C C Chronicles hronicles hroniclesof of ofthe the theC C Cruising merica merica ruising ruisingC C Club lub lubof of ofA A America
Issue Issue Issue63 63 63 2021 2021 2021
Commodore’s Column Greetings to all Voyages readers: This year, Voyages is particularly welcome given the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the world and the world of sailing. This collection of excellent articles highlights the joys, the challenges, the grace, and the good humour, on and off the water, of those who enjoy Neptune’s playground. These accounts provide us with the vicarious pleasures of offshore escapades as an antidote to soothe the impact of the COVID-19 virus. As the Cruising Club of America nears the century mark, Voyages illustrates how our members continue to pursue their affection for offshore adventure and the camaraderie of seafarers at home and abroad. We are grateful to our authors for providing us with a fascinating account of their journeys from points around the world: an insight to the impact of the pandemic on the sailing world; an account of historic parallels; and a look at the soul of sailing and the sailor. It is gratifying to see three 2020 new members: Ginger Niemann and John Vrolyk are published here, and Jim Woodward writes a story of loyalty and hard work by a New Zealand family to save their boat in French Polynesia, in which he and his wife, Dee, took part. Thank you to each of the authors for contributing to the spellbinding magic of Voyages 2021: Simon and Sally Currin; Alan Forsythe; Ami Green and Guirec Soudée; Jill Hearne; Cam Hinman; Ellen Massey Leonard; Sheila McCurdy; Karyn James; Ginger and Peter Niemann; Skip Novak; Mark Roye; Linda and Stephen Stelmaszyk; Dick Stevenson; Peter Stoops; Bill Strassberg; John Vrolyk; Jil Westcott; Jeff Wisch; and Jim Woodward. These adventures bring people of various cultures and regions together and provide the opportunity to witness and understand the differences. I know you will find exciting, entertaining, and informative reading in this Voyages. I am pleased to see reviews by T.L. Linskey, Bill Cook,
Mark Scott, Ernie Godshalk, and Chris Museler of the following books: The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina; High Latitude Sailing by Bob Shepton and Jon Amtrup; Beyond Boundaries by Des Kearns; Bound for Cape Horn Commodore Bob Medland by R. J. Rubadeau; and Sailing with his wife, Sally. America by Onne van der Wal. In Final Voyages we pay tribute to our fellow members who have crossed the bar and sailed their final voyage. We remember the friendships shared and the contribution they made to sailing and to our club. We are grateful to Final Voyages editors, Maggie Salter and Jack Griswold, for their work to recognize those who paved the way for us in their adventurous enjoyment of the world’s oceans. On behalf of all CCA members I extend our deep appreciation, gratitude, and respect to Zdenka and Jack Griswold, the indomitable editors of Voyages for this, their fourth and last edition. Thank you, Zdenka and Jack. As in the past, this year they put together a wonderful team of proofreaders that includes Doug and Dale Bruce, John Chandler, Doug Cole, Max Fletcher and Lynnie Bruce, Bob Hanelt, Cam Hinman, Amy Jordan, Charlie Peake, and Brad Willauer. We are deeply thankful for the superb professional design and editing team who complement our dedicated group of volunteers. We are so fortunate that Ami and Bob Green have stepped forward and are prepared to take the helm and succeed Zdenka and Jack as editors of Voyages. Voyages is a source of joy and wonderment during these unprecedented times. Wishing you Fair Winds and Smooth, Healthy and Happy sailing in 2021 and beyond.
About the CCA 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 cruisingclub.org.
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
Chronicles of the Cruising Club of America
CRUISING CLUB OFFICERS Commodore – J.W. Robert Medland Vice Commodore – Christopher L. Otorowski Secretary – John R. Gowell Treasurer – Peter L. Chandler
VOYAGES EDITORS Zdenka and Jack Griswold firstname.lastname@example.org
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), Brad Willauer (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, 2002-2010; Doug and Dale Bruce, 2010-2017
DESIGN AND LAYOUT Zdenka and Jack Griswold; Claire MacMaster, Barefoot Art Graphic Design; Tara Law, Artist; Hillary Steinau, Camden Design Group
PROOFREADING Zdenka Griswold; Virginia M. Wright, Consultant; Editorial Advisors
PRINTED BY J.S. McCarthy Printers, Augusta, Maine
COVER PHOTO Shimshal at anchor in Jettys Havn, Scoresby Sound, Greenland. See Simon and Sally Currin's Exploring Scoresby Sound on page 24. COPYRIGHT NOTICE Copyright 2021, The Cruising Club of America, Inc. Copyright 2021, 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 2021 4
Victory at Sea by James L. Woodward, Boston Station
The Essex and the Easterling: Two Whale Attacks in the Pacific by Alan Forsythe, Pacific Northwest Station
Inland Cruising in 2020: Seven Lakes in One Summer by Cameron Hinman, Pacific Northwest Station
Exploring Scoresby Sound by Simon and Sally Currin, Boston Station
Sailing in Metaphors by Sheila McCurdy, Boston Station Winner of the Club’s 2019 Richard S. Nye Trophy
Irene Makes a Long Passage in COVID Times by Ginger and Peter Niemann, Pacific Northwest Station Winners of the Club’s 2019 Far Horizons Award
Our Favorite Place: The Answer—or Several? by Linda and Stephen Stelmaszyk, Bras d’Or Station
Cruising the East Coast of Greenland by Bill Strassberg, Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post
The Challenges of Cruising the Chilean Channels by Karyn James, Florida Station
A Pleasure Cruise Across the Atlantic by Jil Westcott, Boston Station, Narragansett Bay Post
Cruising as a Lifestyle—A Personal Story by Dick Stevenson, New York Station
Respecting Paradise: Thoughts on Voyaging Responsibly by Ellen Massey Leonard, Boston Station Photographs by the author and Seth Leonard, Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post
106 Adventure Close at Hand by John Vrolyk, San Francisco Station
116 South Sandwich Islands: Sailing for Science in the Wake of Cook and Bellingshausen by Skip Novak, Great Lakes Station
126 Cruising During COVID-19: A Fleet Surgeon’s Perspective by Jeff Wisch, Boston Station, Buzzards Bay Post
134 Cruising under COVID by Jill Hearne
144 Quarantine Cove: The Cruise That Might Have Been Never Was by Mark Roye, Pacific Northwest Station Photographs by the author and Nancy Krill
154 Hard Aground on the Bricks of Bureaucracy by Peter Stoops, Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post
162 An Interview with Guirec Soudée Winner of the Club’s 2019 Young Voyager Award by Amelia Green, Essex Station
170 Book Review - High Latitude Sailing: Self-Sufficient Sailing Techniques for Cold Waters and Winter Seasons by Jon Amtrup and Bob Shepton Review by Bill Cook, Boston Station, Buzzards Bay Post
172 Book Review - Bound for Cape Horn: Skills for Expedition Cruising by R. J. Rubadeau Review by Ernie Godshalk, Boston Station
174 Book Review - Beyond Boundaries: A Mariner’s Story by Des Kearns Review by Mark Scott, New York Station
175 Book Review - The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina Review by Tom “T.L.” Linskey, Boston Station, Buzzards Bay Post
176 Book Review - Sailing America by Onne van der Wal Introduction by Gary Jobson Review by Chris Museler, Boston Station, Narragansett Bay Post
180 FINAL VOYAGES Salutes to departed members. Edited by Maggie Salter, Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post, and Jack Griswold, Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post.
205 GUIDELINES for Final Voyages, Photos, and Articles 208 LAST WORDS from the Editors 162
issue 63 2021
Victory at Sea by James L. Woodward, Boston Station
Starlit struck a reef on the southwest side of the Fakarava atoll.
his is a story of the determination of a man who was not going to let his boat die on a reef. He built her himself; she had
been his home for seven years, and it was not going to end badly. It’s a story of loyalty and hard work on the part of family, crew, old friends, and strangers and fellow cruisers, all coming to help in any way they could. Aito II pulls Starlit across the outer reef, with several of us watching. issue 63 2021
On the night of Saturday, could do until daylight. At July 6, 1996, Starlit, a 34-foot dawn, the boat was high steel sloop from New Zealand, and dry on her side on the went ashore on the reef reef ’s outer edge. It looked forming Fakarava’s southwest like a bad end to a sevenshore, in the Tuamotus islands year trip that had taken of French Polynesia, while Dave from New Zealand en route from Faaite atoll to through the Red Sea to the Fakarava’s northwest end. The Baltic, Russia, England, the boat’s owner, Dave, his daughU.S., the Panama Canal, the ter, Pauline, her husband, Galapagos, the Marquesas, Warren, and his Dutch crew, and now the Tuamotus, Jaap, were aboard. Their route which, with good reason, took them along the 30-mileare known as the Dangerous long reef, and Dave had set Archipelago. Pauline, Aarjan, Dave, Jaap, Warren, and the author a course five miles offshore. in Sweetwater’s cabin. He thinks he made a mistake Feeling that there was taking a GPS waypoint from his black-and-white copy of DMA no immediate danger, Dave was reluctant to put out a Mayday chart 83023. It would be easy to do. Even on the original, the and used the Pan-Pan call instead. I’m not sure I could have been latitude and longitude lines are fainter than the colored Omega so discriminating, sitting high on a reef a mile from the nearest lines that cover the chart. dry land and 20 miles to Rotoava, the nearest village. The surf decreased to the point where the crew could row through it and Dave was on watch around midnight when he noticed that put two anchors to seaward of the surf line and two more closer the surf sounded very close. He went below to check position, in. The eight-foot fiberglass dinghy was holed badly, and they and that’s when Starlit hit the reef. There was little that the crew were left with a nine-foot inflatable to row over sharp coral. With anchor lines on the primary winches, the windlass, and the masthead (to heel her further and reduce her draft), they struggled to winch her back off. It wasn’t enough. When the THE PARTICIPANTS: surf was out, there was no water under the boat; when it came Starlit, 34-foot steel sloop built in New Zealand in, the current worked against them. Dave, owner and builder Pauline, his daughter After two days calling Pan, they made contact on the single Warren, her husband sideband with the U.S. Coast Guard in Hawaii, which alerted Jaap, crew the authorities at Pape’ete, Tahiti, 250 miles from Fakarava. They in turn called the mayor of Rotoava. He sent a boat, which took Pauline to Rotoava to arrange for a tow off the reef. Dave, Aito II, 89-foot steel tug Warren, and Jaap stayed behind to keep trying with the winches. Willy, captain Wednesday night, they found the Southbound II evening cruisHarry, mate ers’ weather net, run by Joe on Night Music on 8.116 MHz, and Eight crew described their situation to 20 to 30 cruising boats spread from Bora Bora to near the Galapagos and north to Hawaii. Among Kismet, 35-foot glass sloop those listening were the crews of Kismet, Saint Jude, and our David and Siobhan, owners boat, Sweetwater. (Dave on Starlit had worked for David in England) Saint Jude, 35-foot steel sloop Mike, owner Davide, crew Sweetwater, Swan 57 sloop Jim and Dee Woodward, owners Aarjan, crew 6
That night, Dave had to make the tough decision whether Starlit was worth saving. The quote from the tug was $20,000 U.S. in advance, not an outrageous price for a 500-mile round trip in a 90-foot tug with a crew of ten. Reasonable or not, however, it was probably more than Starlit would be worth when and if she were pulled off the reef in one piece. A cold and rational decision would have been to take the $20,000 back to New Zealand and start over, but sailors have always been sentimental.
Steel will take a lot of abuse.
“That night, Dave had to make the tough decision
whether Starlit was worth saving. The quote from the tug was $20,000 U.S. in advance, not an outrageous price for a 500-mile round trip in a 90-foot tug with a crew of ten.
Early in the morning of Thursday, July 11, the surf picked up. Dave describes it “as being dropkicked ten feet in the air by some enormous football player.” He decided that it was unsafe to remain on the boat, and at daybreak the three men rowed and carried the inflatable to a small island a mile away. They were picked up by a speedboat and taken across the lagoon to Rotoava.
We visited the wreck by speedboat Friday, July 12, to prepare for Aito II, the tug from Tahiti. Starlit had moved 250 yards in from the reef edge and was badly battered but not holed. The tug arrived too late on Friday to pull her and in any event did not have enough line to reach her. We returned to Rotoava, while Dave and Jaap stayed at the scene aboard St. Jude.
We were headed for Fakarava anyway on Sweetwater. We arrived at Rotoava on Thursday. The same afternoon, Saint Jude had entered the Fakarava lagoon through the southeast pass and arrived at the scene of the wreck to keep an eye on things. Kismet, whose owners had known Dave in England, came 200 miles from the Tuamotus island of Raroia, arriving Saturday, July 13, a week after the grounding.
On Saturday, Willy, the tug captain, Harry, his mate, and one of their crew went down in the speedboat to survey the scene. They said they would attempt the pull when they got more line, which would not arrive until Wednesday. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Sweetwater and Kismet motored across the lagoon to join St. Jude, putting three boats and 11 people about a mile from the wreck. issue 63 2021
three- to six-feet deep, with a hard sand bottom, and coral heads every 10 or 20 yards. The inner edge is 600 feet wide and a foot deep with a strong river of water flowing into the lagoon and razor-edge coral everywhere. The water over the reef is so clear that it’s difficult to gauge depth by eye. Crossing the central area in a dinghy, we constantly sounded the depth with an oar. The trade winds blow along the reef, and the sea over the central reef is a tricky combination of waves from the surf that make it over the edge, waves from the wind at right angles, and the strong current into the atoll lagoon.
Starlit as we first saw her.
THE SCENE Fakarava atoll, the second largest of the Îles Tuamotus in French Polynesia, is a 13-by-31-mile rectangle of low islands and reef surrounding a lagoon, oriented northwest to southeast. The northeast and northwest edges are long narrow islands, broken by a shipping pass and shallow patches of reef. The southeast and southwest sides are mostly submerged reef, close to a mile wide, coming up to within a foot of the surface on each edge of the mile. It’s a lonely place, full of beautiful fish and coral. Small blacktip reef sharks are everywhere. We called them “ankle biters,” but the truth is, they were more scared of us than we of them. The skies are typical tradewinds sky, deep blue with puffy cumulus clouds, and the water is clearer than glass. The reef rises out of the deep sea in a few hundred yards. The surf comes in long waves, rolling in from the south. Its power is amazing. On the night when Starlit went ashore, it was at medium power, sending white water 10 to 20 feet in the air. The outer edge of the reef where Starlit first lay is a hundred feet wide, flat redbrown coral, almost like a 31-mile running track, but the surface has small potholes and an occasional deeper channel where the surf runs furiously back out to the sea. It’s dry when the waves wash out and two or three feet deep in torrential white water when they come in. The coral isn’t particularly sharp, but it’s no fun to be tumbled off your feet by a wave and washed along 20 or 30 feet. The central area of the reef is half a mile wide, 8
The central lagoon of the atoll is 100-150 feet deep and studded with islands and coral heads, more near the southwest reef than near the north edges. The water depth and clarity make the lagoon easy to cross in good light. Rotoava, a village of 150 with a small airport and pier, is inside the northwest corner of the atoll. There are good charts of Passe Garuae on the northwest coast and lighted marks for the channel from there to Rotoava, but much of the lagoon is uncharted. Although Starlit went ashore on top of a spring tide, the tide is only 18 inches and was not really a factor in the rescue. The surf on the reef was far more important. Starlit went ashore at latitude 16˚ 23' S, longitude 145˚ 41' W, in the middle of the southwest reef. She spent three days on the reef edge and then the increasing surf washed her over into the deeper central area of the reef, 350 yards from the edge, where she lay in waist-deep water on her port side. A small wooded island lay a little to the northeast, just inside the reef, providing a place for Dave, Warren, and Jaap to go when they abandoned Starlit on Thursday.
The island on which the three men waited out the surf.
We spent Monday and Tuesday removing gear to lighten the boat and rigging a strop that went around her four times with 40-millimeter polypropylene line from the tug. By the time we finished, we had all of Starlit’s line and most of the other three boats’ spare line wrapped around to stabilize the strop, to provide additional pulling points higher up, and to strengthen the mast, whose lower shroud tangs had torn down several inches from the winching on the masthead. All the sails, the boom and spinnaker pole, wind-vane steering, both dinghies, books, tapes, electronics, and all of the clothing and food were aboard the other three boats.
ar an unload in the din h ee unloadin ear ike and i ri in the ridle.
Each trip from the sailboats to the wreck involved a halfmile dinghy ride to the inside edge of the inner reef. From there, we had to carry the dinghy 200 yards across the sharps and shallows to the deeper central reef, then motor and paddle three-quarters of a mile to Starlit, sounding depths with an oar to avoid grounding the dinghy’s propeller. Although we worked hard, there were light moments. Monday afternoon, Siobhan from Kismet appeared on the reef with fried chicken. All of us were ravenous, and we stood waist deep in water around a dinghy, eating chicken and throwing the bones down-current. We wondered whether the ankle biters (small blacktip reef sharks, which were all around) liked chicken. We woke at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 17, and gathered on the reef at 7:30 to await Aito II. Although the tug had rocket lines to get a messenger ashore, we had to be stationed at the surf line on the outer edge of the reef to pull in a 3⁄4-inch messenger before the thin line from the rocket chafed through. The surf was just right. If it had been any higher, we would not have been able to walk at the edge; lower, and it would have been too dry to move Starlit. The tug came in much closer to the surf line than I would want to be. She sounded her air horn. The first rocket line went away to the left, unseen. We saw the second, but it went off downwind to the right and out through the surf before we could get it. The third rocket, the last one Aito II had, went straight over us and at least six people had the line within a minute. We hauled and hauled. There were 200 yards of 1⁄8-inch bright orange rocket line, 100 yards of 3⁄4-inch blue polypropylene messenger, and then the big line. The main tow line was 40-millimeter-diameter poly 12-ply braid, floating, but a heavy load for us. We hauled as hard as we could, 350 yards to the boat. We made a big bowline and two half hitches through the five strop lines and told the tug to take up slack. Dave and Jaap got aboard, with double life jackets, wet suits, and harnesses, ready for the ride of their lives. Willy, Aito II’s captain, was a superb tug driver. He pulled up gently on the line and then, at a moment when Starlit had a wave under her, winched in fast, stopping only just before Starlit reached the outer reef. It was a brutal, bouncing ride,
hard to watch. Each time she hit a coral head, she bounced up over it and then back down on her port side like a toy boat being dragged over a playground. Willy waited a short time for a big wave and pulled her up on the outer reef edge. Then we had a long and agonizing wait. Willy maneuvered the tug to pull straight off the reef and then waited, a half-hour it seemed, until a really big series of waves came. Starlit flew off the reef, took a great dive down, looking like a submarine, with white water at her lower spreaders, and then popped up, upright for the first time in ten days. We could see Dave and Jaap moving around the boat, obviously all right, checking for problems. Great cheers by all. ss e
Nearly ready to tow.
AVOIDANCE First, use photocopied charts with great care. Many ocean charts have Loran or Omega lines, and a lot of black grids is confusing. The Omega lines were actually heavier than the lat-long lines on the chart Starlit used. Use the best available charts. There’s nothing like a circumnavigation to give you a world view. We began our trip with mostly U.S. charts and a few British Admiralty ones, with some from Canada in the drawer at home. We returned with charts from charting agencies in France, by far the best for French Polynesia, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, and Turkey. With that said, you must also develop a new attitude toward your charts—not exactly mistrust, but more like enlightened skepticism. Many are off-position by a mile or more. Few areas are as well-surveyed as the “First World.” Marine Service hydrographique et océanographique de la
Marine chart 7372 shows Fakarava at 1:80,000, one of the few atolls in the Tuamotus at that scale, but much of the area inside the lagoon is marked zone non hydrographie. Outside the atoll, the soundings are several miles apart. Make sure your navigational equipment is working well. On Starlit, the main compass was considerably off, for unknown reasons but probably related to the steel hull. Finally, and most important, always know which direction is safe. If you sense danger, turn immediately in the safe direction and only then go below to check your position. If there’s actually no danger, there’s no harm done except a few minutes off course. In Starlit’s case, the reef was in a straight line, northwest-southeast, and an immediate turn to 225° when Dave sensed danger would have kept the boat off the reef.
“It was a brutal, bouncing ride, hard to watch.
Each time she hit a coral head, she bounced up over it and then back down on her port side like a toy boat being dragged over a playground.
Across the outer reef.
Towline taut, ensign up, Dave and Jaap are ready to go. issue 63 2021
“The rudder was gone, the skeg and shaft
were bent up against the hull, and the propeller trailed back like squid’s arms.
The tow back to otoava was uneventful. nce clear of the reef, Willy winched Starlit up close to the tug and put a diver down to check the bottom. Dave and Jaap checked inside for leaks and found only one small one, requiring pumping once an hour. The tug provided lunch and all were in high spirits. nce they hung a drogue off the stern, Starlit towed amazingly well for a boat that had lost her rudder and skeg, arriving at the otoava pier before the sailboats despite a longer route.
ave and aa in wet suits and dou le F s.
At the pier at otoava, we spent several hours in the water and on the deck of Starlit removing the mass of lines and returning them to their donors. The four turns of 40-millimeter poly in the strop had started out as two pieces. It came off the keel in four, two of which had chafed through during the pull. nce the lines were clear, Aito II brought Starlit out to spend the night rafted to S eet ater. The only leak, through the area where the skeg was bent, was repaired and she was tight. n Thursday we cleaned up, did a lot of laundry, and anchored Starlit on her own. Sai t e arrived, and we all shared a celebration dinner on S eet ater. By Sunday, Starlit was clean, dry, and livable. Dave had completed repairs to the mast and started to build a new rudder for the trip to Tahiti. S eet ater and Sai t e left for Tahiti, while Kismet stayed to accompany her friend. Starlit was much battered. She had big dents one close to a foot deep in both sides, several bent frames, and great scratches down the topsides. The rudder was gone, the skeg and shaft were bent up against the hull, and the propeller trailed back like squid’s arms. ne primary winch was gone, torn apart by an anchor line that was too strong for it. Much of her running rigging was part of the towing gear and had chafes or breaks in odd places. But she was afloat. The engine ran, starting on the first try. The single sideband and HF worked, as did the stove.
The rest of us went back to our boats, tired, bruised and coral-cut, but buoyant and in good spirits. Kismet and S eet ater left for otoava; Sai t e, having to sail as a result of gearbox problems, decided to wait until the next day and better light.
n July 31, 1 , ten days later, Starlit arrived safely at ape’ete, after a slow trip in company with Kismet. She was hauled out so that Dave could install a new rudder and propeller shaft. During the stay at otoava, Dave had gone around the
ABOVE: Cleaning up after the rescue. Dave and Warren in the cockpit. BELOW: Starlit after the rescue. The Rotoava pier is behind Starlit’s mast.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
outside of the reef in the speedboat and dived to recover all four anchors. During the trip to Tahiti, he discovered a rat on board, which probably boarded from the pier at Rotoava. Rats are a real menace on a boat as they gnaw through wires and hoses, creating all sorts of havoc with systems and possible flooding. After a serious try at using a spear gun, Dave finally got him with bare hands in the dark. In November 1996, Starlit arrived safely back at her home port of Auckland.
Jim Woodward and his wife, Dee, have owned a 30-foot Crocker Amantha cutter, Clytie, a 40-foot gaff schooner, and the Swan 57, Sweetwater, on which they sailed around the world. Dee began sailing when she was young and sailed for Brown University. She and her stepfather, John Marshall, taught Jim to sail after they were married, 55 years ago. Jim raced for 25 years on other people’s boats, including a first-in-class at Antigua Sailing Week, three firsts-in-class at the PHRF New Englands, and a trip to the Lloyd Phoenix Cup competition at Annapolis in 2001. They bought the ex-Royal Navy fleet tender Fintry in 2002, brought her across the Atlantic in 2005, and lived aboard her in Boston from 2013 until earlier this year. Now retired, Jim spent his career in Boston area high-tech startups. Dee works as a parish priest in the Episcopal Church. issue 63 2021
sketch of the ear old ca in o ho as ickerson. ourtes of the antucket istorical ssociation. he a t rli a foot aurent iles rittan sloo with an foot ea and . foot draft.
The sse and the asterli :
Two Whale Attacks in the acific by
an orsyt e, a i
ort west Station
“The whale struck the ship at the fore-chains
(under the foremast shrouds), and the collision nearly knocked the men off their feet. When Chase recovered his footing, he realized the ship had begun settling by the bow. He immediately ordered the crew to man the pumps.
OVEMBER 20, 2020, was the 200th anniversary of the day the Essex, a whaleship out of Nantucket, was attacked and sunk by an angry sperm whale in the South Pacific, an incident that inspired the novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Eighty-eight feet long, 24 feet in beam, with a draft of 13 feet, the Essex was built in 1799 and sailed under the command of Captain George Pollard Jr. It was manned by 21 crew members, with Owen Chase as first mate. One man left the ship early, leaving 20 aboard. * * * According to Stove by a Whale: Owen Chase and the Essex by Thomas Farel Heffernan, the Essex encountered a pod of whales on November 20, 1820, cruising at latitude 0˚ 40' S, longitude 119˚ 0' W. The crew hove-to and lowered three of their whaleboats, six men in each, to pursue the whales. When Chase harpooned a whale, its tail struck his whaleboat, which was broken and leaking at the waterline. He cut the line to the whale and returned to the Essex to make repairs. Once on board, he and his crew set Essex’s sails to bring the ship closer to the other two whaleboats, which were still pursuing the pod.
issue 63 2021
ho as ickerson sketches of the sinkin . ourtes of the antucket istorical ssociation.
hase then saw a very large whale off the weather bow, about 85 feet long, lying still in the water about 100 yards away. The whale spouted a couple of times and disappeared, only to reappear again just a ship’s length away and swim directly toward the advancing ship, both animal and vessel traveling at about three knots. The whale struck the ship at the fore-chains (under the foremast shrouds), and the collision nearly knocked the men off their feet. When hase recovered his footing, he realized the ship had begun settling by the bow. He immediately ordered the crew to man the pumps. He also began to think about clearing away the whaleboat and about what should be loaded in it and the other boats if the crew had to abandon ship. To leeward, hase saw the whale thrashing about, snapping its jaws, and seeming very agitated. ne of the crew cried out, Here he comes again The whale had crossed their path, gone 500 yards directly ahead, turned, and now was swimming toward them twice as fast as before. They bore off, but couldn’t get clear of the whale’s path before it struck the ship a second time, farther forward. It was a devastating blow. The ship began to sink more rapidly by the bow, and it was clear now that it was mortally damaged. nder hase’s direction, the crew began to load provisions, navigation equipment, and water into their whaleboat and to prepare provisions for the other two boats. Meanwhile, aptain ollard, who was in one of the whaleboats, saw the sse heeling over, and his crew rapidly rowed back to the ship. As they approached, ollard was nearly speechless but eventually said, My God, Mr. hase, what is the matter hase replied, We have been stove by a whale. ver the subsequent two days and nights, while the ship floated on its side, the crew gathered and stowed as much as voyages
they dared carry in their whaleboats. Thus began an incredibly painful and deadly three-months-long trip in open whaleboats wen hase with five men in one, aptain ollard with six men in another, and the second mate with six men in the third. After a month, they had made their way to Ducie Island, where they replenished their water supply from a spring on the beach. However, Ducie was uninhabited and nearly dry, with virtually nothing to sustain them. onetheless, three men elected to stay. ollard, hase, the second mate, and the remaining crew decided to carry on, hoping to reach the mainland of South America. Eventually, the three whaleboats became separated, and both the captain’s and hase’s crews became so desperate that they resorted to cannibalism. The third boat was never heard from again. With a skeleton crew of near skeletons, hase’s boat was finally spotted and picked up by the brig I ia , out of ondon. The captain’s boat was later found by the American whaleship a i which, like the sse , sailed from the home port of antucket. The I ia ’s British crew nursed hase and his men back to some semblance of health while taking them to alparaiso, hile. The a i delivered ollard and the survivors in his whaleboat to alparaiso about three weeks later. After some months of recuperation, the sse survivors found their way back to antucket.
A IMATE 144 EA S ATE , about 383 miles southeast of the spot where the sse was attacked, the asterli , a 34-foot Brittany sloop, was struck twice by a whale, causing significant damage to the hull on each side and well aft. The boat and its crew were sorely challenged to sail the remaining 1,500 miles to the Marquesas islands.
F arl ornin lannin after the whale attack. oat nails to ensure we had enou h to attach oth atches.
The crew comprised three young engineers, me included, who were seeking adventure on a cruise to the South acific. Bruce atter and Dick Anderson ( W) had sailed asterli from onnecticut to Florida. I joined them in Florida to sail east through the aribbean as far as Barbados before turning west to the Grenadines, St. incent, ura ao, Aruba, olombia, the San Blas, anama, and the Galapagos. We rotated positions of command every three months or so. During this quarter, for the acific crossing, atter was captain, I was navigator (or as we referred to it, napigator ), and Anderson was provisioner (or food locker filler ). I predicted that we would cross the midpoint of our 3,045-miles passage from ost ce Bay in the Galapagos to Taiohae Bay on uku Hiva at 1:30 a.m. on June 2 , 1 4. The evening before the midpoint crossing, our dinner discussion was about the meaning of the word adventure, since that’s how many people described our cruise, especially this part, in mid-ocean, out of sight of land. Webster defines adventure as an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks. In view of the fact that the boat was self-steering under twin headsails and we had only to cook, eat, navigate, philosophize, and sleep, we unanimously concluded that this crossing was the least adventurous and safest part of the cruise safer by far than being near shore or driving on a os Angeles freeway. We were at least 1,500 miles from land in every direction and many weeks away from anywhere. We had chosen not to have a radio transmitter, since our call was unlikely to be heard, and even if it were, no one could have come to our rescue in time. We felt a radio would just futilely consume one man’s effort to save the boat. Similarly, we did not have a life raft on the premise that in an emergency our minds should be totally focused on keeping the boat afloat rather than abandoning it. After the dishes were washed, the sights worked
up, and a toast made to our good progress, we all went to bed around 10 p.m., feeling quite sated and safe. At 1:20 a.m. there came a loud crash. We were jarred awake as the boat spun to port and the sails backed, flapping vigorously. Bruce immediately jumped into the cockpit, thinking we had hit an unknown reef, when a second crash came, spinning the boat back on course. Then, suddenly, Bruce and Dick spied the back of a whale in our wake, just breaking the surface. The next jar to our senses was the sound of running water a lot of water flooding into the boat. Within a short time, the floorboards were floating and sloshing around the cabin. Bruce cried out, We hit a whale Dick and I, each up to our ankles in water, said, We’re leaking bad Bruce, not knowing the real situation below and trying to be reassuring, said, h, well, we won’t sink. Dick and I were less than convinced, responding, It’s really coming in Dick tore a terrycloth towel into strips and, with the ever-handy beer can opener, stuffed the strips into the worst gaps in the planking under the sink on the port side. Meanwhile, Bruce and I tried streaming a sail overboard to seal the damage from the outside, but the damage was too far aft, and the sail couldn’t be made to lie up against the hull over the damaged area; it just flopped in the stream of water as we moved along. Dick suggested that if we set a fore-and-aft sail and sheeted it in tight, we might be able to lift the damaged part out of the water and limit or stop the influx of ocean. Bruce and I attempted to set the main to heel the boat over, but its halyard tangled in the baggywrinkle and rigging in the dark. The partly hoisted sail became yet another mess to fix, in addition to the leaks. Dick also observed that heeling the boat only occasionally ss e
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Bruce, about to grab the pre-nailed canvas patch for the starboard side; nailing the patch in place under water. RIGHT: Whale skin, preserved in alcohol. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography later determined it was from a sperm whale.
slowed the leakage on the port side. Palm to forehead, one of us finally observed that since we had been struck on each side, lifting one damaged side up submerged the other damaged side deeper in the water. We pulled the sail down. After Dick did his best to caulk the leak on the inside, he tied himself to the boat and went over the port side to press some towel strips into the worst hole from the outside. While over the side, he experienced an alarming sensation: As he was working blind, submerged in the dark water, he was nudged and bumped by some live, swimming creature. It was probably just a dolphin, but it was a shock nonetheless. Meanwhile, I had been pumping on the bilge pump and counting strokes, the standard regimen on the boat, but after 80 strokes, the shaft came loose of the plunger and pulled completely out of the pump. The pump was now useless. “Man! This is going to be a long trip in an eight-foot dinghy!” I thought. Bruce passed down two buckets and we started bailing into the cockpit, counting on its drains to send the water back to the ocean. The caulking helped enough to give me bits of time between buckets to disassemble and reassemble the pump and get it working again. Drawing a third of a gallon per stroke, the pump at last sucked air and, at 4:38 in the morning, we each indulged in a tot of rum and a sigh of relief. We could now revert to pumping every few minutes to clear the bilge. This remained the routine until daylight gave us a chance to assess the damage and devise what could be done. A look inside the hull revealed three frames and four planks fractured on the port side, where a butt block at the center of the impact had torn loose from the plank on one end, leaving a substantial gap. This was the worst leak. The area needed significant reinforcement to provide structural strength for the damaged planks. We had only one sheet of stainless steel, and it was just big enough to cover most of the damage on the port side. 18
The starboard side also had three frames and four planks fractured. Protruding from the seams between the planks was some whale skin which had been nipped off. We saved a piece, preserved it in alcohol, and later sent it to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, which confirmed it was the skin of a sperm whale. The damage on this side of the hull was larger. While pumping 100 strokes every 15 minutes, we determined how to seal the stainless-steel port-side patch—another terrycloth towel, with caulking compound smeared on it—how to apportion the limited number of boat nails we had, and how to keep from dropping them inconveniently on the ocean floor. By 1:30 that afternoon, the nails had been pre-positioned in the patch and hammered into place. The pump rate slowed to less than 40 strokes every 15 minutes. For the starboard damage, we used a canvas patch, which we first varnished to prevent it from seeping, then nailed in place with wood battens to hold down its edges. The pump rate reduced again to about 24 strokes every 15 minutes—less than 100 strokes each hour. This we could do. During subsequent days, as the wood swelled and barnacles took up residence in the gaps, the required pumping rate continued to decline. We were back in business with a chastened outlook, but with renewed hope that we wouldn’t have to sail the remaining 1,500 miles to the Marquesas in an eight-foot dinghy. On July 10, four days before the French fête celebrating Bastille Day, Easterling sailed into the harbor of Taiohae, Nuku Hiva. There, we did temporary repairs to the patches under the watchful and disapproving eye of the port captain, whose rule was that no one could stay more than a week or so in Taiohae
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Dick, peeling away the stainless-steel patch; with the stainless-steel patch removed, damage from the head-on strike by the whale is obvious; boatyard workers Timi and Coco with Dick and Alan in Tahiti after Easterling was reframed and replanked. The same repairs were required on the other side as well.
About the Author
without a visa—sailors tended to want to stay indefinitely in such a paradise. However, we pleaded that we were a boat in distress and needed time to make repairs in anticipation of a further 800-mile sail to Tahiti, where we might hope to haul the boat and properly repair it. He grudgingly allowed us to stay, although much of our time was actually spent ashore enjoying the prolonged festivities. It was indeed a paradise, and the fête was an added attraction. Two weeks later, we raised sail for Tahiti, stopping on the way at Ahe, a small coral atoll in the Tuamotus. We arrived in Pape’ete, Tahiti, on August 7 and spent the next three months with Easterling out of the water in a boatyard, rebuilding the boat with new frames and planks, despite the severe distractions inherent in Pape’ete in general and at Quinn’s bar in particular. It all ended well. The boat was properly reframed and replanked. Dick and I returned to the United States via Panama, Guadeloupe, and the Bahamas on Giff Pinchot’s 46-foot yawl, the Loon, while Bruce continued a single-handed circumnavigation westabout on Easterling, returning back to Los Angeles two years later. The author would like to thank Dick Anderson (PNW) for his valuable editing and input.
Alan Forsythe grew up on a ranch north of Bozeman, Montana, so his attraction to sailboats was unforeseen. He attended the California Institute of Technology, where as a senior he was invited by another student to go to Balboa to look at boats. They incidentally boarded a ketch, where the sailing bug bit. He declared on the spot that he was going to learn sailing and go on an ocean cruise. After completing a master’s degree at Caltech, Alan bought a 26-foot Pacific Interclub sloop, and while working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on the Ranger spacecraft, he sailed many times to Catalina, learning the ropes. In 1962, Alan and his friend Ed Boden, whom he met at JPL, went to England and bought Kittiwake, a Vertue sloop. Late that fall, they went through the French canals to avoid storms on the Bay of Biscay, only to become frozen into the canal in Dijon for over three months. This delay influenced Alan to join Bruce Katter and Dick Anderson (PNW) in Florida, where they were preparing Easterling for a cruise. Thus began the voyage to the mid-Pacific, where this story takes place. Alan now resides in Renton, Washington, with his wife, Janie. His son, daughters, and grandchildren live nearby, and he sails the San Juans when time permits.
issue 63 2021
INLAND CRUISING IN 2020: Seven Lakes in
“Kairos, our new-to-us 2008 Rosborough 246, was our method of enjoying relative isolation and social distancing during the politically and economically turbulent summer of 2020.”
by Cameron Hinman, Pacific Northwest Station
Kairos is a 26-foot, trailerable, live-aboard, outboard-powered
vessel upon which we spent 52 nights. Before the pandemic, we expected to summer on large lakes in British Columbia, but the border closing created the need for plan B. Instead, we explored seven lakes in Idaho, Montana, and Washington from May through October. All of these waters are reservoirs of widely varying lengths and depths, created by dams built by the Army Corps of Engineers from 1940 to 1975. Surprisingly, with two exceptions, we had the anchorages to ourselves. We acclimated to living aboard at 53-mile-long Dworshak Reservoir, 50 miles east of our hometown of Lewiston in northern Idaho. We fished and, while walking ashore, had a close encounter with a young black bear. We and the bear mutually parted company too rapidly for a photo op—the bear in one direction, we in the opposite. Other wildlife views included a cow elk and multiple species of birds. Fort Peck Dam blocks the Missouri River in northeastern Montana and inundates 137 miles of trail utilized by the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition in 1803–06. Geologically, the shores of Lake Fort Peck are a combination of volcanic intrusions and flows and glacial moraines from two ice episodes, the latest between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. On July 4, we experienced way too many fireworks from Mother Nature—a severe thunder and lightning storm, accompanied by almost instantaneous spindrift-producing winds an hour before dark. What we anticipated as a snug, protected anchorage from the predicted thunderstorm turned into a liability. I quickly learned enough about twin-engine maneuvering in close quarters to survive without a grounding before the storm moved on.
Moonset at Silcott Island, near our home port of Lewiston, Idaho.
In northwestern Montana, the Libby Dam holds back the Kootenai (U.S. spelling) or Kootenay (Canadian spelling) River to form Lake Koocanusa, with about half of its 90 miles in the U.S. and half in Canada. Because U.S. residents were barred from entering Canada, we could only visit the southern portion of this reservoir. The water border was marked by large red buoys and guarded by an ominous-looking, bright-yellow boat. We enjoyed repeated sightings of mule deer geophagy (earth-eating), as well as whitetail deer and elk close to our anchored boat. In this and other protected coves, the wildlife was not alarmed by our presence. Our close sightings included a loon, great blue herons, and gaggles of Canada geese. On several days, we supplemented our purchased food with freshly caught trout. issue 63 2021
The places where the author sailed on Kairos.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lake, formed by the Grand Coulee Dam, is about 150 miles long, stretching from central Washington State almost to the Canadian border. We sailed the northernmost portion, where we found several nice anchorages and places to walk. At one anchorage, there was what we presumed to be a family of bald eagles—two adults, two all-browns which we believed to be this year’s hatchlings, and one with quite a bit of speckled white, probably a one- or two-year-old. The adults were mostly still tolerating this “teenager.” The Snake River, a major tributary of the Columbia River, flows 1,078 miles from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming westward through southern Idaho, thence north forming the Idaho-Oregon and Idaho-Washington borders, before turning west again at Lewiston. From here, it courses through southeastern Washington to join the Columbia River near the tri-cities of Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland. Fifteen dams encumber this once free-flowing stream, four of which are between Lewiston and its mouth. Three of these four reservoirs were our final outings of the year.
Kairos on Dworshak Reservoir.
Lake West, named for a promoter of inland navigation on the Columbia and Snake rivers, is a 28-mile-long water impoundment behind Ice Harbor Dam, the second upriver from the SnakeColumbia junction. We found several pleasant anchorages. The first two nights, we stayed in a roomy basin near the mouth of the Palouse River and used the dinghy to explore the slack water upstream. Near the anchorage, now entombed by the lake, is a Native American rock shelter, which was an archaeological site before the dam was built. Carbon-dated findings there, including both human remains and nonhuman artifacts, revealed human habitation for a period of 10,000–11,000 years. A supposedly protective dike leaked immediately upon dam closure, resulting in flooding this interesting research area. A snug, one-boat anchorage is adjacent to a Corps of Engineers Habitat Management Unit (HMU), with easy walking 22
Loon, wary of our presence.
trails. We saw or heard quail, great blue herons, ospreys on manmade nesting platforms, ravens, crows, frogs, deer, turkeys, and coyotes. We also saw coyote tracks, as well as tracks that were oval, about 1½-inches across, sometimes with four toe prints. After a somewhat less-than-satisfactory search on the internet, my best semi-informed guess is that they were made by a porcupine. The HMUs were apparently established to ameliorate the loss or change of habitat that resulted from the four dams that turned the formerly robust Snake River into a series of slow-
Great blue heron in search of dinner.
flowing reservoirs for 145 miles. On a calm day, we measured a half-knot flow. At the next upriver reservoir, Lake Bryan, we found two more HMUs which were not listed on the Corps website. At one, we flushed quite a number of ring-necked pheasants and a covey of quail from tall grass on our walk. At the other, I encountered a generous-sized rattlesnake slithering away from me, less than a foot distant. Unusual in my experience is that I saw it well before the snake gave a very brief, barely audible rattle. Finally, Lower Granite Lake extends upriver to Lewiston. To our disappointment, what looked on the chart and on Google Earth as a nice anchorage a few miles upstream from the dam is full of obstructions, probably old trees and logs. We found at least two on our very careful approach and exit. This discovery limited our anchoring to Silcott Island, about ten miles from home. 2
Spike buck observing our anchored boat.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR From 1993 to 2015, Cam and Marilyn Hinman cruised the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Australia and back in their Valiant 42, Makali’i. Their more recent adventures have been on inland waters aboard Kairos, a Rosborough 246, from their home port of Lewiston, Idaho.
Shimshal at anchor in Jettys Havn, Scoresby Sound, Greenland.
Exploring Scoresby Sound by Simon and Sally Currin, Boston Station
hen we set sail from Scotland in 2015 on a slow circumnavigation, we had no idea just how slow that would turn out to be. The intention was to enjoy
the Faroes and Iceland, spend a winter in Reykjavik, and then, in 2016, hurry on in the Vikings’ wake to the New World via Prins Christian Sund in southern Greenland. I was pretty sure that Sally would want to get the terrors of the Denmark and Davis straits behind her so that we could settle into a more conventional trade wind route, and I was certainly looking forward to warm water and balmy nights. How wrong I was!
issue 63 2021
Spring anchorage in the Westfjords, Iceland.
After five seasons cruising the Scottish Hebrides, we dropped our home mooring and slid north through the great tidal races of Cuan Sound and the Sound of Mull before getting beaten up by a stiff northerly in the Minch, which rendered both of my crew sick as dogs. By the time we sought shelter at Lochinver, I was seriously starting to wonder if we should be cycling around the world instead? Crossing the Atlantic this far north is really a series of very short hops, and the 250 miles from Cape Wrath to the Faroe Islands was most memorable for the time we spent trying to work out how to find a rigger in Iceland. Nothing was broken, but as the Scottish mountains dipped below our stern horizon, an email pinged in from our insurers insisting upon routine replacement of our standing rigging. Iceland is not noted for sailboat services, but by the time we had reached Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, Sally had solved the problem and found an American rigger living aboard his boat in Reykjavik who would do the work for us if we could get the bits shipped. We have a very good friend who spent a fortune on a cruise to the Faroes to witness either an eclipse or a transit of Venus, I’m not sure which. Why? Gorgeous though these islands are, they must be one of the least likely places in the world to guarantee clear skies for stargazing. We were blown into our landfall anchorage by a rising gale and swung around for a day or two, lashed by rain and swathed in fog. Suffice it to say, we saw few stars during our two-week stay but grew to love these extraordinary islands of birds, sheep, and marine life. 26
We sailed at midnight for Iceland. The Torshavn harbormaster handed us a large slab of pilot whale prime steak as we let go the lines. We received it with forced smiles, as we knew that it had come from the “grind” of the previous day, when the fjord had been turned red by the blood of a hundred pilot whales driven ashore by small boats to be butchered in the shallows. We ate little of it and were only too pleased to pass it on to another crew heading south, who were rather less squeamish than us. We made our landfall on Iceland’s wild and mountainous east coast where the police, acting as customs officers, boarded us whilst we were still setting the lines ashore. My dyslexia was, once again, to blame as I had transposed the numbers in our emailed notification of planned arrival and, as a result, we had arrived a month early! We had some lovely times ashore in Seydisfjordur, wandering around the hills and waterfalls as well as relaxing in the geothermal pool. Our departure did result in a little drama, for as we left the dock to get fuel, the steering seized up completely and we veered off at speed toward the opposite shore. With no apparent cause for a jammed rudder, we managed to come back alongside by judicious use of the bow thruster, only to find that the bearings on the steerer that forms the axle for the steering wheel had seized and this “top of the range” piece of kit could not be serviced and needed to be replaced. Luckily, our boat has two wheels, so it was a simple matter to disconnect the port wheel and complete the 500-mile journey to our winter berth using the starboard wheel only. At least we
Greenland ice cap.
“We were now 360 miles north of the Arctic Circle and 180 miles from the open sea, and starting to worry about our extreme isolation.
knew we would always need to fender on the starboard side at all the docks in Iceland.
sun gloriously reflected in the windows of Iceland’s iconic Harpa concert hall.
Due to a decades-old government decree aimed at saving fishermen’s lives at sea, swimming lessons are part of Iceland’s national curriculum so each town and village has a public pool. Thus, much of our anticlockwise cruise of Iceland was spent luxuriating in pools warmed by the earth’s core. Icelanders congregate in these steamy baths to discuss the issues of the day whilst the wind blows and the sleet, snow, and rain lash exposed bits of flesh.
