corfu into a small harbor to talk with the railway owner. The custom was to have a small cup of very, very strong coffee as you talked over a deal. I really dislike coffee, so Heidi thought it was quite funny.

issue 61  2019


Three generations of the Lyman clan. Today’s Lyman-Morse-built Chewink under sail.

her pictures of families and girlfriends, or to just to talk to an “American woman.” And I thought they’d been interested in our boat with its American flag! How silly.

We spent a winter at Club Nautico in Palma de Mallorca, the only marina in the main city. In Ibiza, we had snow on the deck and met some shady characters, but Ibiza was more to our liking. Palma was a better harbor, but Ibiza was more fun, with a small marina in a large town that was then largely undiscovered by tourists. It was a chaotic and exciting scene as kids our age arrived from all over Europe—the European equivalent of Berkeley or some of the funkier spots on Cape Cod, with a nude beach in Formentera and a great hippie scene in the old town, where bags, sandals, and locally grown food were all available. The U.S. Navy would often visit Palma for R&R, and a destroyer with a lifelong friend on board came into port. We pulled alongside, and the entire crew lined up on the rail to cheer and talk to us. That night the starboard watch rented a bar and we were invited. These were the Vietnam years, and the sailors were homesick and lonely. Heidi found herself sitting at one end of the bar with most of the sailors lining up to show 66


In Brindisi, there was a U.S. Air Force base of some importance, being not far from Egypt, Israel, and communist Yugoslavia. Heidi and a friend on the boat next to us wanted to get haircuts and some supplies at the PX on the base. They persuaded a young corpsman to take them to the PX, but as they were pulling away, my friend from the other boat and I jumped in the car as well: we had heard that the base had hamburgers, ice cream frappes, and peanut butter. This was not to be missed. The corpsman was a good sport, and my friend and I ended up at the base café while the girls headed to the hairdresser and the PX. This is when things got interesting. We were two scruffy guys with beards gorging on hamburgers. We knew our time was limited as the Air Force police arrived, then their commanders, and finally the senior man on the base—all wanting to know how we got in and why? The situation got quite heated as we stalled for time, waiting for the girls to get back. In 1970 the military was nervous about longhaired sailors having far too good a time. Just as we realized it was time to get out of there if we were to stay out of the brig, the two girls came through the door, all decked out in pretty dresses and stylish haircuts. The police and commanders, along with all the women and men in the café, stopped talking and stared. The police laughed with us and left—two smiling young American women had just completely changed the dynamic.    We visited Castellammare near Palermo, where we were told the Mafia originated. While there, in the middle of the

night, the temperature suddenly shot up 20 degrees with a very dry wind. We were obviously about to experience the famous sirocco—a powerful hot wind coming down from the mountains that blows very hard. Luckily, we were able to get more lines rigged just in time. In the morning, we walked ashore. All the windows were closed and we saw no one in the streets. The women all wore black and peeked at us through their windows. An eerie feeling, so we left pretty quickly. We’d been welcomed warmly in most ports when people saw our American flag—young Americans were a rarity and most people went way out of their way to talk with us. However, Castellammare just sort of closed up. I would imagine it is now a lovely town with exciting cafés.

crew member at the dock; in a couple of days he had read and understood all my navigation books and took over my job. Never underestimate a book by its cover. It took 21 days to Grenada in light trade winds with four of us on board. When we arrived in the Carenage, a number of old friends from our chartering days with Grenada Yacht Services gave us a warm welcome. After a short while, I understood their interest—they knew we had stopped in Morocco and wanted what we might have bought there! Well, that was another story! 2

In the Lipari islands, I managed to overtighten the highpressure line to the injectors. This was a remote place with virtually no shops of any kind, except a small farm supply store. Thinking I was going to have to sail back to Spain with no engine, I decided to just give the store a try. I learned quickly that almost all the tractors on the island used Perkins engines, and I walked out with the exact injector lines I needed—a miracle. Gibraltar was a treasured stop for all the cruisers (though there weren’t many of us), because Europe had not become refrigerated as America had. Gibraltar had a large supply of canned goods, beef and kidney pies, canned Danish hams, and lots of wine. We of course had no refrigeration, but with rice, pasta, and canned goods we ate pretty well. In addition, with a very strong American dollar, we could eat at local restaurants for little or nothing. The few cruising boats we did meet became fast friends. All were intrepid sailors with a minimum of equipment, which also translated into very few expenses. Most of us used standard galvanized wire, which we seized with oil cloth and marlin, and used baggywrinkles to keep the sail from chafing. One Canadian farmer in a Hilyard, which he had bought in England, had no idea how to use a sextant. When I offered to teach him how to take a noon sight, he said it did not matter where he ended up because he had not been there before. He used a time piece to record the setting sun for his longitude. Of course, under the guise of an inexperienced rancher, he was incredibly competent and resourceful. On our return across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, we stopped in the Canaries. This was a gathering point for sailors from the Mediterranean and Europe, who would wait here for the trades to appear—among them Paul Johnson and his little ketch Venus, Eric Tabarly, hippies cruising on a hope and a prayer, skippers on gaff-rigged schooners, Russians on fishing boats who drank too much, and hitchhikers from everywhere trying to get a ride. What fun we had. We picked up one

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Cabot and Heidi Lyman spent five years sailing and skippering boats in the Caribbean and Mediterranean after college. In 1978, they moved to Cushing, Maine, from Vermont. Planning to originally open a small shop at his house in Cushing to finish a Freya 39, Cabot instead found the old Morse Boatbuilding facility in Thomaston for sale with a couple of Jarvis Newman 46s to build. The facility soon became Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding. Lyman-Morse has since become one of the most highly regarded and successful yards anywhere, launching more than 110 vessels. Many Lyman-Morse boats have become seagoing legends. In 1987 Cabot and Heidi and their three boys sailed their Lyman-Morse-built Seguin 49, Chewink, on a three-year, 30,000-nautical-mile circumnavigation. Since then, the Lymans have sailed Chewink more than 95,000 nautical miles throughout the Pacific and Caribbean. In 2016, they received the club’s Far Horizons Award in recognition of their 150,000 (+) nautical miles of voyaging.

issue 61  2019


Fiona Finds (Mostly) Easy Sailing

to Portugal and the Caribbean Fiona in a Storm: Painting by Tom Lohre.


by Eric B. Forsyth, New York Station

he start of this year’s cruise was hardly auspicious; Fiona, my Westsail 42, began at the bottom, or, more literally, on the bottom. She was launched at Weeks Yacht Yard in Patchogue, New York, late on a Monday afternoon. A quick check of the bilge seemed normal, and we all went home. On Tuesday morning, she was resting on the bottom of the travel lift slip with water inside the boat about a foot above the engine. A panicked call from the yard at the start of the workday got me rushing down. Pumps had been dropped into the boat, but they would do no good until the leak was stopped. I splashed my way forward with water up to my thighs. I could feel quite a strong current coming from the head, and it didn’t take long to find a severe leak from a hose on the starboard side. I shut the through-hull valve. Now the pumps would be effective, and by lunchtime Fiona was floating again. The yard workers maneuvered the lifting straps back under the boat and by mid-afternoon she was back on the cradle where she had been the day before, considerably the worse for wear. I never put my finger on why the hose—a one-inch diameter manifold that fed water to the head and wash-down pump—detached. I had done no work on the forward head plumbing the previous winter. 68


The interior of the boat was thoroughly washed down with fresh water and detergent to remove the salt and oily scum. All the lockers were emptied, and the contents strewn on deck to dry in the sun. The 12-volt electrical system had destroyed itself by electrolysis, so the batteries were replaced and the backbone wiring rebuilt. All the electrical components were sent to specialists for rebuilding or replacement. The engine lube oil was recycled several times, and the engine was turned over by hand through several revolutions. The engine then started nicely, but we found the transmission was leaking fluid and had to be replaced by a rebuilt unit. All this work delayed the start of the cruise by five weeks. I decided to skip the original plan of sailing first to Newfoundland and instead head directly for the Azores, as the hurricane season was upon us and it was prudent to get into the eastern Atlantic as quickly as possible. The crew consisted of Tim Jones, a young man from a liveaboard family, and Neil Nash, an experienced sailor who had crewed with me before. The trip to Flores took 16½ days; rather lengthy compared to previous crossings. We had fine winds for the first week, a mixture of reaching and running, but when we were about 600

The engine is lifted out of Fiona.

nautical miles from the destination we encountered a slowmoving high-pressure cell that tracked our course. For days the sea was calm, the anemometer needle resolutely refused to lift off the peg, and we made good about 50 miles a day, much of that due to the Gulf Stream current, I’m sure. Tim learnt how to shoot a sight using the sun, but only after we fixed the sextant. When we came to remove the old sextant from its box, we found it had been inundated by the post-launch flood and the half-mirror was destroyed. After thinking about this problem for a day, I realized that we had a roll of aluminum foil on board which was quite shiny on one side. A little work with some scissors and we had a new mirror, although it only worked for the sun; the reflectivity was too poor to see stars.   After a few days at the rather spartan marina in Flores, we moved on to Horta. I touched up the painted Fiona sign on the breakwater wall. I added the date, 2017, to the list of visits,

making six altogether, starting in 1986. I also found a sign painted by the Cruising Club of America, which had a cruise in the Azores earlier in the year. One day we took a taxi tour to the caldera, the remnant of the crater of a massive volcano. From there we drove to the lighthouse of Capelinhos, which had been inundated in a volcanic eruption in 1957–58. On previous visits, only the top half of the lighthouse had been visible, poking out of the ash left after the eruption. Now it had been dug out and a visitor center built nearby. For a few weeks we enjoyed a pleasant meander down the Azores chain, stopping at every island. A highlight for me, an electrical engineer, was finding a very early hydroelectric plant on São Miguel, still preserved in original condition. From Santa Maria, we made a four-day crossing to Madeira. Madeira is a beautiful, volcanic island. We managed to squeeze into the crowded harbor at Funchal and enjoyed its great cultural life. Madeira was very popular with the pre-steam Royal Navy. No doubt they appreciated the fine wine, the climate, and, of course, the Portuguese ladies. One night, there was a wonderful classical music concert at the theater, which is modeled after La Scala in Milan. We also stopped at Porto Santo island for a few days. Its claim to fame is that Christopher Columbus married a local girl there. The leg to the Portuguese coast, the Algarve, is normally a beat to windward. Thanks to hurricane Ophelia, however, which was lurking several hundred miles to the northwest, the forecast predicted a fair wind and we had a great reach with 10–12 knots on the beam. After Ophelia passed, the wind died completely and we powered to the coast. About midnight on the night before we arrived, we crossed the sea lane to the Straits The crew for the first part of the trip: the author, Tim, and Neil.

issue 61  2019


A painting left by the Cruising Club of America earlier in the year.

of Gibraltar. We had to avoid four ships, the last being a huge cruise liner which passed a mile ahead in a blaze of lights. The loom on the coast was visible long before sunrise. We entered the huge marina at Vilamoura about 10:30 a.m. local time and before lunch we were tied up snugly in a slip, just yards away from a boulevard full of restaurants, shops, and tourists. We met some old cruising friends who had brought their boat to Vilamoura for winter. Lying just a few hundred yards north of the marina are extensive Roman ruins. There is a good bus service to Faro, and I particularly enjoyed that old walled town.

were trapped there for about ten days by strong northerly winds, sometimes reaching gale force. Sines was a Roman port, and the locals are proud of the fact that Vasco da Gama was born there. Finally, we got a break and made a quick dash to Cascais, near Lisbon, where I left the boat and flew home for Christmas.   When I returned in January, I was joined by new crew, Tom Lohre and Andy Brooks, both veterans of previous Fiona cruises. We spent a few days installing new equipment and stocking up. Then a high-pressure system moved in, bringing strong northerly winds for several days, which was a great incentive to leave at once for Madeira. Within an hour of leaving, we had to tie a reef in gale force winds gusting up to 45 knots. But the

Fiona’s sign painted on the seawall at Horta, Faial, Azores.

boat held together, and we sailed through the night as the wind and seas slowly dropped. The wind direction was almost dead astern, and the wind speed rarely dropped below 25 knots. We crashed through the four-foot swell, but the spray was blown away from the boat, which made for dry sailing. On the second night, the stars shone brilliantly in a clear sky. A waxing moon made the sea look like burnished silver; memorable sailing 300 miles northeast of Madeira. The next day, we rigged the whisker pole on the port side. The idea was to run wing-and-wing, which would be more Replica of a 1703 Russian frigate, Cascais, Portugal. Chapel of Bones: Ossuary in Faro, the Algarve, Portugal.

From Vilamoura, we moved west along the coast in easy stages. Portimao was the center of sardine fishing in times past. Now one of the old canneries has been converted into a museum, and they screened a fascinating film of life in the town in the 1940s. When the trawlers arrived in port, a steam whistle summoned workers to the factory, at any time of the night or day, since it was essential to get the fish in the cans as soon as possible. The sea caves at Lagos are another unique feature of the coast. I took a ride in a small boat into the caves, piloted by a very skillful helmsman. When a southerly wind developed, we rounded Cape St. Vincent and headed up the coast to Sines. We 70


The house allegedly used by Christopher Columbus, Porto Santo.

efficient than tacking downwind as we had been doing. But the gusty wind caused the jib to flog and threatened its destruction, so we furled it almost right away. The wind continued strong for the rest of the passage. In fact, we made the transit from Cascais to Funchal almost completely under a reefed storm mainsail, and we rarely ventured to set the jib. The last night, less than a hundred miles from our destination, we passed through a front. The wind almost died for a few hours and we experienced rain, lightning, and a wind shift from northeast to northwest. All this under a brilliant full moon that illuminated the storm-tossed waves as the clouds briefly parted. Then the wind came roaring back with full gale strength. Within minutes the wind peaked at 40 knots, the boat made an unintentional gybe, and all three of us were kept busy sorting things out. We made landfall on the small island of Cima with its welcoming light, and thundered down the coast toward Funchal with a shrieking wind on the starboard. Fortunately, the wind dropped as we headed for the harbor in the lee of a large cape. The only complication was that the mainsail was jammed by a point reefing line wrapping round a light on the spreader, but a violent tug got it free. We tied up at the old stone jetty, thankful to be on solid land.   I enjoyed Madeira again. There was plenty to do, and Tom and Andy had never been there before. Tom, a professional artist, got busy setting down his impressions on canvas. I visited the decaying Victorian edifice that is the headquarters of the Natural Park Service and got permission to visit the Selvagens Islands, part of an uninhabited archipelago lying between Madeira and the Canaries. Before we left, a strong storm produced 60-knot winds in the outer harbor, delaying cruise ships, but we remained safe and snug in the inner harbor. When it blew out, a sail of a little over a day brought us to a small bay on Selvagem Grande, where we attached ourselves to a large mooring buoy. The next day we dinghied to the desolate shore to be greeted by a game warden and two policemen, who helped drag the inflatable up a ramp. At the warden’s headquarters, the police filled out a form with details from our passports and the boat documentation. We were then free to explore the lonely island. The guidebook mentioned enormous flocks of migratory birds that visit the island and vast numbers of rabbits on the interior

plateau. Andy and I started the ascent of the steep cliff behind the headquarters building. The trail zigzagged up the 45-degree cliff for about a 300-foot vertical climb. I found it rough going. In recent years my sense of balance has deteriorated, and balancing on rough stones with a sheer drop to one side made me very uncomfortable. Andy is an experienced climber and bounded up the path like a mountain goat, delayed only by waiting for me. After about a half-hour we reached the top, where we found a path marked by small stones that led across the interior to a cairn at the north end of the island. The view was desolate. There were no trees, and the ground was littered by lichen-covered stones. A few black lizards skittered about, but we saw no birds or rabbits. We marched across to the cairn, snapped the obligatory photos, and made our way back to the cliff. After a very careful descent we returned to the warden’s place. He told us it was too early for the birds, and the rabbits had been eliminated years ago as they were an invasive species. The police gave us a bottle of beer, which was very welcome. We put the dinghy away, and after a quiet night set sail for the Canary Islands, about 150 nautical miles to the south.   A day’s sail got us to La Gomera in perfect conditions. The next day we wandered over to the largest supermarket in town and laid in all the liquids we needed for the Atlantic crossing: beer, milk, and juice. This was repeated the following day for all the nonperishable food items such as canned veggies and spaghetti. Shopping can be tricky, since shops and services all shut down for siesta between 1 and 4 p.m. Tom painted most days, either in the cabin or on deck if it was not too windy. The subject of his latest painting was Fiona on a stormy, moon-lit night. We filled the water tanks, did the laundry, and prepared for a sail to El Hierro Island. After some deliberation, we decided to head for Puerto de la Estaca at the northeast side of the island. Rumor had it that a new marina had been built. As we approached the island, I was astonished to see several

Tom painting in the main cabin.