It was here that our plans changed dramatically. We had arranged for a local musician, Aki, to keep an eye on our boat during the long, harsh Icelandic winter of 2015. It turned out that Aki ran Iceland’s only sailing club and spent each summer skippering a whaling boat that is run as an exclusive commercial sailboat charter in northeast Greenland’s Scoresby Sound, named for English explorer William Scoresby, who mapped the area in 1822. To us, Scoresby Sound was the ultimate highlatitude cruising destination. Remote, uninhabited, icebound for nine months of the year, and most significantly, the place that renowned explorer and author H.W. Tilman never reached despite four attempts and the loss of two boats in the process! Very soon after meeting Aki, he had persuaded us to abandon our dash for Canada and spend the summer of 2016 cruising Greenland’s Forbidden Coast in Scoresby’s wake.
We progressed north to the Arctic Circle before heading west and along Iceland’s rugged north coast, visiting each town’s pool as we went. We were powered along by brisk, cold northeasterlies bearing fog, rain, and occasional sunshine. We chose to spend some quality time ashore in the delectable Westfjords, which are in a large national park and are a haven for wildlife and wildflowers. We made repeated visits to Isafjordur, the most yacht-friendly jumping-off point for expeditions to Greenland. We arrived at our winter berth in Reykjavik at midnight on the last day of August and watched the embers of the midnight
In April 2016, we returned to Reykjavik to find our 48-foot cutter, Shimshal, built by CR Yachts Sweden AB, intact and ready to go, having survived a stormy winter. We had visited a few times during the dark months to find her either issue 63 2021
Sunrise at the entrance to Scoresby Sound.
entombed in snow or buffeted by howling winds. But we have a comfortable, well-insulated cruiser, and so each time we dropped by for a Nordic long weekend, she was quickly converted into a snug, city-center apartment just a few yards from Iceland’s Maritime Museum. Sailing north up the Denmark Strait in April is not for the faint-hearted, and as we rounded the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, we were lashed by wind, snow, and fog. We paused in the Westfjords and explored ashore again, but this time by ski. There are few greater pleasures than stepping from dinghy onto skis, climbing a mountain, and then swooshing back down to celebrate in the cockpit of your own boat riding peacefully at anchor in an arctic wilderness. It wasn’t until mid-July that the ice began to break up on Greenland’s Forbidden Coast. Mercifully, that was three weeks before it had done so in 2015. It looked like 2016 was going to be a good ice year, and so we tentatively pointed our bow north from Iceland and, on July 15, 2016, set out on the adventure of a lifetime.
TO SCORESBY SOUND All those who have sailed in ice will remember the excitement of sighting the first iceberg from the cockpit of one’s own boat. The awesome spectacle of the southward drifting polar ice and the nagging anxiety of being in a plastic boat, thoroughly offpiste. The adventure had begun, and the sense of excitement was indelibly tinged with foreboding. We pushed north through schools of dolphin and pods of spouting humpback whales until Greenland’s icy mountains loomed above the horizon. 28
Morning sun on an iceberg near the entrance to Scoresby Sound.
There was still too much ice to make a landfall on the Forbidden Coast, so we stood off and pushed against the East Greenland Current until we had passed three enormous grounded icebergs off Cape Brewster. The mist hung low on the mountains, and kittiwakes roosted 200 meters above us on the icebergs’ upper slopes. At 2 a.m. we were in the middle of the entrance to Scoresby Sound, the world’s largest fjord. The mists parted and the sun broke out above the mountains of Liverpool Land, illuminating the extraordinarily beautiful Volquart Boons Coast, which lay to our stern. It was a magical moment that will stay with the crew of Shimshal forever. Sunshine, swirling mist, glittering icebergs, ice-capped mountains, and the thrill of our imminent first landfall in Greenland.
Anchored in Harefjord.
Our objective was to circumnavigate a mountainous island called Milne Land, which has its own ice cap. We knew from real-time satellite imagery that this would be a major challenge in a plastic boat, as the narrows were choked by huge quantities of ice shed from the glacial tentacles that cascaded from Greenland’s great ice cap. We sailed on, more in hope than in expectation of success.
Kittiwakes roosting on an iceberg.
Ittoqqortoormiit, with a population of 200, is one of only two permanently inhabited settlements on Greenland’s 1,200-mile-long east coast. We arrived before the first supply ship of the year, and the only grocery store was running low on everything apart from guns and ammunition. The town only gets two supply ships a year, the first at the end of July when the ice has retreated sufficiently for the ice-hardened ship to batter its way in from Denmark. The second delivery is in September, just before the ice begins to form again. We anchored well clear of the tiny quay and listened to the exotic sound of howling huskies before going ashore and presenting our ship’s papers to a disinterested but otherwise helpful policeman. He rather reluctantly stamped our passports, confirming our proud arrival in this remote corner of the world, populated by polar bears, muskox, and rifle-carrying Inuit. The fjord system that leads westward penetrates 180 miles into the ice-covered landmass of Greenland, and we were lucky to have arrived at the eastern entrance just after the last of the sea ice had cleared. We set sail deep into the fjord system, taking care to avoid the enormous quantity of icebergs carved off the Greenland ice cap. Some of these gnarled behemoths were more than 1,000 meters long.
The weather got better and better as we dodged our way up the sound. The foggy coastline was replaced by the arid upper reaches of the world’s biggest fjord system. The scenery was sublime. Towering rock faces and spires poked out of the ice cap 2,000 meters above. Within the fjord there was ice everywhere. Bergs of all shapes and sizes, gleaming, dripping, and groaning in the 24-hour sunshine. We were now 360 miles north of the Arctic Circle and 180 miles from the open sea, and starting to worry about our extreme isolation. That evening, we nudged our way into a narrow bay to find an ice-safe anchorage, but instead our keel found a hard rock and we came to a sickening halt as we grounded amidst a stream of expletives. We couldn’t have chosen a remoter spot to fetch up on a tongue of glacial alluvium, but fortune was on our side and we managed to get ourselves off with barely a scratch. Pride and confidence, though, were severely dented! Ashore the tundra was a feast of ancient lichens and wildflowers, peppering the glacially polished rock. We saw distant muskox, but, although we carried a rifle for protection everywhere, we never saw the elusive polar bears that were no doubt stalking us. Finding water shallow enough to anchor in steep U-shaped fjords was now proving hard, and at night we were disturbed by icy intruders that needed to be pushed off with the 12-foot timbers we had brought with us for that purpose. Occasionally, savage winds would come smashing down off the mountains issue 63 2021
ABOVE: Drone picture of Shimshal at anchor in Jettys Havn. BELOW: Hot spring in Turner Sound.
and send us surging around our anchor. Those katabatic winds and tenuous anchorages tested our nerves and our determination to press on into Greenland’s interior. Despite the scenery and the soothing, liquid calls of a great northern diver, we were growing more tense as we neared the icy narrows. A growler watch was kept at the bow whilst the helm attempted to find the route of least resistance through the ice, which was now becoming alarmingly dense. Bravado kept us going, but by midmorning on a glorious August day, Sally and I saw the anxiety etched on each other’s faces, and we knew we had reached our limit. We were just a mile or so from the choked narrows when we spun the wheel to retreat toward the open sea and the relative safety of the Denmark Strait. At Cape Brewster, we hugged the shoreline to enjoy the Forbidden Coast. The season’s end was approaching and the sea ice had vanished, allowing Shimshal to meander carefree down a coastline that is normally thronged with ice. At Turner Sound, we smelled sulphur and came across a steaming beach where we anchored in perfect, yielding mud. Such a relief after the tenuous and rocky bottoms of Scoresby. Ashore, next to the ruins of a hunter’s hut, we came across a perfect hot spring and pool. Sedums and lichens flourished in the steaming microclimate. We had found one of the few natural thermal baths in Greenland. A safe and idyllic place to
ABOVE: Thousand-meter long iceberg. BELOW: Shimshal at anchor in Jettys Havn.
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ABOVE: Leaving the Forbidden Coast in our wake. BELOW: Sally at Jettys Havn.
relax and explore along the shores littered with the bones of seals, arctic fox, and whales. The winter hunters must love this frozen spot, which can only be accessed by dog sledge or snowmobile from Ittoqqortoormiit some 60 miles to the north. The Denmark Strait quickly moves from summer into autumn, and we knew a gale was gathering and heading toward us. Our adrenaline was spent, and we knew that a dash south would get us back to the creature comforts and safety of icefree Iceland. We left the mountains of Greenland in our wake, basking beneath one of the few sunsets we saw, for we had now come south and the year was advancing toward the equinox. That evening we altered our sailing plans again. With Greenland’s ice cap still visible during the arctic twilight, amidst a procession of shrinking icebergs and the sounds of spouting whales around us, we knew that we must spend the following summer exploring Greenland. We were not yet ready to swap the rugged beauty of the higher latitudes for balmy, trade wind sailing. We decided to forego a sprint to Canada in 2017 and instead cruise Greenland’s east and west coasts. We would make the time for it by overwintering our boat in Disko Bay and adding another couple of years to our “slow” circumnavigation. But that’s a story for another year. 32
About the Authors Simon Currin, a practicing physician, and his wife, Sally, a chartered accountant, live and work in Wales. They have been cruising part time since they met in the mid-90s and in 2006, were lucky enough to commission the building of a semi-custom deck-saloon cutter, which is fitted out for comfortable sailing in the high latitudes. Shimshal II is a CR480DS that has taken them on voyages to the Baltic, Arctic Norway, Scotland, Wales, and the Viking Route to North America via Greenland. Simon and Sally have both been very active in the Ocean Cruising Club for the past decade, and Simon became commodore in 2019. They are very much looking forward to being able to return to their boat, currently ashore in Nova Scotia, to continue their voyage south to Central America, with plenty of stops along the way.
METAPHORS by Sheila McCurdy, Boston Station Winner of the Club’s 2019 Richard S. Nye Trophy
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F YOU ARE READING THIS, sailing has had or will have a profound influence on your life in some way. There is, of course, the physical aspect of sailing—that of making a complex vessel advance through water, harnessing invisible forces. There is the communal aspect of living and working with others in a confined space for extended periods. There is the practical aspect of planning, preparing, and then responding to a raft of eventualities. We study. We learn. We listen. We screw up and learn again. We find joy in the places we go. We grieve injury and loss. We doubt and overcome. We remember what we have heard or seen on the water when any number of situations arise on land, and are likely to say, “It is just like being on a boat.” Sailing is a metaphor for everything. There are writers and poets who can conjure language to say what we feel. I offer this sampling that crystalizes some of the feelings for the sea that we have in common.
Awareness Marcel Proust was very good at writing long, involved works, but in this quote from Remembrance of Things Past, he seems to sum up why some of us return to passage-making again and again.
The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is … Jerome K. Jerome wrote Three Men in a Boat. It is a lovely yarn about sharing time with chosen friends. I aspire to his list of essentials.
Throw the lumber over, man! Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need—a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends worthy of name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and … enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.
Risk Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (U.S.N. ret.) was a practical and persuasive mathematician turned computer scientist. Starting during World War II, she showed the Navy that computers could compile as well as do arithmetic. She did not shy from hard work in a hostile environment. She was one of the oldest active duty officers in the Navy when she retired at the age of 79. She was fond of an aphorism popularized by John A. Shedd in Salt from My Attic:
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. Samuel Johnson was trenchant in his assessment of shipboard life.
Being in a ship is like being in a jail, with a chance of being drowned. We all know that command at sea is not a democracy. In The Republic, Plato considered the metaphor of a “ship of state” as a warning for how the rule of the people could cause jeopardy. On board Plato’s ship are the captain, the crew, the crew leader, and a navigator.
The captain has power but is “a bit deaf and short-sighted, and similarly limited in seamanship.” The crew is querulous. Each thinks he knows better than the others and tries to influence the captain. The navigator is thought to be a useless “stargazer,” but is the one who has the knowledge to lead them all safely and peacefully. “They don’t understand that a true captain must pay attention to the seasons of the year, the sky, the stars, the winds, and all that pertains to his craft, if he’s really to be the ruler of a ship … Don’t you think that the true captain will be called a real stargazer, a babbler, and a good-for-nothing … ?” Emily Dickinson never saw the sea, but she captured the sense of how integral, yet off-balance, an immense and immediate ocean can make us feel.
I stepped from plank to plank So slow and cautiously; The stars about my head I felt, About my feet the sea.
I knew not but the next Would be my final inch, — This gave me a precarious gait Some call experience.
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Betterment The writer of The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran, opened his story as his central character is about to board a ship. The prophet may have felt compelled to express his guiding principles before embarking on a voyage, and he may have had good reason to be thinking of catastrophic danger.
Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. Henry David Thoreau was a champion of self-reliance and independence— qualities that appeal to all offshore sailors. Here he draws a comparison that brings a knowing smile.
The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.
Love and Life Maya Angelou combines a surprising quartet in this poem. She seems much less picky about her boats than her men.
Ships? Sure I’ll sail them Show me the boat, If it’ll float, I’ll sail it. Men? Yes, I’ll love them. If they’ve got style, to make me smile, I’ll love them. Life? ‘Course I’ll live it. Just enough breath, Until my death, And I’ll live it. Failure? I’m not ashamed to tell it, I’ve never learned to spell it, Not Failure. 36
Death Emily Brontë brought a gothic quality to her view of the sea, perhaps because the one with which she was most familiar was the North Sea. Constantin Héger, the head of a school she attended, said, “She should have been a man—a great navigator.”
Weep not, but think that I have passed Before thee o’er a sea of gloom. Have anchored safe, and rest at last Where tears and mourning cannot come. ’Tis I should weep to leave thee here On that dark ocean sailing drear, With storms around and fears before, And no kind light to point the shore.
Past, Present, and Future Joseph Conrad delved into most every human condition in his writings of the sea. In their novel Romance, Conrad and Ford Madox Ford conflate the passage of time with the passage of life and perception. It is a stream of thought that might occur on a solitary night watch.
Journeying in search of romance—and that, after all, is our business in this world—is much like trying to catch the horizon. It lies a little distance before us, and a little distance behind—about as far as the eye can carry. One discovers that one has passed through it just as one passed what is today our horizon—One looks back and says. ‘Why there it is.’ One looks forward and says the same. In his poem, Ulysses, Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote of the hero reflecting on his heroic youth:
All times I have enjoy’d Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vext the dim sea. But, even in old age, he was still rallying for adventure:
Come, my friends, ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars until I die.
About the Author Sheila McCurdy has cruised and raced over 100,000 miles offshore. She is a trustee of the Mystic Seaport Museum and a member of US Sailing’s Training and Safety at Sea committees. Sheila’s commitment to the club is extensive and profound. She is a past commodore and is writing the history of the CCA for the club’s 100th anniversary. She serves on the Safety & Seamanship Committee and Bonnell Cove Foundation. She is also a past recipient of Fifteen Thrashes, the Bermuda Race 15 Plus Award. She lives with her husband, David Brown (BOS/NBP), in Rhode Island. They own the McCurdy & Rhodes Concordia 38 cutter Selkie.
issue 63 2021
by Ginger and Peter Niemann, Pacific Northwest Station Winners of the Club’s 2019 Far Horizons Award
, our 50-foot Herreshoff ketch, Irene, is swinging to a mooring at hangi Sailing lub in Singapore, with her crew confined on board indefinitely. Since leaving Turkey on a passage to Indonesia on July 18, we have either been at sea or not allowed ashore due to ID restrictions. voyages
Our stOry: The two of us left Ballard, Washington, in June 201 . We headed north to Alaska, through the orthwest assage to Greenland, wintered in South arolina, crossed the orth Atlantic in August 2018, wintered in Scotland, crossed the orth Sea to Denmark, cruised the Baltic, sailed back to the orth Sea to Holland, then France and Spain, and from there into the Mediterranean to Turkey.
and social distancing, and Finike itself was relatively IDfree. The Turkish health-care system has a good reputation in fact, eter was recovering at the time from two successful hand operations that had cost a fraction of stateside surgeries. We had wonderful weather and readily available groceries and water. Isolating is easy for us, and it would likely be easier to stay in place than forced to be in contact with o cials and others as we move.
ID-1 exploded on the world and the cruising scene as we were spending a winter in Finike, Turkey. Already four years into a long voyage, we (no doubt like all long-distance sailors) wondered how it would affect our sailing plans. We watched in dismay as boats in transit were caught out and unable to find a place to rest, restock, and refuel. We were about as far from our home port as is possible, and we wondered how the heck we were going to get home. ruising, in the sense of leisurely exploring coasts or island groups, doesn’t seem possible now. Thus, we expect to travel mostly nonstop in the near future.
: In the early days of ID, we felt uneasy as foreigners. There was a feeling of xenophobia in the air, in town and even at the marina. ne strange quirk of the ID restrictions in Turkey was a curfew for citizens over 5, limiting hours of movement and restricting travel from one province to another. nder our temporary resident visa, these restrictions were applied to eter. nce borders began to open, short-term tourists were not held to these rules, so some sailors of the same age were free to go when and where they pleased while eter, as a resident, was confined to the marina. It seemed likely that restrictions would continue or be tightened as fall approached. Anyone diagnosed with ID in Turkey was reportedly given a drug cocktail, including the unproven hydroxychloroquine, with no option to decline such treatment. In addition, as the epidemic grew, so did our concerns about visas and political tensions in the eastern Med, especially between Greece and Turkey. Since ID conditions did not appear likely to
Our OptiOns: r n n e n I n ne
n e e er
n er e en
: This was the easiest option. The Turkish government seemed to be making mostly reasonable decisions about quarantines
An afternoon off in Sudan.
s s s
improve soon, it seemed that long-distance cruising would become more difficult with time.
Con: The route would take us through Asia with many borders closed.
Head home westward through the Med, across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and home via Hawaii, Alaska, and British Columbia. Pro: We’ve always wanted to sail the Caribbean. Con: The Panama Canal could close just as we needed it, and an extended stay in or near Panama did not appeal to us. Our U.S. passports were becoming a liability and much of the Med was inaccessible to us. Some recent pirate activity in Northern Africa and the Caribbean was targeted at cruisers. Head home eastward through the Suez Canal, down the Red Sea, across the Indian Ocean, and home via the Philippines, Japan, Aleutians, and British Columbia. Pro: This was likely the option that would bring us home soonest. The Suez Canal was remaining open and was just a three-day sail from Turkey. We were invited to a promised safe haven in Indonesia for refit, refuel, and provisions. Pirate risk on this route is generally aimed at commercial shipping, and the area is patrolled for safety. We would complete a second circumnavigation. 40
Fishing in the Suez.
NOT AN OPTION FOR US: Flying home and leaving Irene in a marina. Our cruising style? We stay with the boat. We don’t fly home or take breaks, because we want to experience our travels in their natural scale. And we don’t have a house, so our boat is our only home. Also, we’ve noticed that bad things can happen to boats when no one is taking care of them. WE MAKE A DECISION: We were leaning toward the eastbound route and saw that the timing was right to depart soon. We would hopefully get a downwind ride in the Red Sea, diminishing winds in the Arabian Sea, and still find some wind in the Bay of Bengal. We decided: eastbound it was. Not without reservations, of course. It’s not an easy passage to plan considering weather alone, not to mention politics and pandemics. We joined the Red Sea Passage and Indian Ocean Crossing Facebook pages for ideas and research, noted our plans, and were immediately criticized—mostly for planning to sail the Red Sea during the hot time of year, but also for crossing the Indian Ocean in the southwest monsoon. No matter, we are used to naysayers. It seems to be a perennial part of the cruising community, perhaps getting a bit worse in the age of social media. As it turned out, it was hot and uncomfortable at times, and we both suffered a bit from “prickly heat” and minor heat
rashes. We drank plenty of water and covered up when on deck. But we experienced nothing close to life-threatening, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Not to minimize, though: It was a real adjustment for us—two northern sailors who had spent most of the last four years sailing in higher latitudes— to acclimatize to tropical heat. To conserve water, our showers were limited. If our watermaker had been working, life would have been more comfortable. WE DEPART: On July 18, 2020, after provisioning, forwarding our clearance and passport information to Nongsa Point Marina in Indonesia, and clearing out of Turkey, we made the short crossing south to Port Said and the entrance to the Suez Canal. We were subjected to the expected dubious charges, demands, and ungracious behavior, but also—not so expected—pleasantly met two principled pilots who did not demand baksheesh. One even refused a tip of any sort! We also loved the stark beauty of the desert and spotting lateen sails and rowing craft. Soon enough, we were southbound in the Red Sea in high summer. Off the coast of Sudan, we encountered a nasty, windy, red-grit-laden weather phenomenon called the haboob which unfortunately overpowered any following wind that had been predicted by pilot charts. We followed an inside route along the coast, near Port Sudan and Suakin, to find some shelter from gale-force head winds. At one point just south of Suakin, Sudan, we anchored for a night as we had arrived at a narrow section of the route too late in the afternoon to complete in daylight. Some young men, clearly
Great Bitter Lake, Suez. issue 63 2021
military despite lack of uniforms, arrived in a skiff and asked questions. elaying our answers by phone, they said o cers needed to come inspect us. They zoomed off to the closest port where the o cers were waiting and told us to wait for their return. In due course, they returned with two o cers, who came aboard and poked around down below. It became obvious that one o cer was nautical, the other religious. eter fielded the navigation questions, explaining chart plotter and routes, while Ginger answered the religious o cer’s queries. He wanted to know if we were married, had children, or had gone ashore in Sudan. It was quite dark by the time they were satisfied. Despite slow progress, we passed through Bab al Mandeb and arrived in Djibouti on August 5. Djibouti was reported to be open, but we soon learned it was not in any practical sense. We needed a doctor to administer a ID test in order to obtain a visa, but none could be found who was willing to do so. It’s unclear if more money would have remedied this situation, but since we only needed a top-off of fuel and water, it wasn’t worth more than a day of our time trying. We arranged for purchase of stores with our agent, Moustique, and remained onboard. By August 10, our wind forecast had improved, and we sailed out into the Gulf of Aden in a fine breeze. As expected in the time of the southwest monsoon, the fine breeze grew into more wind than we needed. As we passed north of Socotra and entered the Arabian Sea, the wind was shrieking in the rigging and the seas seemed huge. We sailed under a double-reefed mizzen and a reefed staysail until even that small
Sa ed our Sue
bit of sail was too much. hatting with a passing container ship, the n , we learned that the wind at that moment was a sustained 5 , gusting to 4. In knots The little bit of staysail pulled us along at top speed for a few more days until the wind started to ease. The forecast had been sustained high 20s gusting into the 30s, but it is an area known for high winds. ormally we would heave-to in sustained high winds and big seas and wait out the blow in comfort, but in this case the wind was expected to last for weeks and there was no point in loitering in pirate waters. This part of the ocean is in the high-risk zone delineated and patrolled by a multinational coalition of armed forces. We made daily reports to this coalition, saw warships and aircraft, heard radio transmissions, and felt very much looked after. arge seas made it seem unlikely that pirate vessels efue in in
s dinner in t e ndian voyages
Hand steering in the Strait of Malacca.
The pilot failure was accompanied by the error message ‘No Pilot’ and a red blinking light on the compass.
would be active, too. So we kept sailing on, taking plenty of solid water on deck. A pirate deterrent if ever there was one! As it always does, the wind moderated, we shook out the reefs, set the mainsail, and our speed dwindled day by day. Only a nasty swell remained to remind us of what we had been through. Irene normally sails well in light winds, but the swell knocked the wind out of the sails and a crop of gooseneck barnacles slowed us even further. Days of under a hundred nautical miles had us regularly recalculating our arrival date. It wasn’t all bad as the fishing was good, cooking was possible, and our diet improved. As we closed in on Sri Lanka on August 28, a fishing boat traded some fresh produce—including a pineapple, a papaya, and a coconut— for bags of potato chips! What a happy day!
to be fixed now, after a bit of work at the dock and a brief test. It was probably caused by a network crash, caused in turn by mismatched software revision levels—the updates we loaded in Turkey somehow did not install the latest version of the pilot control head. It’s strange that it worked well enough for the first few thousand miles of our passage. Perhaps it took that time for enough error messages to accumulate and crash the network? The update bundles combine all the various components in one—EV1 course computer, ACU400 actuator unit, and P70 and P70r displays—and should load all the Indian Ocean near Socotra.
In the Bay of Bengal, the wind picked up, and we made good progress toward the Strait of Malacca. On September 3, as we approached Banda Aceh, the northern tip of Sumatra and the entrance to the Strait of Malacca, we suffered a complete failure of our autopilot. This was a serious blow to our two-person team. The faithful Monitor wind-vane remained in service, but light wind was expected in the straits. Motoring would require hand-steering until we reached Nongsa. Also lost was our ability to plot AIS targets on the chartplotter. Not great timing, considering the heavy traffic in the region. The next weeks were a blur of handsteering, dodging fishing boats day and night, thunderstorms, anchoring in roadsteads, and quick naps when sailing. The pilot failure was accompanied by the error message “No Pilot” and a red blinking light on the compass. It seems issue 63 2021
Sri an an s in
updates automatically. ots of mind-numbing hours of handsteering and exposure to the elements could have been avoided had we known to double-check to be sure that they had actually successfully loaded. Always learning something new We arrived at ongsa on September 14, happy but bleary-eyed, quite tired from hand-steering and 5 days and over 5,800 nautical miles of challenging sailing. rri ut: A storm of a different sort was waiting for us at ongsa oint Marina. The marina manager, John, welcomed us at the dock, but told us that our entry into the country might be problematic because entry rules had changed while we were at sea. The immigration o cer informed us that we could not stay in Indonesia unless the .S. embassy wrote a letter vouching for us. We quickly emailed a request, but the embassy in Jakarta would not write the letter, suggesting we try going to Singapore instead. The Indonesian immigration o cer gave us a week to make repairs, but then we had to depart. We were confined to the marina in the meantime.
ur one week turned into two thank you, Indonesia, for the grace period It’s quite di cult to repair and prepare without being allowed to go and purchase parts, food, and supplies. ther sailors in the marina, mostly Aussies, were 44
extremely helpful to us, and marina staff members volunteered to provision food for us. During this time, we contacted any and all neighboring countries to see if we would be accepted. Malaysia, Thailand, ietnam, Brunei, the hilippines, and Taiwan were all closed to us. nly Singapore would accept us on an emergency basis, and we will be confined on board indefinitely. We filled diesel and water tanks, fixed the autopilot and other issues, n at
in t e
a a a Strait.
and became seaworthy again. We finalized arrangements with Singapore. We made a short hop across the strait and picked up a mooring at hangi Sailing lub. The club has been helpful and welcoming. We are legal, safe from weather, and entertained by a parade of commercial shipping. We hope for an easing of ID and an easing of restrictions. We are now in range of the .S. to be able to sail home nonstop if needed.
The next leg of our journey home to Seattle begins in late January or February 2021, after the typhoon season has ended. We plan to follow the Great ircle route, the shortest mileage, past Borneo, the hilippines, Taiwan, Japan, the Aleutians, and British olumbia, and finally arrive home in uget Sound. The big question is whether we will be allowed to stop anywhere. ot being able to stop in countries we pass is a big downside of sailing in ID times. We have missed and will miss exploring wonderful places, but we’ll leave Singapore ready to sail nonstop if necessary.✧
A out t e Aut ors Ginger and Peter Niemann began a liveaboard, sailing, and cruising life in 2004 when they bought a 47-foot sloop, Marcy. She was in disrepair, but they fixed her up and departed on a four-year circumnavigation. Their journey took them from Seattle westabout via Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn. Highlights included South Pacific islands, a winter in New Zealand, New Caledonia, Australia, and Madagascar; rounding Cape Horn and exploring the Beagle Channel and Patagonian canals; and coming home via Hawaii and Alaska. Back in Seattle, Peter and Ginger got jobs, recharged the cruising kitty, found a new boat, Irene, a 50-foot ketch with standing headroom for Peter, and departed again in 2016 on their current extended voyage. They plan to return to their home waters in 2021. Ginger and Peter prefer to sail double-handed, which they regard as a safer—someone is always on watch— yet more difficult version of single-handing, as most watches are indeed single-handed. (Why more difficult? Couples challenges!) They rely on each other absolutely and enjoy growing their coexistence, communication, and competence skills as they continue their life afloat. They are pictured here in Finike, Turkey.
Our Favorite Place The Answer – or sever everA Al
T e aut ors in o om ia.
by inda and Ste hen Stelmaszy , ras d’ r Station
ack home after six oceans, 18 countries, 27 months of adventure, hundreds of new friends, 180 days at sea, 40,000 plus miles under the keel, and immeasurable experiences, it’s time to look back and answer the always-asked question: What is your favorite place This is sometimes accompanied by Are there pirates and Do you stop at night The last two are easy and amusing; the first, almost unanswerable. As lifelong sailors, we wanted to sail around the world, fulfilling a dream shared by many, sailors and landlubbers alike. With good health, decades of experience, and a sturdy new yacht, it was time to go The World A , the World ruising lub’s aroundthe-world rally, sounded like a good idea, offering support with customs, dockage, safety, and the opportunity to share experiences with an international group of like-minded sailors. ur plan was to leave the rally in Fiji, take a year in ew
ealand, and rejoin the following year. And so it began, with each landfall a delight and an accomplishment, and then much more as we traveled by land, met local people, and enjoyed their country. ational pride was on display everywhere we went. In ovember 2017, leaving the cold winds of the hesapeake Bay, we headed for the January start of the World A in St. ucia via Bermuda and Antigua. When r , our Hylas 5 , slipped her dock lines, we were well-equipped and ready for every possible scenario except for the amazement we felt, time after time, when arriving in exotic places by sail. Having sailed the East Atlantic and aribbean for decades, from ova Scotia to the southern reaches of the aribbean, we departed odney Bay, St. ucia, early January 2018 in the company of 35 other yachts, knowing our sailing adventures would be on a whole new level. Excitement was high on all the yachts, experience a little less so on some, but all managed the first windy, downwind leg across the aribbean Sea to
Santa Marta, olombia. With our heavy (75,000 pounds loaded) boat and ode ero sail, we honed our jibing skills, discovering the sailing skill needed on the entire westbound equatorial circumnavigation. Santa Marta is a mixture of high-rise condos and historic old city, full of culture, colorful people, and an exchange rate that gave one pause at the ATM, with its million-peso option. We quickly learned that was just 2 3 .S. and did our best to
o orfu mar et in Santa
adapt to the first of many new ways of viewing the world while ditching our Americentric bias. The marina was world-class, with top-notch facilities and proximity to town. olombia was a favorite located on our first new continent and the first of seven legs that, for us, would end in Fiji in June. h, and thanks to our crew, Erwin and Diane Wanderer (BD ), we won the leg From Santa Marta, we sailed a few days to the San Blas islands, off the coast of anama. Autonomous in culture and
o om ia. ss e
government, the indigenous people seem to have little in common with mainland anama, which is heavily influenced by the commerce and prominence the canal affords. The islands are low and sandy with few navigation aids. We used the eyeball-navigation experience we gained in the Bahamas to find some great spots to swim and snorkel. The many wrecks were a reminder to be vigilant at all times Soon we arrived on the mainland to await our canal transit. We read e een e e by historian David Mc ullough and were reminded of the struggle to build the anama anal and the importance of the endeavor. At sunset on our transit day, r entered the Gatun ocks in the old canal with 11 other yachts. It felt like we were docking a dozen boats on an old city street, blocked in by ten-story windowless buildings. nowing the history made the transit even more awe-inspiring as the huge gates
nterin our rst anama ana o
ine and ers and re
iane and r in
at t e o .
swung open for us, as they have for so many for over a hundred years. With Diane and Erwin Wanderer still aboard and (almost) permanent crew Debby and Dan Hoyt as line handlers, we quickly rose up to the next lock. epeated twice more, and Gatun ake, at 85 feet above sea level, appeared before us. We were directed to a giant mooring ball to await the dawn, when we’d step down to the acific via the Miraflores ocks. ur pilot was all business, but answered our many questions and tested our knowledge to boot. Welcome to anama ity This exciting, international gateway to the South acific looks a lot like Miami, with one of the world’s largest container ports. In one short month, we were in a new ocean Transiting the anama anal is a bucket-list item for many sailors, us included, and is every bit the experience you would expect. The history of this hard-earned engineering wonder is evident in every mile, and the pride of the people safely escorting you through it is reflected in the pilots’ welcome to the acific cean. How could anama and the canal not be a favorite Excited to continue west, we spent a few days in as erlas islands preparing the boat for the Galapagos. With just
enough fresh food to get there, a twice-cleaned bottom, and carefully sorted trash, we motored and slowly sailed, crossing the equator in such light winds that some in the fleet chose to swim across o longer ollywogs, our newly christened Shellback crew celebrated their 2 a.m. arrival at San rist bal Island with a hampagne toast, accompanied by the song of thousands of sea lions, several trying to come aboard. The Galapagos authorities, resolute about biosecurity, arrived later in the morning to check our medical status, immigration, trash, and food supplies, with divers to inspect the hull for growth. hil Wash (BD ) and Elizabeth Haliburton made the long winter journey from ova Scotia to join us for two weeks of island-hopping. The unique flora and fauna are unrivaled, both above and below the sea, and lovingly protected by the strict Ecuadorian ature onservancy the best in the world. Somewhat stifling for a private yacht, the best way to see this unique biosphere is on a local cruise dive ship. These boats, with a naturalist aboard, are allowed much more latitude to move amongst the many islands, whereas yachts are confined to just three busy anchorages. We had to rely on water taxis and fuel barges, which introduced us to the logistics we would face as we headed to more remote places. Far from our comfort zone, we managed to fuel up from a scary barge and provision with the limited supplies available.
r s re in o on anama. ss e
Exploring the Galapagos islands with friends and crew.
The Galapagos are home to sea lions, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, and giant tortoises. Under the sea, there are sharks, vibrant schools of fish, and sea turtles—as spectacular as we had expected. With tourism and climate change threatening, I hurry to include these islands as favorites for the totally unique biosphere they are. How lucky can a sailor be to see these wild, exotic, and still-pristine islands? We were committed now, with a 3,000-nautical-mile sail to the Marquesas and the rest of French Polynesia on the horizon! Emotionally surviving this long passage was concerning. Before this, our longest passage was about nine days, and we were about to double that! Light winds and calm seas carried Alora on a southwesterly course in search of favorable current and trade winds to begin one of the longest open-ocean passages in the world. Happily, we found the trade winds sooner than expected. The wind filled in and built to a pleasant 20 knots off our port quarter. 50
When fellow sailors ask about that long passage, we suggest remembering their most pleasant sail, bright sunny skies, great wind off the quarter, reasonable seas going their way, the ability to fly their biggest sail, and clicking off 200-mile days—for 16 days and nights. Get the picture? And for those unable to relate to that, maybe Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Southern Cross” will suffice. This passage felt like a pathway to a new level of experience and resolved any doubts of competency. And if it’s OK to include the parts in-between as favorites, then this downwind sail to Ta’a Oa Bay on Hiva Oa is one to remember. The Marquesas, an island group that is best visited by boat, is breathtakingly dramatic with 4,000-foot-high peaks, deep anchorages, and cascading waterfalls. It is the gateway to the vast country of French Polynesia that stretches to the Society Islands some thousand miles away. We were introduced to the unique culture of the South Pacific islanders at a traditional
mu banquet, where we were entertained by dance groups while dining on a pig that had been roasted in the ground. Exotically tattooed with designs steeped in history, the olynesian islanders have many unusual customs, the most ba ing to us being the Mahu, boys raised as girls. ommon throughout the South acific, this tradition was apparently adopted when a family had too many boys and not enough girls for housework. In spite of modern sensibilities, many are still being raised that way. Furthering our journey to becoming world citizens, we marveled at the cultural differences that defined each new landfall.
n at t rou Tuamotu reefs.
Six hundred miles south-southeast lies the Dangerous Archipelago, the remote, low atolls of the Tuamotus, with 78 islands stretched over 328 miles from northwest to southeast. Barely three meters above sea level, entrances have ripping currents, narrow passes, and no protection from the boisterous wind. We had to time our arrival so the sun was just right to see the reefs and the current near slack to lessen the wave action. nly a few of the many islands have navigable passes, with Fakarava and angiroa the only ones with small runways and an occasional cruise ship. Motoring within the lagoon of Makemo, with crew seated on the lower spreader to spot the bommies outcrops of coral
r s tra from t e ari a i to e ea and.
ean a ross t e
Dinghy dock and anchorage in crystal clear Tuamotus waters.
reef—that rose 60 feet to the surface, we safely anchored in a remote spot, greeted by the resident blacktip sharks. We ignored them and spent hours just floating around the calm, shallow lagoon. With so few boats visiting, the snorkeling and diving were magical!
After another short passage, the soaring, dramatic peaks of the Society Islands rose over the horizon. In Cook’s Bay, Mo’orea, we anchored in the shadow of misty peaks viewed by Captain Cook and photographed for many South Pacific movies. In Tahiti, we anchored in the center of the bustling city of Pape’ete
Happy hour on a Makemo beach, Tuamotus.
Tuamotus di in .
for world-class provisioning and restaurants. a’iatea, Taha’a, and Bora Bora rounded up our time here before heading to the island kingdom of Tonga. Weather in the South acific was very predictable, with little rain and steady, if sometimes a bit light, wind. With consistently decent weather windows, we island-hopped on comfortable, four- to five-day passages all the way to Fiji. The rhythm of the South acific was mesmerizing as we sailed, talked, read, and cooked, with r performing grandly in every way.
by boat, we saw the remnants of the homestead of hermit and sailor Tom eale, who lived alone here for nearly 30 years. We carried on to ava’u, Tonga, the country’s northernmost island group and a whale breeding ground. ow, heavily wooded islands with eroded shores looked like so many mushrooms. Tongans are very religious and family-oriented. Their unique wardrobe includes the , a woven mat worn like a
French olynesia fulfills the dream of sailing the South acific in so many ways. The towering peaks of the Marquesas looming on the horizon after weeks at sea, the low, dangerous atolls of the Tuamotus, and the beauty and resources of the Society Islands made two months go by quickly Maybe French olynesia is the favorite place thinking about it surely makes it so but there was so much more to experience Far from orth American shores, we would soon cross the international date line near Tonga. With Samoa to the north and most of the ook Islands to the south, a quick stop in remote Suwarrow’s snug anchorage was a far cry from the busy Society Islands. ustoms procedures are quite a serious undertaking in many places, even one less than a square mile in size. After a very long check-in process carried out by agents who arrived
oo out on t e ea
Tuamotus. ss e
skirt as a sign of respect. We became friends with a family on a remote island when they asked us to dinghy their kids to school, since their “car” (boat, actually) wouldn’t start. This led to a cookout for fellow cruisers, including live entertainment, our first taste of kava, and a pig obtained from a neighboring island. What a feast they put together with no refrigeration or electricity! It is amazing how much we take for granted. Hoping to fit in, we found travel guidebooks, along with our cruising guides, to be invaluable in getting us up to speed on local customs and dress. It is easy to miss the details, and possibly even offend, unless care is taken to study and observe. With internet a challenge almost everywhere, guidebooks still have a place in world travel. We always arrived with plenty of ideas of what to see and do and what not to miss! Provisioning and fuel were challenging in Tonga, but we managed with the help of World ARC agents as we prepared to leave for the short passage to the remote Lau island group of Fiji. With no real services until Viti Levu at the western end of the country, we stocked up on fresh produce and whatever else we could find for a month of cruising these wild islands. Alora departed Tonga bound for Loma Loma on Vanua Balavu, where World ARC arranged for customs agents to fly in. Without that help, we would have had to skip the Lau group to check in at the main island of Viti Levu. A sail back to 54
Nice catch in Tonga.
windward would have been the only way to visit. With warnings of the unreliable navigation in Fiji, we approached with chart plotter, Google Earth images on an iPad, and paper charts. Nothing prepared us for the inaccuracy of our Navionics charts, which showed our track going right over an island! This was the case throughout all of Fiji, the most challenging navigation of our circumnavigation. While we were privileged to see all the island groups, the Lau group, most inaccessible and traditional, was breathtakingly beautiful, with serene anchorages amongst numerous small islets perfect for days of dinghy exploration. Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji, was our first stop after Tahiti with an international airport and plenty of yacht services. Looking for some long-overdue pampering, we took a slip in Denarau, home to mega-yachts. This is the gateway to the islands and resorts of the Mamanuca and Yasawa island chains and was a well-needed break after island-hopping from French Polynesia. Fiji is Australia’s and New Zealand’s Caribbean, so there were plenty of cruise ships, ferries, and resorts. We arrived in early June and stayed until November, with a quick flight to southern Australia for a taste of southern winter and a very long flight home. We said goodbye to our World ARC friends in Fiji and ultimately tacked off to New Zealand. Fiji is also where we learned to navigate the old-fashioned way, found strong winds to rival the Caribbean, developed a taste for kava, and said bula
(hello) too many times. Life in Fiji was bustling, with stark contrast between an international crowd and remote villages run by chiefs. It felt like our South Pacific home and was our gateway to the higher latitudes to the south. Fiji will always remain a favorite place, remembered for fabulous sunsets, warm water, and even warmer Fijians. But time for a cool change! Sailing the high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere and visiting New Zealand were high on our list, and this was the time and place to turn that dream into reality. It was now or never to head for New Zealand for the austral summer! We waited in Fiji for four months until the right season to head south. Timing is everything for this 1,200-mile passage— we had to find high pressure strong enough to carry us to the southeast, and get there fast enough to beat the infamous squash zones that form to the north of New Zealand when lows roll across the Tasman Sea. Alora is fairly heavy with 50 feet of waterline. With heavily reefed sails, we ran more downwind in the 35-knot-plus trades for a day until they eased a bit, and then we turned directly for Opua. Trusting our PredictWind weather forecast along with that of the many boats headed our way, Mother Nature blessed us with a port tack all the way. With just 24 hours motoring, we entered Bay of Islands Marina six days after leaving Fiji.
Dinghy ride in Fiji. issue 63 2021
New Zealand has many rules about biosecurity, immigration, visas, and boat requirements, and yet welcomes sailors like no other. What else from a country with more boats per capita than people? Kia ora, New Zealand! And hello to seven months of exploring the coolest country in the world! Almost the entire population of five million resides on the North and South islands. Opua, our first port at latitude 35° S, focuses around a 500-slip marina and associated services, contractors, and residents. When the Maoris arrived, they settled mostly in the north, and their culture is dominant on the North Island. The initial Polynesian explorers and their Maori descendants probably sailed the same route as Alora over ten centuries ago, without all the fancy navigational equipment, trusting that there was something out there. Many towns and sites are being renamed with original Maori names, and unlike some countries, New Zealand proudly celebrates its indigenous people. We sailed the east coast of the North Island for about two weeks, enjoying the islands while anticipating our carefully planned land exploration of the South Island, itself a dramatic sailing area. Wanting to make the most of our time, we chose to visit the South Island by land. Whangarei, a coastal town a few hours north of Auckland, was our jumping-off point for eight weeks of road tripping. With Alora safely docked at Marsden Cove Marina, we took buses, planes, ferries, and cars for our six-week adventure. Oh, I forgot walking! A multiday trek through Queen Charlotte Sound introduced us to the South Island’s outdoorsy vibe. We hiked past Ship Cove, anchorage of Abel Tasman in 1642 and James Cook in 1769. The heritage of sailing runs deep with Kiwis, getting there being no easy task for Polynesian or European explorers. Alora under sail.
The South Island offered everything from lazy afternoons at world-class wineries to paragliding and bungee jumping in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world, and we tried to do it all. Circumnavigating the island by car, crossing the Great Southern Alps and serene plains near Canterbury, ballooning, whitewater rafting, paragliding, ziplining, biking, and hiking left us feeling fit and energized. The vistas were remarkable, as was the climate, with little rain, comfortable temperatures, and (almost) no insects. A long and winding road through lush forests and tunnels led to the extensive fjords and spectacular waterfalls of Milford Sound. A place one could explore for years, New Zealand borders the Southern Ocean and is subject to the vagaries of high-latitude weather. The rhythm of the seasons beckoned us to head north for the tropics or hunker down for the austral winter. We headed back to Opua, the jumping-off point for the fleet headed back north. The cyclone season was still in play up 56
north, so the weather window was even more critical than the passage south, similar to the North Atlantic in November. We waited and waited to finally leave for Nuku’alofa on Tongatapu, the southernmost island of the kingdom of Tonga, to rejoin the World ARC for the rest of the journey around the world. Looking astern as New Zealand dropped over the horizon, we marveled at all we had seen and done. Was it worth the sail there? Absolutely! Was it worth a 14-hour flight? Without a doubt! “What was your favorite place?” We struggle to find a good answer. Invariably, we both start with the natural beauty and seemingly familiar feel of New Zealand and then remember the excitement of the start in St. Lucia, the historical journey through the Panama Canal, the remarkable passage and landfall
Underway from Fiji to New Zealand.
in the Marquesas, the exotic, heady experience of the South Pacific islands strewn across the vast open ocean. The answer, then, is all of these places, all for different reasons, with no possibility of choosing just one. And this is not even half of our circumnavigation! There is a saying, “Build a castle with your memories so you will have a place to go as you grow old.” We continue our journey to add many more wonderful memories.✧
ABOUT THE AUTHORS Steve built a Sunfish at age 14, four years before meeting Linda. They eventually married and built a successful business while raising two children, Bryan and Julianne. Even though their business kept them close to Philadelphia, Steve and Linda continued to sail in a series of larger boats, expanding their cruising area to Chesapeake Bay, New England, Nova Scotia, and eventually the Caribbean and the world. They became involved with the CCA over the course of many summers in Nova Scotia, eventually joining the Bras d’Or Station. A favorite phrase of Linda’s—“Take me somewhere I’ve never been”—graces the wall of her office. After five decades of sailing and selling their business, they had Alora built to circumnavigate. First a dream of Linda’s and not of Steve’s, then the reverse, both ultimately agreed to go for it! Now home for a year after completing their circumnavigation, they hope to continue cruising, this time heading east for Europe.
issue 63 2021
East Coast of
by Bill Strassberg, Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post
fter a 38-hour passage from Isafjordur, Iceland, on Visions of Johanna, our Chuck Paine-designed, custom 62-foot cutter (see Voyages 2020), my crew— Chris, Lucas, and Brigid—and I awakened to a light, misty fog that soon cleared to a bright and sunny Greenland morning. We were anchored inside the narrow-necked bowl at Storo Island, safe from big ice, feeling rested and pretty well pumped with energy and excitement on our first full day in Greenland. Small growlers were encroaching upon us, and we used our tuk (ice pole) to clear them as we readied to weigh anchor. At 66° 10’ N, Storo Island is partway up Greenland’s east coast. Our plan was to cruise south via an inland passage to Tasiilaq, a route described to me in Isafjordur by adventure captain Sigurdur “Siggi” Jonsson. We were at the northern edge of Greenland’s Ammassalak region, and Ammassalik Island and the major town of Tasiilaq were approximately 70 nautical miles to the south. Tasiilaq, with its colorful buildings, modern amenities,
and approximately 2,100 inhabitants, is the east coast’s largest town and the seventh largest in Greenland. The scenery along the passage was grand, but it took a few moments to get oriented. The inland passage began by weaving in and out of numerous offshore islands and, as charts are offset by as much as a quarter mile, it was challenging to determine a starting point from which to navigate. One cannot simply use radar to orient topography, as icebergs visually obscure islands and inter-island passes and also appear as “faux” islands on radar. After laying out our route on geo-referenced Google Earth charts while using radar for cross-check, I was able to confirm our position and establish a heading toward Sermiligaaq, a small outer settlement of the Ammassalik Commune. Sermiligaaq, with its population of approximately 200 people, is perched on a rocky outcrop beneath towering cliffs
and looks like it is about to topple into the sea. Located near the Sermilik Fjord, its name means “beautiful glacier fjord” in Kalaallis, the Greenlandic language. After a hairpin turn around the Sermiligaaq settlement, we entered an inland waterway and realized that the southern portion of the passage is a summertime “taxi run” within the Ammassalik Commune, ferrying people between Tasiilaq and neighboring northern settlements. As we continued meandering up and down long river-like passages, we came across the remains of a WWII U.S. Air Force refueling base, evidenced by a sea of rusty oil drums along the coast. A few more speedboat taxis went by as we headed toward the Ammassalik Fjord, Ammassalik Island, and Tasiilaq. Tasiilaq translates as “like a lake.” Sitting above the circular King Oscar’s Fjord, along the foothills of Sjoman
Encroaching growlers at Storo Island. issue 63 2021
The town of Tasiilaq.
(“sea man”), the local mountain, Tasiilaq is called the “capital” of East Greenland. Surrounded by tall mountains and bisected by a green river valley, it has a raw, frontier feel. Due to distances and harsh climate, towns in Greenland are not connected by roads, and Tasiilaq and other communal settlements are only connected seasonally by water; the inhabitants are hardy folk. Tasiilaq has several shops, a museum, hotels and B&Bs, and an electronics store. You can go for a pizza, to a bar/nightclub, or dine in a cafe. You can buy Inuit handicrafts and traditional carvings, including tupilaqs (a mythical avenging monster), directly from the artisans. You can go to the large grocery store and buy Special K breakfast cereal, your dinner, or a shotgun. It’s all there. Hiking and outdoor pursuits mix here with local culture. Summer brings international visitors and boatloads of energy from visiting inhabitants of other settlements who participate in local soccer tournaments and fill the town with activity. Nearly everywhere you look, there are sleds and sled dogs. You hear dogs barking throughout town, and town benches are even shaped like dogsleds. We spent three nights in Tasiilaq, hiking into the river valley on day one, and then up a 2,000-foot peak on day two. The crew agreed that Tasiilaq is a very beautiful, unique, and special place where everything feels just a little larger than life. We were advised to connect with Lars Moller, the owner/ operator of a Tasiilaq-based tour company, Arctic Dreams, before our departure. Moller provided advice and recommendations for our passage south. We found him on the soccer field—of course! We explained that our number one desire was to explore a glacier, and while Lars offered to guide us, he also said that, with our own boat, we did not require his assistance. He shared local knowledge with us and recommended Nagtivit Fjord, where glacial retreat had left behind a large, accessible 60
inland lake. Importantly, while we knew that shotguns and polar bear protections were not necessary in the immediate Tasiilaq area, Lars told us that they were not necessary at Nagtivit either. We left Tasiilaq Sunday, July 21, bound for Nagtivit Fjord, about 25 nautical miles south and then five miles up into the fjord. En route to Nagtivit, we passed across the mouth of the Sermilac Fjord. Sermilac Fjord encompasses a group of at least five inner fjords, and in summer, it becomes what I termed an iceberg-generating zone, where large numbers of icebergs calve off the glaciers and drift out to the open sea. Per our plan,
Hiking in Tasiilaq.
weather conditions were ideal and we crossed carefully, treated to an astounding display of icebergs, bergy bits, and growlers— literally hundreds as far as the eye could see. We named the icebergs, inevitably due to some shape or characteristic, passing Emerald City, Half Dome, Alligator Mouth, Flat Face, and Gotham. It seems silly, but it was also very useful. Once we settled on a name for a berg off in the distance, we would use it as a point of reference for routing. Smooth seas and light winds allowed gentle motoring, and I was pleased to see that I could reliably visualize beachball-size
growlers of 18 inches or more in height with our 36-inch openarray radar. This made for good, albeit intimidating, navigation: the small growlers were added to the radar mix of icebergs and bergy bits and targets densely filled my screen. But good weather and visibility, along with a great crew eager to be eyes up on the foredeck, made this a calm process. We initiated our turn toward Nagtivit and began the process of checking and confirming course and location as we closed on the fjord. Charts here were offset by about one-third of a mile. Once again, due to the numerous icebergs, we could Sermiligaaq outer settlement in a light fog.
issue 63 2021
tiptoed toward the head of the fjord, icebergs and growlers were abundant, and Chris suggested we take a look at a small bay that was to our left as we entered. We explored it and found a storybook, safe keyhole anchorage at the bay’s head, anchoring in 25 feet on a mud-silt bottom. With a narrow, curved entry, the anchorage was perfect—bulletproof and bergy-proof. We subsequently christened our spot the “Kiwi anchorage” in recognition of Chris, a Kiwi. We hiked the surrounding mountains that first afternoon and feasted our eyes on the scenery—mountains, glacier, and icebergs.
not use the radar to visualize off-lying islands and “mentally correct” this chart offset. We did have geo-referenced Google Earth charts of the region but they were small scale, and it was often difficult to discern land from ice on images. With good visibility and light seas in our favor, we carefully entered at a safe and measured pace. The Nagtivit Fjord and anchorage area recommended by Lars is only charted with big stretches of empty blue, surrounded by a roughly-shaped coastline. Approaches and anchorages are not described in any guidebook I have seen. We chose to approach the northwest arm of the Y-shaped fjord where the glacier ice meets the sea, entering slowly. Sailing under towering mountain peaks, with icebergs everywhere and the glacier in the distance, we rounded icebergs and confirmed the position of hidden islands as we passed them. While we could have
The next day we took the dinghy to the glacier—about four to five miles—and hiked all day, stopping for a picnic lunch. One crew member commented: “Well, now I can check off lunch on a glacier from my bucket list.” Technical gear would have allowed some incredible climbing, but we were happy enough just scrambling about. Lucas capped his day off with a dip at the base of the glacier, swimming with the icebergs. Go figure! The day was a great adventure and an unforgettable experience. The following day, we made a 35-nautical-mile passage to Kitaq Island outside Isortoq, the southernmost settlement in the Tasiilaq Commune. Shoals surrounding Kitaq Island create an island group and anchorages safe from icebergs. S/V Diomedea, a boat that we had met in Isafjordur, hailed and joined us. The area was (lightly) buoyed—about the only buoyage we experienced—likely due to safety afforded from drifting ice and proximity to Isortoq Commune. At Kitaq we found our Navionics iPad charting to be spot-on around the anchorage. Most of us lounged on the boat for the afternoon, while Lucas went on a shore excursion with the Diomedea crew to teach them how to use the shotgun they had purchased in Tasiilaq!
Nagtivit Fjord—our Kiwi anchorage.
A long day passage brought us to Kiatak, 64˚ 19' N/40˚ 32' W, an anchorage mentioned in the RCC Pilotage Foundation’s Arctic and Northern Waters guide by Andrew Wilkes. Our anchor was up at 0545 for the 94-nauticalmile passage, with a forecast of light winds and seas. We welcomed the gentle conditions for this long motor, with whales in the distance to seaward, and ice-capped glacial peaks fronted by scads of icebergs visible landward. The iceberg concentration lessened briefly as we progressed south, but my log then describes an amazing amount of ice off another fjord, generating icebergs from calving glaciers within. With Diomedea following us, we slowly picked our way through the challenging course. At times we were not sure if we would get through, but as one closed on each seemingly impenetrable group of icebergs, bergy bits, and growlers, a path always appeared. Using radar and Google Earth maps, we made the turn toward Kiatak, which revealed itself to be a deep and protected anchorage. For several days, we had been using our secondary windlass, with 200 feet of chain, because the primary windlass, with 400 feet of chain, was only winding down, not up. Desiring use of my primary gear, I followed the recommendations of our shore support (stepson Gram, aka “NASA”), reeducating the windlass controls to remind the starboard windlass to wind up as well as down. Soon, we were anchored in about 50 feet of water at lovely Kiatak Island.
The next morning began damp and cold, but the fog cleared and we hiked in the afternoon, enjoying mountain and sea vistas while harvesting a large array of colorful glacial stones. Our plan was to alternate long days of sailing with a day of shore excursions, and we returned to Visions of Johanna anticipating a long passage the next day. I could not immediately check the weather, however, because steep cliffs like those at Kiatak blocked my Inmarsat satcom signal. As a result, my routine was to check weather immediately before entering and after leaving a cliff-lined anchorage. (We also carry an Iridium-based Garmin inReach for secondary or urgent communications.) After we left Kiatak the following day, I checked weather and an ominous shift in weather patterns became apparent. A series of low-pressure systems would be bringing a protracted bout of strong northeasterly winds to Greenland’s east coast, with days, if not weeks, of 25–30 and occasionally 40-knot winds. We did not want to be pinned for that length of time, or worse, be tempted to venture out in unfavorable conditions, and we changed our plans, making a southerly course directly for Prince Christian Sound (PCS). A while back, I had learned to never presuppose my arrival by including my intended destination in the “Going To” column in my logbook. Now I simply write “Bound For.” When we depart a place, we might have a destination planned, but weather and vessel issues can dictate otherwise, and assumptions cannot be made. This was a good example, as the crew shifted into overnight sail mode “on the fly.” issue 63 2021
Windora, at anchor just inside the weather station. One of the world’s most remote weather stations, Ikerasaasuaq was established during World War II by the U.S. Army to provide North Atlantic weather reports. Subsequently managed by the Danish Meteorological Institute and long fabled for the hospitality of its resident scientists, it is now mostly automated. Often a first stop on east-to-westbound crossings, the weather station is somewhat exposed and we elected to carry on, steaming 36 nautical miles to the tiny fishing village of Aappilattoq.
Iceberg in Nagtivit Fjord.
It was a long sail but we made it to PCS the following day before dark. Icebergs were uncommon as we made our miles south, with many whales and birds about. And yes, it was getting darkish at night, roughly from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Just as we were getting used to all the daylight ... The PCS is 66 nautical miles long, and narrow, sometimes just over a quarter-mile wide. It is mostly surrounded by steep mountains and glaciers calve icebergs into the waters. There is only one settlement along this sound, Aappilattoq, toward the west end while the Ikerasaasuaq weather station is at the east end. After entering PCS, we made contact with the Kiwi yacht
Aappilattoq, historically a fishing harbor, now has a declining population of about 100 people. Even with our daytime arrival, the harbor entry was tricky—about 20 meters wide, cliff-lined, and sinuous, it is obvious only after you get there. The harbor has a soft, sticky bottom, and we put the hook down three times before a solid landing. Diomedea arrived after dark and Chris and Lucas went out in the dinghy to lead them in with a light; the next day, we were joined by Windora. We explored the small village, and enjoyed hiking the area and sightseeing. The village was very friendly, but this was one of our rare stops where few people spoke English. Quiet on a Sunday, the market was closed, but I was entranced watching several children playing on a jumble of floating docks in the harbor. They would pull lines and jostle and shift the floats while challenging one another to jump float to float. And no one got wet!
Large 'table' iceberg in Prince Christian Sound.
We moved the following day to Quasigissat anchorage, at 60˚ 05.54' N/044˚ 05.9' W, to fish for arctic char. Anchoring by a streambed where we saw fish jumping, we later hiked up the stream into the mountains. It was a beautiful day, but it wasn’t arctic char season—fish we did, but catch we did not. Later, we moved up and across the bay to our overnight anchorage, finding less kelp and better holding to the northwest end of Quasigissat. A day later, on July 30, we steamed for the town of Nanortalik. Nanortalik is a small town of about 1,100 inhabitants, but with a rich history. There is a rough wharf to tie to in the inner harbor, grocery stores, a couple of hotels, a fish market, colorful houses, a helpful tourist center, and a church. Diesel is available at the proper tide. The surprisingly large Nanortalik Museum wonderfully depicts the history of the local people and the region, and explores the Native, Old Norse, and European colonial history that shaped Greenland. After two days of exploring, bunkering, and taking on fresh bread and a few treats, we went out to the small outlying island of Angissoc, where we found nice hiking amidst the ruins of an old mining operation. We spent our last two nights in Greenland relaxing there, while awaiting a good weather window to sail for Newfoundland.
Nanortalik. issue 63 2021
Madeleine to St. ierre race, were exiting the harbor. We combined fog navigation with collision avoidance as this seemingly endless stream of stealth racing boats challenged our entry. The French are great racers and these sailors fit the profile, likely the types that chop their toothbrushes in half to save weight while tossing unnecessary gear, such as fog horns and HF radios, overboard. The hearty southerlies finally abated, and several days later we motored in light winds and a bit of roll to unenburg, ova Scotia. A green flash at sunset and a colorful morning sunrise were welcome sights that we hadn’t experienced in a while A fond farewell was bid to crew member Brigid before we headed home to Maine, returning to familiar waters Sunday, August 18. To the north I say, Till we meet again ✧
n nn and r rafted to et er in St. o n s e found and.
onditions were favorable for departure on August 3, with light winds that built quickly in the afternoon into the 30-knot range. We made 21 nautical miles that first day. As is often the case, the unexpected happened, and I found myself changing engine belts en route. We were also in contact with my good mate, Steve Brown (B S), on S r . Steve and I have sailed thousands of miles together and in tandem. An adventuresome soul and ice climber, Steve had completed his circumnavigation of the Americas in July and was in the process of returning r to the . . via St. John’s, ewfoundland. n nn found herself rafted to r the afternoon of August 7 in St. John’s, and a great reunion was had. St. John’s is an interesting, commercial port of call, but my shore leave was unfortunately limited by the need to replace the motor of the acu-Flush pump a rather undesirable, and, again, unexpected chore. With a forecast of strong southerlies, we broke up our passage to ova Scotia with a fast overnight sail to Saint ierre, a small island that is part of a French archipelago called ollectivity of Saint- ierre and Miquelon. While extra clearance formalities were necessary to stop there, the thoughts of croissants and baguettes were too alluring. Although it was thick a’ fog on arrival, a flotilla of boats, part of an annual les de voyages
n nn an ored at a ti it it a ier in ie .
a ti it ord
Bill Strassberg bought a boat before he got a car, and has been sailing the better part of his life. , launched in 200 , has sailed Bermuda races and across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Bill and his wife, ohanna, sailed a southerly route across the Pacific, via the Galapagos to aster sland, Pitcairn sland, the Gambier sles, and the Tuamotu Archipelago, before reaching the Society slands and beyond. They cruised reland, Scotland, the nited ingdom, and France from 2015 to 201 before bringing home to Maine in the summer of 201 .
Karyn watching for ice at Romanche Glacier.
hallenges ruising t e hilean hannels e o
by aryn James,
orida Station ss e
shuaia s uro ean st le architecture. uerto illia s. hoto eather alanne.
et lists some are lo er t a ot ers ata o ia seems to e o e er o es et list t ese a s e lle t is o e o t o m s a Ste es at old, rainy, windy, bleak, lonely, spectacularly wild with raw unspoiled nature el el m o; the end of the world. Tierra del Fuego, meaning the land of fire, encompasses the southernmost tip of South America. It was named by early European explorers for the campfires of the native Selk’nam and aghan people that they saw ashore. Excellent chronicles have been written about the adventures of some of these explorers aptain Fitz oy of the HMS ea le, aptain Allen Gardiner, and missionary Thomas Bridges among them and how they interacted with this primitive population. Good preparatory background reading may be found in E. ucas Bridges’ ttermost art o t e art and Dallas Murphy’s ( S) o i t e or . voyages
In the fall of 2018, my husband, Steve (F A), sailed res ol , our 54-foot aine anter custom aluminum sloop, from the anary Islands to abo erde and across to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with crew changes involving friends and family, most of them A members Mark Scott ( S), hris oulter (B S), John obinson ( W), John Mo tt (F A), and Steve’s son, athan. The leg from Buenos Aires to shuaia is described in Steve’s article, South Atlantic to the Beagle hannel, o a es 2020. I helped provision the boat in Buenos Aires and after res ol ’s departure, I toured this exciting international city, known for its tango, polo, architecture, nearby esta ias
(ranches), vineyards, and asados (barbecues). I then flew down to Ushuaia to source docking and locate the customs, immigration, and prefectura offices for Threshold’s arrival, which turned out to be on Christmas Eve. Ushuaia, Argentina, reminds one of a ski town in offseason. Its several main streets are filled with restaurants, tourist shops, and outfitters’ boutiques, some housed in wooden buildings with architecture reminiscent of early European villages. As the only harbor for cruise ships and expedition yachts departing for Antarctica, it is bustling with visitors. Ushuaia is the best place to truly stock up before heading off. Everything is available from the grocery stores, the Carrefour (European hypermarket chain), butchers, and produce warehouses, including the wonderful Argentinian wines! Threshold was due to arrive but was having fuel issues and was in dire need of filters. The challenge was that Ushuaia was sorely lacking in marine supplies for yachts (e.g., no Racor filters!), docking for transient sailors, and conveniences such as fuel docks. Ushuaia’s harbor is exposed, and the afternoon breezes cause a blustery chop. No one anchors out, and the moorings are just for small local boats. Only two docks are available for pleasure yachts. The Club Nautico, nearest to town, has one dock, with boats rafted off up to five deep. It shallows quickly, so it was not an option for Threshold. Water and electricity are limited and all fuel must be jerry-jugged. We stayed at the AFASyN dock, across the harbor, with the wonderful help of Roxanna Diaz, the local Ocean Cruising Club port officer. It was just one dock with rafting two to three deep, but this is where the professional expedition sailing yachts berthed. It was quite an experience to be amongst these seasoned, adventurous sailors, all hustling about, restocking with crates of food and beverages, loading kayaks and expedition gear, and scrambling to accomplish last-minute repairs. There was a constant daily shuffling of yachts arriving and departing, making it prudent to have someone aboard most of the time. When the winds kicked up, our typical yacht fenders just weren’t up to the job of protecting boats from surging onto the high, rough dock, but if you were lucky, you could borrow an oversized round one. On the plus side, AFASyN had a small clubhouse, internet connectivity, a workshop, decent showers, and was set up to handle fuel deliveries by truck. Throughout January and February 2019, CCA friends joined Threshold, fulfilling an item on their “bucket lists.” The Robinsons and the Lhamons (both PNW) arrived laden with filters and boat parts and cruised up and down the Beagle Channel with us for about two weeks each. It was a learning curve for all of us. Last-minute travel arrangements had to be modified once we realized how logistically inconvenient and
TOP: K Robinson’s birthday surprise for John Robinson (PNW). ABOVE: Tad and Joyce Lhamon (PNW) at the Micalvi.
time-consuming it would be if everyone traveled in and out of Ushuaia. Although Ushuaia is at the entrance to the most scenic parts of the Beagle, it is in Argentina, and the north and south arms of the Beagle are in Chile. This would have meant traveling 30 miles east (in the wrong direction) to clear into Chile at Puerto Williams, then backtracking past Ushuaia to head into the best parts of the channel. Coupled with the tedious process of clearing in and out, this would have cut into our time at sea. Therefore, everyone rearranged to fly through Puerto Williams’ tiny little airport. Another challenge was the provisioning. Although Ushuaia had everything one would need, rumor had it that the Chilean agricultural department was banning some fresh produce from entering the country. Some cruisers were inspected and had their food confiscated. Since Puerto Williams was the last place issue 63 2021
LEFT: Serious provisioning, but it keeps well in the cold climate. RIGHT: These twice-baked batards last for weeks!
in Chile to stock up for either Cabo de Hornos, Antarctica, or the Chilean channels, this was quite a concern, especially because the food-supply ship came only once a week! If you happened to be arriving and departing from Puerto Williams just before the ship was due, your fresh food choices could be quite limited. Our solution to this problem was stashing our Argentinian produce under the bedding when arriving from Ushuaia, just in case inspections were happening that day. Puerto Williams, Chile, is the world’s southernmost “city” and the capital of the Chilean Antarctic province. It is a naval base and home of the armada, which monitors all marine travel throughout Chilean waters. This small village with ramshackle wooden houses is accented by the jagged, tooth-like, snowtopped peaks of the Dientes de Navarino mountains, popular with trekkers. There is one bank ATM, a few small cafes, an occasional tourist shop geared mainly for organizing local trips, several quaint grocery shops with a limited selection, and a small new chandlery! Horses casually roam throughout town, and there is a small marina for the local fishing fleet. But the highlight of this remote little outpost is the “yacht club Micalvi.” The Micalvi is a purposely grounded ammunition cargo ship, tucked into the only secure bay in town. This is where all the visiting yachts gather, again rafted out as many as five to six deep. It’s quite a sight to see electrical cords and hoses stretched across all the boats and people teaming up to pass along jerry jugs of fuel. The Micalvi is a clubhouse of sorts, with nautical furnishings in the salon and a bar, which unfortunately was closed when we were there. In years past, yachties gathered for pisco sours (Chile’s national cocktail) and impromptu parties, but bureaucracy has apparently changed that for now. Nevertheless, it was a social refuge with internet connectivity and showers. 72
CRUISING THE CHILEAN CHANNELS Cruising the channels presented several more challenges. First, the prevailing winds and current are from the Pacific, so traveling west and north can be quite difficult. Due to the steepness of the mountains and the narrowness of the channels, the winds would funnel through at 25–35 knots by midday, often with higher gusts. Threshold always had a reefed mainsail and we actually removed the jib for the trip, using just the staysail. Tacking westward through the Beagle was grueling, so we motored most of the time. Anchorages were another challenge. As we ventured into a fjord toward a glacier, or maybe into the bay of a rocky island, we would have to tuck into caletas (small coves) close to shore to find anchorable depths and hide from the prevailing winds and possible williwaws. This took a whole new set of skills— tying to trees or rocks after anchoring due to limited swing room. Ideally, each yacht should be equipped with at least four 300-plus-foot floating lines, easily deployable from either reels or containers, with which to tie ashore. After the anchor is set, a crew member quickly dinghies ashore with the lines to tie off the boat. This can be quite daunting for a shorthanded crew and takes a bit of practice. We had good coaching on these techniques from CCA members who had preceded us in years past, including the Wadlows (ESS) on Joyant, the Flanders (FLA) on Egret, the Baillies (BDA) on Belair, and Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger (NYS) on Hawk. We purchased a small, lightweight, inflatable-bottomed dinghy which we carried athwartships on deck, making it easy to launch. No one seems to tow dinghies in this part of the world. We rarely used our larger RIB, which we carried deflated on the foredeck. As for the extra line, it can be stowed on custom reels, in canvas sacks, or in plastic trash containers,
LEFT: Threshold secured in Caleta Mediodia. RIGHT: “Steamer duck” Charlie Lalanne (FLA) tying us to shore. Photo by Heather Lalanne.
which is what we used. We were very fortunate to always have two extra people onboard, which made this routine run smoothly. We have the utmost respect for those of our friends who have done it double-handedly.
able to collect water from streams, but we had to be careful about its purity. There were no villages or people nearby for our first 500 nautical miles, which took three weeks.
Navigation was done in triplicate—the Fugawi After cruising the program on the ship’s more picturesque north computer and iSailor and Rainbow over Romanche Glacier and Threshold in Caleta Beaulieu. arm of the Beagle Navionics on iPads. Both Photo courtesy of sailing vessel Zoomax. Channel twice with our iPad programs were necfirst sets of friends, Heather and Charlie Lalanne (FLA) joined essary as backups because some charts were not detailed enough us for the long slog up the channels through Patagonia. Our for safe navigation. As a paper backup, we used the invaluable final destination was Puerto Montt, Chile. Puerto Montt is Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego Nautical Guide by Mariolina Rolfo approximately halfway up the western Chilean coast at latitude and Giorgio Ardrizzi, along with the RCC’s Chile Cruising 41.47' S, longitude 72.94' W. It is a fairly large fishing port, serGuide by Andrew O’Grady. We also had the tome of hydrovicing the fishing industry of the northern channels and nearby graphic charts produced by the Chilean armada, but it required Chiloé Island, and a stop for small cruise ships. It is 1,500 naua strong magnifying glass to read it! tical miles from Ushuaia and Puerto Williams, and meandering through the maze of channels to get there took seven weeks, On a typical day, we’d wake before sunrise, wipe the heavy from February to mid-March—summertime in South America. condensation from the interior ports and hatches, gear up with two layers of thermals plus foul-weather gear and boots, make coffee, THE JOURNEY and be ready to weigh anchor by daybreak. With Steve at the helm, Summertime is a relative term. The average temperatures were Charlie (nicknamed “steamer duck” for the cute little flightless in the 40–50˚F range, snow still lingered in the Andes, and steamer ducks that paddled rapidly through the water like paddlethe slowly melting glaciers provided spectacular waterfalls. wheel steamers) would row out to collect the lines, while Heather Patagonia is one of the wettest parts of the world, and it rained flaked them into baskets and Karyn brought up the anchor. There almost every day. This was fortunate for us, since the watermaker were often mounds of kelp hanging from the anchor and chain, wasn’t working! Because of this, showers were seriously limited. most of which quickly sloughed off with the saltwater washdown Luckily, we were able to catch rainwater by rolling up towels pressure hose. The stubborn pieces were then cut with a curved tree around the deckfills in the scuppers. On occasion, we were saw. By then, it would be light enough to get underway. issue 63 2021
TOP: Heather Lalanne; note the basket of line. ABOVE LEFT: Siphoning fuel from a fisherman in Puerto Eden. Photo by Heather Lalanne. ABOVE RIGHT: Boardwalk village of Puerto Eden. Photo by Heather Lalanne.
Because we all had a time schedule and the prevailing winds and currents were against us, we motor-sailed at six to seven knots every day. Our mileage would depend on the weather and distance to the next secure anchorage. Fortunately, it was summer and the days were long. Traveling at night wasn’t recommended due to the possibility of running into kelp patches. One had to be vigilant at all times.
COMPANIONSHIP Companionship made the whole experience enriching and enjoyable. At the end of a long, wet, and chilly day at sea, we often went ashore for a hike if the weather was favorable, but cocktail hour and a quick round of Mexican Train dominoes generally won out. Heather’s experience as a teacher kept all of us occupied with games and movies, while Charlie enjoyed whipping up surprises in the galley. We were each other’s only 74
entertainment. In the past, there had been an active cruisers’ net where everyone could stay in touch, but it was not happening this year. There were no villages along this long, lonely stretch of the channels, and we rarely saw another yacht. A hike ashore was a highlight, but often access was difficult and vegetation so thick that one needed a machete to get through. Except for ducks and a few seabirds, there wasn’t much fauna aside from the rare fox, puma, or guanaco (part of the llama family). The ground was similar to arctic tundra—muddy with stunted little flowers—so knee-high boots were essential. If we were lucky, our anchorage would offer a spectacular view of a glacier, prompting an exploratory dinghy ride or the opportunity to fetch water and do laundry in a bubbling stream. Swimming was out of the question.
“With our reinforced shroud, we were now ready for our
first open-ocean passage—150 nautical miles across and beyond the Golfo de Penas, out into the Pacific. Although it was only a 24-hour passage, we needed to watch the weather carefully as systems frequently roll through.
SAFETY Part of our routine was relaying position reports to the Chilean armada once or twice per day. This was required of every vessel transiting the channels, which included occasional cruise ships, military and fishing vessels, and the rare yacht. The reports had to be formatted and broadcast in Spanish via either VHF, SSB, or email. We used our IridiumGO! to send emails. In fact, the IridiumGO! was our source for almost all communications, including downloading weather from PredictWind. There are very few VHF antennas in these remote and often inhospitable channels and if one were to have a mechanical failure or an emergency, the armada would be your only contact.
THE VILLAGES The first town we came to after leaving Puerto Williams was Puerto Natales, 500 nautical miles and three weeks away. It was a diversion off the main track, but for us, a necessary and most welcome stop. Along the way, we had discovered stranding of the starboard aft lower shroud. The guys had reinforced it with a block and tackle, but more needed to be done. Amazingly, in this bustling little town, popular with trekkers heading for the Torres del Paine National Park, Steve and Charlie were able to find galvanized wire and parts to jury-rig a repair—a challenge while anchored out in 30 knots of wind! Puerto Natales was a
LEFT: Steve at Brecknock. ABOVE: Steve (up the mast) and Charlie Lalanne (FLA) repairing the shroud in 30 knots of wind.
re-energizing stop. Heather rented us a room in a local hostel where we took showers, did laundry, and jerry-jugged water back to the boat. We topped off the propane tanks, provisioned, and jerry-jugged 160 gallons of fuel from the petrol station. This was an all-day event, but our rewards were a bus tour of the national park, along with some excellent restaurant meals.
SAILING! TOWARD CIVILIZATION! With our reinforced shroud, we were now ready for our first open-ocean passage—150 nautical miles across and beyond the Golfo de Penas, out into the Pacific. Although it was only a 24-hour passage, we needed to watch the weather carefully as systems frequently roll through. Fortunately, our transit was benign, with just enough wind to sail without stressing the rig. issue 63 2021
Back in the channels, it was a total of 284 nautical miles and seven days to our next village, Puerto Eden. Here we rafted off a Swiss boat that Steve had seen back in Mar del Plata, Argentina, also headed for Patagonia. We all arranged for fuel to be delivered by a local fisherman and were able to top off our tanks by siphoning out of a 55-gallon drum, carefully filtering it as much as we could. Staying ahead of the fuel consumption from motoring allowed us the luxury of running the heat more than just two short periods each day. Other than luckily finding fuel, this tiny boardwalk-connected village had little else to offer—the internet at the small school wasn’t working, there were hardly any provisions for purchase, and a meal ashore was out of the question because the local hotel wasn’t cooking that day! The next village, Puerto Aguirre, a distance of 170 nautical miles and six days, had internet and a floating dock with water. We were in heaven! 76
As we progressed farther north, we saw more habitation, and when we arrived in the archipelago in the Golfo Corcovado, just south of Puerto Montt, it was a whole new world! We were greeted by fishing villages, rolling hills with farms and grazing livestock, better weather, and dramatic tides. Chiloé Island is a popular vacation spot for Chileans and is known for its iconic wooden churches (UNESCO World Heritage sites), its palafitos (houses on stilts), and a booming fish-farming industry. While securely docked at the delightful Marina Quinched, we were able to explore the island via rental car. In late March 2019, Puerto Montt was in sight. This was the end of a challenging journey, and it was time to return home (and do our taxes). Coming up from the south, Puerto Montt, with its three small marinas, is the only reasonable place to leave a boat for an extended period of time. We chose the Yacht Club
Reloncavi, recommended by the Wadlows. Threshold remains there today, high and dry under COVID lockdown, re-rigged, and eager to move on to her next adventure.
THE MAGICAL MOMENTS Despite their challenges, the Chilean channels constantly thrilled us with spectacular surprises of nature—adorable little Magellanic penguins swimming by or waddling on the beaches, curious sea lions basking on rocks, spouting pods of whales commandeering their own private cove, and the elusive guanaco silhouetted on a distant hillside. The start of a daily passage might give us a glimpse of the fresh overnight snowfall upon the mountain peaks, glistening in the sun as it swirled in the whipping winds, and culminate with the coziness of being squeezed into a tight caleta, alone, surrounded by towering rocks and trees. The crews aboard Threshold were able to experience blue ice shimmering from the depths of the glaciers, cascading waterfalls from their summertime melt, and awakening to the scraping of ice bits against the hull on a cold, quiet, windless morning. And the rainbows—sometimes even doubles—were the highlight at the end of a rainy day. And finally, there were those climactic moments which made the challenges that much more rewarding: entering the narrow, rocky entrance of the Caleta Teotika anchorage on a dark, moonless night after a 90-nautical-mile, 18-hour passage, using only the guidebook’s hand-drawn chartlet and our trusty night scope for guidance; correctly calculating the confusing timing of the riptides of the Angostura Kirke and White channels en route to and from Puerto Natales; and anxiously awaiting a daybreak departure while being blown to within six feet of a rocky island in a kelp-laden bay. Cruising in the Chilean channels isn’t for everyone, but those of us who have been fortunate enough to be able to do so and have had the delight of sharing it with good friends have been rewarded with a confidence-building experience of a lifetime. I, personally, couldn’t have done it without them.
About the Author Karyn James sails with her husband Steve (FLA) aboard Threshold, a 54-foot Paine/Kanter custom aluminum sloop. After Threshold’s launch in 2002, Karyn and Steve Photo by Heather Lalanne. sailed the North Channel of Canada, the U.S. East Coast, and the Bahamas. In 2004, they crossed the Atlantic. They have since cruised as far north as Svalbard, down the Atlantic coast of Europe, and through the Mediterranean to Turkey. They received the club’s Far Horizons Award in 2012. Steve sailed Threshold back across the Atlantic to Tierra Del Fuego in 2018, where Karyn joined him. In 2019, they came up the Chilean channels through Patagonia. Threshold is currently in Puerto Montt, Chile. When they are not aboard Threshold, Karyn and Steve reside in Palm City, Florida. issue 63 2021
A PLEASURE CRUISE
ACROSS THE ATLANTIC
Searching for wind.
by Jil Westcott, Boston Station, Narragansett Bay Post
y husband, John Bell (BOS/NBP), and I have dreamed of sailing east since my first Marion to Bermuda race with him in 1987, when the entire crew wanted to turn right after leaving St. George’s rather than return north to jobs and obligations. Now freed from the responsibilities of young children, careers, and elderly parents, we began preparations in 2016. Our biggest hurdle was my desire for more stowage for food, fuel, water, and systems. Our J-42, beloved for 15 years, was tight despite being our happy home for two lengthy Caribbean trips, Bermuda races, and a winter aboard in Boston harbor.
hard dodger, wide uncluttered decks, and ample storage of all descriptions, she is designed for comfortable, short-handed, long-distance sailing.
PREPARATION Our benchmark for the ideal boat was the Aerodyne 47. In 2000, we had visited hull number one (of three) at the builder in South Africa. After trying to buy hull number three, we were contacted by the owners of number one: “We’ve decided to sell.” Time for a course change. This Aerodyne 47, originally American Eagle, then Kiva, and now Moon Shadow, is perfect. With lines routed aft to two-speed electric winches, a LeisureFurl main, self-tacking jib, large
Racing in the Miami to Havana Race, cruising to Newfoundland, and finally participating in the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race, we spent the next year-and-a-half getting to know her and changing her systems. The prior owners had begun the retrofit with a new Yanmar diesel engine and a heavy-duty Spectra jib and main. One sailmaker commented that we could take a knife to those sails and they wouldn’t rip further under load; another told us they were too heavy and not suitable for racing.
Our J-42, which we had built in 2001, was kept in Bristol fashion. Alas, Moon Shadow, built in 2000, had four prior owners, was raced occasionally, and lived on a dock. The one-day survey was 50 percent too short and 60 percent incomplete. While everything needed to sail around the buoys worked beautifully, we subsequently discovered the cruising gear did not—a complete retrofit was in order.
Almost all the crew were engineers or quants. As the CPA on board, John declared himself the least quantitative member. He was also the best mechanic. This yielded a crew well-versed in problem-solving, with a fine attitude when things, inevitably, go askew.
Moon Shadow in St. George’s, Bermuda, with all three headsails visible.
We did much of the refit ourselves, yielding a boat that we understood, with new electronics, wiring, lighting, cushions, refrigeration, batteries, watermaker, solar panels, and more. The mainsail traveler was ripping from the deck—replaced. The halyard sheaves didn’t turn—replaced. The windlass made screeching noises—replaced. The woodwork had varnish applied over oil—stripped down and revarnished by the Antigua experts who kindly summer in Newport. Leaks were everywhere; we rebedded all the deck hardware. Unimagined problems revealed themselves. While the starboard fuel tank was perfect, the long-unused port tank, baking in the Carolina sunshine, grew foot-long strands of algae and jammed the Racor anti-syphon valves, leading to repeated bouts of air in the fuel lines. The unused generator’s antifreeze had turned to jelly. Did you know there is a bacterium that eats antifreeze? Then there were the mussels living, and dying, in the air conditioner’s cooling line beyond the strainer. Replacing the pipe helped, but residual seeds regrew. The most dangerous problem was holes in the diesel heater’s exhaust pipe, located immediately next to its fresh-air pickup
in the aft bilge; thankfully, we were alerted by the carbon monoxide alarm. PROVISIONING John shopped in St. Augustine, Florida, and brought home far more food than needed. One day he returned with 35-plus pounds of fresh meat, packaged it in portions for four, and placed it in the freezer. Eventually the new freezer compressor overheated and quit. Turning on its optional cooling water pump restored harmony. Long-life dry and canned ingredients already filled the available storage, ranging from cereal, dried beans, and almond flour to cans of artichoke hearts, olives, and tomato sauce. Crew arrived, and we provisioned some more. John insisted on going into the grocery store each trip to ensure adequate quantities. Finally, we purchased the fruit and vegetables, both short-life (e.g., broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, and melons) and longlife (e.g., Brussels sprouts, frozen peas, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, apples, and oranges). Stuffed to the gills, we could easily feed a dozen to the Azores. So much cold food arrived issue 63 2021
Moon Shadow’s track across the Atlantic.
that all nonessentials, including eggs, were banned from the enormous fridge to make room for milk, cheese, yogurt, and cold cuts. Eggs were relegated to the counter. John, having provisioned in Bermuda, knows that a non-racer wants to stock up in the States. CREW SCHEDULING We stood single-person watches in all kinds of weather, and counted on the same with our crew. We chose to have two additional crew per leg to provide ample help and a good fallback scenario if someone became incapacitated. Blessed with wonderful offshore sailors among our friends and family, we began with Patti Young (BOS/NBP) and Steve Milligan in St. Augustine; our daughter, Lauren Bell, and David Schwartz in Bermuda; and finally, our nephew, Henry Bell, and Peter Maloney in the Azores. Almost all the crew were engineers or quants. As the CPA on board, John declared himself the least quantitative member. He was also the best mechanic. This yielded a crew well-versed in problem-solving, with a fine attitude when things, inevitably, go askew. Tweaking our preferred watch schedule over the decades, we loved the latest, designed for four people standing single-person watches: three-hour watches from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and two-hour watches at night. The day’s dinner chef skips the afternoon watch, permitting a crew shift of one watch per day and ample time to cook. One crewmember who hates cooking carried frozen dinners for four to the Azores to ease his galley duty. No problem. 80
The watch shift enabled us to enjoy the sea at all hours: dawn, sunrise, sunset, a full moon rising, then setting, and beautiful, peaceful nights. In addition to standing watch, each crew rotated through an extra duty each day: lunch prep, dinner prep, cleaning the boat, or washing the dishes. This comfortable distribution of labor kept us well-rested, tidy, and perhaps too well-fed. One crew complained about gaining 20 pounds on the voyage and looked forward to running as soon as we reached land. This did not stop her enthusiastic exploration of the snack lockers and presentation of excellent desserts for both lunches and dinners. There were occasional scheduling conflicts. One day during my noon–to–3 p.m. watch, I started by eating lunch, then washing the dishes, performing the day’s navigation, downloading weather data, discussing options with the crew, selecting the best course, and communicating new chart plotter waypoints, all down below and completed by 3.05 p.m.—the end of my watch. I volunteered to do the log entry, only to discover it was already done! Thus, my watch consisted of eating lunch in the cockpit. With lots of well-rested crew, filling in was never a problem. WEATHER ROUTING It is complicated. While in Bermuda, a German boat departed for the Azores. I was at customs with a small departure question, so I heard their exchange. Customs officer: “Are you familiar with the weather outside?” Germans: “Yes, our European weather router said to go east, and then the wind will fill in
Departing St. George’s, Bermuda.
from the southwest.” Me: “Presently there are 8-12-foot seas outside with very strong winds.” Germans: “That is fine. We are ready to go.” Customs: “You can come back, but you’ll need to fill out this long form again.” Back on the boat, we took bets. Expecting a two-hour return, they were back in just over one. Later they told me they couldn’t even power against the waves. Two days later, the Germans chose to depart once again. “It is too expensive to stay in Bermuda. One dinner for three was $250!” Yes, there was a little drink. Now their weather router said to sail south of the rhumb line to avoid the next low. We privately noted there would be little wind along that path. Relying upon NOAA OPC synoptic charts, Bermuda Weather Service meteorological forecasts, U.S. GFS and European ECMWF GRIB data, NOAA RTOFS current predictions, our Inmarsat Fleet One satellite system, and Expedition weather and routing software, we did our own weather route planning. Offshore, the Expedition software downloaded data in 20–30 second bursts per file and displayed it on a chart. Expedition took as input our current speed and position, the GRIB data, our boat’s polars (downplayed 20 percent for offshore sailing), our “comfort” restrictions (e.g., no sailing upwind in greater than 30 knots, no waves over 12 feet, and no sailing downwind in greater than 35 knots), and plotted our ideal course for both the U.S. and European models. In unsettled weather, we loaded new weather data twice a day, otherwise once.
Satisfied fisherman with bluefin tuna—our dinner for days! issue 63 2021
Approaching front in the Gulf Stream, anticipated by means of our Expedition software and GRIBS.
For the most part, we followed Expedition’s advice. We looked for concurrence among the two weather models, checked them against the meterological forecasts, and generally found agreement for two to three days. After that, weather prediction deteriorated. Where Expedition fell down was light air. If Expedition sent us hundreds of miles off the rhumb line to seek increased wind four or five days out, we took its advice with several grains of salt. Sailing the St. Augustine to Bermuda 6½-day passage, we traveled an extra 100 nautical miles north in the Gulf Stream and then turned east, despite Expedition’s recommendation to go 200 nautical miles farther north to Cape Hatteras. On the Bermuda-toAzores leg, we sailed 200 nautical miles north to reach the Gulf Stream currents and accompanying wind, thereby avoiding a long, slow slog. CULTURE SHOCK AT SEA Our newest crew member, Patti, is a hard-core racer. Her idea of a racing meal is to take out some powder, boil reverse osmosis water, connect the two in a big pot in the sink, add a few fresh nibbles, and spoon into a bowl. Therefore, the quantity and variety of food brought aboard was not something she fully anticipated, despite conversations prior to departure. On each leg, people were rested, well-fed, and had their own sea-berth. Our practice of one glass of wine with dinner in calm conditions set a relaxed tone. Then there was the fishing. Her racing craft does not fish, even on deliveries. On our way to Bermuda, within three minutes after dropping the line over the stern, a little tunny tuna took a bite. This is akin to a sudden thunderstorm or squall. Slow 82
the boat down! Luff the jib! Get the fish bucket out! Where are the fish gloves? Get the vodka! (We kill fish by dousing its gills.) Easily landed by our expert fisherman, Steve, and not too large, coming in at 24 inches, we got the fish head-down in the bucket and then tossed the hook back in. While we waited, I filleted the fish on the galley counter. There were some seas, so I wore a glove to protect my non-knife hand while keeping hold of the fish. Then another little tunny tuna arrived. The fire drill repeated, but this time we didn’t need to search for gloves or vodka, our expert crew filleted the fish, and we kept the hook dry. I was on the hunt for a mahi-mahi, but with the fridge overstuffed, I was persuaded to wait until morning to try again. We expected to enter the Gulf Stream around sunset and head north to compensate for the lack of wind on the direct easterly path to Bermuda. Most mahi are on the eastern and western walls of the Gulf Stream. The next morning, we wet the line again and caught a 42-inch mahi-mahi inside of an hour. On the Bermuda to Azores leg at dawn, David noticed hundreds of floating man-of-war and birds flying low over the water. In went the hook and a moment later, five feet from the stern, he caught a 34-inch bluefin tuna! Not schooled in the ways of the boat and simply motoring along, he thought to land it himself by idling the engine. The fish was too heavy, and eventually we lifted together, landing 30–40 pounds of firstclass tuna. We were lucky it was a bit of a baby. These fish can grow to 14 feet, weigh up to 1,500 pounds, and travel up to 64 miles per hour. Yum—chilled sushi for lunch and seared tuna for dinner.
The best deal is the one-dollar-per-foot charge to tie up along the cement municipal bulkheads. f course, there is no electricity, no water, no showers, and no pump-out facilities, so there is a reason for the pricing. There is also a great scarcity of spots five boats fill the in-town space, and, perhaps due to the big winds, no one asked to raft. Boats had been piling up for two to three weeks as a series of intense lows made it impractical to sail north or east. There must have been 0 boats anchored in
e airin t e ti er arm in ores.
T e o s of a i ot ouse i i i ed tuna dinner it ar ie t e auto i ot earnin is ee . ss e
Sao Miguel—view to the north from the slopes of a volcano.
the harbor, waiting for weather. We, quite luckily, found a spot as a boat left the bulkhead. LANDFALL IN THE AZORES With Bermuda 1,746 nautical miles behind us and Flores just 15 nautical miles ahead, we were comfortably sailing wing-and-wing with our small jib and full main in 24 knots of westerly breeze. Wind, finally! Our first view of land was a vertical hard edge rising from the sea. It disappeared a few moments later into a misty rain. When conditions are fair, sailors stop at the beautiful Lajes das Flores. In adverse weather, the Flores harbor is unsafe as large waves wrap around the breakwater or drive in directly from the northeast. Three nautical miles from Flores, another mountain edge appeared, the mist disappeared, and the wind rose. So much fun, we took turns hand-steering downwind, playing with the waves. However, we were a tad overpowered and 84
we did the dance of small adjustments short of reefing. Ah, insufficient, we rounded up, and rounded up again. Thought we had it—no, “I can’t hold it”—then the wheel spun with no effect. No tension at all. Once the shock was over, a second or so later, we turned on the autopilot and furled the main and jib while heading dead downwind. Turning into the harbor, we anchored out instead of docking. The Flores marina is extremely tight, and the guidebook recommended backing in! No one thought docking under autopilot was a good idea. The cast-aluminum tiller arm connected to the wheel had broken. Offering some fresh tuna to a Caribbean single-hander rowing by, we discovered his 28-foot sailboat had a 22-millimeter drill bit, which we borrowed to drill another hole in our tiller arm. Our jury-rig had us fully capable in under 24 hours. The heavy, bulky arm flew home with us for permanent repair by our favorite machinist and returned for the final leg.