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The caldera on Faial Island.

sailboats behind us, all heading for the same destination. This is a bit like seeing several Rolls Royces parked in the lot of a thrift store. Fortunately, there was room for everyone in the new marina, but we had stumbled by chance on a Canary Islands rally of 11 German sailboats, reportedly sponsored by a European insurance service organization. The planners of the marina had never counted on this, and there was only one toilet in the men’s room. In the morning we caught an infrequent bus to Valverde, the capital. Located a few miles from the coast, it is a steep climb to almost 2,000 feet. The guidebook said the street plan is almost unaltered since Columbus visited on his second voyage, although we found the town without much charm and caught the next bus, three hours later, back to the port. The next day we left for the Cape Verde Islands after lunch. Unfortunately, a disturbance to the northwest drove away the wind and we powered all night, not a good start to a leg that was over 800 miles long. Things soon changed. For two days, we beat to windward against winds that sometimes reached over 40 knots. Progress

was slow, and a prolonged beat is not the nicest point of sailing. We had a problem with a cracked bulkhead carrying the sheaves for the steering cables. The weather continued to be grungy, the wind mostly southwest or thereabouts. We tacked to take advantage of every change in the slant. Wind speed was constantly varying, and we reefed and unreefed as necessary. Ironically, I sailed the same leg, from the Canaries to Mindelo, single-handed in 2013 in about six days. This time it took nine and a half days. Clearly, we had been very unlucky with the wind this time. We picked up a good variety of fresh food at the great public market in Mindelo and set off across the Atlantic, bound for St. Lucia.    Once we were clear of the wind shadow of Santo Antão, which lies to the west of Mindelo, we experienced good trade wind sailing for days; steady ENE winds in the 15–20 range. We reefed the mainsail to keep the boat balanced and engaged the wind vane, which steered much of the time. Andy encountered the first flying fish he had ever seen. Are they flocks or shoals, he wanted to know? We passed the halfway point a week after


Within minutes the wind peaked at 40 knots, the boat made an unintentional gybe, and all three of us were kept busy sorting things out. We made landfall on the small island of Cima with its welcoming light, and thundered down the coast toward Funchal with a shrieking wind on the starboard.




leaving. Unfortunately, the wind speed then began to drop and our daily average sank. In addition, the wind veered, so that the rhumbline course became a dead run, not a good point of sailing for the vane. The Southern Cross was visible low on the port side after midnight. We celebrated the equinox as the sun’s declination moved into the Northern Hemisphere. Tom started taking sights to brush up on his celestial navigation skills. On our last night at sea, the waxing moon made a silvery sea as we slipped along, keeping a sharp lookout for coastal traffic. Since

town was completely devastated by a volcanic eruption in 1902 and lay in ruins for decades. It is now coming back to life with shops and a produce market. We left Saint Pierre at midnight for the Iles des Saintes, a small group of islands lying south of Guadeloupe. This turned out to be a wonderful overnight sail, with a beam wind driving us most of the way. Only in the lee of Dominica did we have to resort to the engine. We picked up a mooring about 9 a.m. at the port of Terre-de-Haut, where we toured Fort Napoleon

Apartments and hotels wrecked by Hurricane Irma, Saint Martin.

leaving the Cape Verdes we had not seen a single ship, but we expected more activity near the islands.   We checked into Rodney Bay Marina, which seemed little changed from my visit in 2012. Each morning we did some maintenance and became tourists in the afternoon. After a few days, we sailed overnight to Saint Pierre in Martinique. The

with its interesting display of 18th-century life in the French army. Pushing on to Antigua, the museum at English Harbour enabled us to compare this to the life of 18th-century British sailors. Neither looked very attractive by 20th-century standards! In Nevis, where Alexander Hamilton was born, we visited the Hamilton family home, now a museum. After a couple of days

Wrecks lined up on the shore of Trellis Bay, British Virgin Islands. issue 61  2019


Andy meets his first flying fish.


... we arrived at Long Island in mid-May 2018, completing my 27th Atlantic crossing.

there, we made a fast passage to Saint Martin, propelled by strong trade winds.   This is where a note of sadness entered the cruise. Saint Martin and the British Virgin Islands had been devastated by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Many of my familiar anchorages were littered with shattered boats, and onshore shops, houses, and hotels lay deserted and empty. Marinas were scarcely functioning. Even money was hard to get as ATMs were rare. We headed north from Jost Van Dyke to Bermuda. After enjoying a pleasant sojourn there, we arrived at Long Island in mid-May 2018, completing my 27th Atlantic crossing. ✧

Old cannons aimed at a massive cruise ship, Royal Navy Dockyard, Bermuda.



All that remains of the church on Jost van Dyke, BVIs.


The author meets the old seafarer, Vasco de Gama.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Eric Forsyth made his first transatlantic crossing with his wife Edith in 1964, and they sailed together until Edith’s death in 1991. Eric’s Westsail 42, Fiona, was delivered as a bare hull in 1975 and completed in 1983. He has sailed Fiona ever since. In the 1990s, Eric rounded Cape Horn and cruised Newfoundland and Labrador. From 1995 to 1997 he sailed around the world. Shortly thereafter he took Fiona to Easter Island and the Chilean canals, and crossed the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula. He returned home to New York by way of South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha, Cape Town, St. Helena, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. In 2000–01, Eric sailed to Spitzbergen in the Arctic, and from Norway to Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, the Caribbean, and Maine. Eric completed another circumnavigation in 2002–03. The cruise followed the track of the old clipper ships around the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin, and Cape Horn. After an extensive refit, Eric sailed Fiona to the Baltic, Brazil, and the Falklands. His subsequent voyaging destinations have included Greenland, Newfoundland, Labrador, the Northwest Passage, South Africa, and Antarctica. In 2001, Eric Forsyth was awarded the CCA Blue Water Medal. in November 2007, he received the Seven Seas Award from the Seven Seas Cruising Association.

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The Stockholm Archipelago, Russia, and Other Baltic Gems by Ernie Godshalk and Ann Noble-Kiley, Boston Station

This article is a sequel to Destination: Stockholm Archipelago by Ernie Godshalk and David Tunick, published in Voyages 2018. Golden Eye’s 2018 cruise included four weeks researching and planning for CCA’s 2019 Stockholm Archipelago cruise (scheduled to take place June 27–July 13, 2019) of which Ernie is co-chair, with an excursion to the Åland Islands; Helsinki; into the Finnish lakes; St. Petersburg (and, by train, Moscow), Russia; and Tallinn, Estonia. STOCKHOLM ARCHIPELAGO The primary cruising guide for the archipelago, Hamnguiden 8, lists 300 harbors with chartlets and photos. We estimate that there are well over 1,000 places in the archipelago where a yacht may comfortably—depending upon the wind direction— lie for the night. Cruise co-chair David Tunick and we have attempted to investigate each of these that might accommodate 20 boats during our cruise. (For ten nights of the cruise, we will separate the fleet of 40–50 boats into three “divisions” of 15–20 boats.) We have identified at least 50 harbors among which to choose, depending upon weather conditions, and narrowed that list to 20 top targets for the 14-day cruise. Cruise participants will also be free to select their own harbors if they wish. The inner archipelago (closer to Stockholm) generally has more protection from islands close together, high and covered with tall trees; the outer archipelago is more remote, the islands are farther apart, and they are lower with fewer or no trees. 76


Of the several criteria we consider in selecting harbors, one is the ability to swing on an anchor. Most Swedes “moor” by setting a stern anchor and tying the bow firmly to the rocky shore, which allows them to step ashore. However, in each of the harbors we have selected for the cruise, there is ample opportunity to swing on an anchor as is customary in tidal waters.

Stockholm As the cruise will start in Stockholm, the capital city of the Kingdom of Sweden, we spent time researching venues, intown marinas, hotels, and tourism opportunities. One possible reception venue is the elegant Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. The opening dinner will be at the magnificent Vasa Museum, and many of the boats will dock at the nearby Wasahamnen Marina. We have reserved rooms for participants at four hotels in or near

Clockwise: Grand Hotel, Saltsjöbaden. Ann racing a squall. Classic yacht Refanut.

Gamla Stan (Old Town). Stockholm is not a large city, with nice walks and a network of ferries that connects the 14 islands on which the city is built.

The final dinner for the entire fleet will be at KSSS’s primary harbor of Saltsjöbaden on the mainland, in the dramatic Grand Hotel.

The Archipelago

Commodore Salén and the KSSS flag officers have been extremely helpful in all areas of planning, including selecting harbors, charter boats, dinner menus, and shore activities. We spent a long August afternoon and dinner near Stockholm with several KSSS members who will join the cruise, discussing these aspects.

Midway through the cruise, the entire fleet will gather for two nights at Sandhamn, the archipelago sailing center of The Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS, using its Swedish initials). This location has some characteristics and feel of Camden, Maine, Cape Cod, or Newport, Rhode Island. We spent several nights there on three occasions, enjoying its excitement and attractiveness, discussing 2019 dinner and docking arrangements, and meeting some of the many Swedish friends we have made. The yachts are fabulous, including S&S yawls Ballad (owned by the family of KSSS Commodore Patrik Salén, who once owned Bolero) and Refanut (owned by the Wallenberg family).

During our four weeks in the Stockholm Archipelago this summer, we enjoyed one of the best—and most unusual— summers in Swedish history. The water warmed to 25˚C (77˚F) and we swam almost every day. Winds normally allowed sailing most of the day and were never excessive. It rained infrequently issue 61  2019


A classic Swedish skerries cruiser alongside Golden Eye.

Ann and angry birds.

Ann and Golden Eye at Långholmen.

(but spectacularly). Could it be that good again in 2019?

Åland Islands and Finnish Archipelago

Wherever we went, we were welcomed and helped when needed—except by angry birds in the remotest islands.

FINLAND: ÅLAND ISLANDS, HELSINKI, SAIMAA CANAL, FINNISH LAKES Sandwiched between our weeks in the Stockholm Archipelago in 2018, we ventured east to Finland, Russia, and Estonia. 78


The Åland Islands (an autonomous, Swedish-speaking area of Finland) are located halfway between Sweden and the Finnish mainland. These islands and the Finnish Archipelago, south of Turku and Helsinki, comprise a vast area for cruising, even bigger than the Stockholm Archipelago. We spent a couple of weeks in this area, often stopping for the night at the private harbors of Finland’s leading yacht club, Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK), of which Ernie is a member. One of these harbors is the

“The highlight of our cruise in the lakes was

attending a performance of Madame Butterfly in spectacular Olavinlinna (“Olaf’s castle”) in the town of Savonlinna, Finland’s opera center.

spectacular Blekholmen in the middle of Helsinki Harbor. We were invited for dinner at the home of the commodore and also dined with two past commodores.

The Finnish Lakes

Upon crossing the border into Russian waters, we received a call on channel 16 within five minutes requesting the name of our vessel and the number of people on board. In the Russian section of the canal, Russian customs collected numerous documents in quadruplicate, including a crew list and a copy of the vessel’s documentation. Farther on, Russian passport control carefully inspected passports and conducted a very thorough search of the vessel; in Golden Eye’s case, this included inspection of all cavities in the boat exceeding two cubic feet (some less) and videos or photographs of the same, about 50 in total. Russian authorities were polite but thorough and spoke little English.

The interior of Finland is largely water: a huge system of connected fresh-water lakes, 76 meters above sea level. The Saimaa (or Finnish) lakes can be reached from the sea only through the Saimaa Canal, which is entered through Russian waters at the eastern end of the Gulf of Finland. Midway through the canal, one crosses the border back into Finland. It is not necessary to have visas for the crew or advanced permission to transit the canal so long as regulations are carefully followed, including no contact with shore, and the vessel must stay in the designated fairway. However, the vessel and crew are subject to intense scrutiny by Russian (and Finnish) authorities.

Upon re-entering Finland, mid-canal, passports were stamped again, customs declarations filed, and the interior of the boat reinspected.

Before leaving Finnish waters, the crew’s and vessel’s papers are inspected by both Finnish customs and immigration. Passports are stamped, certifying exit from the country and the EU. The vessel files a customs report, listing the total amount of alcohol on board, a “high water mark,” to be rechecked when reentering Finland to confirm that no alcohol has been purchased in Russia.

The Saimaa Canal includes eight locks and seven opening bridges. The entire passage, from the easternmost Finnish port through the eighth lock in the canal, took 17 hours (0530– 2230), a distance of 68 nautical miles. Locks and bridges were opened with little delay, except one, at which we waited for an hour and a half for commercial traffic (a ship carrying lumber and a dinner-cruise ship), which has priority. issue 61  2019


Above and left: Golden Eye tied to a rock. Below: Split bow pulpit and ladder.

Mooring to Shore This is possible only in areas, such as the Baltic, that have no tide. It is slightly intimidating to those not used to it. First, it is necessary to select a point where the shore is bold enough to get someone ashore from the bow before the boat grounds, while at the same time being on the leeward side of the land so that the wind helps hold the boat off. Possible locations are clearly marked in cruising guides and often have rings drilled into the rock to which to tie. Almost all boats in the archipelago have stern anchors and most also have a split bow pulpit and bow ladder. Having selected an appropriate point ashore, the boat is brought to within about three boat lengths of shore and the stern anchor deployed but not tensioned. The boat is then brought to shore, stopped, and a crew member steps off with bow lines; this can be a bit tricky if the shore is low as the first step can be a long one. (It is much easier if the boat can be brought alongside another boat already tied to the rock or at least where there is someone ashore to take lines.) Once the bow lines are tied to rings, trees, or pitons placed in the rock, the stern anchor rode is tensioned to hold the boat off the shore but close enough to step ashore. The lakes are beautiful and pristine, and the Finns are dedicated to keeping them that way. Holding tanks may be emptied only at pump-out facilities, which also include separate equipment for emptying bilges. Even in the island harbors, dishes and people are to be cleaned only on shore and the wash water dumped ashore, not in the lake. The highlight of our cruise in the lakes was attending a performance of Madame Butterfly in spectacular Olavinlinna (“Olaf’s castle”) in the town of Savonlinna, Finland’s opera center. The setting is dramatic: a well-preserved three-tower castle, built in the 15th century when the area was part of the Swedish empire, but overrun by Russian forces in 1714 and again in 1743. 80


Our American flag was a novelty, and we were greeted in a friendly manner by everyone including Russian yachts. On one island, we grilled dinner and swam with four Finns, watched the sun set at 2245, then retired to their boat for vodka. The return trip in the canal was uneventful, with only one delay for commercial traffic. Mid-canal, we cleared into Russia, using our single-entry Russian visas. The Russians’ search of our boat was even more intrusive than the northbound one, although the officials were polite, volunteering a couple of English words, and they accommodated my request that they make a helpful phone call ahead to authorities who spoke no English.

Hermitage (Winter Palace), St. Petersburg.


Peterhof (Summer Palace).

En Route to St. Petersburg Our cruise in the Russian waters of the Gulf of Finland provided constant reminders of the long history of Russia’s quest for access to the sea and naval bases. Western Russia has only three possible routes to the world’s seas: 1) the historical route north to the White Sea; 2) ports on the Gulf of Finland, initially Vyborg and later St. Petersburg; and 3) via the Black Sea. The northern route, via the Northern Dvina River to the port of Arkhangelsk, 500 miles north of Moscow and north of the Arctic Circle, then further north into the White Sea and around Nordkapp, Norway, at 71˚ N, is long and ice-bound for much of the year. Vyborg’s harbor, in addition to being controlled by Sweden until it was seized by Peter the Great in 1710, is only about two meters deep, except where it has now been dredged. The Black Sea was, despite Peter the Great’s best efforts, controlled by the Ottoman Empire until Catherine the Great established the naval base at Sevastopol on the Crimea Peninsula in 1783. The strategic nature of that access has been reflected over history, notably in the Crimean Wars of 1854–55 and the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. Therefore, Peter the Great persisted in converting a swamp into the port of St. Petersburg and nearby naval base of Kronshtadt, the defense or defeat of which has been the object of battles ever since. Vyborg was the first Russian city that we visited and a marked change of scene from Finland. We attempted to approach the customs dock but were greeted with stone faces and clear—even in Russian—directions that we should go immediately across the harbor to the “yacht club,” where a gentleman—Iger, a retired Aeroflot pilot and apparently the

commodore—guided us to a mooring in front of the “club.” The Favorit Yacht Club consists of a wharf built many decades ago with large chunks of concrete hanging by rebar; a water hose ashore; electricity on the dock; and a sparsely furnished men’s toilet and ladies’ toilet—the latter barred with a crosswise boat hook, which the club caretaker scurried to remove whenever Ann approached. Services were limited but they did their friendly best to accommodate our needs. While hardly an outstanding destination for tourism or yachting, Vyborg is nevertheless interesting. In centuries past, before Peter the Great built his eponymous gateway to the Baltic, Vyborg was the only feasible access for the region’s commerce with Europe other than one far north of the Arctic issue 61  2019


Circle, past Arkhangelsk into the White Sea and over the top of Norway. From the 13th to the 17th centuries, the Swedish empire guarded Vyborg as a center of commerce and built the fort that dominates the town; in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Russian empire seized it for its strategic position in defending St. Petersburg; and Finland regained it along with its independence in 1917, then lost it again during World War II. Even after St. Petersburg became Russia’s major seaport into the Baltic, the opening in the mid-19th century of the Saimaa Canal, which gave water access to the interior of Finland and Russia, ushered in a new period of prosperity for Vyborg. It is evident that beneficiaries of this commerce included Vyborg’s architects: the city has many magnificent buildings, most built around the turn of the 20th century. Even on side streets, handsome edifices rise several stories. Some of these are well maintained; we observed new coats of paint being applied to already attractive façades. Others, while functional, have clearly not been maintained for decades, and large chunks of their walls lie in the streets. Yet others appear to be lost victims of the Second World War: largely roofless with towering, dangerous-looking fragments of walls, and barricades on the street to reduce injuries when they eventually fall; squatters within. Like any city, a family sits on a bench eating ice cream, couples stroll, and small grocery stores are nestled side by side. Bound south toward St. Petersburg, we overnighted at the small marina in Bukhta Dubkovaya. En route, we passed a large Russian Coast Guard ship underway and another Russian Coast Guard vessel—about 60 feet long with a pointy, highspeed bow and significant armament on the stern—tied to a substantial mooring. We could imagine several sets of eyes watching us on screens and through binoculars and anticipated seeing a high-speed RIB emerge from the far side for a boarding, as has happened to us in Germany and Finland, but continued on without incident. The final leg to St. Petersburg was long and unremarkable. Shipping traffic, mostly in Traffic Separation Schemes, increased markedly and the low southern shore came into view. As we approached the narrow gate giving access to Kronshtadt, home of Russia’s Baltic navy fleet since the early 1700s, and St. Petersburg, we were overtaken by a fleet of medium-sized military ships. We informed the Coast Guard of our plans to proceed to St. Petersburg and the number and citizenship of our crew. Having cleared into Russia in the Saimaa Canal, we did not have to clear in again, as do yachts arriving from outside Russia.