THE AZORES Exploring town and visiting the local market was an uphill climb. Lauren and I hiked upward, enjoying the gorgeous flower gardens, while John and David worked on the tiller arm. As the vertical trek continued, our legs reminded us that we had just spent 11 days at sea. We climbed nearly 30 minutes before finding the market. We filled up on fresh bread, fresh fruit, a few veggies, and boxed heavy cream, and enjoyed the downhill walk home. We toured several beautiful islands and then flew home for two months, leaving Moon Shadow in Sao Miguel under the care of Thomas, a boat minder. When we returned, we were greeted with a 20-second perusal of our passports. We picked up our checked luggage replete with alternator, the massive aluminum tiller arm, and myriad other little bits—and simply walked out the “nothing to declare” exit. Arriving back on board Moon Shadow was less magical. One fender had deflated and completely lost its cover; a second fender cover, quarter-inchthick nylon, was worn through, leaving a big hole. The boat was rolling. Strong winds from the northeast wrap around the island, creating harbor swells and chafe. Michael, an Azorean charter captain originally from Bermuda, pointed out that the Azores have dangerous waters. He regaled me with stories of capsizes, lost boats, and lost people. Respect for the sea is high. Here, an offshore captain’s license begins at ten miles. If the clouds look bad, he refunds his charterers’ money and says, “We must turn back now.” Thankfully, the skies cleared, and we departed on schedule with fair winds and following seas.
Portugal: Associação Náutica do Seixal dock, with Lisbon in background.
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Landfall: Approaching Horta, Azores, with Pico in the background, a long-held dream.
CHARLIE QUITS Charlie, our dear autopilot, has steered us through gales and rough water since we purchased Moon Shadow more than 10,000 miles ago. Once, when we were testing the boat off New Jersey to learn what she could handle and trying to get out of a bitter late-October northwesterly, Charlie quit in a 40-knot gust, causing the boat to round up toward shore. In one day, Charlie quit four times. The waves were notably tall and steep, and the pressure to keep Moon Shadow on course
in, John, The author’s husband and co-capta all. squ nt dressed for an infreque
Great Circle Nautical Miles
Fastest Day (NM)
Slowest Day (NM)
Total Sailing Days
St. Augustine to Bermuda
Bermuda to Flores, Azores
Across the Azores
Sao Miguel to Lisbon
was too much. We were having fun, but pressing the boat again. The first time this happened, we gybed, snapping the new, 5,400-pound-breaking-strength Kevlar strap holding the preventer to the toerail and bending a stanchion, our second gear failure of the trip. Neither the boom, the main, nor anything else broke, thanks to the blessed boom-brake working as designed. Two wave trains were to blame for the 12-to-15-foot confused seas we were experiencing, one of which was from posttropical storm Humberto, headed for England, well north of us. The wind rose into the 30s. After two more round-ups—to the livid disgust of the cook, one just as dinner was being plated—we gybed to square the stern with the dominant waves, took in the jib, and put two more reefs in the main. LeisureFurl permits our main to be reefed at each of its six full battens—while sailing downwind to boot! With one person hand-steering at 8–11 knots, we could finally have dinner in peace.
LANDFALL ON THE CONTINENT Cascais, Portugal, is a beautiful fishing town near the mouth of the Targus River. Refueled and settled after a dinner ashore, we sailed on to the lovely village of Seixal, docking at the Associação Náutica do Seixal across the river from Lisbon. We shared the heavily listing dock with the local fishing fleet, whose nets and regalia filled every inch. The people and the village were wonderful. There wasn’t a dramatic end to our transatlantic voyage, and that’s what any captain hopes for. No mutinous crew and no scary navigation, just the mix of relaxation and a bit of remorse that the voyage is ending. Just think, the freezer is still full, so we can keep going!
A DREAM FULFILLED Crossing the Atlantic has been a dream since 1987, and crossing in the Aerodyne 47 has been a dream since 2013. It was a long journey with many unexpected twists and turns, but it has, finally and happily, been fulfilled.✧
A BOUT THE A UTHOR Jil Westcott is a retired computer scientist who began sailing as a child at a Cape Cod summer camp, enjoyed daylong summer sails aboard her Sunfish in high school, and continued aboard MIT Tech dinghies in college. Jil and her husband, John Bell, have covered many miles together on a series of vessels, from racing Solings in Boston Harbor to their current Aerodyne 47, Moon Shadow. In prior years, Jil enjoyed skippering “ladies cruises” with other women and children on board from Rhode Island to Maine. In 2017, Jil and John acquired Moon Shadow, which Jil skippered from Charleston, South Carolina, to Bristol, Rhode Island, while John sailed their J-42, Starlight, on the same course. They spent the next few months completely refitting Moon Shadow for the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race, doing much of the work themselves. Jil was skipper for that race. In addition to being a skilled celestial navigator, certified American Sailing Association instructor, and charter captain for delivery and instruction, Jil has a 50-ton merchant mariner license. She is pictured here steering Moon Shadow as she nears landfall in Flores, Azores.
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“One’s motivation to embark on such a dramatic change is crucial to success: the lifestyle, after all, has to match or exceed one’s expectations to make the likely sacrifices and the occasional hard work worthwhile.
TOP: The Seven Sisters, Norway. ABOVE: Warderick Wells, Bahamas. RIGHT: Honfleur, France.
Cruising as a Lifestyle – A Personal Story by Dick Stevenson, New York Station
n Voyages 2020, Issue 62, I wrote rather globally about the many forms cruising takes, including cruising as a lifestyle, contrasting its particular attractions and reservations with other forms of cruising on a recreational boat. The following is a more personal account of our experiences of this lifestyle, interspersed with some reflections. While this article is freestanding, some might benefit from reading or revisiting the article in last year’s Voyages.
People who “cruise as a lifestyle” live aboard a boat fulltime for an extended period. They follow their interests and see where that takes them, usually with the intention of wandering widely and moving slowly. They have often limited their land-based presence by selling or renting out house and cars. Sometimes they leave with a clear idea of what to do for the next year or two, which might change as they settle into their new life. Some, often single-handers or young couples, do it early in
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ari i ta aha as rince hristian ound
their adult years, cobbling together a livelihood as live-aboards. A number retire early our story to have ample time for their cruising interests. thers start post-retirement, hoping to pull off some good years of this occasionally vigorous life.
ne’s motivation to embark on such a dramatic change is crucial to success: the lifestyle, after all, has to match or exceed one’s expectations to make the likely sacrifices and the occasional hard work worthwhile. Being realistic about your goals and knowing yourself and your partner play a critical role (while voyages
many cruise single-handedly, most choose to go with a partner). eople vary in their motivation and one should not look for perfect alignment with one’s sailing partner, but awareness and respect for motivations one might not share is essential. I will suggest one consideration: Make your commitment be to ar something you are passionate about and avoid any motivation of moving away (from an unrewarding job, for example). For my wife, Ginger, and me, our driving force was to travel to foreign lands, experience different cultures and peoples, see nature at its most diverse, do a lot of sailing, and
go slowly enough to really relish the experience. Traveling by boat also allowed us to have our home with us and live more intimately with local people, customs, and environment than is generally possible for tourists. After all, we shop at the same supermarkets and hardware stores, get our hair cut at the same places, and visit the same restaurants and bars used every day by locals. ften, our boat acts like a magnet for new friends and acquaintances, as .S.-flagged sailboats are quite uncommon in the out-of-the-way harbors and ports we frequent. That we are often based on a wharf in the middle of town is also a bonus, as harbors are active places with interesting people. We feel that we got to know at least a few countries quite well. ur limitation was always language our lack of fluency in the home language always put a ceiling on our capacity to know a country.
ur intention was to go cruising, not to burn the bridges to our previous life. f course, many ties can be cut a house, for example. ther ties one does not want to lose, such as those with family and friends. But when cruising full time with no plans to stop, it is very hard not to burn some bridges. There is a yin and a yang at work here. f those connections where a choice is involved, people with fewer ties are freer to immerse themselves in their cruising life. In some ways, it could be argued, they are more fully committed, as they have more eggs in the cruising basket and more investment to make it work. We have often watched the
ti ati ria t. eters ur ussia nkhui en
rand anal enice. ss e
l F F leo atra sland urke ulu e ico ileen onan astle cotland entrance to a ochelle France.
conflict and distress of cruisers who were continually drawn back into their land-based life by various pressing interests and emergencies, former jobs or problems with renting one’s home being foremost. Dealing with stuff back home is certainly easier with Skype and email, but it is still a challenge. n the other hand, those who keep more ties have a place to return to for occasional visits home or if cruising does not work out. urs was a fairly complete burned-bridge departure, and it worked out for us. ur careers were satisfying and compelling, voyages
but they did not lend themselves to taking extended time off or sabbaticals. Therefore, we retired early. ur three children were, at least to some extent, out of the house or on their way to independence. ur house was wonderful and the location was great for raising our children and for our work, but we knew it would never be a home for us in retirement, so it was easy to sell, an added bonus being that our cruising kitty was greatly enhanced by the sale. We asked our kids’ permission to disappear for extended periods and received their support when we left 18 years ago, we expected to be out of touch for periods of time, whereas today that is less likely.
“We chose sailing as a big part of our new life because
it brings one into a more intimate relationship with nature than most other forms of transportation. Sailing is also challenging and fun to do well, and it is a slow and leisurely mode of travel which allows time for contemplation and reflection: time to ‘sniff the flowers.’
OUR EXPERIENCE OF THIS LIFESTYLE We left in 2002. It took a good couple of years of full-time cruising before one of us turned to the other and commented, in wonder, that wandering by boat was our life—not just an interlude or an expedition, not a holiday or extended fling, but our life. It was working well for us and with some luck could continue. We had no direction-giving, end-producing goal: an amazing thought. Our life was at once internally directed and unlimited as to time, direction, or pace in a way that can be difficult to comprehend. Our freedom was astounding. Our most insistent restraint was always Mother Nature—the weather. Although at the outset we had made choices that inevitably set our path to this lifestyle, we didn’t in the slightest anticipate this emerging way of being. There are, for sure, others like us, but not all that many. Each has embarked on their journey in unique, interesting, and very individual ways; there is no how-to manual. During our working life, our major recreation on weekends and vacations had been sailing and cruising the northeast coast of the U.S. on a variety of sailboats, usually with our children. We chose sailing as a big part of our new life because it brings one into a more intimate relationship with nature than most other forms of transportation. Sailing is also challenging and fun to do well, and it is a slow and leisurely mode of travel which allows time for contemplation and reflection: time to “sniff the flowers.” And, we have found, sailors attract other people: Many will stop and chat with someone sitting in the cockpit or working on deck. We have always traveled, but to have one’s home in the midst of all these wonderful destinations was an amazing treat and privilege. In contrast, staying at hotels and the like means you are using someone else’s pillow, drinking someone else’s version of a cup of tea, and moving to a prearranged schedule with little flexibility. We have certainly done that and had rewarding experiences, but for us, that sort of travel wears thin after a while. At the end of the day, we like our own pillows under our heads at night and tea in our own mugs in the morning. We like setting our own schedule: If a place appeals,
we stay. We have been in no hurry—quite the contrary. This way of life made sense for us. Over our cruising years, we have been to four continents and 55 countries or territories, averaging about 3,000–5,000 miles per year. The first few years, we were in many of the usual haunts of the U.S. East Coast, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean—close to home and our college-age children. Our horizons started to broaden when we chose to spend a couple of winter seasons in the northwest Caribbean: Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. After four years, we decided to head east to Europe rather than west across the Pacific. We “cruised” across the Atlantic, spending one month in Bermuda and two months visiting the Azorean islands, both fabulous cruising destinations. Over the next five years, we visited almost every Mediterranean country, including the countries of maritime Middle East— Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt—for which we now feel very fortunate. The long history of the Mediterranean, its waters and surrounding countries, was right at our doorstep—just an awesome experience to have. During those first four years, we cruised full time, but in Europe, including the Med, the weather made it prudent to hole up for the winter. We spent three winters in Turkey, one in Barcelona, and one in Lagos, Portugal. At first, I was unhappy with these “forced” respites from active cruising, but quickly learned that the months spent in these towns and cities had great appeal, particularly as we continued to live on the boat, our home, in the dead center of another world. We were able to connect much more deeply to the countries we were living in. We also used the winter to launch land travels to destinations where we could not sail. The same held true for northern Europe, though it took a while for us to commit to cooler, colder, and wetter summers and cold waters—no more swimming several times a day. Even with those drawbacks, what sailor can resist the chance to cross issue 63 2021
the English hannel or sail in Scottish waters We could not, and we have loved it all. We have stopped at every maritime country in all of Europe except Belgium, going as far east as St. etersburg, ussia, and as far north as orway above the Arctic ircle. For over-wintering, we had the magical fortune to spend three winters in ondon at St. atherine Docks, where we were a five-minute walk from Tower Bridge and another minute to the Tower of ondon. Just amazing ur lifestyle has allowed us to poke around, a rare luxury among those who travel rare enough that we had to be careful not to get tangled up with visa restrictions which, although they may not have been written with us in mind, might be applied to our longer stays. We rarely had an agenda or deadline. If we were somewhere we liked, we stayed awhile, and if weather
Countries and territories we visited—those in parentheses by land:
forced us to stay longer than intended, we always found unexpected treasures. We could go with the flow of meeting locals and joining in their life for a bit. We averaged maybe 50 0 stops a season, which works out to an average of just over three days in each. Many were just overnights, but some held our interest for weeks. We would eventually depart with regret, some things still undone. We were, of course, tourists, although most of these places were not common tourist destinations. But in many ways, we were more like the locals. We needed supermarkets, hardware stores, and shoe repair shops, so we interacted with the people who regularly cater to local residents rather than foreign tourists. This gave us a feel of what local life was like. We ended our full time live-aboard cruising after 12-plus years when we began cruising to higher latitudes and weather made life aboard in the winter less appealing. In erwick in the Shetland Islands, Scotland, a wonderful town, the sun rises in the late morning in January and sets in the early afternoon, the wind howls, and it is cool to cold and rainy. More importantly, we were delivered of a grandson to play with upon return to the .S. It was not a hard decision to end our full-time cruising lifestyle and switch to a six-months-on, six-months-off regimen. We started making plans to sail back to orth America. The .S. East oast and the aribbean are wonderful, but we had already spent considerable time cruising those regions. ur longer-term plans included the anadian Maritimes and going into the Great akes. At some point, it dawned on us that crossing back to orth America made a whole lot more sense, and would be much faster, if we puddle-jumped our way across the orth Atlantic: Scotland to the Faroe Islands,
Iceland, Greenland, and on to Newfoundland in Canada—the Viking Route, if you will. The absurdity and outrageousness of this idea seemed obvious and glaring, but we kept poking away at the obstacles until we convinced ourselves that this was the way for us to cross the Atlantic. It would be our most adventurous cruising challenge. We got excited about the prospect and the chance to spend a whole season doing the crossing, allowing cruising time in each location. Crossing in 2017, the reality was much better than expected and a fitting end to what looked to be our last ocean passage on our Valiant 42, Alchemy.
SOME REFLECTIONS We spent a great deal of time in many of the countries we visited, which allowed us to get to know them quite well. Our limitation to a fuller understanding has always been language. Not learning a language was always a bit of an embarrassment, but the reality is that we passed through a lot of languages— during our trip around the Baltic from London and back, we encountered eleven. We are aware of how incredibly fortunate we are that English is spoken almost everywhere. We got to know countries such as Turkey and Greece about as well as one is able to without becoming fluent. The next level of learning would be to learn the language, but there has always been a siren song pulling us along to the next territory. In many ways and in spite of its many challenges, full-time cruising can be quite an easy lifestyle. If the weather is foul, we do not move: no drama. Your home is always around you, and you make your boat a home in a way you would not if your stay were limited. If you have sold your land-based home and possessions, there may be fewer outside intrusions. You forget about the details of winterizing your boat (which, in itself, is an absolute joy). Maintenance is not crammed into the beginning and end of seasons. There is less packing and traveling. Your life is tightly focused, distractions are few and it is probably less expensive, though likely not as cheap as you might have wished or expected. A major downside, not to be underestimated, is that you forego easy visiting with family and friends, mitigated only to some extent by the ability to offer wonderful locations where these friends and family can visit you. An unanticipated upside was the fast friends we made among cruisers we met along the way. We know that we will remain in contact with many of them for the rest of our lives. We had a great group of friends while living on land, but the opportunities to meet new people and spend significant time getting to know them were, in fact, quite limited. We did not know what a wonderful and enriching addition to our lives these new cruising friends would be. Sam, whom we had known for only a couple of days in person and through some previous SSB radio contact, may have captured the essence of a cruising relationship perfectly when, after only one afternoon together, she introduced us as “her new best friends.” And she was right: we were, and she was.
OUTCOME In the big picture, we would not change a thing. We have and are achieving all our goals. We have the gratification of living in tune with nature, at least when we make good judgments and have a bit of luck. Visiting locations where history was and is being made has enhanced and augmented our feel for the world. Different cultures have taught us that reasonable people make different choices; in other words, there are lots of ways to live a good life. And the people we have met and spent time with have been terrific. All is good. I wish the very best to all and safe cruising, however you choose to do it.
About the Author Dick Stevenson is a retired clinical psychologist/ psychoanalyst. He and his wife, Ginger, have made their home aboard their cutter, Alchemy, a Valiant 42, for most of the last 18 years. They started with 25 years of cruising the 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 in 2017 they crossed the North Atlantic by way of the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland before fetching up in Newfoundland, Canada.
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Thoughts on Voyaging Responsibly
by Ellen Massey Leonard, Boston Station Photographs by the author and Seth Leonard, Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post issue 63 2021
I rst starte to rite t is stor at t e re est o o e o m ar esa rie s o o e to ma e t e r isi omm it more a are o t e iss es I o tli e ere t I a t to ma e it lear t at I o ot t i t e ro lem is er i es rea I e eral It i o a ers are res o si le a res e t l o t e la es e isit t it o l ta es o e or t o i sta es o isres e t or lo al attit es to a e Its st i t e s irit o raisi a are ess t at I rote t is I t i t e A a its mem ers s o reat lea ers i i all areas o res o si le saili rom sa et at sea to t e at ral e iro me t to res e t or t e eo le o li e i t e la es e sail
anamoenoa Bay is the stuff of dreams. The golden sand of its beach is so fine that your feet sink deep into the warm, soft grains. The turquoise water is so clear that you can see your boat’s shadow on the bottom, 30 feet down. The patches of coral teem with brightly colored reef fish. Manta rays glide gracefully around the bay, scooping up krill in their wide filter mouths. Wooded hills rise gently from the beach, giving protection from the strong easterly trade winds to leave the bay tranquil and calm. oconut palms line the shore, and the sun sets in brilliant red, pink, and gold into the unbroken acific. Hanamoenoa Bay, in the Marquesas Islands of French olynesia, is the kind of place sailors fantasize about when we sit at home with pilot charts and guides, planning our yearned-for voyages to the South Seas. It’s the kind of place that keeps up morale on the long ocean passage that’s required to reach these tropic isles. And it’s the kind of place that, once you find it actually exists, brings out first awe and then exuberant excitement. We made it to the South acific, to the fabled Marquesas Most cruisers who reach the Marquesas have heard the fables. We’ve all heard of the abundant tropical fruit, seemingly growing wild in these verdant, fertile islands. We’ve heard of the sailors before us being showered with hospitality, loaded down with fruit and fish, welcomed almost as if they were family. Some of us have even received that hospitality ourselves on voyages many years ago. We’ve heard of, or experienced, the empty anchorages where it’s just us and the wilderness, the untouched reefs alive with all kinds of fish to spear and eat. voyages
route in lack route in white.
Hanamoenoa Bay in a rare moment, with only two boats. RIGHT: Manta ray and a ball of fish.
Unfortunately, these fables, while they were mostly true at one time, are today just that: fables. Even before the pandemic, the locals in the South Pacific were becoming overwhelmed by the steadily increasing number of cruisers, especially in French Polynesia where even non-European sailors can now stay up to three years with the right paperwork, whereas we used to be given only three months. French Polynesia is essentially facing overtourism, which has led to a whole range of problems between cruisers and locals. My own anecdotal experience has shown me that these fables are one contributor to the problems. Enough sailors believe the fables, and even believe they are entitled to the same experiences, so that troubles are simply bound to arise. issue 63 2021
Celeste in Hanamoenoa Bay.
Like all fables, these stories have a basis in reality. Before World War II, when small yacht voyaging was the province only of strange misfits and adventurers, when an offshore sailor could count on one hand the number of other cruisers he met, there actually were untouched reefs in the world. Harry Pidgeon, setting out alone almost a hundred years ago in his 34-foot yawl he’d hewn out of the timbers himself, found plenty of deserted anchorages and generous locals. And following World War II, when pioneering voyagers like the Smeetons, John Guzzwell, and Bill Tilman were roaming the globe, these fables were still more fact than fiction. Fiction, however, is what, unfortunately, they are today. There are exceptions, of course. I’ve been the recipient of great acts of generosity, even as recently as last year, and certainly throughout my first voyage to the South Pacific over 13 years ago. But it’s important not to expect that. It’s important to realize that this is no longer the norm, because believing otherwise is threatening to create unpleasant situations for everyone. 100
Take, for example, the no-anchoring policy that now exists in Bora Bora, an island that used to be the crown jewel of Polynesia but now suffers from too much traffic. Similar anchoring restrictions quickly followed in Tahiti and the rest of the Society Islands. The Cook Islands, to the west of Tahiti, charge hefty daily anchoring fees, which vary by island. Hawai’i, wishing to avoid derelict boats either left to rot or with live-aboards who do not maintain their boats to a reasonable standard, has a 72-hour anchoring policy and marina slips are hard to come by, the combination of which makes the archipelago difficult to cruise. Even in places where anchoring remains free and unrestricted, cruisers increasingly find locals to be less than welcoming. On the mild end of the spectrum, I’ve noticed exorbitant prices in the most frequented parts of the Marquesas for ubiquitous goods like limes and bananas. In the port of entry of Atuona, I heard $30 quoted for a small bunch of bananas while rats ate the bananas rotting on the trees nearby. On the extreme end, rumors swirled in 2019 about locals in Ra’iatea, one of the islands between Tahiti and Bora Bora, cutting sailors’ anchor chains while they were asleep or ashore.
From the cruisers’ perspective, it feels horrible. It feels like price gouging, vandalism, and worse. Sailors who started out with beautiful dreams of self-reliant freedom, gorgeous landfalls, and happy experiences meeting new people, feel unwelcome and are disappointed to find that the freedom of sailing over the horizon isn’t so unrestrained after all. It’s hard to understand at first: you’ve come with the best intentions.
Dramatic Vaipo watefall in Nuku Hiva, cascading 2000 feet from the plateau into Hakaui Valley. BELOW: Marquesan fruit, for which we traded in Fatu Hiva.
The greatest change since Guzzwell and the Smeetons set sail is simply that there are more boats. Even a dozen years ago, the number of boats visiting French Polynesia was a fraction of what it is now. There are all kinds of reasons why this is so: the cheaper prices of used boats following the 2008 financial crisis; bigger and more comfortable boats with many of the conveniences of home; the affordability and ease of use of today’s navigation, communication, and other technologies; increasingly flexible remote working arrangements; new fables of the sailing life marketed by YouTube sailing channels; changes in French Polynesia’s long-stay visa program; and increased development within the islands, including faster internet and more and better boating facilities. issue 63 2021
Anaho Bay, Nuku Hiva, in the off season. RIGHT: Graceful manta ray.
More people interested in sailing and able to realize their dreams is not at all a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s wonderful to see people setting out to sail oceans. It’s one of the things our club was set up to promote. It has lots of good side effects, such as making more people conscious of the environmental threats to the world’s oceans. But unfortunately, in aggregate, it also puts more pressure on the islands and the local people. While an individual cruiser comes with the best intentions, it’s impossible for hundreds of cruisers not to have an impact. So it’s crucial to realize this and to act accordingly, to be honest about what cruising means today. It’s not the same as it once was, but it’s equally good, and if we approach it with care and thoughtfulness, it can remain wonderful for a long time to come. To that end, it’s important to think about what it looks like to the locals when hundreds of boats arrive, not all of them behaving perfectly.
In the Marquesas over the last three years, I have gotten to know a number of the local residents quite well. All of them were generous and kind beyond measure, but a few of them noted that they’d occasionally had trouble with cruisers. Their primary concerns were with stealing fruit, spear-fishing too many fish from the reef, and—in one instance—a big crowd disturbing the quiet peace of the beach and bay. Of course, most sailors do not mean to steal, overfish, or disturb anything or anyone. They’ve just heard the fables—that when they get to the Marquesas there will be fruit everywhere, and the locals will be eager to give you the wild produce of the land. Most of it, however, is not wild. One Marquesan man showed me all around his garden, pointing out where he’d planted new trees and was nurturing them along. He told me about a group of sailors who had picked all of his pamplemousse issue 63 2021
“When we approach our voyages responsibly,
realizing that it’s a great gift to be able to do it at all, our perspective changes.
Beautiful beach on Tahuata. LEFT: Our friend Tafeta on a wild boar hunt on Tahuata.
(grapefruit) when he was gone one day, leaving him with nothing for several weeks. He told me of sailors trampling his new saplings, not noticing them underfoot when they tried to hike up the valley from the beach. The hikers had also inadvertently scared away the wild boar and goats he hunted, meaning he had to hike much farther afield for his meat, leaving his orchard and garden unprotected. This orchard might not look like a New England apple orchard: it isn’t ordered in tidy rows; the fruit trees are in among the natural vegetation, so that at first glance they do appear to be growing wild. But if one looks a little closer, there’s evidence of a gardener’s care, of someone watering the plants when everywhere else is dry, of weeding around the new saplings. 104
I’ve heard similar complaints about sailors spear-fishing. Spear-fishing is increasingly popular, especially among young cruisers who’ve watched YouTube sailing channels before embarking on their own voyages. But if every spear fisherman takes a fish for dinner every night, the reef can’t support it and the locals’ food resource is gone, not to mention the destruction this causes to the ecosystem. Each time I heard these complaints, I tried to explain why sailors would behave this way, that many thought the fruit grew wild, that they’d heard stories about the South Pacific that weren’t necessarily true, yet that they believed. But the locals should not have to worry that anchoring boats and overfishing will damage the coral reefs. None of the residents should be made to feel that they owe hospitality to the sailors simply because their grandparents might have freely given it to the sailors of 50 years ago. None of us is entitled to anything in our voyaging. Put another way, nothing has to be. So everything that is, is something to be grateful for. When we approach our voyages responsibly, realizing that it’s a great gift to be able to do it at all, our perspective changes. No longer are we upset that we do not have the South Pacific idyll of Hanamoenoa Bay—or the beautiful protected circle of Anaho Bay, or the mysterious cloud-wreathed spires of Hakaui Valley—to ourselves; instead we are grateful to be there in the first place, surrounded by such beauty. We see the other boats in the anchorage not as an annoyance, but as an opportunity for new friendships. When we feel gratitude instead of entitlement, we no longer expect to be showered in pamplemousse, bananas, and starfruit. Instead we’re happy that it’s there for us to purchase (at reasonable prices, of course—I’m not endorsing scamming tourists!). Better yet, we can be generous ourselves, giving or trading extra line, snorkel gear, or other items in remote places where such goods are hard to come by. If we understand and accept that times have changed and that sailors are not the rarities they once were, then we’re not unpleasantly surprised when the locals don’t show great interest in us; rather, we make the effort with them to show our interest in, and respect for, their culture, their lives, and the places they call home. They are our hosts, and we want them to invite us back for a second visit. I hope that if all cruisers can step back and adjust how we look at voyaging in the more visited places, there’s a chance that we can stop the increasing official restrictions and unofficial unpleasantness that can sometimes happen. We have a lot to offer these places and people, just as they have so much we can learn from. Now more than ever, with the pandemic, we need to be especially careful about how we approach our sailing and our interactions with local people. With this kind of mindset, voyaging today does not seem a lesser experience than that of the pioneering voyagers of the
1920s and 1950s. It’s just different. The ocean sailors of the past had to be patient and phlegmatic about the weather (they had no routing services or satellite communications), about their navigation (successive overcast days caused much anxiety when your sextant was your only means of fixing your position), about their diet (onboard refrigeration was almost unheard of ), and about their lack of creature comforts (to contemporary eyes, their boats were slow, leaky, cramped, and terribly lacking in modern conveniences). The ocean sailors of today have to be patient and phlegmatic about the issues created by increased levels of world travel. However, there are still many, many friendly people out there who are eager to befriend someone who makes an effort with them. You might even find they want to give you a huge bag of fruit when you say goodbye. And there are still many, many beautiful wild places in the world where a sailor can drop the hook, watch for the sunset’s green flash, and marvel that he’s precisely where he’d dreamed of being.
About the Author and Photographers Ellen and Seth Leonard grew up sailing on opposite coasts. They began offshore voyaging together in their early 20s, circumnavigating the globe westabout from Maine via Panama, New Zealand, and the Cape of Good Hope. Since then, they’ve covered another 20,000 miles, from the Arctic back to French Polynesia by way of Alaska and Mexico. They were honored with the club’s 2018 Young Voyager Award. They are pictured here in French Polynesia.
About the Boat Celeste is a 1985 custom cold-molded wooden cutter, designed by Francis Kinney and built by Bent Jespersen in British Columbia. She is 40 feet overall and 28 feet on the waterline.
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Patito, William F. Buckley’s last boat, at anchor. Patito is the Spanish word for “duckling,” Buckley and his wife’s term of mutual endearment.
ADVENTURE Close at Hand by John Vrolyk, San Francisco Station
uarantine, social distancing, the duration, a new normal—these were the words most often on our lips last summer. They describe what began in March and stretched forward into the unknowable future, a procession of days, each subtly but perceptibly worse than the one before, a lethargic slide into melancholy, paralleling the slow-motion tragedy of the global pandemic.
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From this paralytic existence, escape is the ultimate privilege. Last summer, it was granted to me—an unearned gift I desperately wanted but by no means deserved. A close friend with a small sailboat but without time to sail loaned me his boat from late July through Labor Day. And so for the second half of the summer, my girlfriend and I found ourselves aboard Patito. She is a 36-foot fiberglass sailboat, built in Irvine, California, in 1980, with a dark burgundy hull and white decks. She maintains some level of notoriety because many years before she was owned, beloved, occasionally abused, and publicly bidden goodbye to—in self-conscious foreshadowing of his own mortality—by none other than William F. Buckley, Jr. Aboard, Buckley’s lasting influence is apparent in the carpet’s pattern—cheetah print—and the allocation of shelving space—chiefly liquor and books. One of the latter is a well-loved copy of Robert Duncan’s Cruising Guide to the New England Coast. Despite 12 rounds of revisions, the guide has again fallen behind, its last update dating to 2002. The accumulated inaccuracies are sometimes insignificant (the tidal rush through the holes in the Elizabeth Islands has changed little since the end of the last ice age), often amusing (we think this GPS thing is going to be big if it works like they say it will!), and only occasionally frustrating (the marina was shuttered 10-plus years ago, the channel is no longer dredged). Nonetheless, we relied on the guide throughout our trip, less for sailing instructions or navigation than to inspire and guide the process of half-planning, half-dreaming on which the best adventures—those intentionally only partly planned—are predicated.
It was thus we (or at least I, my girlfriend being of much more practical and sounder mind) were engaged on an August evening after dinner. We were anchored off Cuttyhunk in the outer harbor, the boat tacking lazily on its rode in a dying southwesterly breeze, the western sky lit up pink and gold, the glassy ripples on the water a funhouse mirror of the celestial drama. I intended to plan the next day’s sail. From Cuttyhunk, at least a dozen anchorages and ports of call are within a pleasant afternoon’s sail with a favorable forecast. Padanaram, Hadley Harbor, Woods Hole, Hyannis, Menemsha, Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, even Tuckernuck and Nantucket are possible with an early start and a strong southwesterly. Despite my practical intent, I made little progress in selecting or even narrowing the list of next destinations. The guide encourages the sort of eyes-half-closed dreaming that had me ghosting into desolate coves in Maine in a thick fog, listening to the rhythmic gong of an unseen buoy. Moments later I was doing mental arithmetic on whether morning departure would be early enough to make it to Branford, Connecticut, in time for Tuesday night racing at the college sailing site I once called home. I could hear the horns of the starting sequence carrying across the almost-still Long Island Sound water. Then I was on the wide green lawn of Larchmont Yacht Club, face sunburned, my left hand closed around the improbably alcoholic rum concoction known as a Monte-Sano, cold droplets of condensation from the August humidity soaking my fingers. That’s how I found myself reading the guide’s introduction rather than any of the chapters that actually speak to
Solitary coastline doesn’t have to mean solitary confinement.
A sky meant for dreaming up future adventures.
specific destinations. The introduction is unchanged from the first edition published in 1961, when the title was Block Island to Nantucket. It’s not labeled an introduction or a prologue, but rather an apologia pro sua vita. The Latin translates literally as “a defense of one’s life.” The specific phrase, however, is linked to John Henry Newman, who in 1864 published under a similar title a defense of his decision to quit his position as the Anglican vicar of St. Mary’s, Oxford, and convert to Catholicism. The guide takes on its subject matter with similar gravitas—it is billed by its publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, as nothing less than “the bible for Eastern sailors and powerboaters for more than half a century.” The apologia concludes with these two sentences: “To those who like it, the sea and cruising thereon offer adventure close at hand—a taste of romance—the thrill of discovery—and occasional battle with the elements on something like equal terms. I know of no quicker way to catapult oneself, like the hero of ‘Berkeley Square,’ back into the seventeenth century than to get on a small boat without an engine and cruise off the New England Coast.”
Cruising is usually an exceedingly pleasant way to pass time, full of quiet mornings, unharried days, gentle breezes, slow afternoons swimming that melt softly into golden sunsets, easy sleep rocking under a canopy of uncountable millions of stars. Yet these moments are made for the sailor sweeter, vivid, and worthy of savoir by the real presence of “adventure close at hand.” Adventure is scarce today. Most of our day-to-day existences are persistently and almost unavoidably comfortable. The impositions of nature have been tamed—in a recent article in the New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson noted that even in his childhood, 50-odd years ago, “nature had been made frivolous, turned into roadside scenery.” Even when we explicitly seek novel or dangerous experiences, we rarely succeed in being genuinely uncomfortable, much less genuinely stretching the liability-lawsuit-induced confines of safety consciousness. We arrive at the edge of Conrad’s empire as triumphant adventurers, only to find ourselves consuming prepackaged adventures in the company issue 63 2021
Socially distanced dinner, courtesy of the Raw Bar at Cuttyhunk.
New England delicacy or terror of the deep?
of similarly minded fellows with whom we discomfitingly share at least national origin and socioeconomic class, if not home zip code and mutual friends. In 1982, Paul Fussell, cultural critic and cultural curmudgeon par excellence, declared travel dead—“I am assuming that travel is now impossible and that tourism is all we have left”—and wrote its eulogy. Fussell quotes a previous curmudgeon, Frederic Hanson, who had already pronounced a time of death for travel—“we go abroad but we travel no longer”—in 1887. Real adventure, it seems, is dead and buried.
Working from “home.”
A tough watch offshore.
Yet the craving remains. It is acute among the young, who still grow up on a diet of adventure stories and frontier literature even while the neighborhood playground switches back and forth between impact mats and wood chips to stay in tune with the most recent research on risk abatement. It ought to be no surprise that the young disproportionately seek out the uncomfortable and dangerous on escaping from the nest, feeling the shared but unspoken need to be initiated. These adventures range from the obviously gratuitous (the X Games or anything else sponsored by an energy drink manufacturer) to the seemingly noble (military or missionary service, the Peace Corps), in an ironic reflection of the diversity of our society and values. But we are all infected to a degree—whether disease or gift, it is endemic to the human condition. The economist Sam Peltzman called it out in 1975 when he claimed—a bit overzealously, as it turns out—that risk compensation by drivers had entirely negated the expected impact of two decades of car safety regulations on the highway fatality rate.
“Yet the craving remains. It is acute among the young, who still grow up on a diet of adventure stories and frontier literature even while the neighborhood playground switches back and forth between impact mats and wood chips to stay in tune with the most recent research on risk abatement.
Sunset over the inner pond, Cuttyhunk. issue 63 2021
its bree es and calms, storms and doldrums, swells and tides, lee shores and reefs simpl is.
Which brings us back to the unique capacity of a small sailboat on the vast ocean to launch one back to a time when the terms of the battle were something like equal. Here we have to pause, though. It is at least tactless, if not hopelessly insensitive, to talk about seeking out risk for pleasure amidst a global pandemic. o one asks our country’s essential workers disproportionately those without other job options how much risk they prefer (of drowning by pneumonia or succumbing to the nebulous depredations of a cytokine storm) to add texture to their otherwise monotonous work-a-day routines.
oon over adanara . venin s ent at anchor.
Seven years later, a psychologist named Gerald Wilde suggested that each of us seek a target level of risk to balance our internal system, maintaining a desired risk homeostasis, which no amount of safety equipment is su cient to dislodge. voyages
The point is well taken. The important battles with disease, poverty, enemies foreign or domestic, climate change are those of necessity, not choice. These important battles are appropriately characterized in lausewitz’s language of primordial violence, hatred and enmity, friction, death, and confusion, in which courage is the paramount and sole remedy against the implacable possibility of calamity. We should not cast the warrior and the sportsman in equivalent light. The contest between the sailor and the sea is not and does not pretend to be an important battle. It is not a contest of opposing wills but a voluntary test of the single will against
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The crew has a thing for ducklings ... and ducklings have a thing for Patito; a sailor on the beach—likely staring at his boat; anchored in Lambert’s Cove, Vineyard Sound.
an elemental power. The scouring nor’easter blowing hard is neither malevolent nor targeted. Greek mythology notwithstanding, it defies personification or a capacity for intent. It does not sneak into position to lure unsuspecting small craft out, waiting to trigger its ambush until escape from the kill zone has become impossible. The sea—its breezes and calms, storms and doldrums, swells and tides, lee shores and reefs— simply is. It was there in the 17th century, it is here today, and it will outlive us all for generations hence, predictably unpredictable, holding the promise of adventure, a taste of romance, the thrill of discovery, a chance for sailors to seek balance on its broad and shifting back. John F. Kennedy—Navy veteran and lifelong sailor—is often quoted as saying that “all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea—whether it is to sail or to watch it—we are going back to whence we came.” Kennedy was wrong on the facts, as it turns out—seawater is a bit less than four times as salty as our blood—but right where it counts. We are tied to the ocean, tied to its promise, captivated by its uncertainty, enthralled by the
limitless possibilities its waves integrate. Karen Blixen, better known by her pen name Isak Dinesen, believed the ocean was the curative power of last resort—“I know of a cure for everything: saltwater, in one way or another. Sweat, tears, or the salt sea.” She spent the last years of her life in a small coastal town north of Copenhagen, dying from a cocktail of malnutrition, syphilis, and poisonous early-20th-century medicine, faith in the cure unshaken by her own mortality. To my knowledge, no one has tested Atlantic seawater or Nantucket Sound fog or the icy Alaska current as possible cures for the coronavirus. Everyone knows that would be silly, superstitious, unscientific. The last thing we need at this point in this catastrophe is more distracting posturing about potential silver bullets and instant cures. But when you’re at the helm of a small boat—headed out to sea, air thick with salt, afternoon southwesterly building, bow rising to meet the ocean swell—you might well be forgiven for wondering, just wondering, if maybe Blixen was onto something. issue 63 2021
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sunset beers, afloat; seeing friends from a safe distance; it’s the little things; saying goodbye to a strange but wonderful summer. OPPOSITE PAGE: Reaching for home.
About the Author John Vrolyk first went offshore at age three, when his family departed California en route to New Zealand aboard the 65-foot ketch Saga. Since then, he’s sailed dinghies competitively, delivered a boat home from Hawaii, raced to Bermuda twice, and cruised the west coast of Central America from Mexico to Costa Rica. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his girlfriend, Katherine Ash, where they both work in public policy.
issue 63 2021
Nattriss Point, Saunders Island. We spent three days—based from the beach inboard of the rocks—busy with penguins, volcanology, and glaciology. Photo by Tom Hart.
South Sandwich Islands: Sailing for Science in the Wake of Cook and Bellingshausen by Skip Novak, Great Lakes Station
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e isla s i t e So t er ea are some o t e most remote saili esti atio s o t e la et iro me tall ra ile almost all o t ese s a tar ti o tliers are terrestrial rote te areas it i mari e rote te areas ere isits r isers are o limits ela i e itio s as ra te t e ri ile e to isit t e So t Sa i Isla s ai rom t e K orei e to o t aseli e s r e s i o r i ere t s ie e is i li es
when doing these tricky inflatable beach landings is to hang in above the surf line for a good ten minutes to watch the sets coming through. Maybe we were a bit premature, but I gave Thomas Geipel, our boat driver, the thumbs up to take the Bombard 5 ashore. We surfed into the cobbled beach, but before we could turn the boat around, it was flooded by the next breaking wave, our survival gear floating to the surface in dry bags as we snatched them out in waist-deep water and ran them up above the surf, stumbling like drunks, slipping and sliding on the football-size boulders. Beach was definitely a misnomer.
he author and ario otocki ullin in ieran ood and e ui ent throu h the surf on ellin shausen sland. his was uch safer than landin the in ata le on the oulder each. voyages
Having bailed out the 5, we pushed Thomas into a back wash, but he was caught by a breaker beam on and came close to capsizing. nly his aggressive and expert boat handling saved the day, and he made it back out to ela i A stralis, rolling heavily in mist in the wide mouth of the bay a half-mile offshore.
LEFT: Handling the inflatable during a beach landing at Saunders Island. If the surf gets any worse, the team resorts to wet landings with a line system. RIGHT: Tom Hart, flying the drone off Zavodovski Island. A “penguinologist” from Oxford University, Tom successfully censused almost all of the colonies on the South Sandwich chain, all with drone transits—a first.
Clearly, this stretch of the coast was a nonstarter for getting the rest of our team and equipment ashore. We watched as big breakers came in one after another. Even with the line system we had developed to pull gear in and back out from the dinghy, the chance of someone getting dumped on their head on rocks was too great. We had tents, food, and fuel, which are always first in and last out. Although three of us had their personal gear drybag with clothing, mine had been mistakenly left on board, slated for the next trip. I was in a dry suit, hoodie, and booties and felt slightly vulnerable in what was looking like a stranding ashore. As I ripped off the hoodie and felt the chill wind, I realized the lack of my “lucky hat” was an unwelcome portent. We had landed on the very open beach of Kraken Cove on Candlemas Island, which lies in the north-central section of the South Sandwich Islands chain. Here, it is all about plate tectonics. The 180-nautical-mile-long arc of 11 volcanic cones, some active, along with outliers, demarks the eastern margin of the Sandwich Plate, balancing on the edge of the 7,400-meter-deep abyss of the South Sandwich Trench. The trench is a subduction zone—the South American Plate to the east is diving under the Sandwich Plate and creeping west at an average of 70 millimeters per year. This dynamic interface releases magma from the earth’s crust, which rises and gives birth to these volcanic islands and associated sea mounts. Zavodovski Island, the northernmost and most active, is 300 miles southeast of the southern tip of South Georgia. We were truly deep in the Southern Ocean at latitude 57˚ S, well below the polar front, the boundary around 60˚ latitude in each hemisphere where a sharp gradient in temperature occurs between two air masses, each at very different temperatures. Our South Sandwich Islands expedition had sailed from Port Stanley in the Falklands on December 30. Specialists in volcanology, climate change, penguin biology, and whale identification and acoustics were on the team, plus two filmmakers.
Candlemas Island, with its smoking crater, was on everyone’s hit list to be studied; chinstrap, Adélie, and macaroni penguins were to be counted; and vestigial glaciers were waiting to be drilled for ice cores. Already midafternoon, we had no choice but to walk the kilometer around the length of the bay on those awkward boulders to Demon Point, a spit that defines the eastern side of Kraken Cove, in hopes of finding doable surf. This meant several trips to bring the survival gear around, and by the time this was accomplished, it was obvious we would have to abort the landing. Time had run out. Luckily, the surf under Demon Point was safe enough, between huge sets that ripped around the spit, to get a throw-line ashore from the C5 so we could be towed back out, one by one, with a gear bag each. Back on board we had a debrief. We were convinced that if the swell did not increase the next day, we could get a slimmeddown version of Team Volcano ashore, along with a few of us in support. We had to scrub taking Team Penguin ashore, but they could fly a drone from the deck to conduct a census of the colonies. Team Ice would also have to take a pass with their heavy drilling gear. We were 14 on board, more than a full house, which meant elbows tucked in at the main salon table when eating our dinner from bowls—not plates—as usual in the unpleasant roll which had been a feature of every anchorage we had been to thus far. As always, optimism had run high when we set sail from the Falklands. As soon as we cleared Cape Pembroke, Ted Cheeseman was letting out his 400 meters of Spectra with an acoustic probe to log whale “noise.” These data files would be translated by algorithms to identify the species heard. This was a passive bit of research until it was time to reel the probe in to download the chip—it took 40 minutes of grinding on the three-speed winch. issue 63 2021
Team Volcano, trekking home after a very long day of taking rock and gas samples and flying the drone on the mountain.
We all had to pitch in to get some exercise. Ted is the co-founder of happywhale.org, and on this trip he would log 33 humpback tail-fluke photos into his global database. A thousand miles of sailing to reach the islands would be the easy part, running before the prevailing westerlies in a spell of fine weather, often double-poled out with the mainsail down. The sea state was settled enough for Dr. Emma Liu and Dr. Kieran Wood, from University College London and Bristol University respectively, to rig up their drone on the salon table. This was a quadcopter, big enough to carry an ad hoc gas sensor. The device was to be flown in the gas plumes of the craters to measure carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. They were slightly shocked, when firing up this gizmo, that the level of CO2 in the main salon was somewhat above the recommended background level; I dutifully opened a few hatches. Although this was a charter, it was clear that in order to pull off the objectives, our sailing crew would have to help facilitate the science, and the scientists would have to help sail and run the boat. Captain Chris Kobusch and his mate, Sophie O’Neill, on 120
Hewison Point, Thule Island: The easiest and only dry landing.
their first season south and fresh from the Clipper Race organization, knew how to build the team. Thomas Geipel, a Pelagic veteran of many seasons, was seconded in specifically to do the boat driving, which would be more than challenging. These three got everyone, including the landlubbers, busy working the sails, cooking, washing up, and lending a hand where needed. My role was overarching expedition leader, in charge of safety generally, calling the landings, and mountain safety for Team Volcano. The entire project was the brainchild of Dr. Tom Hart, a penguinologist from Oxford University, who was coordinator of the science disciplines. Tom, Jo Feldman, an emergency medicine doctor from California, and Gemma Clucas, a postdoc ornithologist from Cornell University working with Tom on Team Penguin, had all been to the islands before. Tom is possibly the only human to have landed on all the main islands during his three previous expeditions. We had plenty of chiefs, but luckily still enough Indians to go around. Tom had been planning this project for the last three years. Of particular note was that in the Southern Hemisphere
Emma Liu and Kieran Wood, Team Volcano, on the crater rim of the semi-active Bellingshausen Island, taking gas samples. Not seen are hundreds of snow petrel nests along the inside of the crater. INSET: Snow petrel. issue 63 2021
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Professor Paul Mayewski and Mario Potocki from the University of Maine School of Earth and Climate Sciences, drilling ice cores to demonstrate levels of pollution; Gemma Clucas, ornithologist from Cornell University, taking fecal samples from king penguins on South Georgia—it’s all about the DNA; elephant seal females, gathering for comfort during the molting season on Saunders Island.
colonies can now be recorded and recognition software does the counting. The accuracy and time efficiency are a game changer. Tom had four drones in his quiver.
fall of 2016, Zavodovski had violently erupted, so the fate of the 1.3 million pairs of chinstrap penguins—recognized as the largest vertebrate colony of any species in the world—was unknown. Were they buried in ash, or had they already molted and gone to sea for the winter? Tom was eager to find out. Tom is a pioneer of using hunting camera traps to record activities at penguin colonies throughout the year. This is usually impossible to do by researchers for reasons of climate conditions, cost, and time. With his Oxford-based project, penguinwatch.org, he and his collaborators have placed on the order of 150 cameras at sites all around the Southern Ocean over the last ten years. The images are downloaded and batteries changed annually, if possible, the team supported by cruise ship and yacht logistics. The millions of images are then collated by a Penguin Watch citizen science program. It is popular with schoolchildren, but anyone can sign on—you simply click on the penguins in an image with your mouse, and the numbers are uploaded into the database. Historically, penguins were counted by hand with a clicker with boots on the ground. If the colony was too vast, estimates of density were made by calculations based on photographs. With drone geo-referenced flights, large and awkwardly placed 122
The southernmost island group, aptly named Southern Thule, is 200 miles south of Zavodovski Island and sits just above latitude 60° S, on the edge of the winter sea-ice band around the Antarctic continent. The South Sandwich Islands are not in the Antarctic Treaty territory but the U.K., which owns this stretch of hostile real estate, is strict as can be in its governance. Managed from Stanley under the purview of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the region, which includes South Georgia, is officially called the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. To visit the South Sandwich Islands is a hoops-andladders exercise of bureaucracy limited to scientific expeditions. The landmasses are a Special Protection Area (SPA). The waters in the maritime zone include Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and for licensed fishing, specific No-Take Zones (NTZs). These are critical to protect krill stocks for foraging seals and penguins. A permit process is in place and is more than rigorous. The two items on the government’s agenda are biosecurity and safety. You must document and demonstrate that you will not introduce alien species to these otherwise pristine islands, and you must ensure that the expedition can be conducted safely and be self-sufficient. Anyone who has written risk assessments will know what this entails. Lots of columns, rows, and colors. And no matter how complete you made it, lots of follow-up
Although the vast majority of penguins in South Sandwich are chinstraps, the team found this small colony of gentoos by a dry stream bed on Saunders Island.
questions. When White Island in New Zealand blew its top on December 9, only 20 days before our departure, it put Team Volcano back to work, adding some rows.
from island to island up the chain to Candlemas, assuming that, in the thick weather, he was looking at promontories of a landmass.
Before we left Stanley, we inspected everyone’s clothing, footwear, and equipment, down to vacuuming out pockets of jackets and pants, painstakingly picking seeds out of Velcro with needles, and disinfecting boots, ski poles, tripods, and anything else that can touch the ground. We had to be hard on each other, and it is amazing what you can find if you look hard enough. Before setting sail, we were visited by Sammy, the official fourlegged rat catcher in Stanley. She jumped back ashore still hungry.
Not until 1819, when Captain Thaddeus von Bellingshausen discovered the northern three islands and then sailed south along the eastern side of the southern islands, was Cook’s theory of a landmass discredited. Various sealing expeditions came and went until 1830 without much profit, but it was not until 1908 when Captain Anton Larsen, who developed the whaling industry on South Georgia, landed on Zavodovski. The islands were now firmly on the map, but all attempts at whaling and sealing failed due to the harsh weather and lack of any natural harbor, and they stayed pristine.
As we approached Saunders Island after a five-day transit, I remembered what one pundit in Stanley, who had been to these islands twice before, said to me: “You have too many people and you will be lucky to get ten percent of the objectives done.” He had good reason to be pessimistic. I was bracing myself for days hove-to offshore in gale conditions amongst growlers and bergy bits while waiting to land, with time running out and a boatload of anxious researchers suffering from cabin fever. Late in the evening of January 4, we made landfall and ghosted around the northern end of the island. At daybreak, we anchored in 15 meters in the open roads of Cordelia Bay. It is a cliché, but lend a thought to Captain Cook and the crew of the HMS Resolution in 1775. While searching for the terra incognita of Antarctica, he fetched up on a group of islands to the south which he named Southern Thule. Sailing north, he went
Following in the footsteps of only a handful of previous scientific parties that landed, we wasted no time to get ashore. Our first “wet landing,” jumping out of the C5 Bombard in waist-deep water to turn the boat around and offload, was easy compared to what was to come. With 11 of us ashore, the scientists took off in different directions, and I in hot pursuit of the two young volcanologists, Emma and Kieran. Tom, Gemma, and Dr. Jo were flying drones over the penguin colonies, satellite-tagging 20 chinstraps to record foraging ranges, and taking fecal and blood samples for DNA analysis. Pelagic veterans professor Paul Mayewski and Mario Potocki from the University of Maine School of Earth and Climate Sciences went with their drilling gear in search of ice, water, and snow samples to demonstrate levels of pollution. Don’t believe it? In the Antarctic, issue 63 2021
ABOVE: Unable to exit and enter the water at Herd Point in the distance, thousands of chinstraps make this daily antlike march from the beach at Ferguson Bay along the glacier to their nesting grounds. RIGHT: Pelagic Australis looking for a landing, but it was too rough to contemplate. The team “flew” the colonies by drone and hightailed it to South Georgia. Photo by Tom Hart.
this team has discovered levels of uranium in meltwater conclusively linked to an open-pit uranium mine in Australia. Ruth Peacey and Hamza Yassin, our film team, had a lot on their plate to cover. We all kept an hourly radio schedule while Chris on board kept us informed of any changes of weather that would mandate we call in the troops and evacuate in double-quick time. The strange thing was, the weather was fine that day and for two more days thereafter, giving us all ten-hour days ashore and loads of data in all the disciplines. Tom said that if we got nothing else done during the rest of the trip, we had cracked it. He was particularly pleased that one of the three camera traps he had serviced in December 2014 had survived the 2016 eruption. When he downloaded the chip, the series of images had gone black, which narrowed the time of eruption to the first week of April. The only downside was that due to gale conditions above 500 meters, we could not access the top of the crater on Mt. Belinda, where a lava lake was rumored to be, one of the Holy Grails of the expedition—unfinished business. During the next eight days, we kept pinching ourselves as the weather held fine and we could move from island to island at will. We landed on Thule, Bellingshausen, and Candlemas. On Cook, Bristol and its outliers, as well as Zavodovski, Tom 124
flew the drone from the deck with Gemma launching and catching—no mean feat in swell and wind. The good news was that Tom learned that the 2016 eruption on Zavodovski had spared the colony. After eight days of fine weather on the South Sandwich, we took a window of opportunity and hightailed it to the relative tropical coastline of South Georgia. Here, we cherry-picked other objectives on foot and by drone in the time that was left. Back in Stanley, after five weeks in the field, Pelagic Australis’ job was done, but the scientists’ work had just begun—back in their labs. No sooner had we returned to our respective home bases that the chatter began about how to return. I still need to climb Mt. Michael on Saunders Island to see the lava lake and make that precarious landing on Zavodovski. No doubt the scientists have more justifiable reasons. But for me, it is just for the doing.
The Pelagic Australis team, back on the jetty in Port Stanley after 30 days in the field. Job done.
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 200203, 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 CCA’s prestigious Blue Water Medal 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 63 2021
Wischbone under a full moon in Northeast Harbor.
Cruising During COVID-19: A Fleet Surgeon’s Perspective by Jeff Wisch, Boston Station, Buzzards Bay Post
“Many club members subsequently contributed to the newsletter, which covered just about everything you could imagine regarding how to successfully cruise Maine during this crisis.
s fleet surgeon for the CCA, it is my job to advise the leadership of our organization on medical matters as they pertain to the safety of our members. Back in March 2020, when COVID-19 first became a major concern, numerous conference calls and Zoom sessions took place to address what the CCA needed to do to ensure the safety of members and the cruising community at large. In short order, it became very clear that this virus was extremely contagious and far more lethal than any virus we had seen in modern history. Could we hold the widely successful Safety-at-Sea seminar with a newly expanded medical seminar? What about the vital hands-on component to learning safe seamanship? Could we run a safe Newport Bermuda Race, and if so, what would happen once the vessels arrived in Bermuda? After much debate, and as COVID-19 began to ravage this country and the world, it became increasingly obvious that 2020 would be a very different racing and cruising year. The CCA took the lead in canceling the Newport Bermuda Race, along with a robust calendar of events that would have taken us through the 2020 sailing season. Other sailing organizations followed in our footsteps. I was extremely proud of the CCA for making the hard decisions early on, relieving the chair of the Newport Bermuda Race and others of the anxiety of trying to plan during a pandemic. Based on the evolving science and experience, it became abundantly clear that social distancing, impeccable hygiene, and masking up defined a brave new world. This was a particularly bitter pill for the characteristically independent and self-sufficient sailing community, as we are accustomed to taking command of our own vessels and making decisions that we feel are in the best interest of our crews. After all, what could be safer than going off sailing, surrounded by the ocean while frolicking in the wind and sunshine? The problem, of course, was the need to avoid contacts on both ends of the voyage, as well as among those choosing to sail together. From my perspective, given the daily reports of new cases and deaths, I did not feel comfortable launching our Oyster 53, Wischbone. It seemed just too overwhelming and daunting
A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast, 6th edition, by Curtis Rindlaub and Hank and Jan Taft. Reprinted by permission.
given the complexities of travel restrictions as well as concerns of cruising while socially distancing. This changed rather abruptly during the month of May, when, after a few encounters with folks who had no intention of following COVID guidelines, I became increasingly alarmed about the lack of compliance among many people regarding the use of masks and social distancing. On one occasion, while walking to a dock on Cape Cod, an individual was approaching me without a mask. The path was relatively narrow and I was concerned, to say the least. I politely asked him to put on his mask. He responded with a definitive “no” and said that he had already had COVID-19. I responded that I had not. When he said he “really did not care,” I was totally taken aback, my intolerance for this behavior rising to the surface—but I reminded myself that I was a professional. After relating the story to a few close friends, there was a general consensus that I needed to go sailing to maintain my sanity and stay out of trouble. I began to seriously consider launching Wischbone and called Steve Rowe (BOS/GMP), owner of the Great Island Boat Yard in Maine, to discuss how best to get our boat commissioned to go cruising with my wife, Cindy, and our Portuguese Water Dog, Magic. Steve put together a plan that met with my approval. At the same time, Mark Lenci (BOS/GMP) also started planning a summer cruise in Maine. We would adhere issue 63 2021
The author and his wife, Cindy, sailing hard.
to a new mission, which was to encourage other members of the CCA to cruise Maine by “staying together while staying apart.” The guidelines were clear. There would be no planned events or social gatherings. Masks and social distancing were the order of the day. The Boston Station’s organized cruise to Maine had been canceled as a formal event, and instead we were encouraging cruisers to explore Maine while following all the precautions required to keep us all safe from COVID-19. Mark Lenci created a weekly newsletter with initial input from Dale Bruce (BOS/GMP) and me. Many club members subsequently contributed to the newsletter, which covered just about everything you could imagine regarding how to successfully cruise Maine during this crisis. Favorite anchorages, restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, and not-to-be-missed activities while visiting beautiful harbors were the newsletter’s mainstay. Members sent in regular updates.
had been tested for COVID, the initial challenge for Cindy and me was to arrange such testing. This was no small feat. We had, in effect, been quarantining at home, so it was no surprise when our COVID tests came back negative. Next, we had to devise a plan to not only load Wischbone with cruising gear previously removed in preparation for the 2020 Bermuda Race, but also stock her with food. Our Ford F-150 was loaded to the brim, leaving barely enough room for our trusting third mate, Magic, to squeeze in amidst all of our gear in the backseat. It’s useful to bear in mind that at the time, the state of Maine had minimal COVID cases and outsiders were sometimes looked upon with suspicion. A passing vehicle flashed a sign at us on the Maine Turnpike, directing us to go back home to Massachusetts. I am glad to report that this was the only incident we encountered that suggested any hostility toward non-Mainers while cruising Maine.
The question remained whether all this could be safely done. Would our members follow the precautionary guidelines to keep us all safe? The answer was a resounding yes. There were no large get-togethers, and people maintained their distance while visiting each other by dinghy or socializing ashore. ”Quaranteams” were organized, where small groups of friends agreed to abide by strict guidelines to mitigate risk. This too proved quite successful. Aside from some interesting interpretations of CCA flag etiquette, as far as I could tell, our members were an example for the rest of the sailing community.
Having completed our punch list and replenished our stores, we were eager to leave. In the words of Martin Short, who starred in one of my favorite—albeit low-budget—sailing comedy movies, Captain Ron: “Isn’t this great! The ocean, the islands—who knows where we will end up!”
In view of the travel restrictions between Massachusetts and Maine and the need to quarantine for 14 days unless we 128
And so, the sailing part of our COVID cruising adventure was underway. Getting on board Wischbone again after the winter layup and amidst all of the uncertainty regarding COVID was indeed very comforting. We felt safe within the confines of our trustworthy vessel. Cindy and I began the annual routine of reacquainting ourselves with SOPs and electronics, as well as doing the usual thorough inspection of all systems.
u a lo ster an lo sta dinner on i rovided u ar swell lo ster de and was down.
Finding everything in working order, a short sail took us to our first destination, an area up the ew Meadows iver known as the Basin. There we met a medical colleague of mine, Jim, an avid kayaker and former sailor who has a home along the shore. Jim and his wife Sue introduced us while socially distancing with masks on to the many hiking trails around the Basin as well as some excellent kayaking. We observed eagles and ospreys along the shore. The sun was shining bright as we enjoyed the beginning of a three-month reprieve from the stresses of shoreside ID-1 . With our boat systems functioning well, we set off Down East with our next stop, inekin Bay, just around the corner from Boothbay Harbor, and anchored off the inekin Bay esort. The resort was partially closed due to ID-1 , but they were running their launch service and graciously invited us to use their dock to take walks around the area. We also met up with Mark and Bev enci on S o er, along with their quaranteam of ancy ook ( HE) and Ann olker ( S). They had made their decision to get tested and follow strict guidelines to enable them to safely cruise together during the summer before we did. It was wonderful to see familiar faces as we compared notes while standing off in our dinghy. I ventured off for a change of venue with a short walk to Boothbay, essentially a ghost town with very little going on, quite different from the normal hustle and bustle during nonID times. This, once again, served as a reminder of how lucky we were to be able to go cruising during the pandemic.
In Tenants Harbor, we discovered that all of the lobster pounds were closed along with the shoreside restaurants. obster could only be bought directly from the lobstermen; another reality check. In ockland, we happened upon another A burgee and ick and hyllis rem (B S GM ) on assail. The farmers market was the next day, and we decided to scout it out to determine if we felt safe purchasing fresh produce. As it turned out, it was not crowded and everyone was masked while respecting strict social distancing. We replenished our stores of fruits and vegetables. During a brief walk in town, we noted that the majority of people wore masks and, in some instances, went as far as crossing the street to avoid close proximity to others. We were developing greater confidence that we could accomplish our goal of remaining safe while cruising. We spent time hiking and kayaking around erry’s reek as well as Buckle Harbor in asco assage, our next two and far more isolated stops. While in erry’s reek, we were greeted by Allan and athy ae (B S GM ) on e i Star, the uno cial mayors of the creek. We very much enjoyed seeing these old friends while socially distancing in dinghies. In Buckle Harbor, we were the only boat and enjoyed kayaking until, that is, I found myself ss e
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Hiking at Acadia National Park; Magic and the author’s wife, Cindy, masked and at the ready; Magic, after a tough day’s hiking; the author, hiking in Perry Creek; Bass Harbor Head lighthouse.
surrounded by a family of seals and recalled the very unfortunate incident in which a woman was killed by a great white shark while swimming in Casco Bay. It occurred to me that, although I was not swimming, there was not much between me and the deep blue sea, and I paddled the remaining distance back to Wischbone with great vigor. But many of life’s anxieties melted away with a beautiful sunset, assisted by one of my wife’s famous “light” gin and tonics, especially potent as I don’t imbibe very often and have an infrequently challenged liver. In fact, I must have the only wife on the 130
planet who wishes her husband would enjoy spirits more frequently. It was hard to believe that outside of our little world on Wischbone, COVID-19 continued to create chaos. I think that in many ways I felt guilty not being on the front lines with some of my colleagues, but also fortunate to be on this sabbatical from the harsh realities of the moment. The rest of our voyage took us farther Down East. We were introduced to new CCA friends and met many sailing friends whom we had not seen since the pre-COVID sailing season
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Maine hospitality— Jack and Diane Myles’ (FLA) dock in South Addison; entrance to the Roque Island Thorofare; Northeast Harbor—the crews of Kite and Calypso, socially distancing behind Wischbone with a ”COVID dinghy” as buffer.
of 2019. It was wonderful to see other CCA vessels—Calypso, Visions of Johanna, Kite, and Pastime, to mention just a few. Although it was good to see other CCA folks, I continued to be deeply uneasy over the prospect of coming into contact with well-meaning friends who considered us “safe,” and we did turn down a few invitations to dine aboard other boats. My main concern centered around the fact that, regardless of taking appropriate COVID precautions, it only takes one contact to contract this deadly virus. Although disappointing, our regrets were well-received and further reinforced my objective not only
to keep us safe from the pandemic, but also our friends. One of my goals is to grow old—or “older,” as some would say—with our sailing friends. We enjoyed wonderful hikes in Acadia National Park while in Northeast Harbor. On more than one occasion, I chose to go off by myself to reconnect with the beauty of nature. This served to replenish my need to transcend the fear and sadness being experienced by many in this country and the world. At times, this solitude and serenity was shattered by thoughts of issue 63 2021
CLOCKWISE: Roque Island beach—this could almost be the Carribean; lone dinghy on Roque Island; sunset from Bunker Cove, Roque Island.
the moral injury that many of my colleagues, especially those who are more junior, were experiencing as they dealt with the isolation experienced by their patients, often during their final moments. This reality was so contrary to everything I believed in as a senior medical oncologist who often dealt with death and dying, but always trying to embrace compassion, caring, and dignity with all those who had been under my care in preCOVID times. Indeed, going sailing was the appropriate decision for us. We enjoyed the environment around us while socially distancing and maintaining the moat around Wischbone when necessary. The beauty and peacefulness of Maine’s anchorages and islands were all the more magnificent during this pandemic. 132
We enjoyed friends, sunrises, and sunsets as far east as Roque Island, and the many wonderful places along the way. As I write this article in early December, we are experiencing another wave of infection and deaths approaching 300,000 in this country alone. I fear that COVID fatigue will take its toll while we await a true miracle of medicine, the distribution of the vaccine which will hopefully end this very dark period in our history. Who would have thought that sailing, and the camaraderie of the CCA, would have such a great impact on our lives during the pandemic? I look forward to returning to normalcy, along with everything we have missed and perhaps taken for granted, but will always have beautiful memories of our sailing during this pandemic summer.
Anchorage at Mistake Island.
About the Author Jeffrey Wisch received his M.D. degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, trained in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and completed fellowships at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He was chief of hematology and oncology at the Newton Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts, until 2016, when he was recruited back to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as senior physician and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He retired from clinical practice in August 2019, although at the time of writing this article, his privileges had been reactivated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jeff is a lifelong sailor, as is his wife, Cindy, whom he met while he was a fellow at Dana-Farber. Their current boat, Wischbone, is an Oyster 53 with a home port in Hadley Harbor, Gosnold, Massachusetts. Together with family and friends, they have enjoyed numerous offshore adventures as well as Newport Bermuda and Marblehead to Halifax races. Jeff notes that one of his sailing highlights was competing double-handed in the 2006 Newport Bermuda Race with his son, Alex, 17 at the time: the two medaled, placing third in the doublehanded division. Jeff and Cindy, along with their Portuguese Water Dog, Magic, are looking forward to cruising more northerly latitudes once the COVID crisis has resolved. Jeff is the fleet surgeon for the Cruising Club of America as well as a member of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, Safety and Seamanship Committee, and chair of the Boston Station Membership Committee. Cindy is past issues manager of Voyages. issue 63 2021
by ill Hearne he day the world stopped sailing Around the world, sometime in mid-March cruisers woke up secure in their anchorages, only to find they could not leave. ther sailors, dealing with wind and weather as they crossed the Atlantic, Indian, or acific oceans, continued their adventure in ignorance only to discover days or weeks later, upon arrival at their destination, that no entry was permitted. Air, sea, and land borders closed. In some cases, accommodations were made by the inbound country. In others, cruisers were confined to their boats or summarily turned away. There were fears that skippers arriving on unauthorized boats would be jailed and their boats confiscated. Accommodation for groceries and medical support varied by country, largely influenced by local and national infrastructure. 4
But in some ways, pandemic norms are much like cruising skills and norms. aught out around the world, several A cruisers and friends across the pond share their experiences while cruising during the ID-1 pandemic. Maggie Salter and Al Hickey (B S GM ) were on their Stevens 53, ee re , having sailed from the io Dulce, Guatemala, to oatan, which, beginning March 20, was basically shut down for nearly two weeks as the Honduran government strategized best responses. pon reopening, cruisers were allowed ashore for essentials based on their passport numbers. ee re was joined by 20 or so participants in the cean ruising lub’s Suzie Too ally in oatan, and a community of similarly stranded cruisers made for a strong support system.
They were able to clear U.S. Customs using the new ROAM app and sail directly to Riviera Beach Marina in Lake Worth. There they found a 'soft' quarantine with few masks, freedom to move around, and open restaurants.
knots on a broad reach. The last night we were screaming along in a 41-knot squall with lightning all around as we passed Cape Ann in Massachusetts. Fortunately, by the time we entered the Portland ship channel, the black clouds had dissipated, and we had a full moon and flat seas as we entered Portland harbor.” Once in Maine and after tackling repairs to the windlass and a failed bow thruster, Maggie and Al sailed on to North Haven. They are continuing their love affair with the coast of Maine.
Sweet Dreams in Texas Bay, Rio Dulce.
Sweet Dreams joined six other Suzie Too boats to sail Roatan to Puerto Morellos via Guanaja. From there, Al and Maggie went on to Isla Mujeres. They waited for over two weeks for easterlies to either die down or switch to south or southeast—no one wants wind against the Gulf Stream current—to get north to Florida. They were able to clear U.S. Customs using the new ROAM app and sail directly to Riviera Beach Marina in Lake Worth. There they found a “soft” quarantine with few masks, freedom to move around, and open restaurants. When the weather got warmer and the wind went south again, Sweet Dreams rode the Gulf Stream directly to Maine. Maggie and Al report that “[we] arrived home at Portland Yacht Club at 0300 on Sunday after five wildly variable sailing days from Cape Lookout, North Carolina. We had squalls, no wind, high winds, rain, fog, sun, and one perfectly delightful day of 18
Harriet and Tom “T.L.” Linskey (BOS/BUZ) were in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, on their Dolphin 460 cat, Hands Across the Sea, when the world began shutting down. Fortunately, St. Lucia authorities promptly established public health protocols to protect their citizens and visitors. By the second week in March, Harriet and T.L., founders of the child literacy nonprofit Hands Across the Sea, were
Hands Across the Sea: Library opening at the Soufriere Special Education Centre. issue 63 2021
Across the Sea continued “Hands to provide services on the islands through 11 offices in six countries, creating radio and television 'read-alouds' to keep children occupied during school closures. Hands Across the Sea: Soufriere special education students.
wrapping up school library visits and carrying kits of soap, towels, and alcohol to stay healthy. “On Thursday, March 12, we attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a library opening at the Soufriere Special Education and Rehabilitation Centre,” they report. “The students were so excited about their bright, new space, and a group of eight children gave us a group hug. We loved these special children, but were praying that no one’s parents worked in a resort with COVID-infected guests. We felt very lucky in St. Lucia. The entire country was under a curfew from sunset to sunrise with the exception of a solid six days of 24-hour home confinement. Our ship’s pantry was stocked with rice, beans, pasta, and jars of sauces and condiments. The cruisers shared names and numbers of farmers, so when the 24-hour lockdown lifted, we went ashore to collect our advance orders from local farmers and grocers.”
television “read-alouds” to keep children occupied during school closures. Staff also worked with educators in rural villages for a few hours each week to provide children with books. In Antigua, Hands came up with a creative solution as staff culled old books from school libraries, sorting them by reading level, packing them in the back of an SUV, and giving them away, along with ripe mangoes, in outlying villages.
On many Eastern Caribbean islands, wealthy business owners and politicians visit Martinique, Canada, the United States, or the United Kingdom for their major medical needs. A new hospital in St. Lucia, built years before, had never been officially opened and was idle. With the elite “trapped” on St. Lucia, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet brought in medical professionals from Cuba to staff the new hospital and provided three “quarantine hotels” for the Cubans as well as repatriating St. Lucians. He secured test kits and opened local respiratory clinics. He regularly addressed the nation on social media, radio, and television with detailed updates and messages of assurance and unity. In contrast to the U.S., the prime minister and chief medical officer did a stellar job of leading their country. When T.L. and Harriet left in mid-May, there had been 18 coronavirus cases in a population of 180,000—and no deaths.
Second, slowdown in the tourism sector affects the entire economy in an ever-widening ripple: banks, taxi and minibus drivers, marina workers, retail stores, spas, farmers, fisherfolk, restaurants, rum shops, and Friday night fish frys.
T.L. and Harriet used their time to ensure that Hands Across the Sea continued to provide services on the islands through 11 offices in six countries, creating radio and 136
It soon became clear to T.L. and Harriet that: First, it did not take long for local people to be hungry. Most islanders live hand to mouth. Even people with steady jobs in resorts are vulnerable when the tourism economy shutters.
Third, children were not learning in spite of the Eastern Caribbean governments’ attempts to “go digital.”
While in St. Lucia, Harriet and T.L. took the opportunity to hire a new executive director. They met weekly via Zoom with the board and managed to finalize a memorandum of understanding with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. When the second round of Paycheck Protection Program financing was announced, a board member in Massachusetts facilitated a successful application and loan process. And all this was accomplished virtually while T.L. and Harriet were 1,500 miles away, anchored off a Caribbean island!
On May 17, after 12 weeks in St. Lucia, nine of them under a COVID-19 curfew, Hands Across the Sea set sail for Bermuda on a 1,600-nautical-mile repositioning voyage. After a two-night layover in St. George’s, Hands arrived in Buzzards Bay on May 28. U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s ROAM app was by now disabled as “no one was supposed to be traveling.” The New Bedford officer on duty finally let the crew step off the boat as they were clearly not “the bad guys” and were trying diligently to enter the U.S. legally.
Vendor in Noyon arranging her preserves.
Georgie McLaren in the wheelhouse of Margaret Wroughton II on the Canal du Nord.
Across the pond, Royal Cruising Club members Georgie and Gavin McLaren, known to many CCA members from their participation in club cruises, had perhaps the most delicious lockdown. They were on their custom-built canal
boat, Margaret Wroughton II, in Port de Plaisance in Cambrai when France took swift and definitive action. The rules were not advisory but law! Exercise was allowed for one hour per day within one kilometer of home. To leave the boat, one needed to carry a signed and dated “attestation,” bearing name, date of birth, and address, and stating their purpose and boat location. Police carried out spot checks, issuing fines and even jail terms. But with only food stores and pharmacies open, there was little reason to go ashore. “While in theory this is a great time to get on with those long overdue jobs on board, with all the hardware
Margaret Wroughton II in Picardy. issue 63 2021
shops firmly shut, that’s not so easy unless you already have the necessary supplies on board, the Mc arens note. Sitting out coronavirus in ambrai was not un laisance. The French emphasis on fresh and local really paid off in the quality of available meals Six British and three French boats nearby had residents on board, and other barges awaited return of crews stranded in other countries. The liveaboards were within sight of each other, and together they formed a small self-help community as boating folk do all over the world.
s s s s
Meanwhile, the sailors hauled out in the boatyard had it much worse, with strict orders to remain below at all times. For some unknown reason, they were not allowed to even sit in their cockpits, which seemed quite inhumane as on hot afternoons the concrete in the yard heated up to over 100 degrees Jokes grew over a possible attempt to kill seniors with heat-stroke before ID-1 could get them. Ginger organized weekly food deliveries to the boat and, with appropriate E, shopped at the nearest grocery store once a week. The town was blissfully quiet at night, with no car tra c and no disco music to be heard. Each day, the loudspeakers in town crackled to life, alternating calls to prayer with news of orona and current produce prices. in er and eter iemann efore t eir e i o a e from Tur e to Sin a ore.
When restrictions relaxed, the Mc arens resumed their explorations on the anal du ord in icardy prior to returning upstream against what can be quite a strong current. From the anal du ord, they turned west for the anal de la Somme. They are wintering in ambrai, where they anticipate many more great meals.
As infections grew, the government imposed weekend lockdowns. The first, announced at 10 p.m. for a midnight lockdown, took the iemanns by surprise and caught cruisers low on food before the Saturday fresh market r. These lockdowns continued through April and into May. In a welcome show of humanity, marina staff kindly delivered fresh bread to the boats during lockdown weekends.
In Turkey, eter and Ginger iemann ( W) left their lovely Irene in Finike to attend the annual A meeting in ew ork. There they received the Far Horizons award for their worldwide voyaging, including a circumnavigation via the ape of Good Hope and ape Horn in 200 10 and a transit of the orthwest assage in 2017. They squeaked back into Turkey via Germany just one day before German borders were closed. Arriving in Finike, they were caught in a heated frenzy surrounding foreigners returning to their boats. All recent arrivals from outside the country were to be confined to their boats for 14 days with no exceptions. When one unfortunate captain resisted, the police were promptly brought in to explain. Faced with the choice of a Turkish prison or quarantine aboard his boat, he chose the latter, semi-gracefully. voyages
eter iemann or in on Irene at t e do
in Tur e .
Ginger and eter relate: As an early African heat wave swept the country and temperatures in the shade soared to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, we learned that swimming was forbidden. We sweated away the hot days sitting under Irene’s fans, searching the internet for the latest news on the pandemic. ne of our neighbors did go swimming, and as he exited the water he was met by the police. He was made to understand that further swimming would result in arrest for defying the curfew.’
en e ein oisted a oard a Se enstar trans ort s i for er At anti transit.
As with the Mc arens in France, the iemanns experienced definite advantages in living in a farming community, with no likelihood of food shortage and great quantities of delicious produce continuing to be available. The local farmers market resumed, with stalls alternating weeks. Face masks were required, and one had to walk through a disinfecting spray tunnel to enter the market area. After amadan, restrictions began to ease, with occasional Sundays when people over 5 were allowed to exercise outside between noon and p.m. Eventually swimming in salt water was once again permitted, and people over 5 were allowed to be outside daily Irene was even allowed to leave the marina as long as she stayed in Antalya province and was anchored by 8 p.m. Irenes crew shares that having read so many stories of sailors caught on the move with closed borders, concerns about food availability and general unrest, we feel very fortunate to have been in Finike, Turkey, where people generally followed the rules and kept infection rates low with good humor and grace. From Turkey, Irene’s crew further cemented their Far Horizons credentials with a sprint to Singapore via the Suez anal, where they are now indefinitely aboard under quarantine. (See Irene e n e n I e on page 38 of this issue.)
for the winter. The plan was to sail to Germany, ship the mast to Marseille, transit the hine and hone rivers to the Med, reconnect with the mast, sail to Mallorca for the A cruise (remember that cruise ), then to Gibraltar and the anaries, join the A lus (registered and paid), sail to ape erde and St. incent, winter in the aribbean, and return to the .S. in spring 2021. Ernie had detailed plans, all the books, a special new radio and a new bimini. He was ready to go
Farther north, Ernie Godshalk’s (B S B ) Hinckley Sou’wester 42, en e, was at Walsted’s boatyard in Denmark
The new reality hit when Ernie woke up one Saturday in April and realized that en e would remain in the shed
T e re of en friends in t eir u
e in aine t ird from eft and se ond from ri t e at Ann o e i e s ouse in ort a en.
COVID testing in South Africa.
in Denmark, probably for at least two years. Quick research with the help of Roger Block (BOS/GMP) led to a decision to take the boat out of mothballs, commission her, and send her home. A delivery captain took her to Eemshaven, Netherlands, and put her aboard the M/V Slotergracht, a Sevenstar Yacht Transport ship.
ashore or clear in. Cruisers sat off some islands, supplied with fresh water and basic provisions by local agents, for months—not days or weeks! Some islanders were helpful, while others were quite aggressive, fearing infection from “foreigners.” When finally arriving in South Africa, many were dismayed to find their entry blocked.
The ship was bound for Baltimore but Bob Rodgers (ESS), who imports X-Yachts and is a big Sevenstar customer, convinced the company to divert to Newport, where Golden Eye was unloaded in May 2020. But first, Ann Noble-Kiley (BOS/ BUZ) joined Ernie to board the ship and climb a ladder onto the boat. After a cursory inspection, they disconnected the backstay and got out of the way. Quite an adventure! There was no damage to Golden Eye, and she was safely stateside.
In South Africa, John Franklin (BOS), his wife, Jenny, and Peter Sherlock, commodore of the Royal Cape Yacht Club,
After a month of cruising Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay, Golden Eye withdrew from a socially distanced NYYC cruise due to a threatening hurricane, transited the Cape Cod Canal, and headed for Maine. After ten years offshore, Golden Eye was home at last! When COVID-19 exploded unto the world, many boats were stranded in the Indian Ocean with no options due to seasonal weather. Boats were caught in transit, unable to get 140
On November 9, South Africa temporarily opened to cruisers stranded in the Indian Ocean.
Kids' Sunday sailing club in Bonaire.
began in early April to lobby various government departments on behalf of the boats. Peter, a filmmaker with very close ties to both business and government, was an incredible asset to the sailing community in the vast Indian Ocean during this time. On October 1, 2020, the government issued an official “Welcome to South Africa!” for yachts. The initial welcome was tenuous—while Port Control agreed to allow boats to make landfall in Richards Bay to dock, provision, refuel, and effect essential repairs, crew were not allowed to disembark or officially enter the country. Immigration simply refused to clear them in. After being tested for COVID, crew sat on the dock, unable to leave their boats except for provisioning and medical care, for a fortnight or more. Early morning panic calls to John, Jenny, and Peter became the norm. Engine failure just off Richards Bay, medical emergencies, and recalcitrant sailors’ unwillingness to accept COVID-19 protocols are only a few examples. OCC Port Officer Tasha Wolmarans greeted each incoming boat with Champagne, ready to assist wherever and however possible. Finally, on November 9, yachts were temporarily allowed in, following strict protocols. Peter Sherlock was commended by the OCC for facilitating the entry of foreign boats to South Africa from the Indian Ocean. Without his contacts and drive, things could have been very different.
My husband, Rod Hearne (PNW), and I were on Lookfar in lockdown in Bonaire from March 15 to July 1, when we finally received permission to sail out to Curaçao. Unlike our fellow cruisers in Europe, we did not have the luxury of fresh produce. Bonaire is essentially a coral reef, slightly above water, and the only water source is reverse osmosis. The entire island population lives on water from the municipal reverse-osmosis plant, with the exception of a very few historic wells. Nearly all fruit and produce is shipped or flown in. Prior to the lockdown on March 15, 2020, daily KLM flights from Amsterdam brought endives, Gouda and a plethora of other cheeses, pâtés, and exotic fruits. After March 15, a 58-meter cargo ship, the Dona Luisa, plied the waters from the Dominican Republic to Curaçao and Bonaire, bringing fresh produce. Without the traditional small traders from Venezuela (who had disappeared in December 2018 due to a Venezuelan government mandate to return home or face permanent exclusion from the country), there had been no fresh produce for the islands. The ship would arrive Thursday night, and all of us in the anchorage would watch it unload. By 11 a.m. the next day, the bananas, tomatoes, cucumbers, papaya, and sometimes pineapples and broccoli, would be in the two main grocery stores. By noon Saturday, it was back to cabbage and onions. If you issue 63 2021
Masks on—social distancing in Bonaire.
saw something you thought you might want, you bought it right away because it would not be there when you turned around! Having already traveled 390 miles to get to Bonaire, the produce often wouldn’t last long after one got it to one’s boat. There were six different “flavors” of Spam available in the smaller markets, however. Who knew?
plane to fly. When we were finally granted permission to sail to Curaçao on July 1, 2020, after appealing to many agencies and departments, we arrived in time to quickly do a buyers’ survey and then, after more forms and medical tests, proceed on to Aruba to await the arrival of the first U.S. plane to land
The government of the Dutch Caribbean created a bubble among the islands of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius, enabling the residents to move among the islands by land or sea. Boats could move to one of the other islands as well, albeit subject to a 14-day quarantine (which was temporarily lifted July 1). Most of the other Eastern Caribbean islands were not even allowing yachts in, period! Bonaire was actually the perfect spot. During the lockdown, there were only two cases of COVID-19, and they were identified and traced immediately. The 40 or so boats from different nations in lockdown could therefore move around freely. Scuba diving, snorkeling, and dining ashore in open-air restaurants provided enough diversion to stave off boredom. Unfortunately, once planes were allowed in again, this idyllic state of affairs came to an end. We had an eager buyer who had been patiently waiting since early March to buy Lookfar and go off sailing with his family. They were so committed they had quit their jobs, sold their house, and moved in with their in-laws to await the first 142
The author and her husband on Lookfar.
The author and her husband on Lookfar.
in the Caribbean since late March. The first commercial inbound flight to the Caribbean was July 10, and by July 13, Lookfar had a new owner! We returned to Seattle in time to participate in a loosely structured CCA “uncruise” in the San Juans aboard Keewaydin, our 44-foot Ocean Alexander. Looking ahead to cruising in 2021 and beyond, all of us afloat and on land eagerly search the horizon for signs of this great storm passing. But pandemic skills are cruising skills! We are cruisers because we are adventurers. We look forward to sunsets, waves, and travels in unknown seas and places because we know the world is not flat! ✧
Lookfar on a mooring ball in Bonaire.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR For the last 20 years, Jill and Rodney Hearne (PNW) have spent half of each year cruising offshore on Lookfar, their Formosa 46. Their nautical adventures have ranged from Glacier Bay, Alaska, and through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean. In 2010, Jill and Rod attained their 100-ton USCG licenses. As a family, Rod and Jill raised their children vacationing in British Columbia and chartering in the Med. Their son Rod continues the family passion for sailing as a second-generation CCA member, and son Harker captains their Ocean Alexander 44, Keewaydin, in the Pacific Northwest. Grandson Reilly is a fourth-generation Seattle Yacht Club member. In 2019, the Hearne family received the Cruising Family of the Year award from the Seattle Yacht Club; they are pictured here at the yacht club. Jill and Rod have enjoyed CCA cruises in the Hebrides and Greece. They look forward to more adventures on land and sea once borders reopen after the pandemic.
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Tamara secured in Quarantine Cove.
The Cruise That Might Have Been Never Was by Mark Roye, Pacific Northwest Station Photographs by the author and Nancy Krill
ebruary, still fully winter but with the promise of spring. As I have done many times before, I set out by road for the small Alaskan fishing port where I’ve sheltered boats for decades. Cordova, with no road connection, is accessible only by air or by sea, and requires a lengthy ferry trip from the oil port of Valdez. With a year-round population of only 2,240, this beautiful community, nestled immediately between the mountains and Prince William Sound, is one of the most important fishing ports in the country. Although it varies from season to season, on average Cordova ranks eighth in the nation by volume of production and fourth by value of product. I’d done this drive to Alaska at this same time of year many times over four-and-a-half decades. It’s become something of a rite of spring for me, a transition literally measured by the miles from my home in Port Townsend, Washington, on Puget Sound, to the relative wildness of maritime Alaska. Those very road miles, almost identical to the population of Cordova, emphasize the differences between my two homes. Although the full distance has been paved for many years, it remains by most standards a fairly primitive route. And it is still one of my favored adventures, particularly mid-winter in British Columbia, the Yukon Territories, and Alaska.
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Cordova harbor, nestled between the mountains and the sound.
During the many seasons that I home-ported fishing vessels in Cordova, beginning with my 32-foot salmon fishing boat, then a 66-foot, and finally, for ten years, a 91-foot purpose-built vessel that annually plied its trade from the Gulf of Alaska to the Bering Sea, the road trip let me ease into my seasonal life. It had a practical benefit as well, as I could load the truck with machinery and equipment brought south for reconditioning. When I’d add in a few boxes of books to keep me entertained and informed through the seven-month season, as well as the bulky seven-man life raft that was difficult to ship by other means because its annual servicing included pyrotechnic signals and lithium batteries, the freight load even made the drive cost-effective. The first time that I made this drive, though, was for a different reason altogether. The road itself was different as well. In 1975, the Alaska Highway had changed very little from the hastily built lifeline constructed for World War II. Originally built to connect a series of airstrips and small communities capable of supporting military aircraft bound north for the war effort, many of which would be ferried to our Russian allies, the road remained mostly gravel on my first trip. Sudden right-angle turns where sectional crews had often met up, 146
Tamara and the fishing fleet.
their surveying slightly different from one another, and temporary military bridges were still prevalent. Services and fuel were often far apart, particularly during the winter months. But winter traffic was very sparse, and no one objected when I simply pulled off the road to camp. Forty-five years ago, I first made that drive as a young Legal Services attorney, newly hired to supervise the largest of the outlying regional offices in the program. Our clients were Alaska Native villagers in 59 small communities along
the Bering Sea coast, in the delta common to the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, as well as a good way up those two river drainages. It was our portfolio to represent these clients in efforts to gain access to educational opportunities, to force construction of schools in their villages, and to preserve their traditional hunting and fishing rights and their indigenous languages, as well as all of the common legal matters facing most of the rest of us. The territory served by our office spanned hundreds of thousands of square miles. We traveled aboard local mail planes when flying was possible, and river skiff, snowmobile, even dog team when it was not. I learned a great deal, not only about these peoples, but from them, in the course of these travels. They sheltered me in their homes and I ate what they ate, even when it came to muskox, seal, and walrus. I sometimes hunted with them, and occasionally had to rough-camp as they did when travel conditions deteriorated, even in the sub-arctic winters. That experience rounded out the mountain adventures of my university days, greatly enhanced my bush-craft, and turned me into a fairly competent wilderness traveler. It also led me to my next career. After some years of legal services work, I decided to take time off. Having taken over a partially-built cabin 300 miles up the Kuskokwim, I loaded my river skiff with tools, dried goods, and a rifle and shotgun, determined to finish the cabin before winter. My very young, rescued-stray Siberian husky, Balassa, leaped aboard, took her accustomed place in the bow,
and though it was October, we set out upriver, racing freezeup. Along the way, we were welcomed in the villages that had been clients not long before. Balassa developed into one of the best skijoring and sled dogs in the region, and was frequently borrowed by friends for long-distance racing. By mid-winter, two friends who served as the area fishery management biologists, along with a few coastal villagers, had convinced me and a friend with a homestead some miles from my cabin to try to take the lead in pioneering a new near-shore herring fishery. When herring return in spring, the females are full of roe that was at the time highly prized in Japanese markets. Carefully managed by the biologists, this catch could be sufficiently valuable to permit a small-scale, very remote fishery to become an important source of cash for coastal villages. Two problems would have to be overcome to make such a fishery successful. First, a seafood company would need to be convinced that there would be adequate production to warrant sending a small processing ship to such a remote area, and second, there would in fact need to be sufficient production to meet such a commitment. That’s where we came in. Villagers in the area had no experience at all with such a fishery. We traveled to the two villages in the intended area, met with villagers, school teachers and other influencers, and issue 63 2021
Seine fishing boats await the season.
got permission to set up camp. Then we set about repairing a dilapidated old plywood “cannery skiff” that had once been leased to a villager by one of the salmon canneries. As we worked repairing the boat and rigging it for its new purpose, villagers would come by to visit, share tea and coffee, and inquire about how to go about engaging in this new venture. In time, we recruited about a dozen skippers and their crew to join us, helped them rig their own boats, flew in nets and other gear, and set out for Security Cove in the southeastern Bering Sea. Cook had used this anchorage and named it on the Third Voyage of Discovery in 1778. The chart for the bay still retained, in its margin, an entry range sketch based on one Cook’s artist, John Webber, had drawn 200 years before. After six weeks camped with Yupik villagers on the beach, sheltered for a time by the pit from an ancient sod house structure, I realized that I enjoyed this new life. Additionally, we’d made a substantial profit. So, at the close of the season, I made my way to Puget Sound to visit boatbuilders. On behalf of a group of us, I commissioned the building of three identical 32-foot salmon and herring gill-net fishing boats. I had begun my new career, and fell in love with the town that would become my home. 4
Over the decades the business grew and expanded, as did the size of the boats. My skills grew as well, with both formal training and self-tutelage. At the same time, because of my somewhat eclectic background, both academically and experientially, I worked several months in each of a few winters for the federally funded Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation. There I combined my academic background in economics and law with my practical experience in fisheries, helping to do the same sort of development work I’d done in the small-boat herring fishery. But these efforts involved vessels of far greater complexity, vastly greater in size, with many more zeroes in the capital investment column of the balance sheet. The years in the industry were very good to me, gave me a good set of skills and experience for the sort of cruising I’d long wanted to do, and let me retire early enough to pursue that dream while young enough to sail to the difficult destinations that the heroes of my youth had so vividly brought to life in their accounts. After ten years of full-time cruising from the Arctic to the Antarctic and home to Alaska, my partner, Nancy Krill, and I naturally moored Tamara, our 44-foot custom-built steel
ketch, in a slip in Cordova. Not only did I have many friends there, but the town gives perfect access to the grounds we wished to cruise. Finally, it offers all of the skills, trades, provisioners, and services essential to fully maintain a well-found cruising boat. A superb airstrip and great beauty make it an ideal home port.
out of harbor as soon as possible for my own safety. Then I’d have to figure out how, or even if, I could possibly rendezvous with my partner, Nancy, later in the spring, and what I would do in the interim. Everything else would have to wait.