Russia’s Capitals, Past and Present St. Petersburg and Moscow met, in most respects, our high expectations. As anticipated by reading Robert Massie’s 850page tome, Peter the Great: His Life and World, the scale and magnificence of the czars’ palaces and Orthodox cathedrals and churches are breathtaking. By contrast, Harrison Salisbury’s 82


The Russian fleet approaches. Inset: Russian crew at attention.

The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad describes the city’s near obliteration. It is a remarkable narrative of a gruesome time in its history, from 1941 to 1944, when three million people in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) endured unspeakable hardship with fewer than half surviving. Their endurance is echoed in the love and passion the residents of St. Petersburg have for their beautiful city. We observed that passion at an outstanding concert followed by caviar, blinis, and vodka with local friends—na zdorov’ye! The Central River Yacht Club—the best option—provided adequate berthing and security, although it is next to a lively disco on a river used by various noisy vessels and has somewhat limited facilities. We moved to a lovely hotel in St. Petersburg for a little R&R—chilled vodka and caviar accompanied by a violin and piano!—and to be within walking distance of major attractions. In Moscow, we arrived by train at the Kremlin and Red Square on the day after President Trump’s meeting in Helsinki with President Putin, adding further to the drama of being there. Clearing out of Russia involved a wait of a couple of hours and another intensive inspection of the boat and our documents, but officials were polite and, once they finally arrived, speedy. Having cleared out of Russia, we exited the gates at Kronshtadt and soon observed, under the jib, a fantastic spectacle: 12 large, modern Russian warships, one a submarine, underway, single file, in tight formation in our shipping channel on a reciprocal course toward St. Petersburg, each with a plethora of flags and crews at attention along the rails. We complied with a polite request to proceed just outside the channel. Peter the Great, who founded St. Petersburg in 1703, created the Russian navy from scratch; in fact, he spent many hours building boats

The Man Who Makes Everything Possible Our cruise into Russia was facilitated—no, made possible—by Vladimir Ivankiv, “the man who makes everything possible.” For 30 years, Vladimir has been the representative of eight yacht clubs (including the Ocean Cruising Club of which Ernie is roving rear commodore-Baltic) in St. Petersburg. He provided the formal invitation and detailed guidance required to get Russian visas, was in helpful contact with authorities on our behalf throughout our cruise, gave or arranged tours of major sights in St. Petersburg, and took us shopping. We were delighted that he and his wife, Alla, joined us for a concert at Mariinsky Concert Hall (self-proclaimed as “one of the world’s finest concert venues” after re-opening in 2007 following a catastrophic fire), and Vladimir came aboard for our last leg from St. Petersburg to the island fortress of Kronshtadt.

Red Square.

Authors’ note: With respect to Saimaa and St. Petersburg, we offer thanks to Paul and Marty Rogers (BOS/GMP) and Jim and Jean Foley (GLS) for sharing their experiences (see their articles in Voyages 2014 and Voyages 2011, respectively), their advice, and their charts and guides.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS and ships himself, initially learning the skills in Amsterdam and then teaching them in Russia. He created St. Petersburg to establish a naval port on the Baltic; built Kronshtadt, on an island 15 miles west, as the naval base; and seized from Sweden territory, some of which is in what is now Finland and Estonia, for strategic defense of St. Petersburg. To witness this modern legacy of Peter was a jaw-dropping epilogue to our visit.

Estonia After clearing back into Finland and the EU, we sailed to Tallinn, the capital and largest city of Estonia (which, together with Lithuania and Latvia, comprise the Baltic states). As in all areas of this part of the world, history is measured on a scale far greater than that of the United States. Tallinn, then known in languages other than Estonian as Reval, developed as a walled city in the 13th century, but, despite its fortifications, control changed regularly. It suffered badly in World War II, but has been attractively restored and is now one of the bestpreserved medieval cities in Europe. Unseen by the casual tourist wandering through the old city is Tallinn’s technology economy: it is known as “the Silicon Valley of Europe,” is the birthplace of many international companies including Skype, and is a sister city to Los Gatos, California, in that Silicon Valley.

POSITIONED FOR THE CCA 2019 STOCKHOLM ARCHIPELAGO CRUISE In early August, we returned to the Stockholm Archipelago, which felt like coming home, to continue our research. We are eager to assist fellow CCA members in seeing this area next year.

Ernie Godshalk sailed Golden Eye, hailing port Manchester-bythe-Sea, a 1996 McCurdy and Rhodes-designed Hinckley Sou-wester 42, to Europe in 2010 and has spent four of the last nine summers on the Swedish coasts and in the Göta Canal. He is co-chair of the CCA’s 2019 Stockholm Archipelago cruise, post captain of The North American Station of the Royal Scandinavian Yacht Clubs and Nyländska Jaktklubben, and Baltic region roving rear commodore of the Ocean Cruising Club. Ann Noble-Kiley has sailed Passport, hailing port Manchesterby-the-Sea, a 1977 William H. Tripp Jr.-designed Hinckley Bermuda 40, from Massachusetts to Canada. She has crewed on boats between Massachusetts and the Caribbean and along the Indian Ocean coast of South Africa. She has sailed on Golden Eye for the past five summers in the Baltic, Norway, England, Holland, and Brittany. She and Ernie plan to sail Passport from Hampton, Virginia, to Antigua, West Indies. Ann holds a 100-ton U.S.C.G. license and a Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate.

issue 61  2019




by Louis Meyer, Essex Station

Strummer leaving Stonington, Connecticut.

“I’ve been speaking with many, many people, and they all say it’s crazy!” That’s my brother-in-law, Ted, talking about my plans to sail from Stonington, Connecticut, to the Azores. He’s a litigator—hates to lose an argument. 84


“So, Ted, how many of these people have done it?” Now he looks upset, but does manage the honest reply: “Well, none.” “So you’ll at least admit that you’ve been speaking with people who have no idea what they’re talking about!” I’ve dreamt and read about sailing across an ocean from long before I even had a boat or knew how to sail. I read the stories: Slocum, Chichester, Guzzwell, Moitessier … Spray, Gypsy Moth, Trekka, Joshua. The list keeps going. If Robert Manry could do it on Tinkerbelle, why can’t I do it on Strummer, my Pilot 35? Strummer was built by Hinckley Yachts in 1967. I’ve owned her since 1994, and I think I started prepping her for this trip before I knew I was actually going to do it. I’m sure she wasn’t designed for transatlantic sailing, but there’s no question that she’s a very solid boat. Heavy fiberglass construction, designed by Sparkman & Stephens to the old CCA rule. 35foot 9-inch LOA, 25-foot LWL, 9-foot 6-inch beam, 5-foot draft, and 13,500-pound designed displacement. She’s gained some weight, though, as she’s gotten older. I’ve added bigger batteries, electronics, radar, AIS, autopilot, wind vane, extra halyards, removable inner forestay, and check stays. A new carbon rig perked her up a good bit, but she’s still slow, wet, and tender compared to her modern sisters. But I always feel safe on her, and I think she’s beautiful.


The dream persisted, even strengthened. Why not celebrate my 75th summer with a single-handed crossing?


My kids, Neil, Todd, and Emily, and my son-in-law Gil, have all crewed with me on the return leg, and they all think a trip to the Azores sounds pretty good. My wife, Iris, maybe not so much; she’s siding with her brother Ted on this one.

I know she’s the right boat for my trip, because she’s the only one I own.

The 2017 One-Two was a tough one. A low pressure system hammered the smaller boats for five days and did some damage. Strummer and I survived with some wear and tear, but ready to continue on east. Mike McBee (ESS) and Dan Biemesderfer (ESS) joined us in St. George, and after fitting out we headed for Horta. Our plan was to sail a bit north of east and then make a turn to the right. Idyllic sailing for over two days, but then a medical problem made it seem the wiser choice to return to Bermuda. Everything turned out OK, but the planned crossing didn’t happen, and Strummer returned home to Stonington.

She’s proven herself in nine trips to Bermuda, seven of them in the Bermuda One-Two, the single-handed race from Newport with a double-handed return back from Bermuda.

The dream persisted, even strengthened. Why not celebrate my 75th summer with a single-handed crossing? I’ve got lots of canned food left over from 2017.

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The author with David Bridges (FLA) and Marilyn Doughty in Horta.

Horta seawall with Strummer logo.

So on June 7, 2018, Mike McBee helps out with some lastminute boat stuff. Mike, daughter Emily and her kids, and I have lunch at the Dog Watch Café at Dodson Boat Yard. And off we go. And it’s good sailing. And it’s fun. And then it’s not. Day 2: AIS fails Day 3: A GPS fails, but I’ve got backups Day 4: Two batten pockets rip, but I manage to sew them back up Day 5: I’m becalmed in fog Day 6: Now it’s strong headwinds and heavy seas, and I’m hove to Day 7: Good progress Day 8: Becalmed Day 9: Hove to I’ve got an InReach satellite text communicator. I haven’t felt lonely, but it sure is nice to get a message from a friend every so often. My son Todd picks up that I’m getting frustrated and texts me: “Don’t get discouraged. Keep going.” That does the trick, and I settle in and start to enjoy things.

Steve and Karyn James (FLA) and Barbara Watson (FLA) in Madeira.



Sure, conditions keep changing, and I’m taking in and shaking out reefs again and again, but I do have a few glorious days under spinnaker. A few more equipment failures, but nothing that couldn’t be dealt with. I didn’t catch any fish. And it was way more upwind work than I had hoped for.

Approaching Madeira at night.

Landfall in Horta on June 29. 2,300 miles in 22 days … not too bad really. Except it’s not exactly landfall. It’s blowing over 25 knots in the harbor, and no way can I single-hand Strummer to a slip. So, I sit at anchor for two more days, bemoaning my fate on the InReach. Scott and Kitty Kuhner (NYS) and Steve and Karyn James (FLA), friends from the Bermuda One-Two, hear my cries and put me in touch with David Bridges (FLA) and his partner Marilyn Doughty. They’ve recently arrived on their Valiant 40, Blue Yonder, from Bermuda, and they help me settle in and enjoy time ashore. Strummer gets her name and logo painted on the sea wall. Her crew relaxes. Repairs get made. And on July 6 we depart for Madeira. Another week of mainly upwind work and we make landfall late on July 12. It’s a dark night and the island appears as a necklace of glittering lights suspended in the black … truly beautiful. We heave to until daylight and then enter Quinta do Lorde marina and tie up to a float. Steve and Karyn James are there aboard Threshold with their guest, Barbara Watson (FLA). We all tour the island together for a few days. A great way to end the cruise. I make arrangements for Strummer, and I fly home. The plan is to return in January and sail back across by the standard route: Canaries to the Caribbean and then home to Connecticut.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Louis Meyer started sailing shortly after moving to Connecticut in 1975, after finishing training as a general surgeon. The purchase of Strummer, a 1967 Hinckley Pilot 35, allowed for the expansion of sailing horizons, and ultimately the realization of his dream to sail across an ocean.

Was it crazy? It was great! ✧ issue 61  2019


The Forgotten Islands

by Krystina Scheller-de Jong and Erik de Jong, Bras d’Or Station


hile the Aleutian Islands are a destination in their own right, their remote location and reputation for high winds, rain, and fog, even in summer, seems to keep them off most people’s itinerary. Or they

become a brief pit stop when crossing to Alaska from Japan, or going to or from the Northwest Passage. With 69 islands spanning 1,000 miles between Alaska and Russia, we decided to finally make the Aleutians the focus of our summer sailing season on Bagheera, our 50-foot steel sloop that Erik designed and built, and Snow Dragon II, an aluminum Koopmans 49 cutter owned by skipper Frances Brann, our friend and companion. 88


A view over Kovurof bay on Atka Island.

In mid-May, we cross from Sitka to Kodiak and begin making our way west along the Alaskan Peninsula to Akutan, our first stop in the Aleutian Islands. It seems fitting that we should arrive in Akutan Harbor with a gale nipping at our heels. The last time we were there, we were surprised to find a new-looking, well set up harbor without a single boat tied up in it. Considering we had spent the night marginally anchored, we felt a bit silly. At least our previous knowledge of the area gives us confidence to enter the harbor in the dark, even with the breakwater navigation lights not being fully functional. After dropping off friends and picking up another in Dutch Harbor, we continue to Mailboat Cove on the west end

of Unalaska, where our friend Art Christianson runs Chernofski Sheep Ranch. The ranch buildings are in a dire state and he is struggling to keep things going, so whenever we are in the area, we spend a few days helping him in any way that we can. This time, we repair a couple of his ATVs and go into the backcountry to round up sheep. With five of us and two fourwheelers, we manage to get 70 sheep back to the ranch. After we leave, Art will sheer them, butcher some of them, and check the health of all the others before releasing them back into the mountains. All the islands west of Unalaska are new territory for us. We leave Mailboat Cove, hoping to profit from the southerly winds. While the wind turns out to be too light to sail, the calm conditions are ideal for negotiating the reef entrance at Nikolski, a small native community on Umnak Island from where two of our friends are scheduled to fly home. However, Mount Cleveland, the volcano on the neighboring island of Chuginadak, decides to put out some ash, grounding all local air traffic. Our friends are told that there is a small chance the flight will be rescheduled for the following afternoon, but most likely they will have to wait 48 hours for the next flight to Dutch Harbor. The following morning, we hear a plane flying low over our boats. Our friends rapidly drop their breakfast and pack their bags, while Erik dinghies to shore to find out if it was the right plane. It is, but the pilot is in a hurry and does not want to wait. Erik asks one of the men in town to stall the pilot issue 61  2019


Mount Cleveland with an ash plume.

and requests an all-terrain vehicle to be sent down to the beach to pick up our friends. By the time Erik arrives back to the boat, Ellie and Nancy are packed and ready to go. We watch the ATV race up the hill to the airstrip, and moments later the plane takes off. Thinking they had just missed the plane, we are surprised when the ATV reappears without our friends or their luggage. One of the residents we met in Nikolski encourages us to stop at Kagamil, where his wife’s ancestors used to mummify their dead and leave them in caves. Even in mild conditions, swell pounds the island. We drop anchor in transparent blue

water on the east side of the island and use the dinghy to explore the bird cliffs. The rapid flash of white water hitting the beach is enough to tell us that landing on shore is not a realistic option, and we decide to gamble that conditions at Applegate Cove, on Chuginadak Island, will be more favorable for getting to shore. Applegate Cove is right at the bottom of Mount Cleveland, the same volcano that was putting out ash a few days prior. While the cove is far from a protected anchorage, the surf is only firmly stroking the black-sand beach instead of pummeling it. Walking on the fine-black-sand beaches and rolling hills covered

Anchored in Twin Bay, with heavy swell breaking on the beach.



in abundant tones of green, black, and yellow with numerous volcanoes taking turns peeking out of the fog, makes us feel as if we are walking on another planet. We have a windy passage to Atka, and as we near the Korovin volcano, the wind increases into the 50s with gusts of 60 knots. Bagheera’s rudder starts to make a clunking sound that progressively gets worse. Crawling to the bottom of the lazarette to inspect the steering gear does not show any evidence of a problem, but the sound continues and it’s clear we’ll have to get into the water to find the problem. At least Atka, unlike most of the Aleutian Islands, has a number of protected anchorages to choose from. Once at anchor, Erik puts on his dry suit and dive gear and jumps into the water to find the source of the clanging. It’s pretty clear right away that two bolts holding the pintle on the bottom of the skeg have worked themselves loose. They have been in place for nearly 10 years and well over 75,000 miles and have never come loose, not even on purpose for inspection. Underwater, Erik tightens the bolts back into place with a big socket and ratchet, and double-checks that no damage has been done. The next day, in mellow conditions, we move to an anchorage 40 miles away. To our amazement, the two bolts have worked themselves loose again. This time we remove one of the bolts, bring it above the water to apply five-minute epoxy to the bolt, and then put it back in place before moving on to the next one. The next 40 miles to Adak is in rougher conditions and this time the rudder stays, as it should. The epoxy fix appears to be holding, but for how long? We start looking for options to either lift Bagheera high enough, or for a place where we could dry her out far enough to get the skeg above the water. Of course, neither of these options is feasible in Adak. The big question is, do we sail 400 miles back to Dutch Harbor to do the repairs, or do we continue as planned to Attu with a rudder

Once at anchor, Erik puts on his dry suit and dive gear and jumps into the water to find the source of the clanging. It’s pretty clear right away that two bolts holding the pintle on the bottom of the skeg have worked themselves loose. that could potentially come loose from the boat? We decide to continue on, as we can always change our minds if the problem returns. Since we’re mainly moving in day trips, we make the short jump to Tanaga as soon as the southwesterly has passed. On our way to Twin Bay, with not even a light breeze to speak of, we transit a narrow, rock-strewn strait with strong current and opposing swell coming from the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The force of the water crashing onto the foredeck activates the remote for the anchor winch and pays out 20 feet of anchor chain. Needless to say, the anchor remote is stowed away once we get our wildly swinging 180-pound anchor back on the bow roller. Once anchored in Twin Bay, we take in the wide sandy beaches, intermixed with volcanic sculptures. The most impressive is known as “the Christmas tree,” and sits on a narrow pedestal at the entrance of the bay where the waves of the Pacific continue to erode its rocky limbs. We only spend one night being rocked awake by the violent swell before moving on to Kiska.