A few days after arriving in Alaska, word of the coronavirus infections in the Kirkland, Washington, long-term care home made world headlines. I realized then the world would no longer be quite the same.
Generally reluctant to ask for help—a malady all too common among American males—I enlisted assistance from several of my younger friends. I had sometimes been their mentor as well, and felt no compunction seeking help now that I had need. Some expedited my provisioning by delivering fish, moose and deer meat, wild preserves including smoked homecanned salmon, octopus, and sablefish, dried mushrooms, and wild berry jams. Much faster than usual, the winter cover had been stripped off Tamara, its wooden frame stored, sails bent on, dinghy assembled, water tanks filled one jerry jug at a time from the only winter source in the harbor, and extra fuel drums yarded aboard. I was ready to make good my escape and remain out of port the entire season if necessary.
I set about commissioning and provisioning Tamara as expeditiously as I possibly could. My plan had evolved to get
Then, very early in the morning, just before my intended departure, my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but
The drive north this year, in preparation for my now annual solo winter cruise, was normal in most respects, including temperatures in the minus 20s, snow-packed roads, and short daylight hours requiring careful planning as age degrades my once superb night vision. But it would prove to be markedly different from any of those that had come before.
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Seals in the neighborhood.
it was local. A young woman introduced herself. I’d never heard her name before. She told me that a few people in town who knew a little about my past history as an advocate recommended that she call. She told me her name was Sara and that she had taken it upon herself to form a small ad hoc work group to try to get the town to understand that its geographic isolation would be no defense from the virus, and asked me if I could help.
I soon came to have the very highest respect, even affection, for this young, energetic, dedicated, tireless, committed mother of two who in a brief time would emerge as one of the most skilled advocates I’d ever encountered. In my first career, I had tried civil as well as criminal cases before juries in state and federal courts. I’d assisted in one very high-profile homicide defense in which the police, not the Bald eagles carefully keep watch.
Brown bear on beach patrol.
robbers, had shot the victim. I even argued a few appeals. But in the next six weeks, Sara became every bit the equal of any of the advocates I’d faced. She recruited others who filled vital roles, and all quickly developed new skills that proved essential to the effort. In all, a half dozen of us worked full time and another half dozen as much time as they could devote. Nearly all were women.
so-called social media, elevated those skills to do a superb job creating and maintaining a crucial website. Others joined us. All had some experience in the fishery. All knew only too well what was at stake. And all molded into the best advocacy team I’d ever been part of.
One was a woman in her 60s, also trained as a lawyer. I’ve still not met her, as we were forced to work separately. Some I’d known for decades, such as the recently retired Sea Grant officer for Cordova, a position akin to the county extension agent in agriculture. She’s also our local marine safety and survival instructor. Another was an experienced cruiser, skilled researcher, and writer, as well as mother of a 16-year-old daughter, who wrote one of the most compelling and widely disseminated letters that we used statewide. An Alaska Native who grew up in Cordova, graduated from a prestigious eastern university, and with her fisherman husband owns a hotel and restaurant, became our most credible public spokesperson. A young woman, originally much too involved with
Sea otters, some of my only companions.
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What was at stake was not only the health of the community, but also its very economic survival. In the course of a normal fishing season, the population of Cordova triples nearly overnight. Hundreds of processing plant workers from around the world, fishing boats and crews from out of town, service providers, and transport and shipping workers flock to town in the course of a couple of weeks. By mid-September, they are all gone until the next season. Cordova is the locus of the earliest major salmon fishery in the entire state. Nearly six weeks earlier than any of the others, this fishery would become the test case for the rest. That fact alone would become one of our strongest points of argument— if things went badly here early on, all other major fisheries would be in grave jeopardy. We had to get it exactly right. The problem we faced, like elsewhere, was denial. Few wanted to face the science, and many downplayed the risk in an effort to protect what they saw as an essential economic activity. Fisheries are a multi-billion-dollar industry in Alaska. As a direct analogy, to understand what was at stake, consider the meat-packing industry elsewhere in the country. Processing workers would be toiling long hours in very close physical proximity, living in crowded cannery bunkhouses, eating in common mess halls. Fishing boat crews would be sharing very crowded forepeaks. Social distancing was only a concept, not a practical reality. We knew we would have to do all that we could to encourage very rigorous standards to be imposed by the state and local governments, and assure that whatever action plans evolved were adequate to the task as well as strictly enforced. That would prove to be very difficult with some companies, simple with others. It would involve everything from our team having to learn the basics of epidemiology, fisheries economics, law, the internal machinations of federal, state, and local bureaucracies, and political alliances, and trying to figure out how to communicate with the well-informed as well as the willfully ignorant or those simply close-minded. We were in for the fight of our lives, and we knew it. To begin, we wrote an economic and legal analysis that laid out clearly to the processing companies that the state requirements that they draft mitigation plans, setting out how they intended to protect their workers and the community, required far more than a pro forma filing. It made clear that their failure to actually perform what they claimed they would do would be a breach of a duty created by that requirement, and may render them liable in tort for monetary damages to injured workers and community members, not simply negligible fines imposed by regulators.
We argued that the earliest of those fisheries, the very limited production but high-unit-value Copper River Red salmon, typically niche-marketed to restaurants, may not even be worth pursuing this season. Few major processors ever make much profit on this limited fishery, even in the best seasons, and with restaurants closed around the world, this was far from a normal year. Instead, we proposed to prosecute this smaller fishery as a cooperative effort. A cadre of local, very experienced, and committed fishermen stepped forward, volunteering to do all of the harvesting if the management biologists would prosecute the fishery with time and area closures that would slow down the fishery in such a way that it could be done. With product coming in slowly but steadily, it could be processed by a single plant with local labor. A competitive fishery, involving all stakeholders, would not only be inefficient, but dangerous during a pandemic. Instead, the cooperative fishery would split the proceeds among all stakeholders, processors included, while requiring few participants. That would buy needed time to fully prepare for the vastly more extensive—and lucrative—fisheries to come later. We nearly succeeded in this effort. As we counted votes on the city council, we had at least a tie. But just before the vote, we received notice that the governor had pulled the rug from beneath us and revoked the authority for isolated towns like Cordova to impose greater travel restrictions than the state as a whole. It was reported that he had done so at the request of the city manager. The gloves came off. By late April, as the town began to swell to triple its year-round population, I, at age 72, considered it much too dangerous to remain. I took Tamara out of town to a well-sheltered and very beautiful anchorage where I knew the cellphone signal to still be good. As the anchorage had no designated name on the chart, I dubbed it Quarantine Cove. After I’d secured her with anchors and lines ashore, I went back to work with the group, only now yet more remote. On rare occasion, over the next three months, some of the group would pay me a visit. Maintaining a careful distance, they brought me freshly caught shrimp, salmon, garden vegetables, and well wishes. We would consult, then continue our efforts. My only other companions for those long months were a flock of Canada geese, seals, sea otters, and bears newly emerged from their winter dens. Over time, we worked to help convince most processors to take the disease deadly seriously. The largest in the industry took the lead as we and similar groups that had emerged
around the state worked to keep public scrutiny on the issue. They closed their “campus” with cyclone fencing, controlled ingress and egress, tested and carefully quarantined arriving workers, adapted masks and face shields, staggered mess hall sittings, and more. We made it known to others that this standard would be the bar in any tort claims growing out of their failure to control the disease. And we continuously sought press and media attention, generating coverage by local and regional broadcast and print media. Soon the Seattle Times, New York Times, New Yorker, and reporters from other publications began to return our calls. Once a New York Times reporter had to wait on the phone while I beached the dinghy. But our efforts kept the pressure on.
We deserve only a little of the credit. Most of the industry responded very well, and others at least did their part. I’d made a few enemies, but many more new friends. It gave me a great deal of satisfaction to work with the people that I did, watch them evolve into confident, skilled, and effective advocates, and be considered by them to be their leader. Even if it cost me the cruise that should have been but never came to be, it was worth it. •
Most of the industry did a very good job. Fewer than 20 cases emerged in Cordova as of this writing, and no plant needed to be closed. Other communities were not so fortunate. In one town, more than 100 cases forced the closure of a large facility; in another, 70 cases closed a smaller plant. At times, in some of the major fisheries, companies suffered labor shortages and had to limit production, at least for a time. One company had not one, but two large factory catcher/processor ships put out of action by infection. But on balance, the industry fared far better than the meat packers and other agriculture enterprises elsewhere in the country.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 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 home 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 krillroye.com, krillroye. blogspot.com, and in numerous sailing publications. Their slide presentation has been widely acclaimed. Mark is pictured here in Antarctica and, properly masked, in Quarantine Cove.
Photo by Victoria Baker.
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The author’s wife, Kate, at the helm on passage.
by Peter Stoops, Boston Station, Gulf of Maine Post
Chase sailing in the Caribbean.
n 2019, our Swan 40, Chase, was seized by the Italian government for nonpayment of VAT (value-added tax) charges. Looking back on what we’ve been through trying to extricate her, reinsure her, and (someday, I hope) use her again, the takeaway is this: It is (far, far) better to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. Chase is owned by a partnership of four friends. She’s a remarkable boat, with a pedigree that includes ownership by actor Christopher Reeve and a complete refit by the marine systems program students at the Landing School in Arundel, Maine. We took her on an Atlantic circle in 2003–04 and then to the Med in 2010, intending to stay a year or two before bringing her back to the Caribbean. Instead, she spent the next ten years sailing us to Turkey, Greece, up into the Adriatic, all around Italy, and finally back to Sardinia where Chase, after 50 years afloat, finally ran into something that managed to stop her sailing progress cold: the EU/Italian bureaucracy.
The author on Chase.
HARD AGROUND on the Bricks of Bureaucracy
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“The takeaway is this: It is (far, far) better to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.”
Anchored off the island of Salina, Italy, with Stromboli volcano in the background.
Chase in Cascais, Portugal.
During our stay in the Med, we were always careful to observe the laws about incurring EU VAT payments—i.e. that the boat must leave the EU, for any length of time, at least every 18 months. Essentially, the EU considers a stay of over 18 months as an attempt to import a boat into the union without paying VAT—their rough equivalent of our sales tax. Theoretically, any boat that has overstayed that time period can be considered contraband and subject to seizure for unpaid taxes. Chase spent the sailing seasons of 2016 and 2017 in the Adriatic and the winter of 2016 in Split. After two seasons of cruising in Croatia, we headed south again in the fall of 2017, diverting to Montenegro in November. This turned out to be a critical date, as our intent was to reset the EU VAT clock in that non-EU country. After accomplishing this, and thinking it was finally time to start heading back west, Chase got as far as Italy, where she spent the winter of 2017 in Calaforte, Sardinia. Unfortunately, during the sailing season of 2018, the boat sustained damage to her stern, which destroyed the Monitor rig and raised concern about the integrity of the area where the backstay attaches to the chainplate. Given the
potential for crossing the Atlantic again in the near future, we filed an insurance claim for the damage and moved her to Olbia, Sardinia, where she would spend the winter of 2018 and have the repair done. Knowing that our 18 months of VAT time would run out in May 2019 while Chase was on the hard awaiting repair, we were faced with a decision: return in the spring and sail her to the closest non-EU port (that being Tunisia, about 200 nautical miles away) and back again, or request that the boat be “bonded” against VAT violation for an additional six months. Bonding is a process we had taken advantage of in Italy in 2011. It is available to yacht owners whose boats are on the hard, unused, with the crew not in the country—and the boat’s papers surrendered to local customs authorities. It is intended for exactly the purpose we sought: to acknowledge our awareness of her tax status, to guarantee that the boat would not be sailed in EU waters during that time, and to request a stay on VAT payment due to extenuating circumstances. Given the damage to the self-steering, the questions about the backstay, and the cost of paying a crew to move her (or flying over ourselves to do so), the choice seemed obvious, so issue 63 2021
Chase on the dock in Falmouth, Maine, ready to cross the Atlantic.
we set about finding an agent who could represent us in applying for the bond. This is the point where everything began to “go south” on us. First, our insurance company, Pantaenius, announced that it would no longer be insuring U.S.-flagged boats in foreign countries, meaning we would no doubt need a new survey once (if?) we found another company to cover us when our policy expired in June 2019. Next, while we were lucky enough to know someone on the Italian mainland who could interpret for us, we were unlucky enough to have him find a customs agent in Sardinia who did not communicate well. We requested that he apply for a VAT bonding of the boat, which he did, but when the Italian government initially turned us down (claiming that the boat was fit for sailing), he did not point out the most salient part of the denial: That little paragraph was the part where we had the right to appeal the decision—but if we didn’t, customs would assume we were admitting to felonious smuggling of the vessel into the EU. 158
Without knowing that we were soon to cross the line from cruisers to criminals, we took the next tack: inquiring about paying VAT so we could just stop worrying about the whole issue altogether. After all, 22 percent on a boat we could probably get them to value at under $50k was less expensive than flying over to move her or hiring a crew to do so. However, at that point customs denied our application for VAT, now claiming that their records showed the boat had been in the EU for over two years prior to checking into Calaforte, Sardinia, in 2017; that she was contraband; that we were smugglers; and that the boat was now the property of the Italian government. Chase was sealed off, with access to her by any parties considered to be criminal trespass. This is the point where we talked seriously about just letting the Italians keep her. In order to extricate ourselves, we would at minimum need to hire an Italian attorney and pay the VAT, along with any and all penalties. But a brief conversation with a local attorney dissuaded us. He pointed out that the government would still levy the same amount of tax but triple
the penalties if we did not pay them—and that they could initiate collection in the U.S. and make travel back to the EU for us close to impossible (without being jailed, anyway). So, we hired an attorney named Berardo who turned out, miraculously, to be fluent in English, sympathetic to our situation, and reasonably priced. In Italy, no one pays what they are charged in any situation, so Berardo began negotiations on our behalf with the authorities. By now, we had traced back and actually obtained (electronically, since our boat papers were now sealed up on Chase, ironically unavailable to us to use as evidence) our customs paperwork showing our exit from Montenegro in November 2017. This, we naively thought, was clear-cut evidence that we were not guilty of VAT evasion and that we could simply pay VAT at this point and call it even. Justice would no doubt prevail! Not so. The Italian government—probably seeing such easy money in their gunsights—only said they would take this under advisement, and would continue to negotiate with our attorney.
By now, this process had been going on for four months, chewing up legal fees, international phone calls, and a ton of time. Finally, in December 2019, Berardo informed us that the government would not consider our initial efforts to bond the boat or pay the VAT as relevant—despite us having proved that these efforts occurred prior to the VAT clock running out on Chase. This was because, they claimed, we had “not tried hard enough to mitigate the issue well prior to deadline.” Instead, they said they would work out the fines and that we needed to prove the boat’s market value so they could a) provide an appropriate VAT amount to levy on her, and b) arrive at a value that would allow us to “buy the boat back from Italy” (since Italian customs now owned it). This boat valuation exercise proved to be the only time, I think, that we actually got something over on the bureaucracy. Suffice it to say, one can find a lot of inexpensive 40-foot, 1970s sailboats on YachtWorld to use for comps. Later in December, Italian customs finally responded with their bottom-line number. The total cost to repossess the boat we already owned added up to $30,500: boat value—$14,900; VAT cost—$3,300; penalties—$4,800; and attorney’s fees—$7,500. Chase at anchor in Levitha, Greece.
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Unfortunately, our ongoing torment didn’t entirely end there. In order to reinsure her, we needed to find a surveyor who was a) certified by the U.S.-based National Association of Marine Surveyors, and b) could provide the full survey in English. A rare bird in Sardinia, but with the help of our Italian go-between, we did find someone who was able to survey her, and three months later we had a new policy on her.
boat that has provided me with so many safe and enjoyable sea miles and so many great adventures. But if I was patting myself on the back for rescuing Chase from Italian customs, from fickle insurers, and from unreliable boat yards, I failed to guess that a far more formidable opponent would come along in the form of the COVID-19 virus.
In keeping with the flow of things for Chase, just as we instructed the yard to proceed with the now long-delayed repair work, they announced they did not have the capacity to do it. We were thus forced to launch the boat, have her towed to yet another yard, and hauled for the work—where she lies to this day.
Chase and her owners certainly encountered a string of bad luck, much of which, like the insurance issue and the virus, could not be avoided. However, looking back on it, I have to say that we were naïve to think we could communicate in a logical manner with authorities who had the power to do what they wanted with us and expect that that they would respond in a helpful (or at least non-vindictive) way.
In February 2020, deciding that the worst was over, I booked a May flight to Sardinia expecting—after a year-anda-half of dereliction—to begin the process of rejuvenating the
The truth is that if you look at any subset of foreign boats sailing in the EU, there will always be a number who are not in compliance with VAT rules. Not because the owners are
smugglers, but because they are either unaware of the violation, or aware that there is no accurate, reliable, and enforced way to track their chronological movements in and out of the EU. So why would you raise your hand and volunteer about a potential violation, if the penalties for doing so were equal to the penalties for actually getting caught? That is certainly what we found with Chase. We cleared customs legitimately in Sardinia—with proof of our validating Montenegro trip— and had the boat hauled and ready for work in 2018. We would no doubt have been unmolested by customs or police if we had said nothing and simply launched the boat in 2019, making it a point to clear in and out of a non-EU country in the near future. Instead, by asking for advance assistance with a situation that had not even happened yet—i.e. instead of seeking forgiveness after the fact if caught—we called attention to ourselves and the authorities pounced, taking the opportunity to
inflict the same type of penalties we might have been subject to at a later date regardless of our good efforts. I’m not advocating that non-EU sailors ply the Med and elsewhere without regard to the rules. I am, however, pointing out that one should consider the risk: if you are pushing the envelope of the regulations, it would be wise—assuming you are not local and do not speak the language—to be careful about how you proceed. Finding a reputable, reliable agent in the area is one good way, and (until Sardinia) we generally had good luck with agents recommended by the boatyards in many different countries. All in all, we are delighted to have our boat back, despite the cost, and to be able to continue sailing in the Med. And, like catching the coronavirus (and surviving, of course), there is a silver lining: We have paid our VAT fees and are now free to meander European waters without the recurring 18-month scramble to exit the European Union. •
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Peter Stoops bought his first boat, Freedom, a 1971 Swan 36, with his father in 1986. The beauty, ruggedness, and seakindliness of that boat (which he still owns) prompted him to form a partnership to buy another older Swan, Chase, in 1996, with the idea of sailing longer distances with her in the company of friends. The partners have changed over time (including three who later became CCA members), but the idea has more than been fulfilled. Peter and his wife, Kate, continue to sail Freedom from their home in Maine, and travel to wherever Chase happens to be so they can enjoy cruising in other exotic places. Despite a successful decade in the Med, Peter is looking forward to more passage-making when Chase finally turns her bow toward home—or perhaps toward some other far-flung destination. He is pictured here on Chase in Greece.
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inner of t e
u s oun
o a er A ard
by Amelia Green, sse Station
s s s
An nter ie it
uire Soud e Twenty-one-year-old Guirec Soud e left Brittany in 2014 onboard his 33-foot steel cutter, ne , with a dream to see the world. He would acquire a most unusual companion in the form of a hode Island ed hen named Monique. She would travel with Guirec, produce hundreds of eggs at sea and anchor, and ultimately gain an online following. Her interviews with BB and are said to be enlightening I felt an immediate connection with this young man: our Breton maternal grandmothers, large families (Guirec is the youngest of eight, I’m the ninth of 13), and a shared love of the sea. In the seven months we spent with the 2007 allye des Iles du Soleil aboard our Alden 47 cutter, II, my husband, Bob (ESS), and I witnessed the joie de vivre of the French. We came to believe that living on the edge instead of just taking up space might be their raison d’ tre.
O in int r i
in O tO
Bonjour Guirec. It is an honor to talk with someone so young and adventurous. In a recent ouTube video, you said, I really think the most amazing thing to do in life is to follow your dreams and the sooner the better, because we really have no idea what will happen tomorrow. What impact, if any, has the pandemic had on your dreams Hello Amelia, nice to meet you. To answer the question, at the time I pronounced those words, I was about to learn of the death of my father by heart attack, the same day I would cut off communication with the world to winter in autarky self-reliance on the Greenland ice floe. ow following my dreams is even more a life model for me. The pandemic is an extra reason to realize how small we are and how important the present moment is. onfining a whole population and paralyzing consumption is to be seen on the bright side. We realize what’s more essential for happiness. For me, it’s definitely to live closer and closer to nature. So, I would say the pandemic just confirmed that living my dreams of nature immersion is more than ever who I am and what makes me happy.
Is the tiny island you live on in north Brittany still the place you consider home, and would you be willing to tell our readers about it and how it influenced your life and decisions
I grew up on that rock off the coast of tes-d’Armor. It was my father’s paradise, and it really is the rock I am made of. It made me who I am, with salt water running in my veins. It is definitely home for me, and I feel so privileged to live there and care for what was most precious for my father. Being confined there is just not a pain for me. I fish, cultivate, and raise my bees. The island allows Monique to run free in the garden with her friends and Bosco, my dog. He is the most happy dog.
lease describe S
ne and explain any modifications you made to the boat before you left
ne is a 33-foot steel-hull boat. I bought it with the money I earned working in Australia on an offshore shrimper boat. I was so proud to come back to France and be able to buy my own boat. I wanted a steady steel hull to sail the world. It had to be a lifting-keel boat to be able to sail in shallow waters without risking to lay down. I found it in south of France. I was so excited when I first saw it that I didn’t notice the boat was eaten by rust. A week before setting sail solo, I would find many weak points, and a friend of mine told me to sand it that’s when it happened to go through the hull. I left with internal cones in the hull for my first sail across the Atlantic. When I stopped in the aribbean to work for a year, I was able to pay for a decent refit to the hull and replace something like 30 pieces of steel. I wanted the hull to be very strong to confront the ice. During the whole voyage of five years, I think ne spent one year being fixed: in Trinidad before heading to Greenland, in anada after the wintering and orthwest assage, and in ape 4
s s s s
o ann idou .
Town after a tough sail in Antarctica and my capsizing in the furious fifties. and that made the south latitudes very complicated for her.
ne is definitely a strong, stable boat. It is also slow,
Did you always plan to winter over in Greenland What is it like to be iced in for 130 days
es, it was my willing will to experience autarky in the ice. I decided to live cut off from the human world without any way of asking for help and with nothing but rice and Monique. It was very important for me to learn how to survive by my own and find solutions in a more native way than looking for it on my smartphone. I had no idea what to expect. The long waiting for the ice floe to form was severe. I spent 70 days in the polar night in free water before the ice floe formed. The icebergs were constantly hitting the hull, and the weather was crap. When the ice floe finally formed and became thick enough to walk, it was a liberation until a storm came and the ice floe exploded as the swell ran underneath. This happened twice, and ss e
oni ue and
uire Soud e.
I ran aground. I got so lucky to land on sand and be able to float back as the wind turned and the high tide came back to rescue. That’s also why the lifting keel is so meaningful.
The drone photographs of Greenland and the orthwest assage are breathtaking. Did you carry drones onboard or did someone else take the aerial images What other film equipment did you use on your travels
All aerial images are indeed drone images. I had two drones onboard, and I used them to fly ahead to find a narrow passage in the ice. I have two friends who are drone pilots. ne, Johann idoux, came to visit before my wintering, and he was able to get some extra images and explain how to run the drones. The other friend came just before my departure for the orthwest assage. I also had Go ros, a Sony compact, and a reflex camera that I learned to use on the way. I’m pretty happy with the images. They’re great souvenirs.
ou have a large following on Instagram ( 4 ) and Facebook (13 ) who look forward to the next adventure: a second Atlantic crossing in a small rowing boat. Soud e was expecting to depart end of ovember 2020. Would you like to tell me when this idea took hold lease tell us about the history of the boat and the challenges you expect to encounter.
It’s something I always kept in my head. I’ve admired rowing challengers and wondered how hard it is physically and mentally. ast December I met J r me Bahuon at the nautical show salon of aris ersailles. He is a young and very supportive man; he crossed the Atlantic on the rowing boat he was showing. He told me a bit about the adventure and how intense it was. It confirmed to me I would definitely do it one day, and today, I just bought his boat. I will cross the Atlantic from the anary Islands off Morocco to Martinique French West Indies .
eople are charmed by the story of Monique. The idea that your sailing companion is a hode Island ed hen hode Island is my home state is fantastic. What was it like to find such a companion Is she still with you, and if so, what does Monique think about your plan to row across the Atlantic without her
Monique is unique. When I first got her onboard in the anary Islands before my first Atlantic crossing, I had no idea she would become so important and a real companion. The idea of getting eggs was my first motivation, and in that mission she never failed. She was a few months old when I got her, and because she’d only known me as a roommate, I think she developed a very sensitive way of communicating with me. She can be funny, sometimes cheeky, messy, but always there to listen. She was my main support during the whole voyage. Today she is very happy on the island. She has a big coop with three other friends and can retire peacefully. She saw the rowing boat and said it was way too small for her and would prefer to run the house instead and keep an eye on our boat ne .
The ruising lub of America stresses safety onboard, especially during their bi-annual Bermuda ace, sponsored by A in coordination with the oyal Bermuda acht lub. As a solo sailor, how do you maintain a safe watch when you are offshore What safety equipment do you carry Did you only use the wind-vane for self-steering
When I first left to cross the Atlantic, my safety supply was basic. My radio was very short-distance covering. I had indeed a wind-vane, very important, and also an autopilot, but my G S was not working well. ear extreme latitudes, you don’t have autopilot because of the proximity of the magnetic pole. For the orthwest assage, it was a nightmare to get some rest with ice everywhere. I couldn’t let go of steering, sometimes three days in a row. I was getting hallucinations. I also had radar to spot cargo ships, but above all, it was used to find icebergs. I think about Antarctica and a 250-squarekilometer of ice drifting down on me.
I was 4 the first time I crossed the Atlantic cean. ou were 21. I’d be curious to hear what you consider essential skills to cross an ocean. It would be fun to compare our lists.
Essential skills well, I had not much when I left. I had no experience on offshore or big sailing boats. But I grew up with the tides, and I’ve been fishing with my own dinghy since I was seven years old. So, first on the list would be: sea addict and self-confident.
It is easy to assume Bernard Moitessier is the hero of all French sailors, even though his writing has inspired people throughout the world. Are his books on board What else is in your boat library I’m curious if you had an offshore hobby Sketching oetry
Yvinec in the ice. Photo by Guirec Soudée.
In my library indeed there was La longue route by Bernard Moitessier and L’odyssee de l’Endurance by Shackleton. I’m not a big reader, but these two books really marked me. During my long sailing, I was confessing to Monique or would use the Go Pro cameras like a diary. I also hid dry insects in the boat for Monique to find. And always fixing something or adjusting sails.
You’ve been described by others as fearless, clever, and full of humanity. What other words describe you?
It’s hard to describe oneself. My friends and family say I’m optimistic and hyperactive. I would say I’m happy and always motivated by something, as long as it’s outside and [I’m] confronted [by the] elements.
The Hen Who Sailed Around the World arrived in my mailbox this week. Is this the only book you’ve written? How do you plan to document your November 2020 row [since delayed to December] across the Atlantic?
The Hen Who Sailed Around the World is a child’s book, meant to be a night story to tell the youngest. I wrote two other books: The full story Le Monde selon Guirec et Monique is very successful in France; it is now translated into German and Dutch and will soon be released in Canada and the U.S.A. in 2021. The other, La fabuleuse histoire de Guirec et Monique, is an illustrated book, more like a log book with photos and text. For the moment, it’s in French only, but I’m sure it will come out in English soon. For the rowing challenge, I won’t publish a book but will relay [my progress] on my Facebook page, “Guirec Soudée Adventure,” and Instagram, guirecsoudeeadventure. Monique will be in charge of this part; I’ll call her via satellite phone once a week and tell her everything so that she can give you some fresh news.
Has your life changed since your return home in 2018? Is there something we don’t know about you that you’d like to share?
My life’s changed yes and no. I’m still animated by the same way of living. I’ve learnt how to talk in front of hundreds of people for conferences and to make a living from my adventure and future exciting voyages. My will is to spread the word on the importance of being self-confident, optimistic with life, and better connected to nature to make a better tomorrow that respects our planet and learn to be happy with little. I think people today need to be more connected to nature than to overconsumption.
It has been an honor to participate in this interview with you, Guirec. I’ll be watching your progress as you row across the Atlantic and check in with Monique. Bonne chance!
Thank you Amelia. It would indeed be very nice to meet; maybe one day at sea! Monique joins me to say ”hi” to everyone in the U.S. And I would like to thank again the CCA and William Cook for the memorable ceremony at the New York Yacht Club last March. I am very glad and moved to have received the recognition of ”the young voyager of the year” from such a serious sailor’s institution.✧
Read more about Guirec Soudée at guirecsoudee.com
High Latitude Sailing: Self-Sufficient Sailing Techniques for Cold Waters and Winter Seasons ***
by Jon Amtrup and Bob Shepton adlard coles ( an imprint of bloomsbury publishing plc ), 2020
Review by Bill Cook, Boston Station, Buzzards Bay Post
ob Shepton is known to many of our members as one of the world’s most distinguished (and durable) voyagers, and as the winner of the CCA’s Blue Water Medal in 1995. It is a pleasure to have the benefit of his and Jon Amtrup’s skills, insights, and broad range of high latitude experience in this book. The primary thrust of the book is instructional—how to prepare a boat for high latitude cruising—but High Latitude Sailing is also an armchair sailor’s guide to some of the prime high latitude destinations. Much of the advice on selection and preparation of the boat will be familiar to any who have made long ocean passages, but addressing the special demands of coldweather, and especially cold-water, sailing will be new to many of us. The book does this remarkably well. It is inspiring in its encouragement to seek out something different: “We live in a world where everything is just around the corner … everything is available … all the time. When you sail to places like Svalbard, Greenland, or South Georgia, you can’t do that. You are on your own in all respects … Here it’s just you and nature, and it’s up to you and your own competence.” Several chapters offer practical advice on preparing your boat, sailing in ice, safety, communication, weather, anchoring and mooring, clothing, and perhaps most importantly, preparing yourself. Sections on cruising areas will tempt anyone intrigued by high latitudes: Svalbard, Greenland, Canada, Iceland, Antarctica, South Georgia, Patagonia, Northwest Passage, and Northeast Passage. The authors point out that the ideal hull material for sailing in ice is either steel or aluminum, though they do not explain why this is true. (Steel and aluminum both have tensile strengths that are considerably higher than their yield strength, so upon a severe impact, the metal will deform well before it breaks, and the deformation may be enough to avert failure. Fiberglass and other composites, on the other hand, will fail at the same time as they deform. Thus, a dent in a steel boat may 170
well be a hole in a glass one.) Other recommended gear includes a dinghy powerful enough to take lines ashore, set a second anchor, or move the boat itself, in windy conditions; a hard dodger; and immersion suits to increase survival time in cold water. The authors note that ice is a defining feature of high latitude cruising. This presents a number of challenges, not least of which is the near invisibility of the smaller pieces (growlers) on radar. A four-foot-long growler weighs about the same as a midsize car— enough to do considerable damage. But because freshwater ice is only a little less dense than salt water, this four-foot cube will float with only five inches showing above the sea surface. Radar is unlikely to see it even in calm conditions and will definitely miss it in any chop. We learn that shore excursions must be treated with caution, with one person always remaining on board the mother ship and the shore party equipped for an extended time if necessary. Precautions against polar bears are well covered, so I will just add the truism that while other bears may see you as a threat, a polar bear sees you as a meal. The latter part of the book describes the major high-latitude areas that one might visit on a yacht. This is well worth reading just for its value as an enticing travelogue. Wisely, the authors brought in other writers to cover the few areas they had not visited themselves, so the information is all firsthand. Between the text and many beautiful photos, this part of High Latitude Sailing may inspire a few more sailors to venture poleward. A significant section of the book is, helpfully, dedicated to an Arctic circumnavigation. Here, the authors speak to what may be the most important decision for a high latitude voyage—what to look for in a crew: “It is no easy feat to find crews for such a hard voyage: ice, fog, remoteness, insecurity, polar bears, storms, living in close quarters for months on end, and with rough sailing at the best
Ingia Fjord, west Greenland.
Qornoq Kangigdleq, a favorite anchorage off the Sortehul, west Greenland.
ABOVE: Prince Christian Sound, Greenland. LEFT: Bob Shepton, one of the authors. BELOW: Jon Amtrup, one of the authors, in snow.
of times. Knowledge on how to sail a boat was not necessarily the deciding factor. The ability to adapt, improvise and have physical stamina would be far more important. And most of all we had to get along together and work as a team when the days became long, wet, and windy.” The authors’ love for the beauty and challenge of the high latitudes is manifest throughout the book: “There is very little up here that is normal when it comes to cruising. That’s why we come here.” For anyone who plans on a high latitude voyage, High Latitude Sailing contains many excellent, practical tips and much useful information from authors who write from extensive experience. And for those who may just want to get lost in an armchair adventure, the book is sure to please as well. High Latitude Sailing is available from bloomsbury.com, online retailers, and through local bookstores. issue 63 2021
o S ills or
or a e or e itio r isi . J.
beacon hill publishers , 2020
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ven if you have not read and loved . J. ubadeau’s previous book, o or o e Isla Saili ai e a t e orl , but especially if you have, you are in for a treat. In o or a e or , ubadeau returns with his humorous and philosophical writing style: There is more magic in this world than any of us can possibly imagine. I have borne witness to a bucketful of events, both at sea and afoot, which were just a splice shy of miraculous. If you experience a moment of inexplicable awe it is best not to pick it apart with comparisons or presumptions. Truth be told, you can easier explain water to a fish than a truly life shaping lesson to a skeptic. I never try. The book is much more about the voyage than the destination. It is the exciting sea story of a 1 ,000-mile voyage to and around the famous rock, mostly double- or triplehanded. ome ree, a 200 Morris Bermuda Series 51 designed by huck aine and owned by Bob Trenary, transited some of the most remote and weather-challenged waters of the world. The passage descriptions are riveting: Sailing any boat offshore at night is a fine balance between white-knuckled paranoia and psychedelic awe. Everything is intensified, louder, and more powerful as the darkness curtain closes in around you. The boat heaves and shrugs like a living thing with no visible wave patterns to weave the slithering tonnage of the keel into context. When the wind is big and the seas tumble just behind your cockpit perch like a cascading waterfall, the effect is like riding a roaring dragon and there’s no place to hide. Holding her down, ignoring the noise, working wet and blind is the norm. Any twinge of control is an illusion. othing to do but do. We did. We get a good taste of some of the people the author and crew came to know: ur aptain’s birthday dinner in uerto Williams was held at the least glamorous storefront eatery you could imagine. The gregarious cook, a woman in her mid-fifties and squat, was voyages
ready for anything three gringos could dish out. We were allowed to call her Grandma. She was a delight. A dinner of surprise ingredients, along with three bottles of ino Tinto produced the expected results The evening was a resounding success, we toasted the entire staff of one, and she allowed a team photo with us before we departed. My favorite parts of the book were yarns that had nothing to do with sailing, told during a long watch here, the author’s account of Alaska’s Iditarod dogsled race, of which he was race manager that year: The 1 88 Iditarod ace from a frozen hell began its opening act on the third day. A brutal late season storm had dropped four feet of snow in ainy ass, right on top of the lead mushers and the race quickly ground to a halt. For the first time in race history a hold was placed on the competition and no team was allowed to leave any checkpoint until conditions improved Then, two top-tier mushers and personal friends made my humiliation worse The author focuses heavily on the crew’s voyage preparations and their adherence to the safety plan. Examples are given of earlier voyagers to the region who experienced mishaps far from rescue, including Blue Water Medal winner Hal oth and Joshua Slocum, whose resources seem unimaginably meager today. But the overarching theme of the book is very A-like: the club emphasizes finding pleasure and fulfillment through the camaraderie of like-minded friends who share a love of ocean sailing and voyaging. The book concludes with a postscript from oque Island, where it begins and ends: Whom you do something with is just as important as what you do. Those distant rocks guarding the soul of abo de Hornos are an iconic catalyst that sailors can’t ignore. The voyage to atagonia in the end was simply a muse, a focal point for our life’s important work of always being someone who matters to others. The number one promise we make to
Homefree in the ice near Seno Pia. BELOW: The author and Homefree at Seno Pia glacier.
ourselves along this unique journey is to suck the marrow out of every one of these hard-won moments. We all must devour our too short lives, wallow pig-like in our experiences, and cherish the time spent with all manners of loved ones doing wonderful and challenging off-the-wall adventures. We should all strive to be diagnosed as terminal Fun Hogs, always bound for Cape Horn.” R. J. Rubadeau is an award-winning author, columnist, and poet. His career as a professional blue-water sailor has been chronicled over four decades in many of the world’s sailing periodicals. Bound for Roque Island: Sailing Maine and the World was the author’s first nonfiction book. He has honed his communication and writing skills in various shoreside occupations: university lecturer, grant writer, newspaper columnist, politician, speechwriter for an Alaskan governor (“No, not that one!”), policy analyst, and, for 30 years, political strategist. Rubadeau and his wife, Mary, best friends and partners since their teens, live with their horses and a menagerie of animals at 10,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains, near the town of Telluride, Colorado—on Horse Thief Lane. They base Dog Star, their family’s historic 1931 wooden ketch (drawn by Phil Rhodes in 1928), on Mt. Desert Island, Maine. Bound for Cape Horn: Skills for Expedition Cruising is available through local bookstores and online. issue 63 2021
Beyond Boundaries: A Mariner’s Story ***
by Des Kearns popeye publishing , 20
Review by Mark Scott, New York Station
f I label Beyond Boundaries: A Mariner’s Story a “sleeper,” it’s in the context of a self-published memoir that you may find difficult to put down. Each chapter confronts a new challenge in Des Kearns’ quest to master a skill at sea. His selfdiscipline and unrelenting curiosity served him well. In his youth, he was determined to master a breaking wave with his longboard. He is a master mariner, eventually commanding some of the world’s biggest maritime vessels. The story begins when a young Australian surfer meets a similarly aged Australian sailor, Andy Wall, in a beachfront bar. A one-syllable reply to an alcohol-infused question would catapult Des’ passion for being on the water to spending a lifetime on the sea. Andy asked, “D’ya wanna sail to New Zealand?” Des replied, “Yeah.” “I feel I owe Andy a debt of gratitude because he laid the groundwork and paved the way,” the author recently shared. Des and Andy sailed across the Pacific, eventually rounding Cape Horn in 1966 in Andy’s home-built, 30-foot Carronade. (Eight years later, Andy would depart the U.S. East Coast for Europe with his new bride, Pam Wall (FLA).) Along the way, Des met people who became yachting legends. When Carronade arrived in New Zealand in 1965, Des and Andy were introduced to a 17-year-old precocious upstart named Ron Holland, who offered to show Andy “how to sail his boat better.” Alan Warwick, an architect at the time, designed and built a smaller hatch cover that would save the crew’s bacon when rounding the Horn. The author was just 20 when he arrived in Tahiti. Circumnavigators of a certain age have bragging rights if they drank at Quinn’s, a notorious bar known for cold Hinano beer, tamure dancing, and drunken brawls. Des was taken under the wing of regular customer Susie No-Pants. He, Andy, and Bob Nance helped deliver the square-rigged tall ship Carthaginian from Honolulu to ’Frisco, then retraced the Carthaginian’s route on Carronade. In Sausalito, they met actor Sterling Hayden at a hippie sit-in. They presented him with a belaying pin they had taken from his shipwrecked schooner in Rangiroa. In December 1966, Carronade sailed under the Golden Gate 174
Bridge, then laid course for the Marquesas and hopped westward back to Tahiti. Quinn’s was still there, as was a “motley lot of dilapidated cruising yachts, owned by penniless voyagers ... lined up with their sterns to the quay ... these voyagers were trendsetters, the people who produced the escapist books. Jean Gau with his old Tahiti Ketch Atom on his second circumnavigation. Bernard Moitissier ... Mike Bayles in his eighteen-footer ... Dr. David Lewis ... in his primitive catamaran ... who planned to sail to New Zealand using traditional Polynesian methods of navigation.” Des, Andy, and Bob sailed toward the bottom of the world, keeping a safe margin from the lee shore and not turning eastward until below the latitude of Cape Horn. Still 500 miles from the Horn, the barometer reading continued to sink. The seas and wind speed built, and soon Carronade was surfing under bare poles with warps trailing. Des was at the helm when he yelled, “we’re dead in the water.” Then Carronade, momentarily in a giant trough, was taking the brunt of the force, “went down, bow first, stood vertically ... slewing sideways ... and rolled under the giant wave.” The boat righted herself but the fiberglass spray dodger was smashed and the dinghy had broken in two. “Thank God for Alan Warwick’s hatch.” But the three friends survived the ordeal to receive a warm welcome from the Chilean navy at Puerto Williams. Later, they would sail up the east coast of South America. In January 1968, the author hopped aboard the schooner Bluenose II in St. George’s harbor, Grenada. The adventures continue with each chapter: getting dismasted while delivering the racing yacht Ondine from Gibraltar to Sydney; pursuing a captain’s license and each successive rating until he is moving some of the world’s largest oil structures and providing support and protection in the Arctic. In retirement, the author became project manager of the restoration of the 19th-century British racing greyhound, Cariad, in southern Thailand. Retirement also meant he had six years to write this memoir of a fascinating life at sea. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The book is available at deskearns.com
e Outlaw Ocean ***
by Ian Urb na alfred a
Review by om
nopf , 20
inskey, Boston Station, Bu ards Bay ost
e see them when we are out at sea, beyond territorial waters a blip on the radar, a smudge on the hori on, a wink of light. Then, like ghosts, they disappear. In e Outlaw Ocean, Ian Urbina, an investigative reporter for e New York imes, trains a bright light on the criminal actors of the high seas, bringing us on board their vessels and into the corporate offices of their enablers. Urbina’s findings are shocking, and some are gruesome. They include sea slavery; the mechani ed rape of endangered fish species worldwide; drug and arms trafficking; oil drilling on a coral reef in Bra il; factory whaling ships in Japan, even now; trafficking girls for prostitution; illegal fishing everywhere; and, of course, piracy. You may think, “What a depressing book ” But, fellow CCA-ers, because we cherish our seas and everything in them, we should all know exactly what is going on beyond the hori on. This book is much more than the laundry list of oceanic evils I’ve just recited. Urbina is a skilled storyteller and his work reads like a true-crime story, replete with villains and heroes. The book includes numerous photos. e Outlaw Ocean opens with the longest sea pursuit in nautical history a 11,550-mile, 110-day chase across three oceans. The camou age-striped Bob Barker, one of the directaction “bounty hunter” ships of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is tailing the 202-foot under, a rogue fishing vessel known for plundering endangered species in Antarctic waters for years. under is making a beeline for Portugal and diplomatic immunity, with Bob Barker hot behind. Approaching Sao Tome and Principe, the crew of under builds a bonfire of incriminating documents on the aft deck. Then they scuttle the vessel. The crew is rescued by the Sea Shepherd team, and navy and police take the under’s officers into custody. Hooray for the good guys But justice for high seas crimes is hard-won, and rare. Most of the fishing-related crime emanates from countries in Southeast Asia Cambodia, Thailand, and ietnam and from Japan, South Korea, and China (which has a million-boat fishing eet). But we’ve got plenty in the U.S., too, such as the New Bedford, Massachusetts, “Codfather,” a Mafia-styled kingpin who controlled over two do en ground-fishing and scallop vessels before his conviction on an array of charges.