Bagheera sailing by Korovin volcano.

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Christmas tree rock.

The force of the water crashing onto the foredeck activates the remote for the anchor winch and pays out 20 feet of anchor chain. Needless to say, the anchor remote is stowed away once we get our wildly swinging 180-pound anchor back on the bow roller.

Until 1741, when Vitus Bering and Aleksei Chirikov arrived at some of the Aleutian Islands, including Kiska and Attu, during the Great Northern Expedition, the Aleuts lived in a relatively peaceful and undisturbed manner. But the area’s abundance of sea otter, fur seal, and arctic fox were of particular interest to Russia and shortly after the explorers’ arrival, fur traders began depleting the area of the very resources that were vital for the Aleuts’ survival on these remote islands. The next major upheaval in the Aleut ways of life happened in 1942 when the Japanese invaded Kiska and Attu, the two largest islands in the western part of the Aleutians, as a diversion tactic to draw U.S. attention away from the Midway Islands. The Japanese managed to occupy these islands for more than a year with as few as 8,500 soldiers. The United States forcefully evacuated most of the civilians living on the Aleutian Islands to camps in southeast Alaska, where many were exposed to disease and starvation, with no hope of being able to return to their native villages. Since WWII, the U.S. has kept military bases on the Aleutians. Adak, the largest base, was abandoned in 1997 and has since turned into a ghost town. Shemya, a smaller and much more remote island, is still in use by the U.S. military and is a no-go zone for civilians.

Volcanic formations in Twin Bay.



Amchitka is also off limits due to underground nuclear tests carried out on the island from 1959 to 1971. Seventy-four years have passed since WWII, but the lack of communities on many of the islands serves as a quiet reminder that the war changed the Aleutians forever. On Kiska, only the rusting ships and artillery remind you that the war is over. We spend five full days at the island and visit three different bays, from which we make long hikes. We read about a couple of Japanese mini-submarines that are allegedly still lying on the beach, but we are not able to locate them. But we do find lots of other reminders of the dark days on Kiska—shipwrecks, trenches with foxholes, derelict docks, wooden bridges that are no longer safe to cross, vehicles that are rusting away, caves that

Abandoned gun emplacement on Kiska Island.

were dug out in the cliffs, shovels, tent pegs, tent poles, cooking gear, shoes, and gun emplacements: the list goes on. At Kiska, we have a decision to make. Do we wait for the never-ending headwinds to abate so that we can make the 180mile jump to Attu, then wait out gales before we can make our way back east along the chain, or do we slowly explore the islands and anchorages that we passed as we headed west? It’s a difficult decision. Attu is full of Aleut and WWII history, the last island of the Aleutian chain that belongs to Alaska and one of the main reasons we decided to sail this area. But after exploring Kiska for six days, we decide to begin making our way back along the chain, leaving Attu for another time. The weather is gray and somber as we leave Kiska, but we do have wind from a favorable direction as we sail toward a submerged volcano where you can anchor in the crater. With only 50-foot visibility, we enter the kelp-covered southern entrance in the fog. The thick kelp halts our forward progress, and we need all our engine power to push through. Once inside

the crater, the winds pick up to 30 knots, with more intense gusts. We scan the crater, trying to find a spot where the wind is not amplified. There are lots of large rounded boulders on the seabed and getting the anchor to hold is challenging. Once it grabs, however, the anchor shows no signs of letting go. The fog teases us with glimpses of rock wall, but we never get to see the crater in its entirety. Though we have no desire to return to the town of Adak, it is prudent for us to top off our diesel tanks. The fuel truck driver insists he is too busy, and suggests we walk our jerry jugs back and forth from the gas station. Eventually we talk him into delivering, but once again he cites his busy schedule and will only take the time to fill our tanks with 100 gallons of diesel. Needless to say, we do not stick around in Adak and continue making our way east in day hops, with only the occasional overnight passage. Sometimes we stop to enjoy long hikes, and other times we hunker down at anchor while we get tossed around by a howling gale. Back on the islands of the Four Mountains, the little archipelago that includes Chuginadak Island, we experience clear, blue skies and temperatures hovering around 70°F! The “summer weather” holds, and we are also able to stop in Hot Springs Bay on Umnak Island, where we have a nice long soak before moving on to Unalaska. We stop to see Art again at Chernofski, intending to help him round up more sheep and repair equipment. When we find out that Art is relying on his last backup generator to run his four large chest freezers full of mutton, Erik decides to dedicate his time to repairing two of Art’s diesel generators. When the plane that is supposed to pick up Art is unable to land due to fog, we give Art, his sheep dog, and a load of frozen meat and sheepskins a ride to Dutch Harbor. Though we are still technically in the Aleutians, it feels as if this part of our journey is over as our

The wreck of the Borneo Maru, a Japanese warship that sank in a November storm in 1942 in Gertrude Cove on Kiska Island.

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Due to the large amount of rainfall, waterfalls are everywhere.

Natural hot springs on Umnak Island.



A rare clear and sunny day in the Aleutians.

focus changes to watching the weather conditions for crossing to Kodiak and across the Gulf of Alaska to Sitka. In total, we have explored 14 of the 69 Aleutian Islands, from which 11 are off-limits due to military activity or protected sea lion rookery sites; a small number, but one that will hopefully grow with future visits to the Aleutians. ✧

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Krystina and Erik started blue-water cruising as infants onboard their parents’ boats. Being drawn to Arctic waters, they met each other in Greenland and have sailed together ever since, either on the same boat or on separate boats in company with each other. In the winter, they live at their house in Sitka and in the summer, they sail in the Arctic or their home waters in Alaska.

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by Webb Chiles Recipient of the Club’s 2017 Blue Water Medal Thirteen days before this narrative begins, Chidiock Tichborne, my 18-foot open Drascombe Lugger, in which I had sailed from San Diego in 1978, hit something, probably a container, about halfway between Fiji and what was then the New Hebrides and is now Vanuatu. The little yawl pitchpoled, was swamped, and kept afloat only by her built-in flotation. The rig was badly damaged, leaving us to drift 300 miles to the nearest land. Unable to clear the boat of water because of the open centerboard case, I pumped up my inflatable dinghy by hand, tied the two boats together, and settled in to drift with the current toward the New Hebrides. I estimated our speed at about one knot. I calculated that I would reach land in 14 days. At sunset on the 13th night, I saw an island ahead. 96




he blackness was a cliff. I lost it for a moment behind the tattered remnant of mainsail. The time must have been nearing 3 a.m., and I was sitting in chest-deep water, trying to steer the swamped Chidiock Tichborne clear of the island, which after promising life when I first spotted it the preceding morning had become just another face of death.

Death at sea is protean. I had known it as water slopping about Egregious’s bilge off Cape Horn; as the innocentappearing crack at the trailing edge of the keel when I dove overboard in the horse latitudes; as disorientation when Egregious capsized in the Roaring Forties; as the sound of breaking waves when in the Southern Ocean I lay in my bunk and Egregious lay ahull, helplessly awaiting the wave that would finish her; as the incomparable force of wind south of Australia, ripping the surface from the sea, filling the air with water, making breathing all but impossible as it drove Egregious beyond hull speed under bare poles; as the suddenly flooded cabin during a cyclone in the Tasman Sea; as the slab side of the tug that almost ran Chidiock down off Tahiti. And now as this shadow, barely discernible against black sky and black sea. Through rain-streaked glasses, I caught a glimpse of the ghostly line of surf at the base of the cliff less than a quarter

Chidiock Tichborne leaving San Diego.

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Sailing in Tahiti.

mile away. If we drifted much closer, I would have to abandon Chidiock and take my chances in the inflatable. But I did not know if I could row the dinghy in such waves, now more than 10 feet high and growing steeper as the long swell from the open ocean touched the rising seabed below. Perhaps I had already waited too long. My body was filled with numbness and pain. I had been trying to steer Chidiock for 12 of the past 18 hours and for the last five hours continuously. The tiller and all of Chidiock but the mast were below water. There was an illusion of great speed caused by the waves rolling over us. One of the waves crashed through the jib and tore what was left of it to ribbons. We were “sailing” on the 20 or so square feet of chaffing patch on the mainsail. We were not truly sailing at all. I only hoped that by keeping the bow pointed generally in the direction of a broad reach, we might clear this first island. I had lost sensation from the waist down, except for agony when I bumped the ulcers on my feet and ankles against the fiberglass floor. Moving the tiller through the exaggerated sculling movements necessary to control the swamped yawl took both hands, which had also lost feeling. I smiled inwardly when I recalled steering Chidiock with a single finger. My back and neck were on fire. Always the fire smoldered and at intervals it flared into spasms of white-hot pain. There was 98


nothing to do at such moments but hang on to the tiller and wait for the pain to pass. Don’t fail me, body. Don’t fail before the sky begins to lighten. A wave loomed high above me, the highest wave I had seen from Chidiock, a wall of water as high as the yawl was long. Here we go, I thought. This one is going to break. Chidiock started up the steep rise. The wave lifted me from her. I clung to the tiller, no longer steering, just hanging on until the tiller pointed straight up and I was floating at arm’s length above the submerged hull. I was afraid not for Chidiock but for the dinghy. Where was it? Downwind where it would be squashed beneath the yawl? I was nearly at the soaring crest. I had to let go of the tiller. Chidiock turned beneath me, riding sideways up the curl. If only the oars weren’t washed from the inflatable. Then I was through, sliding down the foaming back of the wave. Somehow it did not break, and an instant later Chidiock and the dinghy came through unscathed. I floated back aboard Chidiock. Within a few yards, the comber disappeared in darkness, but I heard its roar as it slammed into the cliff. We were not going to clear this end of the island. There was so much noise—sails, waves, surf, wind—that it was impossible to know whether my efforts were doing any good.

Under her scraps of sail, I could not tack the yawl. I could not point any higher than a beam reach, which was not pointing at all, but merely Chidiock’s natural drifting position. Presumably I could gybe. I had not tried, for the wind was at right angles to the cliff and I was trying to clear the closer end. There seemed to be no advantage in gybing, and a clear disadvantage in that we would be in danger for a mile before reaching the far end of the island, rather than the 200 yards to this end. But as I hardly needed to remind myself, we were not going to reach this end. I pushed the tiller over, held it there, and waited. Another wave came and pushed Chidiock in the opposite direction from the way I was trying to turn her. I kept the tiller over and kept waiting. With the next wave, the rudder gripped and her bow swung slowly off the wind. The motion, once begun, was assisted by a third wave; with a fourth, the chaffing patch gybed, and from force of habit I shifted to the other side of the cockpit. The maneuver had cost distance. The cliff was now less than 300 yards away, and the waves were becoming steeper. I wondered if we had even a safe 300 yards, if rocks or coral did not lie hidden beneath the breakers. Chidiock was too low to provide an unobstructed view to the shore. I debated again whether I should abandon her and try to row free in the dinghy, since on this apparent course I was lengthening the distance to safety. Everything was “apparent” because I simply did not

Chidiock Tichborne after the pitchpole.

know. Only after long minutes could I form any impression of true movement. Part of me screamed to get into the dinghy before it was too late, and part remained calm and said to wait a little longer until it was certain we could not clear the island this way. Without warning a wave broke. Because she was already beneath the sea, Chidiock could not really capsize, but she rolled ponderously onto her side and I was washed away. My legs were useless, circulation so impaired that commands to swim brought no response. They trailed like vestigial appendages on whatever form of life I was evolving into, as I fought first to keep myself afloat inside cumbersome foul-weather gear and then to swim back to the yawl using only my arms. Chidiock Tichborne remained on her side. This view of her no longer seemed odd. If anything, in the 13 days since the pitchpole, I had come to have unlimited confidence in her. The sea could strip everything movable from her, toss her around like a toy, fill her with water, and she would patiently survive. My legs persisted in their refusal to function so I could not stand on the centerboard, but the weight of my upper body was enough to right the yawl. When I managed to get back aboard, she actually had less water in her than before.

“ Chidiock Tichborne remained

on her side. This view of her no longer seemed odd. If anything, in the 13 days since the pitchpole, I had come to have unlimited confidence in her. The sea could strip everything movable from her, toss her around like a toy, fill her with water, and she would patiently survive.” issue 61  2019


Dinghy and contents upon reaching land.

We had drifted closer to the island, but we also seemed to have drifted along. What was the direction? Days earlier I took the compass bracket to the dinghy in order to preserve it for my next boat. My exhausted mind worked slowly. With the coming of the first line squall last night— or rather, this night, but long ago, when I was resting in the dinghy—the wind had backed east, which meant that on a starboard reach we had been trying to clear the north end of the island, and now on port, the south end. I had thought that the current would likely follow the trend of the trade wind we had experienced for most of the two weeks adrift and tend north. But perhaps it divided. Perhaps there was a tidal variation. Perhaps all my struggling had been unnecessary. Perhaps if I had simply let us drift, we would have been saved by blind chance. For it was now obvious that we were being carried along the coast faster than we were being carried in. I could not yet be certain that we were being carried along fast enough so I remained at the tiller, more or less holding the bow in the right direction. Even if this did no good, at least it did no harm. Riding sideways up great curling waves just beyond a line of thundering surf, I fell asleep. My eyes closed and my head fell forward. Reflex snapped it back, which ignited the flames along my spine. Each spasm had been worse than the one before, and this was a summation. I wondered if it would ever end. Could so much pain come from a mere spasm? 100


Whatever the cause, the pain served to keep me awake until we sailed, drifted, and were carried safely past the island, and I was able to collapse into the dinghy and rest. Dawn was delayed by a squall. When it passed, I saw that we were drifting down a great corridor of sea, bounded on the north by a line of four islands, and to the south by a large island in the far distance and several close rocks, one of which was so white with guano that I mistook it for a sail. Six or seven miles directly ahead of us lay two more islands: one, a small, sheer peak jutting from the sea; the other, five miles long and with three 2,000-foot peaks, about which the squall line lingered. In the pallid light, all the land was gray and showed no sign of habitation. I pushed myself up and ate a breakfast of half a dozen crackers, raspberry jam, a can of pears, and a handful of peanuts, washed down with unlimited water. At the first sight of land, rationing ended. The need for energy far outweighed the possibility that I might not be able to get ashore and have to drift on. I even drank two of the precious bottles of Coca-Cola. After I completed this feast, I opened the navigation bag and studied the chart. It showed only two groups of small islands in the New Hebrides such as those surrounding us. One was too far north, so we must be among the other group, just 50 miles north of Port Vila, the capital.

I found some small satisfaction in having my dead reckoning proven accurate. I had predicted landfall in two weeks from the pitchpole, and here we were on Saturday, May 24, two weeks later to the day. My self-satisfaction was short-lived when I recalled the past night. I still had to reach shore alive. I stared back at the islands behind me. With the coming of day, I was not certain which cliff had almost destroyed us. I turned to the island ahead. Rain was falling on the peaks. People must live there, I told myself. Throughout the morning, waves marched forward regally and carried Chidiock Tichborne with them. I felt as though we were being escorted along a marble corridor in a great palace. The waves had not diminished, but now in deeper water, they were no longer breaking. The motion was stately, the mood solemn, as I lay resting in the inflatable and watched the nameless land come nearer. The size of the waves worried me, as did the nature of the shore. I knew little about the New Hebrides, except that it was at that time under joint British and French rule and was soon to gain independence and be renamed Vanuatu. Of a few things I was certain: Beyond the island ahead of me lay only open ocean for 1,400 miles to Australia; landing would be safer on the leeward side of the island; I must be on land before night; and I dreaded the physical pain of returning to Chidiock. At 11 a.m., I did so anyway. The ocean felt cold as I settled beside the tiller, perhaps because I was running a fever caused by the infection in my feet. With movement, circulation and sensation returned. A

necessity, but a mixed blessing. Who would expect that the feet are the body part to suffer most in sailing an open boat? The familiar needle-and-pin pains shot through them. They were swollen with edema. And the ulcers, particularly on both ankles, where the rotten skin was easily bumped, were filled with pus. The first moment of reimmersion was almost unbearable, but then my feet and legs went numb and I forgot about them. As I tried to sail Chidiock, the sun broke through the clouds and turned the small island bright green. For another hour the larger island remained shrouded, but then the sky cleared and it too turned emerald. And I saw a house. I could not take my eyes from it, the first outpost of man, which during the days adrift I had thought I might never see again. It was just a small house in a clearing on the side of the northernmost peak, and yet proof that someone actually did live on the island, and where they could live, I could live. A while later, a column of smoke rose from further up the mountainside, where someone was clearing brush. By then conditions had changed. Once again, no matter how I tried to sail, Chidiock was carried sideways by the current. If in the night the current had saved us, now the scales balanced, for we were being carried too far south, away from land, which now meant life, not death. When there were only three hours of daylight remaining, I knew that I could not get Chidiock ashore before dark, if ever. Sadly I returned to the inflatable, cast off, and began to row. The gap between the boats widened. The dinghy rowed well as I quartered wind and wave. I was still too far off to determine anything of the shore, except that midway along the island The route of the drift.

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mist filled the air as though from heavy surf. There was no question of rowing around to the leeward side. I had neither the time nor strength, though I was buoyed by the certainty that an end would come before sunset. As I rowed, I gazed back at Chidiock Tichborne. Perhaps her loss had been inevitable since the pitchpole. If I had been rescued by a ship, she would probably have had to be abandoned. And even if I had managed to maneuver her to land, if there were a reef, I would have had to let her go. But we had been through so much: 7,000 miles since San Diego. And at this very moment she was still sound. Despite everything, with a few replacements and a few repairs, she could continue the voyage. From only a short distance away, she was mostly hidden in the troughs, and I realized how unlikely had been the possibility of ever being spotted by a ship. Already she seemed well to the south on a course that would carry her outside the offshore peak. I waited for one last glimpse of her. There she was on a crest, torn sails fluttering, awash, valiant. I engraved this image on my mind and then deliberately turned away. For an hour I rowed hard, managing to get across wind and current. Then I rested and drank a Coke as we drifted closer. Individual palm trees became distinguishable, and a second house on the hillside not far from the first, but no other signs of man: no fishing boats, no village that might mark a pass or a landing.

Self-portrait, taken minutes after reaching land.

The waves started to build before I saw the beach and the reef. I was almost directly below the house, which stood perhaps a quarter mile back from the shore and a few hundred feet up the mountainside. The beach ran from the northern point, was obscured by brush, then appeared again for 200 yards of pure white sand, before being lost in a jumble of rock. For a quarter mile out from the beach lay the smooth turquoise waters of a lagoon. Life. And between me and the lagoon lay the reef. Our separate approaches to Emae Island.



When I was close to the surf line, I began rowing along the shore, searching for a pass. There was none. Soon we were around the rocks, and the shore and reef fell away to the west. I could see an unbroken line of surf, between three and five breakers deep, increasing in violence in the distance. I turned and tried to row back; but the dinghy was caught in the sweep of the seas. Suddenly the ocean changed color and I saw coral reaching toward me. Any place was as good as any other. The coral would slice me up, but if I could protect my head, I should survive. I turned in. At first I went slowly, trying to get a feel for the rhythm of the waves. I backed water as the dinghy trembled on a crest that almost broke beneath us; then I rowed as hard as I could. The next wave rose. Still rowing I noted the lovely translucent blue of the water as it climbed to the sky. I even had time to think that this might be the last thing I ever noticed. The wave toppled and threw us out, up, and forward. The dinghy’s bow was dropping, and I dove toward the stern in an attempt to balance it. Everything was roiling water. It passed and I came up for a breath, surprised to find myself still inside the dinghy, the oars still gripped in my hands. Another wave was coming and I resumed rowing. The second wave was worse than the first. My sense of direction was lost. I fell backward as the dinghy stood on its

head while the wave swept us along. I forgot my intention to protect my head with my arms, and rose once again with oars in hand, rowing. The third wave was smaller than the first two and less dangerous. I was able to keep my head above water, though neck deep in foam. Then it too passed and instinctively I was again rowing for my life. The moment when I realized that there was no need, that we were through, that we had made it without even a scratch, came abruptly. The wild ride over the reef, the days of doubt adrift, the solitary struggle, and now I was going to live. I really was going to live. Once again, I found myself chest deep in a swamped ship. Kneeling in the bottom of the dinghy, I rowed slowly across the lagoon. I was amazed that we had not capsized in the surf and that the oars had stayed in place. I owed much to that dinghy. If only I could have saved Chidiock Tichborne. A speck of color caught my eye. Several huts stood among the palm trees at the point; from one of them hung a line of drying clothes. Those pink and blue and white bits of cloth were symbols of normalcy that filled me with comfort. I drifted the last few yards. Sand grated beneath the dinghy. I stepped ashore, my dead legs collapsed, and I fell. I lay there laughing. 2



Webb Chiles is a writer and a sailor. Married five times previously, he has now been with his wife Carol for 24 years. He has authored seven books and hundreds of articles.  As a sailor, he has circumnavigated solo five times and has earned several world records. Long ago, he became the first American to sail alone around Cape Horn. Twice in his life, Webb Chiles lost everything. First over a period of years while sailing Chidiock Tichborne west around the world, so that when he was falsely imprisoned as a spy in Saudi Arabia in 1982, he did not own a single object, not a teaspoon or a T-shirt, that he’d had when he left San Diego, California, in 1978.  Then, during a single night in 1992, after his 36-foot She sloop, Resurgam, sank off the coast of Florida, he floated and swam for 26 hours and was carried more than 125 miles by the Gulf Stream before reaching an anchored fishing vessel. He is currently in the midst of a sixth circumnavigation on Gannet, an ultralight Moore 24. Webb Chiles was awarded the club’s Blue Water Medal in 2017 “for his five (and counting) solo circumnavigations, including one in an open 18-foot boat.” As for Chidiock Tichborne, she eventually came ashore on the same island in the New Hebrides where Webb Chiles and his dinghy landed and the voyage continued.  issue 61  2019


View of Pico from the volcano on Faial.



Closing with the Coast by David Bridges, Florida Station


itting in Blue Yonder’s cockpit at sea, reflecting on an amazing summer sail across the Atlantic, I soak up the joys and excitement as we close with the coast of Africa! Another continent, one I’ve never seen. This is heady stuff indeed for a sailing dreamer. “Closing with the coast”—a phrase that reeks of adventure for a mind full of stories about other sailors who have gone before and led me down this path. It means one has been away from land, spending time out there on the deep, blue sea, and is now approaching shore. One voyage is ending and a new adventure is beginning. How fortunate we are to be among those who are able to enjoy this cruising life. To be independent in a world that pushes us more each day toward dependence on rules and regulations controlled by others. Yet here, at sea, on one’s own boat, we make the choices ... what’s important to us? Where do we go without following lines on a road? We are less confined by man and instead work with nature, our physical water world, and our willingness to take risks. This experience leads to great personal, soul-satisfying rewards, and memories to take with us as we march through our time.

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But I digress ... I was writing about one such adventure for the two of us. Where does it really begin? In our case, Marilyn Doughty and I, like so many connections these days, actually began on the internet—, to be specific! Both of us have reached an age that some might think it’s time to sit back and spend more time watching others, like our grandchildren, having their own adventures. We both didn’t accept that, nor were we willing to sit home alone after the loss of previous mates. Fortune smiled on us, and off we went, the landdwelling widow with sportfishing experience, and the longtime frustrated solo ocean sailor missing his shipmate. Marilyn took a weeklong, hands-on course at J/World in Annapolis to learn about lines and sails, and we then headed to the Bahamas this past winter with loose talk of the South Pacific. In late February, sitting at anchor in magnificent, uninhabited Conception Island in the Bahamas, reality reared its head as it often does. We both have loving families, with those grandkids mentioned above. Thoughts of being away such long distances in the Pacific were somewhat problematic, and as they say in the dating world, geographically undesirable! I for one really desired to cross another ocean after having crossed the Pacific in 2001. Therefore, in Conception, we conceived that we would cross the Atlantic instead! That seemed somewhat closer to Virginia and more accessible. From that point forward, we had a plan. We sailed back to Fort Lauderdale for a road trip to Virginia Beach and family things. On the return drive to the boat from Virginia, I stopped in Green Cove Springs, Florida, to pick up our sailing friend, Staffan Agnetun, the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) port officer for the West Coast of Sweden. He had just finished storing his and Kicki’s boat, Balance, there for the summer. I was very fortunate to have him join me for the sail to Bermuda. We left Fort Lauderdale in mid-May after resolving a Max-Prop conundrum that had been a mystery all winter, but that’s another story. When departure time rolled around, the weather was the pits with squalls galore, but if we could just cross the Gulf Stream, we’d be fine. Ha ha! That’s the “working with nature” part of the story. Not pretty, and another fine example of the most dangerous thing on a sailboat 106


Pre-dawn surprise! Rocket passing over us one day out of Bermuda.

being a calendar! Normally I would have waited, but now there was crew with an airline ticket to Sweden involved and Marilyn flying to Bermuda to meet me, not to mention a major OCC rally in Horta in mid-June. All calendar-driven events. Nature only lives roughly by calendars some of the time! We ended up limping in during a driving rain in the dark to drop anchor in Lake Worth to dry out, lick our wounds, and regroup for about 36 hours, then off we went again. This time the trip to St. George’s went well, with only one day of squalls after crossing the Gulf Stream in good conditions. There was the delight of an unexpected rocket passing overhead in the predawn watch the day we closed with the southeast coast of Bermuda. 976 miles and six-and-a-half days.

closed with the coast of Faial in the Azores to arrive in Horta around 0300 local time, rafting up at the reception pontoon.

Clockwise from top: View of Pico from the marina in Horta, Faial; World-renowned sailors’ watering hole, Peter Café Sport, Horta, Faial; Typical lava stone walkway, seen throughout the Azores; Lava-walled vineyards on Pico, with Faial in the background.

Time in Bermuda is always a gift. Staffan and Marilyn swapped out, and we were hosted by fellow CCA members Bob and Betsey Baillie (BDA) of the beautiful boat Belair. We met up with other cruisers headed to the Azores as well. The weather came right about June 2, and we were off. This was Marilyn’s first ocean passage of more than one night. She’s a brave one! We were most fortunate, with wonderful sailing on a broad reach in light conditions most of the time. Other than one brief boat-shaking 40-knot squall, the voyage was a breeze. One other eventful thing we experienced along the way was being able to transfer a jerry jug of diesel to a family of sailors in need about a day out of Horta. They were indeed grateful. I’ve been able to do that twice now, once before in the Gulf Stream. We sailed 1,890 nautical miles in 13½ days to see Pico in the golden light of sunset. We

The almost weeklong OCC rally in Horta, held in conjunction with the centenary celebration of Peter Café Sport, was magnificent and wonderfully exhausting! The hospitality was outstanding. There were 46 boats, mainly from around the Atlantic but also vessels and crew from as far away as Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. There were daily adventures, such as hiking; a trip to the island of Pico, with the highest point in the Azores and its lava-walled vineyards; a bike ride down a volcano; tours of volcano and whaling museums; and trips in RIBs to see live sperm whales up close. As if this wasn’t enough, we were generously feted each evening with wonderful meals and hospitality by the town of Horta and José Azevedo of Peter Café Sport. José also gave us a personal tour of his family’s tremendous scrimshaw museum, made up of impeccable specimens collected by generations. Needless to say, we soaked up the celebrations like all sailors coming ashore after long quiet stints at sea. Of course, we also followed other sailors’ traditions, such as leaving a painting on the marina wall memorializing Blue Yonder’s visit. Besides, it’s supposed to be bad luck to leave Horta without doing that, so who are we as mere mortals to thumb our nose at the gods of good fortune? All told, Marilyn and I spent two-and-a-half months exploring six of the nine major islands in the Azores, with the exception of a two-week trip to the U.S. to one of those important family things alluded to above. What a gorgeous, issue 61  2019


Ponta do Castelo Lighthouse, Santa Maria, Azores.



Anchored in the Enseada da Abra on Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira.

lush archipelago. It’s filled with warm hospitable folks making awesome wine and cheese, surrounded by amazing hydrangeas bordering verdant fields on hillsides overlooking the deep, blue sea. Not even a limited description of the Azores would be complete without mentioning the roles of the Catholic church and bullfighting in people’s lives. I’m not sure those belong in the same sentence, but they both seem to be religious experiences for the Azoreans. This amazing archipelago is definitely a highly recommended mid-ocean respite for all eastbound cruisers. We had originally planned to go to Portugal, but like all of sailing, plans change. Plans are just a place to start anyway. We decided Africa and Morocco were calling instead, so off we went. However, one day out of Santa Maria and the Azores, the engine, and life, had another plan. There was a significant undetermined oil leak, such that four more days to Rabat seemed less wise than going just two days farther south to the Madeira archipelago. We sailed all the way and into the anchorage in a fabulous, wide-open bay in Porto Santo in the middle of the night. Sometimes not having your engine brings you back to the simple joys of sailing—forget the schedule and just live in and enjoy the moment. We awoke the next morning to an otherworldly, geologically fascinating island where we spent the next week catching up with old and new friends, and exploring the island and the engine. Mechanical help was less than confident so we sailed on to Madeira, the main island of the group, where we were in for more amazing sights. The two islands are only 30 nautical miles apart, but are worlds apart in characteristics. Our fellow CCA friends and forward scouts Steve and Karyn James (FLA) suggested that “Madeira is the Azores on steroids!” It is so true. The mountains are much higher, reaching over 6,000 feet within

sight of the sea, with Cabo Girão being the tallest cliff adjacent to the sea in all of Europe and third in the world. It is 1,900 feet high, and at the top you stand on a glass floor hanging out above the shore far below. Abdominal butterflies abound there amongst the human population! In between touring, I diagnosed the oil leak as a rear main crankshaft seal and had to order a new one from Europe. It arrived about 10 days later and took a day for me to install and get us running again. That was a first-time experience and an adventure in itself. The time waiting wasn’t wasted, as we enjoyed touring the stunning island and thriving city of Funchal. Steep slopes and tunnels were everywhere! Quinta do Lorde Marina, where we stayed, was more remote but very protected and beautiful. It was a joy. We were serendipitously fortunate to witness the two-day blessing of the Caniçal fishing fleet at the Festival of Our Lady of Mercy. Nearby is one of the most unique boatyards and storage facilities for yachts I’ve ever seen in my travels across two oceans. It’s under the airport runway! The vertical clearance is a little over 200 feet, so no need to remove your mast for undercover storage. Fellow CCA member Louis Meyer (ESS), whom we met in Horta, has his boat, Strummer, stored there while taking a break from his solo transatlantic adventures.   When doing a trial run on the engine repairs, we anchored in the beautiful Enseada da Abra for a swim in the clear, blue water, and to get the dinghy onboard for departure to sea. Marilyn spotted something swimming around the rocks that we thought was a seal. After observing from a distance for a while and noticing some rather curious behavior, raising the question as to its health, we decided to check it out a little closer. I donned snorkel gear, and Marilyn dropped me from the dinghy issue 61  2019


“Sometimes not having your

engine brings you back to the simple joys of sailing—forget the schedule and just live in and enjoy the moment.

near the rocks to explore. I found the seal sleeping on the bottom! It awakened lazily, then surfaced to breathe a couple of times with me following and taking photos. It was a monk seal of the Mediterranean type found here in Madeira. It is endangered, and one of the rarest seals in the world with only 30–40 here, mostly at nearby Islas Desertas. Further research with the Azul Diving Center put us at ease that it was indeed healthy and its behavior was normal. They sleep on the bottom and come up to breathe in a somewhat somnolent state, then return to the bottom and further sleep. What a treat!

Clockwise from above: View of Funchal, Madeira, from Cabo Girão, the highest sea cliff in Europe; Chá Gorreana tea plantation, oldest in Europe; Mediterranean monk seal (monachus monachus), world’s rarest seal. There are about 30–40 in Madeira.