Throughout, Urbina gives us a close-up of the brutality of the world’s ocean outlaws. Take sea slavery in the South China Sea. Boys from impoverished villages are lured onto fishing boats with promises that their wages will be sent back to family. Nope. The boys, most in their teens, find themselves enslaved for years in unspeakable conditions gutting fish each day in cramped, dark, unventilated quarters, which is also where they sleep, in the bilges of unseaworthy vessels that never return to port. So-called “mutinies” are put down with beatings and gunshots. Ian Urbina has viewed a cellphone video of four captives thrown overboard and then shot, fish in a barrel, by the jeering crew of a Taiwanese long-liner. But that’s just life out beyond territorial waters for the poor, the uneducated, and the unprotected. How can inhuman practices like this exist and continue? Fro en out by yet another shipping-industry lawyer, Urbina writes, “ n the maritime merry-go-round’ no one answers for wrongdoings at sea. If they do, it’s only to send you and your questions to someone else. It’s an insular world, and people in it work to keep it that way.” In the course of Urbina’s five-year, Pulit er Pri e-winning, multipart 2015 front-page expos for e New York imes, he repeatedly risked his life to get the story in the outlaw ocean, ships, fish, and people can disappear without a trace. But these days, who is to believe Ian Urbina? Given all the conspiracy theories of Facebook, Twitter, Infowars, QAnon, and the made-up gusher of “alternative facts,” many people just do not know whom to trust anymore. Even though I found much of e Outlaw Ocean disturbing, I give thanks for the good oldfashioned journalism that has uncovered the hard truths that lie over the hori on. e Outlaw Ocean is available at local bookstores and online. For more information, visit theoutlawocean.com ss e
Ameri a W
introduction by gary obson ri
oli , ne
ou approach a large coral head, and initially it’s dark, intimidating, with nothing going on, but as you get closer, if you stop and stare, it comes to life. The longer you look, the more you see. nne van der Wal stopped and stared at the nited States, and what he saw was the rich detail, unique to this country, of diverse sailing craft and fantastically varied bodies of salt and fresh water. Saili Ameri a published in 201 , is the award-winning marine photographer’s encore to his first book, Saili . Even though the faces of the sport tell a story, the author makes it clear: It’s all about locations and the boats. The book is organized by regions with images selected from van der Wal’s vast collection and from two summers of touring the States. They represent 20 years of artistry, highlighting nne’s deep fascination with the sport and the places we sail. What surprised me right off the bat was how threedimensional the imagery seemed, and how, like patiently observing a coral head beneath a turquoise sea, I learned more about the author as an artist the more time I spent on each image. I was curious: What best illustrates American sailing If there is one image in the book that screams American sailing, it’s the one that nne’s editor initially left out: the spectacular and moving image of two A Scows, frozen in time, blazing side by side, hovering above ake Minnetonka on a powerful reach. This truly American foundational boat from the heartland is the fastest and largest of the Melges Boat Works scow family, with strong ties to the region’s, and one of America’s, best-known and beloved sailors, Buddy Melges. The A class is really the essence of American sailing, nne says. It really captures the spirit of a regatta. It shows a mindset and the passion and the skill of those people. It was funny. They would say, But look, we don’t have what you have in ewport.’ Hey, the weather was great, the boats were fast, the people were cool. voyages
arra a sett a
The stories surrounding each image could fill their own book. And how the photographer gets in the right place, at the right time, is evidence of his mastery. Morro Bay is famous and notorious for its exposed entrance. It was late afternoon and completely fogged in when nne and his wife, Tenley, showed up. The B B lady told us, It’ll burn off. Just take the road to the golf course and shoot the whole vista of the bay.’ We went by Braille and Google Earth. nne walked the shoreline with two or three cameras. It was 3 p.m., the fog coming and going. And then, out of nowhere, four 420s came out for a college practice. They were the only people sailing during the week and gave me the subject, he says. It was sheer luck. I shot the hell out of it. I would have liked to see less racing and more of the relaxed lifestyle, such as the shots of nne van der Wal’s own S oe , the earson 3 , gently resting at anchor in Tarpaulin ove, damp, colorful beach towels hung from the lifeline. But racing is a huge part of our sailing culture. The views, landscapes, and seascapes presented in this book are breathtaking. I wanted to shoot the apali oast in auai, Hawaii, nne recalls. How do you get a boat to that rugged coast He announced on Facebook that he was looking for a boat to shoot there, promising, We’ll give you a nice big print, put it in the book, and give you a signed copy. nne and Tenley found a sailor with a modest cruising boat. He was a yogi, a salty Florida type. A heart of gold. He was so cooperative. The sailor and a friend sailed around the island and anchored, waiting for the shoot. nne arrived by helicopter as rain squalls moved into the area. After all the effort, it nearly didn’t work. nne points out the white-and-gray torrential sheen perfectly covering the mountainside in the background. nne and Tenley also looked to Facebook and to friends for ideas. This was a project to find the off-the-beaten-track places where people sail. We got so many great, wonderful
ABOVE: Maxi 72, Proteus, dropping the spinnaker at the leeward mark during Key West Race Week. BELOW: A Scows on Lake Minnetonka.
issue 63 2021
leads.” This network led Onne to what I believe to be the most special image in the book: a Herreshoff, Questa, in Montana. “We drove by some little marina,” he recalls. “There were a couple of masts there. ‘Oh, van der Wal! Lemme show you … ’ We could have gone around this country for five years like that.” I didn’t need to hear about Onne’s happenstance to realize that a Q class yacht from 1929, sailing smoothly upwind on Flathead Lake, Montana, has a great story to tell. A Herreshoff with a backdrop like that. Totally out of context. Only in America. Is this book representative of sailing in our country? “I think it is,” Onne says. “I want to take a slice of what you see in two to three days in a place.” Just like staring into a coral head. It’s a tall order to select a cover photo to represent American sailing. The publisher’s choice, a Morris Yachts M29, is a uniquely American creation. But Onne has not simply photographed a boat; he saw something beautiful and intriguing—the essence of what it means to sail in America. “I always loved that shoot,” says Onne. “It was my first shoot for Morris in Florida. Beautiful Coconut Grove. A light easterly. Soft yellow light. A guy sitting alone.” This boat, and this location, combine precisely to say, “This is sailing in America.” And it is what makes Sailing America special: Onne’s ability to turn his gaze directly at this country and consistently produce such astonishingly evocative visual experiences, capturing in the process the soul and mystique of American sailing. Sailing in America is available in local bookstores and online. For more information and to purchase the book from the author, see vanderwal.com The author, Onne van der Wal.
ABOVE: Questa, a Q-class Herreshoff sloop built in 1929, in Montana. BELOW: Vivid, an 88-foot Jongert-built sloop, sailing past the iconic Lady Liberty in New York Harbor.
ABOVE: Numbers, IRC 66, racing upwind during the 2008 Miami Grand Prix Regatta. BELOW: The Napali coast, Hawaii.
issue 63 2021
Final Voyages Edited by Maggie Salter (BOS/GMP) and Jack Griswold (BOS/GMP)
Henry H. Anderson
Robert P. Knight
Edward S. Rowland
Herbert “Skip” B. Barlow
Øivind Lorentzen, Jr.
William Murray Buttner
Nigel S. MacEwan
Nicholas Bayard Dill, Jr.
Norman Robert McCarvill
Robert L. Swiggett
Edward W. Madeira
Geoffrey A. Thompson
Douglas M. Fryer
F. Gerard Merser
James P. Thompson
William O. Gray
Miles E. H. Outerbridge
Walter Thorne Tower, Jr.
Lloyd A. Hamilton, Jr.
Lawerence F. Pardey
Glenn H. Wakefield
Frederick E. Hecklinger
William Scott Piper III
Charles W. Wellington
William Austin King
Thomas Irvin Puett
William Blunt White
Henry H. Anderson 1921-2020
enry Hill Anderson Jr., who died at age 98 on May 11, 2020, was one of the most influential figures in American sailboat racing in the last half-century, helping to develop the sport’s modern rules and regulations, leading successful defenses of the America’s Cup, and creating a national governing body for sailing. He was commodore of two of the country’s oldest yacht clubs, Seawanhaka Corinthian (founded in 1871) and the New York Yacht Club (1844). He ran the North American Yacht Racing Union and served as a North American representative to the International Yacht Racing Union. Harry groomed competitors for the U.S. Olympic team by contributing fleets of racing dinghies to collegiate sailing programs and nurturing Olympic-caliber sailors.
Henry H. Anderson
‘’One way or another, for 40 years or more, he was involved with the planning of all the important events in the sport worldwide,” wrote yachting historian and CCA member John Rousmaniere (NYS). “He really understood sailing and sailors. He was the MVP of American sailing for a long,
long time.’’ Brought up in Oyster Bay, New York, Harry sailed his first Bermuda Race at 15 years old. He raced on Six Metres in the 1930s, introduced the Finn dinghy class in the United States in the 1950s with his friend Glen Foster, and served on the America’s Cup Selection Committee in the 1970s and 80s. Many collegiate and frostbite sailors compete on the “Harry A.” race course, a unique dinghy racing course created by Harry. A graduate of Yale, Harry completed his studies there in 3½ years so he could join the United States Army in 1943. He served in World War II as a field artillery captain in Patton’s Third Army. He then earned a J.D. at Columbia Law School. A successful racer, he won awards in many boats throughout his life. He was a stalwart shipmate whose seamanship skills were exemplary. His travels were limitless, whether sailing a clipper ship
in the Windward Islands, competing on the famed Six Metre Goose in the Solent, or working on his beloved Boulaceet Farm in Cape Breton. He became a member of the CCA in 1966 and earned the Richard S. Nye Award in 1986 “through meritorious service and particularly for his leadership in support of intercollegiate sailing and in the affairs of International Yachting.” Harry was an honorary member of yacht clubs extending from Long Beach, California, to Helsinki, Finland, and was a flag officer of nine different yacht clubs. His greatest delight was the camaraderie and friendships that came from his sailing adventures. Harry always saw sailing as an educational experience and tirelessly supported and promoted it. Harry was actively associated with numerous educational institutions, including his alma mater, the Ransome Everglade School in Florida; Tall Ships America; University of Rhode Island; Yale University; the U.S. Naval Academy; Seamen’s Church Institute; the U.S. Naval War College; the Rhode Island Marine Archeology Project; the Aaron Burr Association; the Fales Committee at the United States Naval Academy; and the Foundation for the Preservation of Captain Cook’s Ships. He chaired U.S. Sailing’s Appeals Committee for 25 years and had a hand in writing a good part of the racing rules of sailing during that tenure. In his 90s, he was a founding member of the University of Rhode Island Sailing Advisory Council. Harry’s awards and honoraria include the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Hall of Fame; National Sailing Hall of Fame; the Beppe Croce Trophy (International Sailing Federation and International Yacht Racing Union); the Nathaniel Herreshoff Trophy (U.S. Sailing Foundation); Lifetime Service Award (Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association); Congressional Cup Scarlet Blazer; 33rd Congressional Cup (dedicated to HHA Jr.); Post Captain’s Trophy (North American Station, Royal Scandinavian Yacht Clubs & Nyländska Jaktklubben);
Lifetime Achievement Award (American Sail Training Association); W.P. Stephens Award (Mystic Seaport); and the Henry H. Anderson, Jr. Memorial Library (Seamen’s Church Institute). Over the years and right up until the end, Harry would frequently write notes on an infinite number of topics, often on repurposed paper. It is quite likely that many who are reading this tribute to Harry are smiling, as they may have received one or many such notes through the years. Adapted from articles in Scuttlebutt and The New York Times (MS)
as an electronics officer prepared Skip for the tech revolution in navigation that turned chart tables into a cluster of digital devices. Skip was an “old school” navigator, equally at home with Loran TDs, digital fixes, and plots on a paper chart. He put weatherfax downloads to good use, driving tactical decisions. This ability to merge traditional skills and new technology were part of the reason he tallied up 18 Newport Bermuda races. He was a key player in the navigation decisions made aboard Francis H. Curren’s Pamir when she won the MHS division of the 1984 Newport Bermuda Race.
Herbert “Skip” B. Barlow 1925-2020
uring 71 years of CCA membership, Skip raced and cruised as a member of three different stations. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1925, he learned to sail on Narragansett Bay and became commodore of Brown University’s sailing team. Upon graduation, the NROTCcommissioned ensign transitioned into the Navy’s “gray hulls.” He served as the electronics officer on a troop transport ship, and when time came to leave active duty, he took with him a lifelong interest in navigation. After the war, he earned a law degree from Catholic University Law School in Washington, D.C. He also joined both the Naval Reserve and his father’s law firm. At Barlow and Barlow, he practiced patent law, focusing on intellectual property and trademark litigation. Back in Rhode Island, Skip raced offshore aboard his father’s schooner, and later fondly recalled events such as the 1947 Marblehead to Halifax Race. He also began sailing as navigator aboard many Bermuda-bound vessels. His skills with a sextant, chronometer, and sight reduction tables were derived in the Navy but fine-tuned on the deck of sailboats in the era before Loran, satnav, and GPS. His Navy training
Herbert “Skip” B. Barlow
Upon retirement, Skip and his wife of 45 years, the late Margaret Barlow, embarked on a cruising voyage that had been in a planning stage for years. Optimist, a 47-foot Alden keel/centerboard ketch, was carefully fitted out for extended shorthanded cruising and would become the Barlows’ home afloat. They sailed from New Bedford to the Caribbean, cruising all the way to Grenada. When they finally returned to Florida, Hobe Sound and Stuart drew their interest. While Margaret looked over the prospects of each house they considered, Skip took his lead line and sounded the depths around the dock and then checked the chart to see what the approach looked like. The next phase of their life was bifurcated between land and sea. The cays issue 63 2021
and islands of the Bahamas beckoned. When back on dry land, Skip became quite active in the Florida CCA station, eventually serving as rear commodore. His transition from sail to power came with a 48-foot DeFever trawler and later a 38-foot Pearson power cruiser. He and Margaret continued to enjoy the estuaries of northern Florida and the run down to Key West. Fellow Florida Station member, Barbara Watson, recalls Skip as “a legendary navigator and cruising sailor who honed his skills during WWII and after the war was in great demand for offshore racing. He was always a most generous host at his home in Hobe Sound, where so many gatherings of fellow sailors were held. He will be much missed by so many and fondly remembered.” Skip became a member of the Boston Station in 1949, transferred to the Florida Station in the late 80s, and spent his last few years as a member and good friend of those in the Chesapeake Station. At 94, he passed away on June 2, 2020, in Annapolis, Maryland. He is survived by his children, Bruce and Nancy, and four grandchildren. His last boat, Blue Heron, is now in the capable hands of his son, Bruce Barlow (CHE).
William Murray Buttner 1932-2020
illiam Murray Buttner died at the age of 87 on March 19, 2020. Murray was born on June 21, 1932, in Port Chester, New York, and grew up in Rye, New York, where he learned to sail on Long Island Sound with Edwin Gaynor on Emily. He graduated from Yale University in 1954. After two years in the Air Force, he earned an MBA from Stanford University. He married Carole Lusignan in Hillsborough, California, on June 2, 1962. During their 57-year marriage, 182
William Murray Buttner
they lived in Palo Alto, California; Wilmington, Delaware; Fairfield, Connecticut; New York City; and Pomfret, Connecticut. Murray worked in the venture capital business in Palo Alto until he and Carole moved to Wilmington, where he worked at Laird and Co. Murray was manager of the Laird corporate finance department in New York until 1975. Between 1975 and 1990, he was engaged in a number of small entrepreneurial activities. In 1990, he joined Caithness, a privately owned financial company engaged in the development of renewable power projects (geothermal, wind, solar, and gas). In January 2020, Murray retired from Caithness. Murray led a wonderful, full life with his very active family, skiing, traveling, and gardening. He served on the boards of local hospitals, churches, schools, and conservation organizations. Murray’s sailing career spanned nearly six decades. He did his first Bermuda Race with Newbold Smith on Reindeer, and eventually took part in 16 Bermuda races. One of Murray’s sons recalled that Seguin, his Sparkman & Stephens-designed, Paul Lukebuilt, 42-foot sloop, was nearly always the smallest, or second smallest, boat in the Bermuda Race and was therefore owed time by nearly every other yacht. “Unfortunately, we never got
to enjoy having the fleet becalmed off Bermuda while we snuck up from the rear to claim the St. David’s Lighthouse trophy.” There were several six- and sevenday finishes. The heat fatigue on these longer races was made a little more bearable because Murray’s June 21 birthday occurred while Seguin was on the high seas, Bermuda-bound, and there was always a gallon or so of ice cream made by one of Murray’s companies struggling to stay in some sort of solid form down at the bottom of the ice locker. Even the watch on deck took a moment’s respite from constant tactical headsail changes to savor the delicacy. The ice cream was so good that members of Murray’s crew kept coming back for more during the many decades spanning Murray’s Bermuda Race career. Murray joined the Cruising Club of America in 1983 and was rear commodore of the New York Station in 1991-92. He was also commodore of the Pequot Yacht Club in Southport, Connecticut. With family and friends as crew, he campaigned and cruised Seguin extensively. Seguin competed in many Block Island, Vineyard, Halifax, and Bermuda races. Robert Darbee (NYS) met Murray 30 years ago when he was secretary of the New York Station. He remembers that “in the course of much of the next decade, we became close collaborators on many things, and he became among my favorite people. We engineered several key operational adjustments for the station that are still in play today. Murray led the nominating committee that selected me for R/C a half dozen years later.” Murray and his family adored cruising in New England and beyond. Seguin, with its beautiful lines, brightwork, and mahogany hull, was well known from the Hudson River to Newfoundland. Year in and year out, Murray and Carole were intrepid cruisers. When the children “outgrew” sailing with the family, they were replaced as crew by a series of
miniature dachshunds. He and Carole loved so many of the anchorages in Maine. They were particularly fond of anchoring in Stonington and looking out at all of the beautiful islands to the south. Murray was the most warmhearted and energetic sailor whom you could ever hope to meet. He was an enormous extrovert, and it is unfortunate that the pandemic has precluded (for now) one last gathering together of all of his many friends. He loved the CCA. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Carole; his four children, Lindsey, Murray, Craig, and Jenny; their spouses, Stuart, Jennifer, and Caroline; and his seven grandchildren, Emeline, Phoebe, Stuart, Khai, Solan, Natalie, and Sam. Murray Buttner
the south shore resort in his home parish of Devonshire, and held directorships in several other companies. Nicky and his wife, Bitten, would frequently entertain clients and friends at their home, Honeymoon Cottage, where his boat, Dillightful, a 48-foot Cheoy Lee clipper, was moored. They participated in numerous CCA cruises around the world, where he would often lead a singsong on his harmonica. Apart from his own passion for sailing, Nicky was part of the inspiration for, and became chairman emeritus of, the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, which built the sail-training vessel Spirit of
Nicholas Bayard Dill, Jr. 1932-2020
awyer, businessman, sailor, and family man, Nicky Dill, the son of Sir Bayard and Lady Dill, grew up in Devonshire, Bermuda, overlooking the north shore of the island. The Dill family has seafaring roots going back centuries. Nicky himself was a highly accomplished sailor. He represented his country in the world championships in the IOD Class and participated in the biannual Newport to Bermuda “race to the Onion Patch” over many years. It is of no surprise that when Nicky Dill entered the law at Conyers Dill & Pearman, he specialized in maritime law, particularly in P&I reinsurance work for many household-name shipping companies and clubs around the world. He was known for his integrity and attention to his clients, with a personal touch. He rose to senior partner at Conyers Dill & Pearman and was chairman of the board at Watlington Waterworks, a utility and seawater desalination company, from 1985 to 2017. He was also involved in the family-owned Ariel Sands Limited,
Nicholas Bayard Dill, Jr.
Bermuda, now part of the island’s school curriculum for all third-year middle school students. He joined the Cruising Club of America in 1977. He was also a member of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, where he was commodore from 1976 to 1977. James Watlington (BDA) recalled, “We have lost one of the world’s great yachtsmen. With his father, Nicky sailed many Newport Bermuda races. He was my watch captain for my first Bermuda Race in 1972. It started in Stamford, Connecticut, with a feeder race for the Onion Patch Trophy. We were sailing the new Duchess of Devonshire, designed by Bill Luders, an old friend of the Dill family. It was a memorable trip, partly in fog, through the rushing tides of
Plum Gut. Nicky showed us how to coax the boat through the currents in the early dawn. “After preparations in Newport, the race began. It seemed clear from the beginning that the boat was fast. On day two, I appeared on deck unshaven. Nicky asked why, and I explained that now I was sailing offshore I was planning to grow a beard. He said, ‘Don’t be silly. Any fool can be dirty at sea!’ I slunk below and shaved. I think of that every time I sail. “The boat had an alcohol stove which was a constant source of trouble. One morning I awoke to find it on fire, and the cook desperately pumping water in the galley to put it out. Without hesitation, Nicky grabbed my sleeping bag and snuffed out the fire. Sleeping wasn’t much fun after that. “Two days later, the weather got quite stormy. Sadly, our mast broke at the spreaders. We started the engine, but a line caught in the propeller and bent the shaft. Competitors that had been behind us offered assistance, but eventually HMS Berwick came to our aid and towed us to Bermuda. It was another amazing experience, with the ship barely able to steer and Duchess almost planing.” Nicky is survived by his wife, Bitten; their three children, Karin, Nicholas, and Patrick; 12 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. James Watlington
Frank Eberhart 1941-2020
rank died peacefully on January 10, 2020, surrounded by his family. He was a lifelong resident of New York City, where he met his wife, Delphine, and where they raised their four children, all of whom are sailors. He attended the Collegiate School and Millbrook Academy and studied engineering at Cornell University. After college, Frank served in the Army National Guard. He issue 63 2021
spent his entire working life as a general partner at Eberhart Brothers, a familyrun real estate company in New York City. He read constantly throughout his life, particularly about history and sailing. He welcomed one and all into his home and loved debating history and politics with people of all different opinions. He was outrageously funny, outspoken, and always original.
Frank’s greatest joy in life was sailing. He first sailed as a teenager on Candlewood Lake in Connecticut. In his late 20s, he bought Chouette, an old, clapped-out wooden Herreshoff 54, which he sailed around East Hampton. Later, he bought a 45-foot wooden S&S sloop, Bride of Gastonia, named for his mother. He sailed Bride to Labrador, Iceland, and Greenland in the late 1970s, using just celestial navigation, which he had learned as a young man. Coming back from Labrador, Bride was dismasted in the North Atlantic. A freighter stopped so Frank and his crew could shelter in its lee while the storm abated. Frank and Delphine married in 1981 and sailed to Greenland the following year, when she was pregnant with their eldest son. Beginning that year, Falmouth, Antigua, was their base every winter for each of their boats, starting with Bride. In 1985, Frank bought Hound, a 60-foot aluminum 184
sloop designed by Aage Nielsen and built by Abeking & Rasmussen in 1970. In 1991, as soon as their youngest child was out of diapers, the family (four children, aged two, four, six, and seven) sailed clockwise around the Baltic to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). In 2004, Frank did another transatlantic with his sons, Nathaniel and James, and George Lewis (BOS). Underway, they read The Federalist Papers and Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton, discussing them every night at dinner. Frank did three transatlantic crossings, eight Bermuda races, six Caribbean 600 races, two Marblehead to Halifax races, and numerous offshore races up and down the New England coast. On Hound, he won the Sir Thomas Lipton Memorial Trophy, receiving a first-in-class 6 in the Bermuda Race. He sailed the North Atlantic extensively, bringing his family to the Eastern Caribbean, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, Mexico, and Cuba. Offshore, he could be found at the helm, on the foredeck, at the nav table, or in the galley, cooking happily while the boat heeled over 35 degrees. He enjoyed the camaraderie of ocean sailing and introduced sailing to many people. He was a mentor and friend to countless young sailors. Crews who sailed with him described Frank as “larger than life” and “a folk hero like Paul Bunyan.” Frank was so taken with the beauty of the Fox Island Thorofare in Maine that he bought a summer house on the north shore of Vinalhaven. During his summers there, he loved going for afternoon sails in Penobscot Bay, when the breeze came up around 1430 hours. He and Delphine always cruised Down East at the end of the summer. Cooking was a joy nearly equal to sailing and reading, and Frank cherished meals at home with his family. He was enormously wise and sympathetic to the struggles of others, large and small. He had the gift of friendship and was more than anything else a loving husband to Delphine and a loving father to his
children, Nathaniel, James, Josiah, and BelleAnna. To quote Delphine, “When I sailed with Frank, I was never afraid, even in the worst conditions. He was decisive, a marvelous boat handler, and had superb judgement. Frank was never a trimmer, but sailed full-on in life as well as at sea.” Delphine Eberhart
Douglas M. Fryer 1933-2020
oston had the Babe. Brooklyn had Jackie Robinson. Seattle had Doug Fryer. That approximates Doug Fryer’s stature in the Northwest sailing community. Doug Fryer passed away April 17, 2020, from complications following a fall. He was born in 1933 and raised on Seattle’s Portage Bay. He was an extremely accomplished sailor in both racing and cruising, and an equally accomplished maritime attorney who began his legal career when he was appointed special assistant to Robert F. Kennedy. He successfully argued a groundbreaking affirmative action case before the Supreme Court that became the topic of his book, Justice for Ward’s Cove. He was a dedicated father, grandfather, and husband; a 49-year member of the CCA; and life member of the Seattle Yacht Club. He sailed until the very end. Doug’s sailing career began with the Seattle Geary 18 “Flattie” fleet. In his senior year in high school and during a gap year before college, he was regular crew on the schooner Gracie S. When he was 18, he single-handedly piloted the 133-foot schooner Adventuress for most of a legendary passage from San Francisco to Seattle—there were crew injuries and seasickness, the sails were blown out, and it was the dead of winter. During his college years he moonlighted at the Broom and Sons sail loft, and was able to complete a 5½-tuck-wire splice in 15 minutes.
Doug always sailed wooden boats and frequently won races on his two primary vessels, the classic William Atkin cutter A ri a Star and the obert erry-designed i t er. He sailed in 11 ictoria Maui races, setting two separate elapsed-time records, one in a time and the second in erli ; 50 Swiftsure lassics, winning four of them; one Transpac and one singlehanded Transpac; as well as many other regional races. He cruised from Seattle to French olynesia on two occasions. In 1 8, he was awarded the Blue Water Medal for his 21,000-mile circumnavigation of South America by way of ape Horn in his beloved i t er, overcoming two hurricanes and many gear issues, including a loose rudder and skeg failure.
. r er
oger Wheelis ( W) and Doug were part of a racing syndicate that chartered a time, a hard-chined Spencer 5 and a formidable competitor on the West oast in the 70s. Doug was elected skipper in the 1 7 ictoria Maui race. oger describes Doug’s mode of operation: The acific high was not in place at the start, forcing the fleet to weather for the first seven days. a times light plywood hull was twisting and torquing into the oncoming heavy swells. Structural concerns began to overwhelm the crew as it became apparent that the hull could
break apart at any moment. The eight crew members decided to hold a vote to determine if they should hold steady course to weather (a yes vote) or fall off, giving the flexing hull and the rest of the fleet a break (a no vote). Skipper Fryer announced the voting results as follows: In the words of Abraham incoln, there are seven nays and one aye; the ayes have it. The one aye vote was, of course, Fryer’s. a time went on to finish first in record time with the boat intact. Doug, along with Fred Hayes ( W) and ichard Marshall ( W), invented the ifeSling in 1 8 after a close friend was lost overboard despite the best efforts of his wife, who was unable to recover him. The device has since saved many lives. The proceeds from the sales of ifeSlings go directly to the Seattle Sailing Foundation, which funds youth sailing initiatives and safetyat-sea programs. This was Doug’s gift to sailing. He was a founding director and past president of this pivotal orthwest organization. A little-known fact that Doug never professed is that he saved two lives in man-overboard rescues during two separate sailing regattas. As oger Wheelis put it, If you could picture a very competent mate on a clipper ship in the late 1800s, that was Doug Fryer. He was an ironman, and the finest example of a bygone era of sailing truly a master in every aspect of seamanship. Doug is survived by his wife, aren; son, John Fryer; stepchildren, indy Bjerke and Terry Holloway; and grandsons, Will and Daniel. He was predeceased by his daughter, Susan orter. Kare r er
William O. Gray 1930-2019
fter a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, William lin Gray passed away December 22, 201 , at age 8 .
He was born in iverside, onnecticut, where his parents were enthusiastic sailors. The family went on sailing holidays as often as possible. Bill began racing in dinghies, which propelled him to a Blue Jay national championship in 1 45. The family first owned oll , a 25-foot coastal sloop with an open cockpit. They would sleep in the cockpit with a sail propped over the boom. The first S ra so was a small sloop cabin cruiser of about 30 feet; the second was close to 40 feet. Both were designed by hil hodes. They were followed by a succession of boats named ra e. Bill was very lucky to be close to the Mendham B. ittlefield family of iverside, onnecticut, owners of one of the last-built traditional Gloucester schooners, the 52-foot la s . He sailed with the ittlefields every summer of his childhood, where he learned the fundamental lessons of seamanship, navigation, and boat care. After graduating from the omfret School in 1 48, Bill earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering at ale and another bachelor of science in naval architecture at the niversity of Michigan. He served as a lieutenant junior grade and executive o cer on the .S.S. o rt e in the .S. avy. He began his career as a naval architect at the uincy ards of Bethlehem Steel in Massachusetts, then spent nearly three decades at Esso Exxon, where he rose to the position of supervisor of their worldwide petroleum tanker fleet. Following the discovery of the rudhoe Bay il Field on the orth Slope of Alaska in 1 8, Bill played a prominent role in converting an existing oil tanker, the S.S. a atta , into the world’s first ice-breaking oil tanker. He oversaw tanker safety and intergovernmental relations for the corporation, working diligently with the .S. oast Guard and various international agencies to improve ship and waterway safety. He held four patents from his work in naval architecture. Bill served as a trustee of the Webb Institute and, in 2002, he received the Emory S. Jerry and ss e
Medal for outstanding accomplishments in the maritime field. Bill was part of a number of winning teams on the first two Carinas owned by the Nye family, including several Bermuda, Fastnet, and Transatlantic races. Carina won the Transatlantic Race to Sweden in 1955, the Bermuda races of 1952 and 1956, and the Fastnet races of 1955 and 1957. Bill was also the tactician of the Weatherly during her 1958 America’s Cup campaign. He was proud of the fact that he visited seven foreign countries by boat before ever flying internationally. He joined the Cruising Club of America in 1964 and was also a member the Society of Naval Architects and Maritime Engineers, the Connecticut Maritime Association, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Yale Club, Mory’s, the Tokeneke Club, and the Woodway Country Club. He retired from competitive racing in 1962 to focus on his growing young family. The sailing did not stop, however. He taught all of his children to sail on the family Sunfish and took his family on many cruises in New England. He loved exploring the coast of Maine, which he always said had more water frontage than the rest of the East Coast combined. He was happiest there, in Maine’s charming small towns, many harbors, rivers, and large bays. He loved the abundance of wooden boats in Maine; for most of them, he could name the owner, designer, and builder. A self-taught trombonist and lifelong jazz enthusiast, Bill founded two Dixieland jazz bands. The first, the Great Atlantic Jazz Band, was so successful that he was eventually replaced by a more experienced musician. Undaunted, he founded the Constitution Jazz Band, which played regularly throughout Connecticut at bars, weddings, and festivals, and ultimately released two CDs of traditional Dixieland jazz. Bill is survived by his wife, Faith Cook Gray; his children, Elizabeth and Andrew; and his stepdaughters, Anne and Julia. Andrew Gray 186
Lloyd A. Hamilton, Jr. 1927-2019
loyd Hamilton learned to sail on the Delaware River close to Lambertville, New Jersey, the town where he grew up. His interest in sailing boats large and small continued throughout his life. Following his graduation from the Lawrenceville School in 1945, Lloyd served in the U.S. Navy as a medical corpsman from 1945 to 1947. He graduated from Yale University in 1950, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then attended Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1954.
Lloyd A. Hamilton, Jr.
He served as internist and clinic physician with the Yeager Health Center in Rockland County; police surgeon to the Orangetown Police Department; chief of psychiatry at Helen Hayes Hospital; clinical director of Hillside Psychiatric Hospital in Queens; and had private practices in internal medicine and psychiatry in Nyack and at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Until the time of his death, Lloyd ran a free medical clinic, Health Lifeline, that he had founded 10 years earlier in Nyack to serve clients with no health insurance. Perhaps some of the most formative voyages he made were with his close friend, Edwin Gaynor (NYS), aboard
Edwin’s boat, Helena, while the two were at Yale in the late 1940s and early 50s. Lloyd and his wife, Pat, owned a series of sailboats, all called the River Gull. Their first boat, in 1966, was a Tartan 27 yawl, followed by a Tartan 34 yawl in the early 70s. They then moved up to a C&C 37, and, finally, a Seguin 46, both sloops. Every summer, Lloyd and Pat cruised the New England coast, taking the boat down the Hudson River, sometimes navigating the East River, the many drawbridges, and the infamous currents in the Hell Gate to bring the boat up Long Island Sound. From Stonington or Southport, Connecticut, they sailed to Fishers Island and from there to Block Island, the Vineyard, Nantucket, and on up to Maine, where they most loved to sail. Favorite stops included Boothbay Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Pulpit Harbor, Tenants Harbor, Roque Island, and many others, sailing either solo or with the Cruising Club or its members. Other notable sailing trips included a charter trip each February with Bruce and Lueza Gelb to the Bahamas or Virgin Islands, which included some challenging crossings of the Gulf Stream to and from Miami. In 1970, they took their family on a trip through the Windward and Leeward islands in the Caribbean, where their children ate mangos and tamarinds for the first time. Lloyd was a keen navigator, well versed in celestial navigation, having completed a rigorous course at the Hayden Planetarium. He served as the navigator aboard Edwin Gaynor’s boat, the Emily, for several Vineyard and Block Island races. Always one for offshore sailing, Lloyd did four transatlantic crossings after age 70 on the Seguin 46, all with Pat and a crew of three. The Spanish coast of Cape Finisterre gave them some very challenging moments, with just the two of them onboard. While in Europe, Lloyd and Pat took the boat into the
Mediterranean and on to Barcelona before heading back to the States via the Azores and Bermuda. Both Lloyd and Pat were very active in environmental causes to clean up pollutants in the Hudson River, especially with the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association. In addition to the CCA, Lloyd was a member of the Pequot Yacht Club in Southport, Connecticut, and the Hook Mountain Yacht Club of Nyack, New York. Alex Hamilton
Frederick E. Hecklinger 1936-2020
red was a mainstay of the Annapolis, Maryland, sailing community. He was a founding member of Eastport Yacht Club and during his 84 years, he gave back to the sport as much as he derived from it. Fred sailed his own course. At 15, he decided to build a boat and settled on a scaled-down, 15-foot Canadian lumberman’s bateau. The plans, fittingly, came out of Boys’ Life magazine and reflected the versatility of a shoal-draft, doubleended pulling boat, a derivation of a boat favored by another independent thinker named Henry David Thoreau. Once Fred had fastened the last plank and attached the rub strake, he named his bateau Pride. Little did he realize that 20 years later, he would play an important role in the building and rigging of a larger icon, this time of the Chesapeake Bay—the Pride of Baltimore. A year after building his boat, Fred dropped out of school, left Baltimore, headed across the bay, and found employment at the Oxford Boatyard Company. He may have skipped school, but he certainly didn’t abandon education. The highlight of his first seafaring semester involved a chance meeting with the figurative dean of U.S. yachting, C. Sherman Hoyt, a racing legend in sailboats ranging from dinghies and meter boats to J/Boats. Fred agreed to work for
Frederick E. Hecklinger
Hoyt, who was campaigning an eightmeter sloop named Hurrying Angel. During the week, he varnished the brightwork, mended sails, and prepped the boat. On the weekends, he transitioned to a role as crew. This turned into a seafaring approach to individualized education. Hoyt had been the reigning Six Metre world champion for almost two decades, and, for Fred, it was like taking drivers ed in a Ferrari. These encounters helped solidify his lifelong commitment to a blend of marine trades and expertise as a shipwright and rigger. Yacht racing evolved into a co-career, as much an avocation as a vocation. Over the years, Fred became more and more involved in both inshore and offshore racing. He played a key role in the yachting endeavors of Henry B. DuPont and Walter Boudreau. He later became the professional captain and manager of Al Van Meter’s offshore racing program for two S&S ocean racers, Running Tide and Bandit. Both were successful racers in SORC, Newport Bermuda, and Annapolis to Bermuda racing. One of my favorite “Fred recollections” involved some marine survey work he did for a young graduate of the Naval Academy. I was acquainted with the ensign, who was looking for a 30-foot pocket cruiser to sail and live aboard while stationed in Charleston. He found his dream boat: a stoutly
rigged, fiberglass double-ender with enough wood trim to justify buying varnish by the gallon. But the decks were spongy, the balsa core had turned to mush, and the repairs needed well exceeded the value of the boat. Instead of simply listing the downsides in his survey and sending it off with an invoice, Fred explained in detail what was wrong and why price point attraction and shiny topsides aren’t the sole factors in boat buying. He also guided the ensign toward another broker and provided considerable pro bono consultation that finally led to a good boat and a very appreciative young sailor. As local sailor and well-known journalist Angus Phillips remarked, “Fred was not highly educated by traditional standards, yet was one of the most cultured people I have known; a thoroughly authentic gentleman.” Fred is survived by his wife of 45 years, Bobbie Hecklinger, and is missed by a wide cross-section of sailors and marine tradespeople residing around the Chesapeake Bay. Ralph Naranjo
William Austin King 1925-2020
proud member of the CCA since 1986, Bill King passed away peacefully on August 6, 2020. He spent the first 18 summers of his life sailing on Great South Bay in Long Island, New York. Starting at age seven in a six-foot sloop built by Cape Cod Shipbuilding, he graduated to a Cape Cod class, a GSB Narrasketuck, and finally the Star class. He was most proud of the fact that the same year he was a member of the crew that won the GSB Midget Championship, he was also part of the crew representing the GSB at the Sears Cup on Long Island Sound, off the coast of Greenwich, Connecticut. Raised in and around New York City, he graduated from the Taft School in February 1944 and joined the U.S. issue 63 2021
William Austin King
Navy as a sonarman 2/c aboard an APD transport vessel. The model of his ship is in the National Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida. He served 2½ years in the Pacific, escorting a converted destroyer which carried a team of frogmen whose pre-invasion efforts were to rid the landing area of underwater traps. The ship saw action in the Philippines, Borneo, and Okinawa, then landed in Nagasaki one month after the bomb was dropped. After the war, Bill attended Wesleyan University, lived in Canada for a year in a training position, then joined an advertising agency in New York City making television commercials. In the fall of 1961, Bill joined One Design Yachtsman magazine as their eastern manager. In 1970, he joined an old friend in establishing Smith/King Inc., manufacturing agents in the marine equipment field. He retired in 1990. His sailing life in larger boats consisted of day and distance races on Long Island Sound and in Block Island Race Week for more than 20 years. He sailed three Newport Bermuda races, two with Jim Clark as captain and one with Halsey Herreshoff at the helm. He also sailed one return trip back to Newport. He felt fortunate to sail with Bob Hart on his 44-foot Frers ketch throughout Scandinavian waters for five summers. Bill later moved into a Morgan 33, Pearson 36, and the 188
Nonsuch 30 class. He jumped to a 39-foot Nereus cat ketch, then back to a Nonsuch 30. His final boat was a Back Cove 33. He was an active frostbiter for 35 years, winning a few, losing more. A longstanding member of the Riverside Yacht Club, Bill served on the board in various positions for 13 straight years, his tenure culminating in three years as commodore. In 1980, he received the Trenary Trophy, the club’s highest award. Bill was also a member of the New York Yacht Club for many years, and a past member of the Off-Soundings Club, the Storm Trysail Club, and the Bellport Bay Yacht Club. Bill married Barbara Shepley Beard in 1953. Their first race together was in a Star, a true test of strong vows. She excelled as first mate in the cruising class. Bill also leaves behind two daughters, Stacy “Muffy” K. Fox (H. Andrew) and Barbara “Boo” K. Huth (Henry C.), and seven grandchildren. Muffy Fox
sailing was his greatest passion. He and Andy were also accomplished skiers and world travelers who visited all seven continents. At Yale, Bob majored in economics and developed a lifelong passion for chamber music. While in the U.S. Army Air Forces in WWII, he was in a special training program in electronics and radar. He was stationed in India as part of a group working to develop television-controlled glider bombs. At the end of the war, he joined Marsh & McLennan Insurance Company, eventually becoming the head of their Chicago office. At age 62, Bob entered a vigorous retirement of 33 years: sailing, skiing, exploring the far corners of the world, and nurturing his many lifelong friendships from diverse aspects of his life. He gave a great deal of himself to many Chicago charities and also to the clubs of which he was a member.
Robert P. Knight 1924-2020
ob was born in Evanston, Illinois, on October 10, 1924. He died suddenly at age 95 in his home at Lake Forest Place, Lake Forest, Illinois, on May 11, 2020. Andy, his wife of 69 years, predeceased Bob in 2018. He is survived by his two loving daughters, Susan Knight and Margaret Kulkin, and admiring grandchildren. His beloved son, Robert P. Knight, Jr., died in 1984. Bob spent his entire life living on the North Shore of Chicago and working in Chicago, except when he went off to the Hotchkiss School, Yale University, and the U.S. Army Air Forces in India in WWII. He spent as much time as possible sailing on his many beloved boats and those of others. Andy was with him on most of those voyages. Aside from his love of Andy and their three children,
Robert P. Knight
Bob’s first sailboat was a 15-foot wooden sloop he built from a kit. This was followed by a Triton, a Vanguard 32, an Alberg 37, a 39-foot C&C, an Alden 44, and a Morris 36. He was an avid racer out of Chicago Yacht Club, racing in the Chicago to Mackinac races and winning the Past Commodores’ Mackinac Trophy in 1967 in his C&C 39, Andrea IV. In 1986, he celebrated his retirement by sailing his Alden
44, Discovery, across the Atlantic to Gibraltar, and then spent many years cruising the Med with Andy and friends. In the 1990s, Bob almost singlehandedly built the CCA Great Lakes Post to become a station. It was hard work. I remember well his hosting a lunch at Chicago Yacht Club and forcefully preaching to a group of offshore sailors, including me, that it would be a good thing for us to join the mostly East Coast CCA, even though we were Midwesterners “who did not have Boston accents.” We gave him a very hard time on that one. He was historian for the Great Lakes Station from 2010 until his death. He proposed me for membership in the club. In 2003, Bob earned the Richard S. Nye Award for being “past captain of the Great Lakes Station, chairman of the 2002 National Cruise on Lake Huron, chairman of the 2003 Spring Meeting in Chicago, and participant in many club cruises since 1987.” In addition to his leadership of the Great Lakes Station, he was for many years a director of the Great Lakes Cruising Club, and in later years the Great Lakes Grand Banks Association. He was also a board member of Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital (now Lurie Children’s Hospital), Northland College, Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Winnetka Congregational Church, the Duncan YMCA, and the Presbyterian Homes. He was a member of the Chicago Yacht Club, the University Club of Chicago, the Yale Club of Chicago, and the Institute for Living. For over 50 years, he was a member, then lifetime member, of the Economic Club of Chicago. Bob was an enthusiastic storyteller. He regaled his friends, particularly in his later years as a resident of Presbyterian Homes Lake Forest Place, with his travels to Antarctica, his sailing around Cape Horn with Skip Novak (GLS) on Pelagic, and his many other world sailing adventures. He always had a bright outlook, an inquisitive mind, a dry sense of humor, and a great loyalty
to his family and friends. We all miss him greatly. Gus Hancock
Øivind Lorentzen, Jr. 1919-2020
ivind Lorentzen, Jr. of Greenwich, Connecticut, died peacefully on March 27, 2020, with his children at his side. At the age of 101, he was probably the last of a generation of Norwegian shipowners who came to America as refugees from war-torn Europe to build lives and raise families in a new world. Born in Oslo in 1919, he left Norway in 1938 to study marine engineering at Technische Universitat Berlin, but the following year was tipped off about the impending invasion of Poland and transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Øivind Lorentzen, Jr.
After the invasion of Norway, Øivind enlisted in the Royal Norwegian Air Force, training first in Little Norway, Canada. Eventually stationed in the Shetland and Orkney islands, he piloted Sunderland flying boat patrol bombers over the North Sea for the duration of the war. After the war and his graduation from MIT, he joined his father’s business along with three of his brothers,
all fifth-generation shipowners. From their bases in Oslo, New York, Rio de Janeiro, and Bermuda, the four brothers originally operated their father’s liner trade routes between the United States and South America. Over time, they pioneered new routes and developed specialized vessels in the trading and transport of petroleum gases, automobiles, and crude oil. They also ventured into industry, specifically in Brazil. Øivind established himself in New York, and later was one of the first of the lower Manhattan shipping community to move his business to Connecticut. As chairman of the AmericanScandinavian Foundation and president of the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce, Øivind was ever-present in promoting relations between the two countries. In 1980, he was named Knight 1st Class of the Order of St. Olav by HRH King Harald for his work as attaché for the Norwegian team at the Lake Placid Olympics. Øivind grew up sailing on the Oslo fjord where, amongst other smaller boats, he sailed International One Designs (IODs) along with his father’s 12-meter, Symra, which he was particularly fond and proud of racing. After the war, he moved to New York and continued in IODs, sailing out of Larchmont Yacht Club where, to get around learning to pronounce “Øivind,” Arthur Knapp quickly nicknamed him “Butch.” Øivind later moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, and sailed out of Indian Harbor, where, at a mid-Sound buoy start by someone from Larchmont, he would often be hailed by the sailing name known only by a select few: “Hey, Butch!” Starting in the early 1960s, Øivind built a series of 45- to 52-foot boats named Frøya, the first two designed by McCurdy & Rhodes. He leaves a chest full of silver to his grandchildren, having competed consistently and successfully through the 70s and 80s along the East Coast and on Long Island Sound, the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit (1973), and nine Bermuda races, winning his issue 63 2021
class in 1978. He also took the first Frøya to Norway, where he won the Skaw Race in 1962, then to Argentina to sail the Buenos Aires to Rio Race. Øivind was a proud member of Indian Harbor Yacht Club, where he was commodore in 1984-85. He became a member of the CCA in 1975 and was rear commodore of the New York Station from 1979 to 1980. In later years, he made a habit of an annual cruise to Maine, particularly Penobscot Bay with its many reminders of sailing along the south coast of Norway in his youth. An ankerdram (aquavit) was a welcome ceremony once Frøya was secured in a cozy harbor and attention turned to settling in for the evening. Øivind lived a full life, rich in his love of people, and in his final hours he asked for only two things: “no aggression” and peace. He had fought for peace and harmony his whole life. With wisdom, generosity, and an acute sense of what is right and correct, he achieved both. Øivind Lorentzen, III
Nigel S. MacEwan 1933-2019
igel Savage MacEwan crossed the bar on October 25, 2019, aged 86. He grew up in Lumberton, North Carolina, and graduated from Yale College and Harvard Business School. Nigel served in the Navy as a navigator aboard destroyers from 1955 to 1957, and always longed to return to life at sea one day. He learned to sail as an adult after watching boats sailing in front of his home on the Connecticut shore. During his career as an investment banker in New York, Nigel bought his first boat, a Pearson 35, and sailed the East Coast from Maine to the Chesapeake. He then bought Aurora, a 47-foot Alden ketch. Nigel particularly loved practicing knots and would do so at the helm when aboard or with small bits of cord on the
Nigel S. MacEwan
steering wheel of his car while driving. He and his wife, Judy, purchased a summer home in Dark Harbor on Islesboro, Maine, where Judy sailed a Herreshoff 12½, Three Belles. For the past 30 years, Nigel considered the entire North Atlantic basin as his backyard. He and Judy spent half of the year at their home on Islesboro, and from there they would set sail to Nova Scotia, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, the entire U.S. Eastern Seaboard, and many ports along the way: the Hebrides, Cork, Cowes, Gibraltar, Funchal in Portugal, Bermuda, and the Windward and Leeward islands. There were changes of friends and family, and of course, inevitably, the “odd” repairs! Whether off for a day sail or setting out on a 12,000-mile transit, Judy and Nigel were happy just to be on Aurora. Judy recalled one startling incident—“hitting a sleeping whale in a heavy sea between the Azores and Gibraltar. We both rode up abeam on opposite sides of a swell, and Aurora was pushed sharply athwart. Luckily, our whale slowly swam away— bad breath and all!” Nigel first crossed the Atlantic, from Maine to the Azores and Gibraltar, with friends on Aurora in 1995. Shortly after that, he married Judy, and they sailed through the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, then north to Maine. In 1998, they again crossed the Atlantic to Ireland and back home to Maine. In
2002, they sailed to England to watch the America’s Cup and left Aurora in Scotland for four years, returning to sail there in early spring and summer. In 2006, they sailed Aurora home to Maine. Nigel and Judy also owned a Dyer 29 motorboat, Caper, which they used for picnics and overnights on nearby islands in Penobscot Bay. Nigel joined the Cruising Club of America in 1999 and edited Final Voyages from 2008 to 2010. He was a member of the New York Yacht Club and, since 1998, the North American Station of the Royal Scandinavian Yacht Clubs and Nyländska Jaktklubben. Nigel was also a member of the Tarratine Club of Dark Harbor, where he served as president for six years. With John McCarty (NYS), Nigel and Judy took part in CCA cruises in New England, the Dalmatian coast, and one in Sweden in the 1990s. Audrey Ward recalled that “Peter and I had known Nigel for over 50 years when he worked as a young associate for Peter’s father, and then as our neighbor in Darien. We had a wonderful time when Nigel and Judy sailed with us aboard Midnight Sun, departing from Mariehamn, Finland, in July 2011. They were a lovely, intelligent, and interesting couple.” John McCarty wrote that he “had the pleasure of doing many of the cruises with Nigel and Judy on both sides of the Atlantic as well as two transatlantic crossings and a few Bermuda passages. He was always a delight to sail with as well as a most competent seaman and captain. I valued his friendship and loyalty greatly.” John C. McCarty
Norman Robert McCarvill 1926-2019
orman McCarvill was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. He was educated at the University of
British Columbia and Harvard Business School. He worked at Vancouver Tug & Barge, Northrup and Johnson, Fraser Yachts, and built 14 Blockbuster video stores in Vancouver. He did not learn to sail until his first wife, Beverly, and her father got him interested in racing. In the 1950s, he raced on the 67-foot, Monk-designed yacht Spirit in local waters and competed in the Acapulco race and other races in California.