Once again it was time to move on. Morocco had not been forgotten, and choosing Agadir instead of Rabat put us on track to continue further south toward Lanzarote, so off we went. And that brings us back to the beginning of this tale, but the end of this chapter—sitting in the cockpit once again, content in this cruising life. Agadir and Africa are just over the horizon, about 60 miles away, as we sail slowly, closing with the coast to time our arrival for dawn in a new world for us and new adventures, not to mention completion of another dream, a 4,000-mile summer transatlantic crossing by two young-at-heart, seasoned sailing citizens not old enough to “close with the couch”! It’s not time to settle in with the remote control for the television just yet! May there be many other coasts to close in our future.

What kind of olives would you like?—the Souk El Had in Agadir, Morocco.

Top: Taghazout, Morocco, a fishing and surfing village on the west coast. Middle: Giving Marilyn’s camel and mates a rest on the beach near Awrir, Morocco. Above: Motoring into the sunset, away from Africa.

Postscript: We have since spent over a week in Morocco. What an amazing culture and fascinating country. The people are warm and welcoming, and the sights are mind-blowing for a Westerner. We did a camel ride at sunset on the beach, visited souks, medinas, and kasbahs, and even saw goats climbing trees! It is well worth the journey. Now the lights of Arrecife, Lanzarote, are off the starboard side as we wind up our cruising for 2018 and close with yet another new coast in a new dawn to begin more new adventures.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR David Bridges has sailed for almost 50 years, the past 22 aboard Blue Yonder, a Valiant 40, hull 296, designed by Robert Perry and built by Valiant Yachts in 1991. She has taken him most of his 50,000+ miles to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, and into the Pacific for eight years. David has sailed to Australia and twice to New Zealand. He returned from the Pacific to cruise the East Coast of the U.S., and from Maine to the Bahamas and the Western Caribbean. In 2018, he embarked on his current trip across the Atlantic via the Atlantic islands to Morocco. Partner Marilyn Doughty hails from Norfolk, Virginia. She has spent many years on the Whatchamacallit, a 48-foot Ocean Yacht Sportfish. She has fished and traveled from the mid-Atlantic States south to the Abacos. Marilyn is a newly converted sailor—better late than never! 

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Hands Across

Cruisers Working to Raise Literacy

Levels of Eastern Caribbean Children

by Jane Glennie Babbitt t was going to be a laid-back winter of fun in the sun on Bravo, our J-46. Offshore from Camden, Maine, to Jolly Harbour, Antigua, and then cruising down to Grenada and back. But a January encounter in Falmouth Harbour put a different spin on our plans. Al Hickey and Maggie Salter (BOS/GMP) introduced us to Tom (T.L.) and Harriet Linskey (BOS/BUZ), and we learned about their visionary initiative, Hands Across the Sea. 112


In 1988, Harriet and T.L. sailed their backyard-finished 28-foot Bristol Channel Cutter freelance from Baja California to the Marquesas, through the South Pacific to New Zealand, and then eventually to Australia and Japan. On one of the other boats during the Milk Run “class of 1988� was an ophthalmologist and his wife, a surgical nurse, who would perform cataract and other surgeries as they visited the various remote islands.


sea This giving-as-you-go philanthropy inspired the Linskeys to think about how they might also give back. Fast forward now to 2007, when the Linskeys had just purchased a new Brazilbuilt 46-foot Dolphin catamaran, Hands Across the Sea, and were sailing her north through the Eastern Caribbean. Harriet, a former schoolteacher, suggested they visit a primary school in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. They were greeted warmly by the principal and teachers, but were saddened to see the lack of reading materials in that school and in others they visited. Investigating further, they found that child literacy was low, due largely, of course, to a lack of books. Schools provided textbooks, but budgets were too tight to buy reading books; and families didn’t have books in their homes, both for financial reasons and because adult literacy is also low. The Linskeys founded the nonprofit Hands Across the Sea, and this organization has grown into the largest, most effective child literacy organization serving the Eastern Caribbean. After learning about Hands over cocktails one evening, I accompanied Harriet on her visit to a few Antiguan schools where the program has established libraries. As a retired children’s librarian, I was blown away by what I saw: spaces carved out to accommodate a library; proud principals and teachers; excited children browsing hundreds of colorful new books; and vibrant murals livening up formerly drab walls. Left: St. Andrews School, Antigua. Below: Bravo under sail.

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Volunteers from the cruising community and a local boy painting the wall in front of Roosevelt Douglas Primary School.

Hands serves schools in the six independent countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)— Antigua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada, most of which we visited over the course of the winter. Dominica was devastated by last year’s hurricanes, and the roads were still so bad that the Dominican Literacy Link, one of a number of on-island people

employed by Hands to oversee the program on the island where they live, all with stellar education experience, couldn’t reach us to give me a tour of schools. One of the Hands-created libraries was right in Portsmouth, however, and Jeffrey, the current president of PAYS (Portsmouth Association of Yacht Services), put us in touch with the principal of Roosevelt Douglas Primary School. Cruising friends who’d also toured with Harriet in Antigua talked to the principal and offered to paint the front entry pillars and wall, and when we announced the project on the morning cruisers’ net, it attracted more volunteers. While the painters were painting, I helped the teacher-librarian organize the hundreds of nonfiction books provided by Hands Across the Sea. I found that because they’re so afraid of books being lost or stolen, many schools categorize all their nonfiction books in the reference section, so they can’t be borrowed. I gently pointed out that books on animals, construction vehicles, dinosaurs, and space are exactly the kinds of books that kids especially like to read, and it’s a shame to limit their access to those books. This one school project made me realize what Hands is up against: first, creating the libraries; second, making the books accessible to the kids. I spent several days working at that library, and was eager to visit more. It felt good to be of some use in Dominica, and to boost the country’s economy to the best of our ability—little things like picking up one of the new PAYS moorings rather than anchoring for free, buying produce from the market stalls in town, and attending the first post-hurricane barbecue hosted by PAYS. We heard similar stories from other cruisers, many of whom extended their visits to Dominica in order to offer volunteer service. Left: Soufriere Infant School in St. Lucia.

Above: Anse la Raye Infant School in St. Lucia: bagged books to guard against termites.



Rivière Doree Anglican School: tiny library in corner of third grade classroom.

The next Eastern Caribbean country on our island-hopping list was St. Lucia, and we had a relatively tame passage from Martinique to Marigot Bay after many days of gusty winds and high seas. While in St. Lucia, I visited several schools with the two Literacy Links on that island. At Anse la Raye Infant School, the Peace Corps volunteer, Jenna, was trying to get the staff to take over management of the library before she left. She’d organized the books in plastic bins for easier browsing, enclosing each one in a plastic bag to guard against termites and mildew (not an issue I’d faced working in Maine libraries). Each school presented a different challenge. Rivière Doree Anglican School is a “David and Goliath” library: The library for the whole school is a tiny space in a classroom, but the school had just won the regional reading award and was aiming at the national award. They’re achieving a lot with what little they have. Leaving St. Lucia, we opted for a long jump to Bequia, as there had been reports of theft at Rodney Bay, and other anchorages didn’t hold much appeal. We encountered strong winds and big seas leaving the lee of St. Lucia, and did some exhilarating surfing, seeing 15.1 knots at one point. We shook out the reef passing the lee of St. Vincent, but prudently retied it before exiting the south end of the island. The last ten miles of open ocean before we reached Bequia were again wild, with winds in the 20s, so it felt good to round up into Admiralty Bay. I took the ferry to St. Vincent to meet the Literacy Link for my tour of schools. We went first to C. W. Prescod Primary,

where the student librarians were sorting books that had just been returned. I asked them what they wanted more of, and wasn’t surprised when they said, “Mysteries!” They’re ready to move beyond Nancy Drew. At Calliaqua Anglican School, it was obvious the library needed work before it would be ready to open. Hands had just shipped new books for the first time, but the school was also struggling with sorting two huge boxes of used, donated books from well-meaning organizations, and on the shelves were more old, “donation-dumped” titles. The Caribbean is full Mt. Airy Reading Program.

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CCA members Sue Ewing (NYS), left, and Harriet Linskey (BOS/BUZ) read a Dora the Explorer book to children at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Primary School in Grenada. The school library was created with volunteer elbow grease and new books from Hands Across the Sea.

of these old books—books left over after a yard sale, the ones no one wanted. Kids don’t want them, either, especially when the donations for a primary school include things like Reader’s Digest Condensed books, Tom Clancy novels, and the Time/ Life Book of Perennial Gardening (really—that’s one I found!). The teacher in charge was worried about how to organize the collection in this very small space, but I assured her that all she needed to know could be found in the Hands Library Manual for Primary Schools. The manual makes it simple, breaking things down into three basic reading levels, and I gave her examples of books for the three levels. Since libraries are a fairly new concept in these schools, there are no trained librarians or even a good understanding of the operation of a library. Hands offers training in setting up the library, and staffing, operating, and maintaining it. The Literacy Links in each country provide these services. Schools are encouraged to make use of student librarians to give the kids more involvement in the library, and to ease the burden on already over-extended teachers. The Library Manual produced by Hands describes the whole process of establishing a library, from choosing and preparing a space to setting up a check-out system, and the Hands Student Librarian Handbook lays out the program for student involvement. Before we’d reached Grenada, I was officially a board member of Hands Across the Sea. I was so committed to its mission by that time, I couldn’t wait to get more involved. I visited more schools with the Literacy Link on Grenada. St. Joseph’s Convent School has a great library space with room to expand, but it’s in the basement, and when the air conditioning 116


isn’t on, the room is hot and humid. Electricity is so expensive that air conditioning must be used sparingly. The books are wonderfully displayed, almost all face out, which is a technique that encourages readers to pick them up—just like in a book store. Hands Across the Sea has donated to other literacy causes, including the Mt. Airy Reading Program in Grenada. The founder has transformed her garage into a library/reading room, and kids gather almost every Saturday with volunteers from the cruising community, the university, or other locals to help them with their reading. Until 2005 or so, most students in the Eastern Caribbean were essentially finished with education after grade 6, when only the top 100 boys and top 100 girls would go on to high school. The rest would attend meager rural secondary schools or try to find work, which is why adult literacy is low. In 2005, education reforms required all kids to attend high school; more schools were built, but that didn’t necessarily lead to improved reading skills. Hands Across the Sea has changed the future for thousands of Caribbean children and their families, and, by extension, their countries. Many schools had collections of books that had been “donation-dumped,” but Hands takes requests from school principals, teachers, literacy coordinators, local NGOs, and U.S. Peace Corps volunteers affiliated with Caribbean schools for books and teaching resources for their students, from preschool to high school. Things they really want. Hands orders from several large American publishers like Scholastic, DK, and Penguin, and several Caribbean and

How you can help: Visit for more information about the organization, including wish lists for the many schools

them that staying with the students and utilizing the library time for teaching library skills, enhancing the curriculum, or just encouraging independent reading is a valuable use of their limited time. Hands’ new Teachers Resource Guide to the Library should help considerably, as it offers lots of ideas for library time and many lesson plans. But while the challenges of increasing literacy can be daunting, the thrill of seeing a roomful of kids excitedly finding just the right book keeps me focused. We had a wonderful winter in the Caribbean, enjoying the brisk winds, marveling yet again at the glorious vistas of the tropical islands, meeting lots of other cruisers and countless locals—and this time, making a difference in their lives. ✧

Hands is helping. Click the donate button at the top to provide financial support, or visit Hands-OnPartners.htm to get involved as a volunteer.

specialty imprints, and the books arrive at the Harte-Hanks warehouse in Massachusetts in July. A small group of volunteers gathers to unpack, sort, and repack the 100,000 or so books headed to about 100 schools in the six Eastern Caribbean countries. I participated this year and had a fabulous time! The boxes are loaded on pallets and AIT Worldwide Logistics trucks them to Florida, where Tropical Shipping containerizes the shipment and delivers it to the Caribbean. The ministry of education on each island guides the boxes through customs, and with the help of the Hands Literacy Links, gets the boxes to each school. The challenges, other than funding, of course, are getting the teachers to bring their students for library time and convincing

Jane and Tom Babbitt

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jane and Tom Babbitt (BOS/GMP) have been cruising together for over 45 years, from Lake Ontario when they first met, to the Gulf of Maine and Nova Scotia, and along the East Coast to the Bahamas and offshore to the Caribbean with their little girls in 1988–89. In the fall of 2015, they sailed from Maine to the Chesapeake and offshore to the British Virgin Islands; that cruise extended south as far as St. Kitts, St. Martin, and St. Barths. The winter of 2017–18 was another offshore adventure from Maine to Antigua, down to Grenada, back up to the Virgins, and full circle back to Maine.

issue 61  2019


Sailing to Climb by Skip Novak, Great Lakes Station



Sailing by a tabular glacier. Above: Stephen Venables on the summit of Mt. Baume—one person at a time up there (2016).

“It doesn’t take a “sailing to

climb” expedition like the one I just finished in October to realize how the raw forces of nature can lay waste to well-made plans. It can happen to any of us who go avoyaging once we quit the land.

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Granted, sailing through the Southern Ocean to South Georgia does raise the bar of vulnerability, no doubt about it. And once you are there, what can be accomplished in the mountains is a gamble in the truest sense of the word. If totted up, our mountaineering failures over three decades far outweigh the successes. Note that we are not masochists. The successes when they came were sweet and well appreciated. Sometimes, though, at the height of the storm on land or sea, you do wonder. The well-known British mountaineer Stephen Venables and I have been leading groups to South Georgia and the Antarctic peninsula for the last ten years, using Pelagic Australis, my 22.5-meter, South African Shipyards-built aluminum expedition vessel, as a mobile base camp. Often, we have a group of five or six invitation-only experienced mountaineers, being supported by three voyage crew who spend the time while we are in the hills doing the coastal tour. It is a formula that has become a desirable routine—time off the boat for us and more space on board for them. The uncertainty of this game of chance in the hills is part of the attraction, but sometimes that uncertainty becomes the dominant theme rather than a prelude to achieving the objective. And years of effort are in this mix. In 2014, we had concocted a plan to start from the windward southwest coast, but that year it blew so hard we never got going and eventually defaulted to a Plan B in the north part of the island—climbing and naming the three peaks of the Trident Massif which lies astride the Shackleton traverse, a nice consolation prize, in fact. In 2016, we did complete the 65-kilometer ski traverse from the wild southern tip of the island, starting in Trollhul Bay and ending at St. Andrews Bay on the northwest coast’s central section, which is home to the largest king penguin rookery in the world. That year, we cherry-picked and climbed two major virgin summits along the sled route in a rare prolonged spell of high pressure. We were out for 16 days, which included six days stormbound in glacier camps. High adventure continued right through the final stages of getting back to the beach for the pick-up by Pelagic Australis. Getting up, onto, and down the Ross Pass is considered the crux of this seldom-attempted traverse. A low-slung col of 500 meters separating the Allardyce Range to the northwest and the Salvesen Range to the southeast, it is a natural venturi that cuts the island’s mountainous spine in half, square on to the prevailing westerlies. While the entire island is in the clear, the Ross seen from the northeast coast is usually cloud-bound, black, and threatening. Because this stretch of glacier is infamous for putting people on their hands and knees into extremis, it must only be attempted in settled weather, and even then, it is a gamble not to get caught out.



“What unfolded in 2018 was a

proper thrashing, dished out by the island weather, and we are now once again truly humbled.

Clockwise from left: The author and Stephen Venables high up on the ascent of Mount Baume, South Georgia (2016); Pelagic Australis at Grytviken alongside Pelagic, which was about to start a Shackleton traverse with descendants of the Antarctic explorer Tom Crean (2016); Rough landing conditions at Trollhul Bay (2016). In 2018, it was flat as a millpond. issue 61  2019


Sailing through the very narrow Bird Sound, with Edd Hewett piloting and Kirsten Neuschafer as a second pair of eyes.

In any event, you have to descend the Ross Glacier on the eastern downside, but unlike in 2005, when I did this route for the first time starting from the protection of Larsen Harbour, we went straight down to the beach into Little Moltke Harbour in Royal Bay for the pick-up. This was no longer tenable or safe in 2016 due to crevassing, seracs, and glacial recession. The whole landscape had changed dramatically in those 11 years. Instead, we opted for an ascent of the Webb Glacier, striking north off the Ross which connects to the Cook Glacier that leads into St. Andrews Bay—to our knowledge a ski and sled route never before attempted. This exploratory gambit had a sting in the tale while in view of the beach—we mistakenly skied down the true left bank of the Cook, thinking we would be back on board for afternoon tea, right into a cul-de-sac with a drop off at the end. At the same time, the weather changed for the worse. We had to stay put, stormbound yet again for two days, camped in convoluted moraine debris, hanging on in horrendous katabatic winds. By this time, we were getting a bit stretched. The last meal was raisins mixed with oats, mixed with dregs of pesto, and that was that. When the wind abated so we could move safely, we regretfully had to re-ascend 300 meters to the col and try the true right bank, which was luckily the key. It was a spectacular finish on the edge, and those virgin summits de-flowered were the icing on the many-layered cake of previous battles lost with the island.    132


Gale at King Edward Point.

The optimism that successful expedition engendered (and we quickly file the struggles and painful moments somewhere in the back of the memory bank) led us to believe we could do the same again this season. There are many more unclimbed summits still, in what must be one of the world’s most remote, and committing, exploratory mountaineering environments. There is no one to call for a search and rescue on South Georgia, and no airstrip. In the late winter month of September, we were again the only vessel on the island. In spite of what could be considered unattractive caveats, of course we had to return and

The junction of the Ross and Webb glaciers—when we found it. Below: Stephen Venables on the delectable descent from the Cook Glacier down into St. Andrews Bay.

fish, Antarctic cod, and krill, in their maritime zone. The overwintering contingent numbers 12. Across the bay, the industrial archeological remains of the whaling station Grytviken, now a museum, has a jetty for yacht use where we watered up and assessed our situation.

have another go. What unfolded in 2018 was a proper thrashing, dished out by the island weather, and we are now once again truly humbled. We had five weeks in hand from Port Stanley and the return. We got off to a good start, arriving on the island after a four-day downwind passage with some fine sailing. In 2016, we sailed directly into Trollhul Bay in fine weather, though with a swell still running on this very lee shore, and in spite of difficult landing conditions, we were off the next day for the traverse. No chance this year, as it was blowing hard onshore, so we defaulted to go north about the island, making landfall on the Willis Islands, through Bird Sound and down the coast to King Edward Cove, where the South Georgia government has its administrative base. This includes the British Antarctic Survey’s fish biology lab that studies the catch and advises the government on licensing for Patagonian toothfish, mackerel ice

Without an auspicious forecast, we waited on the north coast for five days, making day ski trips from various anchorages—enjoyable enough but as always, the pressure of the main objective was brought to bear. The clock was ticking. And then the forecast changed into a humdinger coming out of the east. This is a winter pattern, and it was predicted to be so strong and prolonged that the harbormaster offered us the jetty at King Edward Point, which would be in the lee. Most, if not all, of the northeast coast anchorages would be dodgy, if not dangerous, to shelter in and sailing along the coast basically unnavigable. That storm lasted a full four days. A lot of snow fell, and to top it off, King Edward Cove, facing southeast, was big enough to accommodate all the brash ice in East Cumberland Bay, discharging off the Nordenskjold Glacier. We couldn’t move if we wanted to, trapped by the ice under pressure from the wind. When the storm-force winds abated down to variable and the pressure on the ice lessened, we escaped incarceration and made a beeline for the southwest coast, south about, as Trollhul, usually prone to heavy swell, would be as flat as it gets in the shadow of that easterly storm. Five of us were put ashore with ten days of supplies and camping and climbing gear, all carried in sleds. We waved goodbye to our support crew and did two issue 61  2019


“Because this stretch of glacier is infamous

for putting people on their hands and knees into extremis, it must only be attempted in settled weather, and even then, it is a gamble not to get caught out.

relays of our gear up a steep slope to gain the Graae Glacier at 250 meters. It was a good start … that did not last long. Our first camp on the Harmer Glacier was a repeat of 2016. It snowed heavily, and over 48 hours we had 60 centimeters of snow, with more banked up around the tents. In 2016, we were stuck for four days in that same place. In these circumstances, there is an urgency to accommodate ablutions in some modicum of comfort. A simple snow latrine with a snow wall works in fine weather, but what was needed was a proper igloo—so we built one. My job was to be on the inside, and when Venables lowered the keystone in place but then refused to make a door so I could get out, I did question my popularity. In 2016, we did the same, though the construction was more of a teepee than an igloo, and subsequent googling of igloo-making before the 134


Clockwise from top: Camp Three on the Novosilski Glacier, where the team spent three days; King penguins, St. Andrews Glacier; Igloo building on the Harmer Glacier to make a palatious latrine (2016).

expedition stood us well. I liked the guy in his backyard in Chicago, making an igloo in double-quick time with only a foot of snow. We took 12 man-hours …. Finally the weather cleared on day three so we could move— just. The nightly weather reports via sat phone from Pelagic Australis were not great, but not dramatic either, so we still held out some hope of climbing something. We struggled, making heavy work of pulling the sleds through deep powder snow up and over the second col. Usually new snowfall on the island consolidates quickly with a wind or temperature change, but this time it didn’t. We were plowing a furrow rather than sliding on top of

takes the long view of the overall experience of attempt and failure not as time wasted but time cherished. There is a surfeit of canned and packaged adventure travel today, where assured gratification is by contract. Not so when the quest has failure always looming large. So, when your weekend plans are snookered by foul weather, just stay put on the hook, enjoy being forestalled by nature, and just listen to the wind whistling in the rigging. The author having a chat with a young bull elephant seal, Trollhul Bay.

the surface. This persisted for the next four days and we made little progress. With snow continuing to fall and high winds rendering visibility nil to poor, it was quite obvious that climbing would be out for all those reasons, plus a high risk of avalanche on the upper slopes. By day five, the journey became a hard fight to get to the other end, as we were now past an obvious bail-out point into Iris Bay on the northeast coast, not a popular option in the first place. Every now and then, it cleared briefly to reveal all those target summits along the Salvesen: Mount Dow, Smoky Wall, Peak 2089 (as in 2089 meters)—it needs a name!—and Mount Fraser, an attractive stand-alone peak hard by the south coast. For the time being, they will remain inviolate. Three more cols had to be crossed, among some desperate moments trying to erect tents in storm conditions. One night, all five of us spent the night in one of our three-man tents— nice and cozy, and guess who was the cook. I gave them a cup of soup each. Stephen Reid, a highly experienced mountaineer with many ascents in the Greater Ranges behind him, including four Greenland expeditions, admitted to me one evening as we were brewing up, that he was “now cured.” He was pining to get back to Cumbria to his partner, his cottage, and his horses. Skipper Edd Hewett and the crew on board were now getting anxious for our return, to make the plane at Mount Pleasant Airport in the Falklands on the following Saturday. We were horribly late. The two nights in a maze of seracs and crevasses at the junction of the Ross and Webb glaciers (in nil visibility we were not sure exactly where we were) was finally the turning point, when we did a bold “up and over” a ridge, landed on the Webb in fine weather which continued down the Cook Glacier, and skied right through the king penguin rookery, staying on our skis all the way to the dinghy landing. We arrived at the beach under a dramatic South Georgia sunset of pink, red, and orange lenticular flying saucers. The next morning, we were off straight away to Stanley, and arrived with a day to spare. How lucky we are to be able to play this game of Russian roulette on land and sea, where success is never guaranteed, where patience wins out, when one

About the Author Skip Novak is perhaps best known for his participation in four Whitbread Round the World Yacht Races since 1977. But he is also a mountaineer, and, wishing to combine his mountaineering with sailing, he built the expedition yacht Pelagic in Southampton, England, in 1987. He has since spent every season in Antarctic waters. In 2002-03, Skip managed the construction in South Africa of his new Pelagic Australis, a 23-meter, purpose-built expedition vessel for high-latitude sailing in order to augment the charter operations of the original Pelagic. Launched in September of 2003, she is the flagship of Pelagic Expeditions. In March 2015, Skip was awarded the prestigious Blue Water Medal by the Cruising Club of America in recognition of his many years of voyaging to high latitudes. In January 2016, the Royal Cruising Club awarded Skip the Tilman Medal, named after Bill Tilman, famous mountaineer and exploratory yachtsman, for a lifetime of leading sailing-to-climb expeditions in high latitudes. Skip sits on the panel of experts that vets expeditions to South Georgia on behalf of the South Georgia government. From 2012 to 2017, he served on the executive committee of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators.

issue 61  2019


A Key Approach to Offshore Passage-Making

Day three of a passage.

by Dick Stevenson, New York Station

Much has been written about activities that contribute to safe and successful passages. I believe there are attitudes that contribute to satisfying passage-making, the kind that makes you long to be offshore again.


ow you approach offshore sailing is key to the success of each passage. Some of the most valuable, even crucial, attitudes and skills may not be well learned or valued in everyday life on shore and may even fly in the face of talents that are greatly admired and sought after. The following is what I’ve learned over my years of sailing offshore. After 15 years of coastal cruising, I decided to take my then-sailboat, Early Riser, a LeComte Northeast 38, on my first offshore passage, round trip, New York to Bermuda, to see if blue-water sailing was for me. We prepared endlessly, expecting a five- to six-day trip. The trip did not go as planned. On day one, we bumped our overloaded boat into a sand shoal in New York Harbor, followed by a couple of days at sea of near-flat calm. 136


Then—careful what you wish for—we were chased by a tropical storm that forced us significantly off course. We hove to until the storm left us behind, ending this now nine-day passage with a boisterous close reach. Like many I have talked with since, I was little prepared for how much I would be freaked out by this nerve-wracking journey and all it would stir up in me. Fortunately, the return passage was far more what I expected and hoped for. It was only much later and with some reflection that I began to understand some of the learning, even growing, that began on that first passage. Twelve years of full-time, live-aboard life and numerous further passages have solidified my thoughts. Set forth below are my observations on some of the relatively

unique elements that contribute to making an offshore passage on a small sailboat satisfying and successful. But first, a few words on how we develop life skills on our way to offshore sailing. Generally, we learn the skills that best get us through the life we are presented with, picking up techniques as we go along from our parents, our genetics, our environment, and our culture. What skills we develop are in large measure determined by the challenges that we encounter. We don’t learn to paddle a canoe living in the desert, nor do we learn cooperation and compromise if we face most challenges on our own. There are numerous methods to deal with challenges. Many, including myself, take on challenges with a bit of aggression, total focus, and a mindset to complete the challenge as quickly and successfully as possible. This method works quite well in many instances where the end is clearly in sight: in a competitive athletic endeavor, you are coached to “leave it all” on the field; you climb a mountain all the way to the top; you sweat out term papers, but (usually) hand them in on time. Following these accomplishments is often collapse and then recuperation, with rewards if you succeed, disappointment if you do not. Offshore sailing, with its long passages, presented me with a surprising (and insistent) opportunity to add to my repertoire of skills in responding to a challenge. My usual set of “athletic” responses did not include patience, rolling with the punches, flexibility, tolerating uncertainty, and not knowing when, or even if, the goal would be accomplished. These were skills which had had little value in the challenges I had heretofore faced. They were rarely, if ever, taught to me, and, in general, had I had occasion to think much about these skills, I likely would have downplayed, even ridiculed, their value. But offshore passage-making does not benefit from leaving it all on the field. You never want to become depleted, physically or mentally, as this is when errors and accidents occur. You always want to have reserve resources, emotional and physical, just as you would not deplete your food or water. Fatigue is likely the single most potent factor in errors and accidents. On a passage, there is always uncertainty. With the unpredictability of weather (and numerous other variables), it is not exaggerating to say that having a reservoir of resources can mean life instead of death. Until the very end, the end is never in sight. On our Valiant 42, Alchemy, we sail offshore as a couple, so injuries are a large concern. Our guiding rule is that we patiently move at two-thirds speed. It is rare that one needs to rush to do anything, so we don’t; injury is far more likely when hurried. The same mindset goes with the boat. We try not to sail the boat at greater than 75-80 percent of its capacity. It is in the upper 20 percent where there is little room for error and where damage and accidents are more likely to occur, both to person and to the boat. This is an approach that keeps us and the boat safe. It also flies in the face of the kind of mindset that

is often admired in everyday life, characterized by a “going for it” attitude. I try to listen closely to my own and others’ language. Too often “sail talk” is embedded in an adversarial context. I would suggest that an offshore passage is best not seen as a competition. If one sees the goal as conquering the ocean or prevailing over the sea, then disappointment is guaranteed, and loss (at some point) is inevitable. Rather, the goal is to reach your destination safely, and a far more efficient and accurate approach is to think of yourself and the boat as being in a dance with the wind and sea. More important, Mother Nature is the clear leader in this dance. Trying to lead, dominate, or overcome is fruitless and likely dangerous; better to practice the skills of accommodation and respect, aligning your resources to what Mother Nature brings your way. It is our capacity to work with the wind and the seas that ultimately determines the satisfaction you achieve on the way to reaching your destination. This approach—you as a follower in this dance—underscores a particularly potent emotional element in an offshore passage: much is out of your control. Rather than overcoming obstacles (running a faster mile or conquering a mountain), your challenge is to work with the particular set of circumstances as they occur, to deal—and deal well—with the unpredictable: increase in wind = set a reef; current against = tack out of it; headwinds = hunker down for the long haul; equipment breaks = replace it, repair it, or jury rig. You wish to respond and align yourself with the realities, dealing with the regularly occurring “small” stuff, which in aggregate makes for a seaworthy vessel and wise decisions. There is rarely “one” problem. One problem is usually workable. Problems with a capital “P” are usually the result of a cascade of small problems that accumulate. With this attitude, you will give yourself and your crew the greatest likelihood of a satisfying passage. These considerations make an offshore passage a distinctly different opportunity to develop skills you might not otherwise acquire. Stamina is certainly more a key component than in most endeavors. Rather than going all out, one searches for a physical and emotional output that is sustainable for long periods without depletion. Balance, moderation, and restraint

Alchemy's aft cabin berth— cozy quarters under way.

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Ominous sunset on day 13 of a transatlantic passage.

are crucial skills to have at hand for sailing’s many challenges. Respect and accommodation are the order of the day. The ocean passage is a wonderful training ground for such skills, and as they develop, you’ll discover how valuable they are in other parts of your life. In that way, passage-making is a lot like parenting: you’re introduced to tasks, roles, and responsibilities with no immediate end in sight and limited control. Like it or not, in both parenting and offshore passage-making, you are in it for the duration, or, as some may experience it, for the long haul. The silver lining, if you will, is that one learns (and grows) a great deal on the journey. As Bernard Moitessier might say, the destination pales in comparison. ✧

Barn swallow hitching a ride on Alchemy near Cuba.

A version of this article was first published in the Spring 2005 issue of The Helmsman, the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Squadron Safety Magazine.



Alchemy, the author’s Valiant 42.

Landfall in Greenland after a five-day passage from Iceland.

GinGer and dick StevenSon

About the Author Dick Stevenson, a retired clinical psychologist/psychoanalyst, and his wife Ginger, a former teacher, have made their home aboard their cutter, Alchemy, a Valiant 42, for most of the last 16 years. They started with 25 years of cruising along the U.S. East Coast, from Bermuda to Maine, with their three children. In 2002 they retired, sold the house, and moved aboard full time. They have wandered in Central America, the Bahamas, and parts of the Eastern Caribbean. In 2006 they crossed the North Atlantic with stops in Bermuda and the Azores, and spent several seasons in the Mediterranean. In addition to the usual Med cruising grounds, they were fortunate to sail to Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. After years in warm climates, they sailed to northern Europe, where they had the joy of sailing as far east as St. Petersburg, Russia, and above the Arctic Circle in Norway. Five years was not nearly enough time for these northern European waters, but being closer to family was beckoning, so this last season they crossed the North Atlantic by way of the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland before fetching up in Newfoundland, Canada.

issue 61  2019


True Spirit: Preface by Jessica Watson Winner of the Club’s 2017 Young Voyager Award


he following is an excerpt from True Spirit: The True Story of a 16-Year-Old Australian Who Sailed Solo, Nonstop, and Unassisted Around the World. On May 15, 2010, after 210 days at sea and more than 22,000 nautical miles, 16-year-old Jessica Watson sailed her 33foot boat triumphantly back to land. She had done it. She was the youngest person to sail solo, unassisted, and nonstop around the world. Jessica spent years preparing for this moment, years focused on achieving her dream. Yet only eight months before, she collided with a 63,000-ton freighter. It

A half-moon had risen, giving the sea a silvery sheen above the darkness below. After sunset, the still, glassy conditions of the afternoon had been blown away by a light wind from the west and Ella’s Pink Lady was making good time under full sail with the mainsail, staysail and headsail set. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions for my first night out. Watching Ella’s Pink Lady sail along at a steady 4 knots, I felt extremely proud of my cute little pink yacht. Finally being on my way was a big relief, and I contemplated the next few days sailing and the huge adventure that I’d soon be setting off on. It was a beautiful night and the thought of something going wrong was the furthest from my mind. I’d left Mooloolaba with an escort of boats and helicopters at around ten that morning, and after fifteen hours at sea and weeks of full-time preparation I was feeling tired and slightly queasy. It normally took me a few days to find my sea legs. Confident that everything was fine, I decided to put my head down for a few minutes and have a catnap.



seemed to many that she’d failed before she’d even begun, but Jessica brushed herself off, held her head high, and kept going. Told in Jessica’s own words,  True Spirit is the story of her epic voyage. It tells how a young girl, once afraid of everything, decided to test herself on an extraordinary adventure that included gale-force winds, mountainous waves, hazardous icebergs, and extreme loneliness on a vast sea, with no land in sight and no help close at hand.  True Spirit  is an inspiring story of risk, guts, determination, and achievement that ultimately proves we all have the power to live our dreams—no matter how big or small.

Ella’s Pink Lady and I were about 15 nautical miles east of North Stradbroke Island by this point. I’d have liked to have been further offshore, away from the local fishing fleets and possible shipping, however the current and earlier light winds meant I hadn’t sailed very far since leaving. After scanning the horizon, checking the radar and AIS and setting my alarms, I climbed into my bunk, still wearing my life jacket and harness. A horrible bone-shuddering explosion of noise woke me as Ella’s Pink Lady was suddenly stopped in her tracks and violently spun around. Jumping up as the awful grinding noise continued, a quick glance up through the companionway told me that we’d collided with something huge, a ship. The sky was a wall of black steel, obscuring the stars and towering over me. The roar of engines filled my head and my whole world. Leaning out into the cockpit, I grabbed at the tiller, flicked off the autopilot and tried to steer us. It was hopeless.

There was nowhere to go, nothing I could do. Shuddering and screeching, we were being swept down the ship’s hull. Another glance told me that the ship’s stern, with its bridges protruding, was fast approaching. The noises were getting louder and, knowing that the mast and rigging were about to come down, I rushed back below hoping for some protection. With my hands over my head I sat on my bunk as a whole new and far more terrible set of noises began. A few short seconds passed but to me they felt like hours. The cupboard next to me ripped apart as the chainplate behind the bulkhead splintered it into a million pieces. The boat heeled to one side then suddenly sprung upright with the loudest explosion yet as the entangled rigging suddenly freed itself and crashed to the deck. When the boat steadied and the roar of the engines started to fade I went back on deck. It was a mess. There was rigging, lines and huge rusty flakes of black paint and slivers

of metal from the ship’s hull everywhere. Beyond Ella’s Pink Lady I could see the dark outline of the huge ship’s stern slipping away unaffected, leaving us at a stop in the foaming white slipstream. Shocked and disbelieving, my head still reeling, I desperately tried to come to grips with what had happened while checking the bilges for water and the hull for damage. All I could think was ‘my poor boat’, and while flicking switches to see what equipment still worked it became a sort of chant – ‘my poor boat, my poor, poor boat’. I was numb and still shaking off the last remnants of sleep; being scared hadn’t crossed my mind. My only thoughts were for Ella’s Pink Lady. Taking deep breaths to calm my shaking hands, I picked up the radio to call the ship and then grabbed the phone to tell Dad what had happened. ‘I’m okay,’ I told him. ‘I’m fine, perfectly okay, but we’ve been hit by a ship, we’ve been dismasted,’ I finished in a rush.

issue 61  2019


Back on deck, alone and miles from land, it took me over two hours to slowly clear the deck, lash the broken rigging in place and cut the tangled headsail away. I had to pause frequently to lean over the side and throw up as my earlier queasiness had turned into full-on seasickness. Finally, I turned on the engine to motor the six hours to the Gold Coast. How quickly everything had changed. Ahead of me lay at least 23,000 nautical miles of empty ocean, furious gales and the threat of multiple knockdowns. But on that day, I doubted that anything I was to face in my months alone at sea would be as difficult as holding my head high as I steered a crippled Ella’s Pink Lady between the Gold Coast breakwaters and saw the crowds lining the river, the fleet of spectator boats and the scrum of waiting media. I didn’t know if the crowd was there to show their support or to witness what many thought was my early defeat. I had to force myself to ignore negative thoughts and to concentrate

Jessica with her catch.



only on guiding us up the river, throwing the occasional wave and half-hearted smile to nearby boats. I knew that in one horrifying incident I had given fuel to anyone who had criticised me and my parents for what I was trying to do. In their eyes I had proven exactly why I shouldn’t ever be permitted to sail alone. However, in that same moment, I had proven to myself that I had the ability to achieve my dream. Any doubts about whether I could cope mentally vanished. I realised my inner strength. In the coming months, when Ella’s Pink Lady was thrown violently about by the wind and waves, or when home felt a million miles away as we drifted, becalmed, and the days ran into each other in slow motion, I was able to look back on that day after the collision with the 63,000 tonne bulk carrier Silver Yang and draw strength from knowing I’d held myself together when all I’d really wanted to do was fall apart. As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That tanker could have killed me but it didn’t. And in its wake I was stronger, more determined and ready for whatever came my way . . . almost.

Ella’s Pink Lady nearing Sydney. issue 61  2019


Ella’s Pink Lady returns to Sydney in 2010. Inset: Jessica celebrates a solo Christmas. Opposite: Sydney welcomes Jessica home.



True Spirit is available on Further information about Jessica and her books may be found at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jessica Watson (OAM) became, at the age of 16, the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop around the world. She completed the 210-day Southern Ocean voyage in Sydney Harbour, Australia, in May 2010. In March 2018, she was presented with the Club’s 2017 Young Voyager Award. True Spirit, from which this article is excerpted, is Jessica’s story of that journey on Ella’s Pink Lady, a 34-foot Sparkman & Stephens sloop. In it she details her battles with sleep deprivation, gale-force winds, mountainous seas, and natural hazards such as whales and icebergs. She suffered seven knockdowns. In 2011, Jessica was named Young Australian of the Year. That same year, she led a team that became the youngest ever to compete in Australia’s notorious Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. The project saw the young crew finish second in their division, and Jessica was awarded the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy for being the first female skipper across the finish line. In 2012, Jessica was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM). Jessica’s role as a Youth Representative for The United Nations World Food Programme has taken her to remote Laos and refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. Now aged 24, Jessica is the co-founder of a marine start-up, Her second book, a middle-grade novel, is scheduled to be published in 2018.

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Guidelines for Final Voyages PROCEDURE • When a member dies, please notify your station historian or rear commodore, who will notify the club secretary, webmaster, and the editor of Final Voyages. • The station historian will ask a member to write an obituary and obtain a photo, and the historian will send the material to the editor of Final Voyages. LENGTH • Write-ups should be a minimum of 250 and a maximum of 700 words. ESSENTIALS • The obituary should primarily honor the member’s involvement in the CCA. It should describe the member’s life and achievements in sailing, and his or her contributions to the sport and to the CCA. • Please include the year of birth and date of death. • Include BRIEF professional, military, and educational credentials, if desired. Obituaries written for newspapers or general-interest media are usually not appropriate for Final Voyages, but may be posted on the CCA website in the interim. • Sailing-related anecdotes are most welcome. FORMAT • Type single-spaced text in a Word file and italicize yacht names and book titles. Use only one space between sentences, provide full names rather than abbreviations, and do not use prolonged capitalization. • All text should be in one font style and free of formatting (other than italics for boat names and book titles). • Photos should be sent separately from the text file. Please do not embed photos in the Word file. • Please email the Word file and photos as email attachments. Alternatively, send the Word file and photos via Dropbox or WeTransfer (see Guidelines for Photos - Photo Submission for further information). PHOTOS • High-resolution, uncropped, digital images are best, sent in JPEG, or TIFF, format. • We can fix photos that are under- or over-exposed and do some color-correcting. Out-of-focus shots are a problem, and rarely can we salvage low-resolution digital images. • For additional details about photos, see Guidelines for Photos. DEADLINE - November 1, 2019 • Obituaries received after that date will be held for the next annual issue of Voyages.

Send Final Voyages Material to: Maggie Salter, Editor or:

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Guidelines for Photos OWNERSHIP • Photos submitted must be your own or you must obtain the photographer’s permission and provide appropriate author credit. We are happy to give credit for photos published. FORMAT • High-resolution digital images (ideally set at 300 DPI or PPI, dots or pixels per inch) are essential. • TIFF and JPEG are the best digital formats. Please do not send other types of files without asking us first. • We can fix photos that are a little under- or over-exposed; do some color-correcting; and rarely improve low-resolution digital photos, but we cannot salvage out-of-focus images. • If you have only prints, slides, or negatives (for historical articles or obituaries), please have good digital copies made locally, then send us copies of the digital files. IMAGE QUALITY and PHOTO SIZE • When shooting digital photos, set your camera’s “Image Quality” and “Picture Size” to “High” or “Best.” Anything less, and the photos will likely be too small to use in print. • Please DO NOT send laser, inkjet, or desktop photo-printing software printouts; photocopies; newspaper or magazine pages; or any low-resolution digital images. Photos become unusable when scanned or digitally re-sampled. • To be sure your photo will print clearly, check the pixels by running your mouse over the image file in your browser, or right click on the file itself and select “Properties” to see pixel counts. The relationship between digital image pixels and maximum print size is as follows: 600 x 900 pixels = 2 x 3 inches; 1200 x 1800 pixels = 4 x 6 inches; 2400 x 3000 pixels = 8 x 10 inches. The more pixels a photo has, the better the clarity will be when printed. • Please note that some online photo storage services often automatically compress photos to a smaller file size. Read the fine print before using these services. Ideally you should save your best photo files on a drive that keeps them at their full, original resolution. PHOTO EDITING • We prefer photos NOT to have been edited, cropped, or color corrected beforehand. • If you have edited the image at all, you should save it at the highest quality. Better still, save it as a TIFF, a lossless file setting. • If you decide you must edit the shot, please go easy, particularly on saturation and contrast. What looks good on screen can often look terrible in print. PHOTO SUBMISSION • Please limit the number of photos submitted to your 10 or 12 best images per article—easy to say, hard to do. • Please include a separate CAPTION LIST as a Word file, with BRIEF information for each image (location, people’s names, and boat names). Label each caption and image with a number or title that we can tie back to your article. Captions can easily be edited and refined once the article layout and design have been prepared, and it is difficult to know which photos fit your story most effectively without having a caption list upfront. • Send photo files as email attachments, or use a reputable web-based service such as Dropbox ( or WeTransfer ( These are currently among the best electronic methods for sending many digital photos and other files at once. • If you submit photos by email, send a message describing how many emails with attachments will follow, then forward the image files in small batches. We will confirm all images received. • If an Apple user, please be certain files are JPEGs or TIFFs that are Windows and PC compatible.



Guidelines for Articles LENGTH • From 1,000 to 3,500 words. Any article in excess of 3,500 words will be returned to the author to be edited. • 2,000 to 2,500 words will make a four-to-six-page story, depending on photos. FORMAT • Word document with no embedded formatting or photos. Please send photos separately. • Type single-spaced text, italicize yacht names and book titles, and use only one space between sentences. • If you use word-processing software other than Word, please “Save As” or “Export” to convert your file into Word. • Include dates and miles covered on your trip. • Send files as email attachments, or upload via Dropbox or WeTransfer along with your photos (see Guidelines for Photos - Photo Submission for further information). STYLE GUIDE • For authors new to Voyages, we can supply a comprehensive Voyages Style Guide. It will help us immeasurably if you look at this prior to submitting your article. AUTHOR BIO and BOAT INFORMATION • Please include a short sailing-oriented biographical sketch and good digital photo of the author, the boat’s home port, and the author’s CCA station. • Please note the station for each CCA member named in your article in the following format: Name (BOS/GMP). • Include a brief description of your boat and, if possible, any other boat(s) mentioned in your article, including home port, designer, builder, model, and year launched. MAPS and CHARTS • Please include a digital image or photocopy of a map or nautical chart showing the places you visited, with your route clearly marked. DEADLINE FOR 2019 ISSUE - October 18, 2019 • Manuscripts submitted after the deadline will be held for the following year.

Send Articles & Photos to: Voyages Editors - Zdenka & Jack Griswold or:

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Last Words from the Editors

Zdenka and Jack Griswold


erhaps you notice something different about this issue of Voyages, but can’t quite put your finger on it. In response to a number of suggestions, we have increased the font size. We like to think this reflects the refined aesthetic sense of the Voyages readership and has nothing to do with our aging eyeballs. Otherwise, Voyages continues to showcase a far-reaching and diverse collection of articles and photographs, highlighting the best of our sport. We are grateful to each of this year’s authors for their excellent contribution to our magazine. We have a number of articles recounting Atlantic passages. Eric Forsyth has now completed a rather astounding 27 crossings. On the other end of the spectrum, and encouragement for those whose bucket list still harbors an ocean crossing, is Louis Meyer’s first one, singlehanded and at age 75. If you fancy sailing to the Antarctic and climbing mountains (and one of us decidedly does not), check out Skip Novak’s piece on his most recent adventure with Pelagic Australis. If, instead, the beguiling South Pacific is more to your liking, don’t miss Ellen Massey Leonard’s article with its beautiful images. While still in the South Pacific, you may want to read Webb Chiles’ harrowing account of drifting for 14 days after his 18-foot open Drascombe Lugger pitchpoled and swamped west of Fiji. This was apparently the eighth near-death experience he has had at sea. With respect to Final Voyages, we are always amazed at the experiences and accomplishments of these now-departed members, as described by their friends and family. It makes us 176


very proud to have been associated with such remarkable men and women. This year, Peter Ward left nothing to chance and wrote his own obituary. We want to acknowledge our outstanding team of designers, whose creative talents do so much to make the magazine what it is. They are: Claire MacMaster of Barefoot Art Graphic Design; Hillary Steinau 2 of Camden Design Group; and artist Tara Law ✧. Note their unique graphic signatures, which appear at the end of each article. The indispensable Virginia Wright of Camden, Maine, assists us in proofreading and editing Voyages. Finally, a word of thanks to the many club members who have volunteered their assistance. Brad Willauer and the club officers have provided unconditional support and encouragement; Maggie Salter, as editor of Final Voyages, did yeoman’s work in tracking down twenty-seven obituaries; David Pratt helped with photographs; and our excellent crew of editorial advisors (see the masthead on page one for a complete listing) helped shape each article for publication. We welcome any and all comments and suggestions for Voyages Voyages. And, most of all, keep those wonderful articles and photographs coming!

Second Shots

Commodore’s Column To all Voyages readers: I—and everyone in our club—extend our sincere thanks to the many authors and photographers who have shared their works depicting recent passages, cruises, and adventures in this year’s edition of Voyages. Reading through the articles, I am, as always, impressed with the excellent quality of the writing and photography. I am also grateful to Zdenka and Jack Griswold for their editorial efforts and for the hard work of pulling it all together, for the support of the Voyages advisory team, and for the photographic expertise lent by David Pratt to Final Voyages. Pete and Harriet Pallette give a great recap of the historic club cruise they organized and led in New Zealand in March. Louis Meyer shares his solo crossing to the Azores and beyond— an impressive way to celebrate his 75th birthday! George Day offers a detailed account of the passage of Steve McInnis’ Maverick from Newport to Cowes, where the major challenges of the voyage were apparently too much speed or not enough wind. And if that’s not enough, Ernie Godshalk and Ann Noble-Kiley tell us more about what to expect next summer in Sweden, and whet our appetites for Finland and Russia. Ernie and Ann, along with David Tunick, have explored next summer’s cruising grounds in detail. Those lucky enough to be going on that cruise owe them a serious thank you.

We are reminded that Skip Novak and his Pelagic Expeditions vessels, Pelagic and Pelagic Australis, have been leading cruise-to-climb expeditions in Antarctica for ten years. Skip describes his latest adventure, truly challenging and humbling for seamen and climbers alike.

Bonus images from the issue ...

Ann Noble-Kiley and Golden Eye in ten-meter lock.


Commodore Brad Willauer.

Eric Forsyth describes his 27th transatlantic on his beloved Fiona, which took him, this time, to the Azores, Portugal, and ultimately back to his home port on Long Island, New York. Ellen Massey Leonard makes an interesting comparison of two different Pacific crossings, 12 years apart, in different boats and under very different conditions, which she and her husband Seth made together. And this is only a sampling! Each of the articles makes for fascinating reading. We hope that some of the stories will be shared outside our club in sailing and cruising magazines, and plan to offer them to the sailing public via our website.


Volvo racers in Auckland.


Captain and crew, provisioning in Rockland, Maine.


Crab boat lying just offshore.

Dale and Doug Bruce in New Zealand.


I regard Voyages as the National Geographic magazine of sailing. Cordially yours,

About the CCA


Cabot and Heidi Lyman at the helm.

The Cruising Club of America is among North America’s foremost resources on offshore cruising and racing and, together with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, co-organizer of the legendary Newport Bermuda Race. The club is comprised of more than 1,300 accomplished ocean sailors who willingly share their cruising expertise with the greater sailing community through books, articles, blogs, videos, seminars, and onboard opportunities. Ocean safety and seamanship training through publications and hands-on seminars is a critical component of the club’s national and international outreach efforts. The club has 14 stations and posts around the United States, Canada, and Bermuda, and CCA members are actively engaged with the next generation of ocean sailors as they look forward to the club’s second century of serving the offshore sailing community. For more information about the CCA, visit

Bermuda * Boston * Buzzards Bay Post * Gulf of maine Post * narraGansett Bay Post Bras d’or * ChesaPeake * essex * florida * Great lakes new york * PaCifiC northwest * san franCisCo * southern California 128 Keeping up with the snow.

Voyages -

The Places We Sailed

Chronicles of the Cruising Club of America


A merica of

Cruising Club of the


Issue 61  2019

Issue 61  2019

Profile for Cruising Club of America