Norman Robert McCarvill
In 1964, he purchased the 57-foot S&S-designed aluminum yawl Dyna from Clayton Ewing of Maryland. She was renamed Spirit and brought to the West Coast, where she sailed out of the San Diego Yacht Club. Norman raced her in every major racing event in southern California, including the 1967 Transpac, the Acapulco, La Paz, and Ensenada races, the Big Boat Series in San Francisco, and the Tinsley Island regatta. Spirit won three firsts in the 1966 St. Francis Yacht Club Big Boat Series, the 1966 Newport Beach to Ensenada Race, and the 1967 Los Angeles to Honolulu Race. In 1968, Spirit went back to the East Coast and represented Canada in the Onion Patch Series. She competed in local races in and around Oxford, Maryland, and Newport, Rhode Island. Spirit then participated in the Newport Bermuda Race, followed by the 1968 TransAtlantic Race. Norman’s son, John,
sailed with his dad in many of these races, and together they set a record for the number of yacht-racing miles by a father-and-son team at that time. John remembers that “we sailed out of Bermuda en route to Travemunde, Germany, in the 1968 Trans-Atlantic Race. Regardless of our rigorous preparations and meticulous planning, we somehow neglected to bring the fuel for the stove. As a result, we spent approximately 21 days at sea with no hot food. This may have been a contributing factor in our excellent finish time.” Norman joined the CCA in 1965 and was also a member of the San Diego Yacht Club, Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Floridian Golf and Yacht Club, and Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club. Some of Norm’s favorite cruising harbors included Sylva Bay, Tugboat Island, and Alexandra Island in British Columbia; Tinsley Island in Stockton, California; Newport harbor; and Catalina and San Clemente islands. Norman purchased Edenstar, a 38-foot sloop, in 1970, trucked her from San Diego to Florida, and sailed to the Bahamas with his wife-to-be, Carol. Despite many breakages, they had a good time, and Norman married Carol, his second wife, in 1972. They bought a 48-foot sailboat, which they renamed Breakaway, and cruised in the Bahamas. They lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from 1973 to 1990 before moving to Palm City, Florida. Carol recalled that “we were married for 48 years and never had a dull day together. It was a fantastic life.” Carol McCarvill
“Ned” to his friends and colleagues. But during the time he spent racing and cruising aboard Newbold Smith’s Reindeer, he was “Neddie”—one of the skipper’s original crew. As Dave McClatchy (CHE) recalls, this was a special era. “Attire back then was much different than today. When going off watch, men changed after supper into their night garments (red pajamas) and bedded into sheeted bunks with bathrobes at their side. Dinner always included a serving or two of fine wine, and the main course of offshore meals consisted of roasts of lamb, fillet of beef, venison, and chicken-something as a safety meal. Neddie, a.k.a. ‘Chef Boyardee,’ was always the chief cook and provisioner of the wine locker. Cases of said libation were stored in the aft head. This did not fly with many of the sailmakers that crewed aboard Reindeer on offshore race events, but the skipper made sure they knew who was in charge from the get-go. And the wine stayed where it was.”
Edward W. Madeira
Edward W. Madeira 1928-2020
dward W. Madeira Jr., 92, chairman emeritus of Pepper Hamilton LLP, died on May 21, 2020. He was known in the courtroom as a worldclass antitrust litigator. In the office, he was a leader and mentor, known as
Tyler Johnson was a teenager when he first sailed aboard Reindeer. He still recalls when Neddie came up with his signature dessert, cherries jubilee, flambéed with a fine cognac. All this was achieved on an alcohol stove. Those who have sailed with such a malevolent cooking device know that it’s much easier to create a galley fire than issue 63 2021
an elegant dessert. In fair weather, Ned liked to escape the galley in the morning, just after he had regaled the crew with a hearty breakfast. Despite the demands of bacon, eggs, and blueberry pancakes, the 0800 watch change often included Ned at the helm, still decked out in his pajamas and bathrobe, with a cigar clenched in his teeth. Ned was a regular aboard Reindeer, participating in station cruises as well as coastal races and deliveries that meandered Down East. He and his wife, Grace, enjoyed the time spent bringing Reindeer home, and those experiences led to the purchase of their Sabre 38 Sagamore, a Roger Hewson-designed cruiser/racer that they sailed out of Northeast Harbor, Maine. With one foot planted in the Chesapeake Bay and the other regularly dipped in the cooler waters of Maine and Nova Scotia, Ned and Grace did indeed have the best of two great cruising worlds. If there is such a thing as a Renaissance sailor, Ned fits the mold. He excelled in his off-the-water career and became a key part of a team of sailors who raced, cruised, and were revered for their cohesiveness. But Ned still carved out time for his own adventures. He and Grace sailed Sagamore among the islands and granite ledges of the often fog-bound Maine coast, anchoring in the coves they loved. Ned is survived by his wife of 64 years, Grace; daughters Martha, Melissa Gormley, and Amanda; and two grandchildren. Ralph Naranjo
F. Gerard Merser 1930-2020
“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides, and in its depths, it has its pearls too.” —Vincent van Gogh and Gerry Merser.
erry Merser of Jensen Beach, Florida, and Round Pond, Maine,
F. Gerard Merser
died in his sleep on March 2, 2020, at the age of 90. Gerry was one of those “types” who are very hard to find anymore—men a generation or a half-generation older than I am who are steeped in the ways of gentlemen, capable on multiple levels, self-confident to a fault, quirky and difficult sometimes, very aware of the world around them, stingy when it suits them, and wonderfully kind and generous when needed. I first met him as a neighbor in Round Pond when I brought my Elskov back down from Canada in 2014. He was kind enough to allow me to lay on his guest mooring in Muscongus Harbor. That led to a multiyear arrangement for occasional use, and a friendship which afforded me lots of chances to take in and savor Gerry’s humor, his loves, his disdains, his ways of doing things, some surprising people we knew in common, and some of his history. He was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1930. He graduated from the Dublin School in New Hampshire in 1948, reportedly working up his competitive skills while ski racing, ski jumping, and learning to make maple syrup. His college career at Babson was interrupted by service in Korea as a radar technician with the U.S. Air Force 335th Fighter Squadron. Upon returning to Boston, he married Molly, and finished his Babson degree in 1957. His entire working life was spent
with Dennison Manufacturing Co. in Framingham, Massachusetts, starting as a product manager and retiring as group vice president of Avery Dennison. He was instrumental in inventing and patenting certain of Dennison’s wellknown products such as the Buttoneer, Swiftach Tag Attaching System, and Bar-lok Cable Ties. But it was on the water where we knew him best, cruising and racing his Bruce King-designed Ericson 39, Kestrel, with his family. Notable racing wins included the CCA’s Jeffrey’s Ledge Race, the Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race, and the Manchester Yacht Club’s Patton Bowl Regatta. He was a well-known racer in Maine, his last documented win being the Chowder Cup in Friendship at the age of 81. In addition to the Cruising Club of America, he was a member of the Manchester Yacht Club and the Crossroads Yacht Club in Stuart, Florida. He served a term as commodore of the Manchester Yacht Club and was a founding member of the Cabadetis Boat Club in Round Pond, where he helped start the youth sailing program. Gerry and I totally disagreed politically, but made up for that with lots of cheerful conversation about all sorts of other things. He had a ridiculous sense of humor, which no one enjoyed more than he did. We talked a lot about boats, sailing, and racing. I was never a racer—not competitive enough—but Gerry surely was. And I think Molly was his equal on that score. He often spoke admiringly of her toughness in a couple of weather events that probably were pretty scary to both of them at the time. Although their marriage ended, Molly remained an important friend throughout his life. Together, they raised two daughters, Pamela Merser and Alison Merser Moore, both of Colorado. Gerry’s partner, Diane Tyler, passed away in 2019. The last we saw of each other was a year ago in August, when he invited me aboard his motor cruiser, Petrel, for a pleasant little toot out into Muscongus
Bay in Maine. He had so wanted to get out on the water, whatever it took. In this case, I was surrounded by daughters and grandchildren who were all dying to come along, so the only way I could go was to wheedle an invitation for the whole mob. I’m sure Gerry expected the worst, but in the end we all behaved well enough to go anchor, swim, and return safely, after which he kindly fibbed that it was the highlight of his summer. Regardless, it was a highlight for all of us. I’ll miss the rum at 4 p.m. on a foggy afternoon, but well beyond that, I’m missing, more and more, a whole generation of men of a kind we don’t seem to make anymore. Finley Perry
Miles E. H. Outerbridge 1934-2020
iles Everest Hastings Outerbridge was a beloved man in Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. He lived life to the fullest. On his 70th birthday, he climbed the famed Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park in Maine, only to return on his 80th birthday to do it again. When I asked what made him want to come back, he responded: “It’s what I do.” Miles grew up on the water at Blue Harbour, Harrington Sound, Bermuda. He often commented on enjoying time on his punt, a small wooden dinghy that he and his father Percy bought together with shillings saved from Miles’ days helping his dad move cattle on Cooper’s Island. He would regularly circumnavigate Monkey Island, in the center of Harrington Sound. If he got caught in a squall, he’d simply swim home. The oldest of three brothers, Miles very early on took on the responsibility of ensuring that the family legacy lived on. After graduating from McGill University with a degree in civil engineering, he worked briefly in the northern Canadian wilderness, building
bridges and roads. At age 25, Miles returned to Bermuda and started what would become Woodbourne Associates, the largest organically run engineering firm in Bermuda for 50 years. In the late 1960s, he was commissioned to remake the city of Hamilton’s King’s Wharf dockyard to accommodate container ships. Miles called on his sailing experience when he designed docks and other seaside projects, including the bridge to Ordnance Island in St. George’s, the Esso Oil Docks terminal in St George’s, and the “Number 8” dock extension and shed in Hamilton, where a new container terminal was opened in 1973. Miles also designed the dock and first house on Necker Island, British Virgin Islands, bought by Sir Richard Branson in 1979. In 1993, he contributed designs for Little Dix Bay Resort on Virgin Gorda. He was president of Devonshire Industries, the company that owns Devonshire Paint, a chairman at BELCO, and served with the St. George’s Foundation.
Miles E. H. Outerbridge
If you have ever sailed into Hamilton Harbour or the Dockyard, you have no doubt stepped ashore on one of Miles’ designs. At one point, Woodbourne Associates was responsible for most of Bermuda’s commercial dock and wharf design and construction. Many of the original designs are still in use today. A lifelong member of the Royal Bermuda
Yacht Club, Miles designed the club’s seawall, often used to moor RBYC’s largest guest yachts. Miles enjoyed spending time on the water with the love his life, Pearl, and his children, Heather, Daina, and Amanda, on board his many boats. Longtail, a Cheoy Lee-designed yawl, carried the family on many journeys between Bermuda, the BVIs, and at one point, along the entire Leeward island chain. Savannah Bay in Virgin Gorda was one of his favorite swimming beaches, and he often anchored in Leverick Bay or just off Spanish Town. Miles and Pearl cruised the BVIs extensively, often stopping at Soper’s Hole, Marina Cay, or the Bitter End Yacht Club as safe havens for the night. Prior to becoming a CCA member, Miles sailed in the 1978 Bermuda Newport Race on a mate’s yacht. After joining the club in 1992, he supported the race as a friendly “inspector,” often ensuring that arriving yachts had plenty of good cheer aboard. Miles moved on from Longtail and acquired the Maine-built, Down East design Kingfisher, which is still in the family today. For nearly 20 years, he could be seen cruising the tranquil waters of Bermuda on long weekends, with Pearl and Amanda aboard. Even on these relatively short sails, he’d feel lost in time as he passed the 1500s Englishbuilt forts that tower above the clear blue waters. Miles’ legacy of life on the sea lives on. All his kids and grandkids are capable mariners, living on or near the water. The Outerbridges of Bermuda would be pleased to have you aboard any time for a St. Georges Harbour cruise and a dark and stormy, and to share memories. Miles succeeded across eight decades, working tirelessly to better Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, and Beverly, Massachusetts. He will forever be remembered as a sailor’s sailor, an exceptional engineer, a proper mate, and loving husband and father. May God bless him and all sailors on the sea. Kenyon Kellogg issue 63 2021
Lawerence F. Pardey 1939-2020
ow do you begin becoming a world-class boat builder and cruiser who circumnavigates the world two-and-a-half times? You start as a teenager by having your driver’s license suspended for drag racing on the streets of Vancouver, British Columbia. That is what happened to Larry Pardey. Unable to drive a car, Larry wandered the Vancouver waterfront and wondered about sailing. What is it, and could he do it? Intrigued, the 17-yearold found an abandoned sailing dinghy, brought it home, and fixed it up. “Larry had fingers of gold,” said Lin Pardey, Larry’s wife and shipmate for 47 years. Fixing up a dinghy was easy for him. He learned how to sail in it, and by the time he was 19, he was teaching junior sailing at the West Vancouver Yacht Club. Larry knew how to make a sailboat go, and soon became a sought-after crewmember among Vancouver yachtsmen. He found that he could be compensated for sailing and maintaining yachts, and when he was 20, he became a “pro.”
Lawerence F. Pardey
As first mate aboard the 85-foot schooner Double Eagle, Larry made his first blue-water voyage from Newport Beach, California, to Honolulu, where the yacht was chartered for filmmaking. Now a blue-water sailor, Larry dreamed 194
of building a cruising yacht. That’s when he met his wife-to-be, Lin. “Larry had a keel timber and a dream,” said Lin, who joined Larry in building their first yacht, Seraffyn, a 24-foot Lyle Hess design, which they launched in 1968. To earn money to build Seraffyn, Larry and Lin delivered yachts and did rigging and wood repairs. Larry loved building and sailing equally, and this arrangement, which gave him the opportunity to do both, worked well for him. He would be torn between the building and sailing of yachts his entire life. The Pardeys were well known for cruising without an engine, but they didn’t start out intending to cruise under sail alone. When Seraffyn was completed except for an engine, the lure of cruising was strong, and they asked themselves, “Should we spend what little money we have on an engine and delay cruising, or should we just go cruising now?” They opted for cruising now, and on Seraffyn’s shakedown cruise, they found that they liked the challenges of seamanship and boat handling without an engine. Larry joked that as a result, he and Lin had many “cheap thrills” that added adventure to some 200,000 miles of cruising around the world. Larry and Lin circumnavigated the globe without an engine 2½ times. Their first circumnavigation, on Seraffyn, was east-about and never dipped into the southern latitudes—all their passages were made north of the equator. After 11 successful years of cruising Seraffyn, Larry and Lin determined that a slightly larger yacht would give them additional creature comforts. In 1983, they launched Taleisin, a 30-foot version of Seraffyn—again without an engine—and set out on their second circumnavigation, a westabout voyage below the five great capes. It would be particularly challenging, as sailing a vessel with no engine in the westerly Roaring Forties winds would take all the seamanship and navigational skills that Larry possessed. Shrewdly, Larry and Lin would position Taleisin in the lee of the great capes and wait until the
westerlies lay down, then sail Taleisin around each cape “with a nylon drifter set,” as Larry liked to say. Larry was proud that Taleisin was the smallest boat to complete a westabout circumnavigation by way of the Southern Ocean. The Pardeys were awarded the CCA’s Far Horizons Award in 2009 for a “lifetime of cruising and voyaging in two wooden boats that they built themselves … using traditional means of navigation, without an engine.” Larry’s last blue-water passage, the “half-circumnavigation,” was made from Vancouver to New Zealand, where the Pardeys settled on Kawau Island in the Hauraki Gulf. They sold Taleisin in October 2015. Larry passed away on July 27, 2020. Bob Hanelt
William Scott Piper III 1939-2019
cott Piper, friend and captain to many, set sail on December 2, 2019. In typical fashion, Scott had planned his final ocean adventure on Pipe Dream IX to include a stop in Ireland for the Royal Cork Yacht Club 300th anniversary, then on to Spain for the CCA Mallorca Cruise. His itinerary would be detailed and disseminated, and trusted friends and family would sign on. Scott never missed a departure date in five circumnavigations. This year was the exception. Born in landlocked Clearfield, Pennsylvania, in 1939, his family relocated to Coral Gables, Florida, in 1945. Scott’s passion for the water was encouraged early by his father’s advice to take advantage of what Florida had to offer. His first boat was an 11-foot Moth, purchased from the proceeds of his paper route and a dollar-for-dollar match from his family. At the age of 12, Scott became the Junior Moth North American Champion and a taste for racing, titles, and trophies was seeded. Class competition continued
William Scott Piper III
in Lightnings, Comets, J/Boats, and Etchells throughout his life. In all, there were 15 Pipe Dreams, a play on his moniker and a nod to his aspiration to someday circumnavigate the globe. The early Pipe Dreams honed his skills, and the middle Pipe Dreams earned him world-class recognition. By far, his favorite was his J-160, the vessel that made his pipe dream a reality. Scott’s second passion was medicine. He was a third-generation doctor, educated at Dartmouth, who received his medical degree from the University of Miami, and was the assistant chief of the department of orthopedics at West Point. A 5½-year stint in the Army as a surgeon during the Vietnam War provided ample opportunity to sharpen his orthopedic skills. Upon return to Miami, he was on call to six hospital ERs while building his private practice and teaching at the University of Miami, Jackson School of Medicine. The demands of education, orthopedics, and family placed his sailing career on a 13-year hiatus, between the ages of 21 to 34, after which he returned in stride, managing to balance the rigors of career with competition. A patient once asked, “Everyone says that you’re a great sailor. How can you be a great sailor and a great doctor?” Scott wittily replied, “You’d prefer a doctor who’s a bad sailor?” An ongoing spark for adventure and competition peppered his professional calendar throughout his career. Exploring
the air as well as the sea, Scott was an accomplished skydiver (226 jumps), pilot, and scuba diver. For his 60th birthday, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. With skilled precision, he packed maximum adventure into his agenda, often coordinating major racing competitions with his globe-trotting sailing routes. For example, during his second circumnavigation, he arrived in Australia in time for the Sydney Hobart Race, the Etchells Australian Nationals, and the Etchells Worlds. Scott participated in all the events and trophied in two. He was recognized by his peers as an accomplished racer and fierce competitor. A snapshot of his major achievements includes five circumnavigations; 17 Parkinson awards; the 2008 CCA Blue Water Medal; and an invitation to sail with Dennis Conner in the Stars & Stripes 87 campaign to bring back the Cup. His podium finishes and trophies are too numerous to list: suffice it to say that William Scott Piper was a winner. In addition to participating in racing events, Scott also devoted himself to many sailing organizations. He belonged to the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club (where he was commodore 2001– 03), the Coral Reef Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, and the North American Station of the Royal Scandinavian Yacht Clubs as well as the CCA, and was chairman of the SORC. Scott’s three loves were his J-160, medicine, and his wife, Mary. She embraced his passions, complemented his skills, and partnered with him on life at sea. On completion of Pipe Dream IX’s fifth circumnavigation, they gathered Scott’s 10 log books to tally the crew over the years. They had not completed the second log when the tally reached over 1,000. Scott was generous with his adventures, opening the world of blue-water sailing to many. I count myself lucky to have been one. He was known to say, “You only go around once, make it count.” That he did. Pat Montgomery
Thomas Irvin Puett 1941-2019
om Puett was born, raised, educated, and lived in Atlanta, Georgia, though he always thought of his S/Y Perseverance as home. Tom attended Bass High School and received a B.A. in real estate from Georgia State. He then joined the Army and served his country stationed in Germany. It was there that he met and married his beloved wife, Susan. After serving, they returned to Atlanta and he began his wildly successful real estate career.
Thomas Irvin Puett
In his early 30s, Tom discovered his love of sailing on Lake Lanier, just north of Atlanta. From these humble beginnings, Tom would go on to complete eight ocean crossings. Tom’s natural zest for life—the same zest that drew him toward dazzling his guests with epic culinary delights offshore—drew him to the often imitated, never replicated standard of Nautor’s Swan. Tom and Susan ultimately owned three Swans, commissioning Nautor’s Swan to build Swan 56/16 in 1998. They took delivery of Perseverance in the summer of 1999 and continued their “never-ending cruise,” visiting scores of countries, covering tens of thousands of miles offshore, and completing eight Atlantic Ocean crossings. issue 63 2021
In addition to the CCA, Tom was a member of the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the New York Yacht Club, where he participated in numerous regattas, cruises, and shoreside social functions. The ferocity with which he pursued yachting was only matched by his love of cooking. He famously overstood the weather mark during the 2001 Nautor’s Swan Regatta at New York Yacht Club because he was finishing lunch preparations below. (I am of the understanding, from the crew, that it was worth it.) No stranger to racing, Tom and Perseverance competed in events across the U.S. East Coast, throughout the Caribbean, and in the Mediterranean. He earned podium finishes in the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, Ida Lewis Distance Race, and the Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta. Tom was also successful in the ARC, securing three “top three” finishes. Equally passionate about offshore sailing and exploring, Tom consistently sought out unique anchorages in places far off the beaten path. He was a 10-time recipient of the NYYC Cruising Award and received the NYYC Transoceanic Cruising Award in 2003. Tom had a natural curiosity and passion to succeed. Perseverance explored places such as the Dalmatian coast, southwest Ireland, and the Baltic long before they became the popular cruising grounds they are today. During annual cruises in the Caribbean, Perseverance consistently explored and frequented lesser-known anchorages. Often, the cruising itinerary was dictated by the culinary delights to be found in destinations ashore—San Sebastian, Spain; Kinsale, Ireland; and Villefranche, France, among them. One time, after a particularly grueling (and unexpected) passage from Palma, Mallorca, to Villefranche, Tom rang one of his favorite restaurants, La Mère Germaine, whilst motoring into the harbor. Upon arrival, the entire crew was whisked away to their finest table and enjoyed a truly memorable meal. As his yacht’s name indicates, Tom 196
was unafraid of the unknown and approached every obstacle as an opportunity. During a trip to St. Bart’s, a hydraulic ram for the swim platform failed. At the time, I had the privilege of working for Tom and Susan aboard Perseverance. I suggested we find an expert to rebuild the pump. Tom’s response was the same as always: “Why? It’s already broken, ya can’t break it more.” He then proceeded to diagnose, dismantle, repair, and reassemble the pump, despite never having worked on hydraulics in the past. It was but one example of his commitment to the spirit of perseverance. Tom was a skilled offshore yachtsman and a truly capable individual who commanded his vessel with skill, love, and a passion unlike any other. Be it weathering a powerful gale in the Bay of Biscay or enjoying the gentle trade winds pushing him toward the Caribbean, Tom was always at home and a master of his craft. Charlie Saville
Carbondale, Colorado, then returned to Boston a year later to join Estabrook and Company, where he began a career in investment services that spanned six decades. He never let work interfere with sailing. Ned was an avid sailor and spent nearly all his summers on Cape Cod in Osterville, Massachusetts. He began sailing there in Wianno Juniors, then Wianno Seniors, and joined the Wianno Yacht Club. When his father bought Xanadu, a Phillip Rhodes yawl, Ned cruised that great yacht and raced to Halifax in the 1965 Marblehead Halifax Race.
Edward S. Rowland 1933-2020
ed Rowland sailed his final voyage on March 11, 2020, ten days shy of his 87th birthday and just in time to avoid the coronavirus shutdown. Ned will be remembered as commodore of the Cruising Club of America from 2006 to 2007 and as a great sailing companion, but mainly as a storyteller of Down East tales. He was membership chair, vice commodore, and rear commodore of the Boston Station. He was also commodore of the Wianno Yacht Club, where he grew the junior sailing program to national prominence. Ned was a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy and, in 1954, Brown University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957, and was a member of the U.S. Ski Patrol in Garmisch, Germany, for one winter. He taught and coached the ski team at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in
Edward S. Rowland
He bought Crusoe, a 39-foot cutter, for family sailing in the 1960s. He sailed with Jock Kiley on various boats, including Snow Star. They raced to Bermuda several times, in 1970, 1972, and 1980. In 1970, a storm caused Snow Star to finish last; Alan Bemis awarded Ned the “Copper Skillet Prize” for the cook who finished last and cooked the most meals as a result. In 1969, Ned sailed with Bunny Burnes and his sons on the Trans-Atlantic Race to Ireland, and a few years later, in 1972, to Spain. His storytelling began to grow on these long passages. He made one more Atlantic crossing onboard Arcturus, Stephen Heartt’s Valiant 40. Over the past 30 years, Ned participated in many CCA cruises.
In recent years, he bought a converted lobster boat for local cruising. The Sea Star a boat on which children and grandchildren could join him, gave him much pleasure. At the time of his death, ed owned just two boats: an outboard-powered skiff called e a t S and a Haven 12 named Sall ed is survived by his wife, Susie; his son, Stephen; his daughter, Julie; and their families. His son, Edward, a A member, died in 2014 and is survived by his wife, eggy, and children. All the grandchildren like to sail. Tom iley remembers: ed was always fun to sail with. Everything ed was involved with was made better by his efforts and interest. My first memories of sailing with ed were back in the 0s on my family’s oncordia. There were many races, but the most memorable was the transatlantic race from Bermuda to Bayona, Spain. ed was cook on Bunny Burnes’ 50-foot ketch, A ele. Because of his responsibility as cook, three meals a day for 10 hungry men for 21 days, he rarely got a chance to sail. He would, however, get up at 4:30 in the morning and take the helm for maybe a half an hour or so and tell a story (more suited for sailors than city folk). The roar of laughter at the end of the story or at the punchline would wake up the other watch in a timely fashion. When ed cooked aboard, finding extra crew was never a problem. In 1 84, I was presented with the problem of a certain boat for sale. I called ed for advice and he said, f course you should buy it, and I can be a partner.’ S o Star came back into our family after a seven-year absence. ed and I owned the boat for 10 years and sailed and raced many miles together. There was never a better boat partner than ed. Everything the boat needed we agreed on and the boat benefited. More importantly, we had a terrific amount of fun. When ed became chairman of the membership committee of the A
and then commodore, the club benefited tremendously from his devotion, enthusiasm, and attention. S sie o la
r. Huntington Skip Sheldon of Shelburne, ermont, died unexpectedly after a brief illness at his home on Friday, December 2 , 2017. Skip and his family moved to Amagansett, ew ork, when he was six years old. This property has remained a keystone throughout his life and the foundation for his interest in conservation and agriculture.
Skip was educated at Brooks School in Andover, Massachusetts, and completed his undergraduate studies as a Markle Scholar at McGill niversity. He earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins niversity and did his residency there in pathology. He was a pioneer in the study of electron microscopy at the arolinska Institute in Stockholm. In 1 5 , he returned to McGill and remained there as a legendary lecturer, Strathcona rofessor, and researcher for the next 25 years. The Sheldon Biotechnology enter at McGill is named in his
honor. Skip’s academic awards include the Distinguished Brooksian, JH Society of Scholars, JH Distinguished Alumnus, JH Distinguished Medical Alumnus, and an honorary D from McGill. He served on the JH Board of Trustees from 1 5 until his death. He was a founder of the Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences at Hopkins and a 0-year member of the niversity lub of ew ork. Skip learned to sail as a young boy at the Devon acht lub on Gardiners Bay on ong Island. While a medical student, he sailed on the schooner alee on hesapeake Bay and continued to sail while he lived in Montreal. After retiring to ermont, he was able to focus more of his energies on sailing and competed in or won many of the world’s classic ocean races, including the ewport Bermuda, Trans-Atlantic, Fastnet, Middle Sea, Miami to Montego, Gotland ound, and the Sydney Hobart. n A rora, he and his family sailed in the aribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Baltic in the 1 0s. They also spent several summers cruising in the high latitudes of Scandinavia, including a sail to Spitsbergen, above the Arctic ircle, in 1 . In 1 , Skip commissioned eichel- ugh to design his -foot racer cruiser, ara a which was built at ew England Boatworks. He won the Saint David’s ighthouse trophy in the 2002 ewport Bermuda ace (cruiserracer class). He also raced ara a from ewport to uxhaven, Germany, in the 2003 Trans-Atlantic ace, claiming first-to-finish and overall honors. Maine’s Eggemoggin each egatta was a favorite of the Sheldon family, which they raced in atie e their Aage ielson 44. Skip became a member of the ruising lub of America in 1 7. He was also a member of the ew ork acht lub, the oyal cean acing lub, and an honorary commodore of the oyal Swedish acht lub. While living in Montreal, Skip ss e
devoted much of his recreational time to cross-country skiing in the Laurentians. He was president of the Viking Ski Club and chairman of the Canadian Ski Association. He participated as coach in the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck in 1976 and in Lake Placid in 1980, and competed in three iconic cross-country races: the Vasaloppet, the Finlandia, and the Birkebeiner. A consummate Renaissance man, he applied his considerable intellect and force of character to achieve success in many fields. Having taken early retirement from McGill in 1985, he moved to Shelburne, Vermont, where he spent 25 years raising purebred Suffolk sheep. He was one of the area’s first certified organic farmers, and was key in forming the Charlotte Land Trust in the early 1990s. Skip was a remarkable man who lived his life to the fullest. He will be deeply missed by his wife of 32 years, Del, and his daughters, Greta, Zoë, Karan, and Jennifer. Adapted from The New York Times, Points East, and Scuttlebutt (MS)
Humphrey Sullivan 1925-2016
umphrey Sullivan, 91, of Jacksonville, Florida, passed away on August 27, 2016. He was born July 28, 1925 in Oak Park, Illinois, and grew up in the Midwest. After serving as a U.S. naval officer in the Pacific during World War II, Sully graduated from Northwestern University in 1948. He began a lifelong career in public relations, most of it spent at Lever Brothers Company, retiring in 1987 as director of public affairs. One highlight of his career was serving in the Johnson administration as executive director of Plans for Progress, a national program to increase employment opportunities for minorities. Sully’s love of sailing started as a youth at summer camp on Lake Michigan. His happiest sailing years
Robert L. Swiggett 1921-2020
were on the East Coast, skippering his boats, each named Tala: a Robb 35 from 1963 to 1966; his beloved classic Luders yawl from 1966 to 1974, which he sailed with his first wife, Fran; and a Whitby 45 after retiring from professional life. He logged many miles, both racing and cruising, from Nova Scotia to the U.K. and the Caribbean. He joined the Cruising Club of America in 1981, sailing Tala in many CCA cruises, and sailed aboard Jack Barringer’s Zephyros as navigator in numerous Newport Bermuda races. In the off years, he always skippered Tala in Marblehead to Halifax races. Sully was an active member of the Noroton Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, and Storm Trysail Club. With his second wife, Lois, he began his retirement years cruising the East Coast from Long Island to Florida until 1995, when he and Lois moved to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. In addition to Lois, Sully is survived by his son, Neil, and daughters, Liza and Jeannie. Whether competitively racing in an ORC boat or cruising with his family, he was equally happy as long as he was at the helm or behind a sextant, plotting his next course and his next sailing adventure. Liza Sullivan Hickey and Neil Sullivan
obert Lewis Swiggett, 98, of New London, New Hampshire; Marana, Arizona; and Cambridge, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on March 6 after a brief illness. Born on September 7, 1921, in Kansas City, Missouri, he spent his formative years in Roslyn, New York. Bob earned his B.S. in chemical engineering from Columbia University in 1943, graduating at the top of his class, and subsequently began his career at Kodak. He then proudly served in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II, returned home, and joined industrial graphic arts manufacturing company Powers Chemco in Glen Cove, New York. There, he led a small team to develop groundbreaking processes and materials to fabricate printed circuit boards that revolutionized the electronics industry and are still used in every electronic product today. In 1951, he co-founded Photocircuits, the first independent printed circuit manufacturing company in the U.S. Bob eventually became CEO and chairman of the board of Kollmorgen Corporation. He was widely recognized as an innovator in organizational management and corporate culture, retiring in 1987. He served on the boards of Cray Research, Unum Insurance, Scott & Fetzer, the Sequoia Fund, and the American Electronics Association, and was a founding member and president of the Institute of Printed Circuits. In 1952, Bob met Nancy Nelson on a dock in Manhasset Bay, and they were married within the year. They settled in Lloyd Harbor, New York, where they raised three boys and developed a community of lifelong friends. Time spent sailing and cruising every summer, skiing each winter, traveling together, and debating politics and economics around the dinner table were central to family life. Bob joined the Manhasset Bay
Yacht Club and sailed in a variety of one-design classes. He purchased a Lightning, which he raced for a number of years. In the early 1950s, he crewed on his first Newport Bermuda Race, experiencing a man-overboard rescue in rough seas. After chartering Tritons and cruising with the family (including two boys in cloth diapers!) for several summers, Bill Tripp convinced him, in 1963, to be one of the first buyers of his newly designed Tripp-Lentsch 29 sloop, which Bob named Mistral. Over the next eight years, there were summer cruises with the family between Long Island and Nantucket and active participation in local Off Soundings races on Mistral.
Robert L. Swiggett
Having experienced windsurfing for the first time in the late 1970s, Bob became intrigued with the simplicity of the newly introduced Mark Ellisdesigned Nonsuch 30 catboat and, in 1980, he built Sophisticat. He and Nancy cruised on her for the next five years until he commissioned the build of a Hinckley Sou’wester 42, Loon, taking delivery in 1985. He took great joy in working closely with the Hinckley design team and yard, engineering a number of improvements which were incorporated into many future SW42s. For seven years, Nancy and Bob cruised on Loon between Nova Scotia and South Carolina, only taking
on crew during long passages. Loon sailed in two Marion Bermuda races with family as crew and Rick Olney (BOS) as celestial navigator, garnering silver in her class. Some of the most memorable cruising grounds included the Bras d’Or Lakes, Down East Maine, and, in the fall, the Chesapeake. Bob was honored to join the CCA in 1987. He and Nancy greatly enjoyed the company and camaraderie at many CCA events, including a memorable charter on a CCA cruise in Croatia. He was also a member of the New York Yacht Club; the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts; the Gallery in Marana, Arizona; and a founding member of the Baker Hill Golf Club in New London, New Hampshire. Bob and Nancy moved to New London in 1992, and continued to expand their community of friends. Bob was sad to sell Loon but soon purchased a Doughdish, which he sailed on Lake Sunapee well into his 90s. After Nancy’s passing in 1998, Bob married Rebecca Leland of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2004. Bob lived a full, active, and joyful life. He was an avid sailor, skier, surfer, and golfer and pursued these activities all over the world. Bob golfed until a few months prior to his death. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca; his sons, Robert, Jeffrey, and Brian; and his eight grandchildren. Brian Swiggett
Geoffrey A. Thompson 1940-2020
eoffrey Thompson died August 3, 2020, at home in Lyme, Connecticut. Jeff had been a member of the New York Station of the CCA since 1998. His death was caused by complications following heart surgery. Jeff was born in 1940. When he was a child, he lived in Chappaqua, New York, and Montreal, Canada, but primarily grew up in Central Valley,
Geoffrey A. Thompson
New York. He spent most of his adult life as a New York City resident. Although he was not raised in a boating family, Jeff had a passionate love of the sea. His first real experience on the water was in the Navy. As an undergraduate at Columbia, he enrolled in OCS, and in 1963 became a lieutenant JG on the U.S.S. Van Voorhis, a Dealey-class destroyer escort based out of Newport. His active duty lasted only two years, but he was proud of his service and stayed in close touch with shipmates for the rest of his life. He supported and was on the board of the Naval War College in Newport, and he followed naval affairs with affectionate intensity, even in his final days. Jeff was never happier than when he was on a waterborne vessel. He loved owning and operating boats, which he frequently replaced with another craft that caught his eye and attention. The first, a 24-foot Rainbow sloop, was given to Jeff and his wife, Claudia, by a neighbor, who was equally besotted with life afloat. The Thompsons used the 24-footer for picnic cruises on Long Island Sound out of their then-summer home in Guilford, Connecticut. Each of Jeff’s boats was incrementally larger than the last—in 1989, a 41-foot Concordia yawl called Caker; in 1992, Caker II, a LeComte Fastnet 45; and from 1995 to 2014, a 50-foot custom Able sloop, Palmyra, on the transom of issue 63 2021
which (in)famously rested two huge blue beanbag chairs for the crew’s cocktailhour comfort. These craft were kept near the Thompsons’ house on Old Black Point in Niantic, Connecticut. Jeff was happiest cruising in New England, particularly to Naushon Island and the coast of Maine. He also visited and revisited New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, frequently in the company of CCA friends. He kept Palmyra in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, for two years, and sailed throughout the Caribbean on her and as crew with friends. He joined CCA and other cruises in New Zealand, Labrador, Scotland, and Scandinavia. He never minded going slowly and would laugh with delight on being the last to arrive at an anchorage because he refused to turn on the engine if there was the barest hint of a breeze. It was all about sailing until 2015 when Jeff bought a powerboat, a 39-foot BHM Flye Point Downeast Cruiser, Troubadour, that he ran for two years, gunkholing on Long Island Sound and cruising to Newport and the Elizabeth Islands. Jeff went his own way, always. A lifelong adventurer, he dropped out of Deerfield for a year when he was 16 and went with a younger brother to Australia to work on a sheep farm, an experience he relished recounting. It was thought that he might join the family enterprise, Reader’s Digest, after getting an MBA at Harvard in 1967, but instead Jeff took a job at Newsweek. By 1970, he had left publishing and transitioned to banking, taking a position with Marine Midland where he eventually became president and CEO. He later worked in the executive search business and private equity, and served on several corporate boards. Jeff had an enterprising spirit and often joked that he had held 72 jobs in his life, from waiting tables to driving taxis. He believed strongly in giving back: he was a vice-chair of the Red Cross in New York and served on other charitable boards, domestic and international, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. He also had a special interest in the Near East, 200
where he traveled extensively on behalf of a foundation. Jeff was six feet, six inches tall—a giant, gentle, intelligent, and generous presence in so many ways for so many people, alternating between the serious and irreverent, smiling and poking fun, especially at himself and particularly when in the company of children. He delighted in the young and was accepted as one of the gang. He took great pleasure in driving his old red Chevrolet pickup truck with his daughter, Marina, and her friends loaded in the back. At the time of his passing, Jeff was surrounded by more than ten members of his family, all richly beloved and loving. They included Claudia, his wife of 54 years; his daughter, Marina Cummins; his son-in-law, James Cummins; granddaughters Lili and Louisa; and his black lab, Luke. In addition to the CCA, Jeff was a member of the New York Yacht Club and the North American Station of the Royal Scandinavian Yacht Clubs and Nyländska Jaktklubben. David Tunick
James P. Thompson 1934-2020
r. James “Jim” Thompson, a resident of Easton, Maryland, crossed the bar on April 25, 2020. Jim was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1934, attended Hamilton College, and graduated from Bowman Grey School of Medicine at Wake Forest. From 1960 to 1964, he served as a Navy flight surgeon. Soon thereafter, he settled in Easton. Jim sailed his life without a reef, packing more living into his 86 years than most of us could tally up in two lifetimes. There was no need for a bucket list. His friends and family participated in his adventures. Patients remember him as a gifted eye surgeon with a friendly bedside manner, and those who sailed or flew with him knew “Doctor
James P. Thompson
Jim” as a bit of a Crocodile Dundee. Mike Perry, one of Jim’s regular shipmates, recalled Jim’s willingness to commit. One story centered around a Swan World Cup race in Sardinia. They were doing pretty well in their Swan 47 class. During the distance race, the bolder Europeans, brimming with local knowledge, were taking an inshore tack around a shoaling, rocky headland. Jim glanced at the chart, hauled up the center board, and sailed inside the insiders. One of the lads on the rail commented about the barnacle-laden rocks that were flying by. Jim responded, “No worry—the insurance is all paid up.” They cleared the shoals and finished well up in a very competitive fleet. Jim’s daughter, Holly, has her own list of “Jim” moments, including the celebration of a race finish at Joe’s Stone Crabs in Miami. Facing a twoblock-long wait, Jim went to speak with the restaurant’s hostess, telling her that he was Jim Thompson and he had just finished a sailboat race with some guys from Chicago. His party was immediately plucked from the line to score a coveted table for 14, all thanks to Jim being mistaken for his namesake, James Thompson, then governor of Illinois. Holly also shared the time one of Jim’s patients, James Michener’s wife, arrived for her annual appointment. Jim mentioned how her husband’s
writing had changed the course of his life. “Chesapeake influenced my decision to move here, and after I read Tales of the South Pacific, a nurse friend offered me a free plane ticket to Tahiti. I spent months there. Anyway, I just wish you’d tell him how very important his books are to me.” “Why didn’t you tell him yourself?” Mrs. Michener said. “He was your patient yesterday!” Mike Perry can’t forget the night he and Jim were doing some celebrating in Easton. A little after midnight, Mike remembered that the next morning, he was scheduled to join the skipper of the sloop on which he was racing to Bermuda—in New Jersey. Jim came to his aid, suggesting that they meet at the Easton airport at dawn and he would fly Mike up to New Jersey, then fly back to Easton to perform an 0900 operation. The weather was good, Mike was dubbed navigator, and with no GPS, they followed the highways to the Garden State. Jim pointed at an airport on the map, smoothly landed, and took off as soon as Mike had pulled his seabag out of the plane. That’s when Mike noticed the weeds growing out of cracks in the runway. A farmer plowing an adjacent field told Mike that the airport had been closed for five years. He offered Mike a ride on his tractor and, after a landline call to the skipper, they rendezvoused successfully. Meanwhile, Jim made it back to Easton in time for the operation, which went well—an example of “she’ll be right mate” dynamics in action. Jim battled ALS and was the victor until the very end. He is survived by his daughter, Holly L. Thompson; son, Ian P. Thompson: sisters, Joan Tarolli and Sue Velie; and grandchildren, Patrick Thompson and Bennett Thompson. Ralph Naranjo
Walter Thorne Tower, Jr. 1931-2019
alter Thorne Tower, Jr., passed away on November 30, 2019. Born on October 13, 1931, Walter grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, graduating from Newton High School in 1949 and Union College in 1953. A longtime fixture in Boston’s printing industry, Walter was the owner and president of Nimrod Press from 1970 to 1997. Walter’s sailing adventures started in the early 1960s aboard Wife of Bath, a 35-foot Alden yawl. Guided by his uncle, Francis Tower, Walter and his wife June learned the ropes, spending their summers sailing the New England coast and getting used to the cruising life with their four young boys as crew. As the 1960s progressed, Walter’s family outgrew the Wife of Bath and, in 1969, he transferred his flag to Flying Fish, a 47-foot gaff-rigged schooner, designed and built by the marine artist Frank Vining Smith as his summer home. The hull was a quarter-scale replica of the clipper ship Flying Fish. The rig was classic raked-back coastal pilot schooner. In 1970, Walter entered the Great Gloucester Schooner Race, his first sailboat race. Flying Fish won handily, earning her a trip to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and a chance to represent the United States in a reenactment of the Bluenose versus Gertrude L. Thebaud schooner race. Unfortunately, the winds were not with her, and Flying Fish lost to the Canadians. After a summer of cruising in Nova Scotia, Walter set his eyes on Europe and, in 1972, Flying Fish crossed the Atlantic. Unfortunately, Walter was forced to stay behind due to medical problems. His friends, Frank Wheelock and Brian Dalton (both CCA members), eagerly took the helm and delivered Flying Fish safely to England, where Walter retook command and continued to Denmark. With their teenage boys as crew, Walter and June spent the following summers cruising the Baltic and North Sea. They sailed as far east as Helsinki
Walter Thorne Tower, Jr.
and as far west as Bergen. When they found snow on the decks, it was time to turn south. Along the way, Flying Fish participated in many Operation Sail events, including a rare visit behind the Iron Curtain to Gdansk, Poland, in 1974, where her American ensign was worn threadbare as a parade of visitors viewed the fleet of tall ships. As the 1970s waned, Walter and June lost their self-made crew to colleges and careers. They decided that it was time for a more modest vessel and commissioned Chuck Paine to design Harry Tabard, a 42-foot cutter, which was launched in 1982. Harry Tabard was built to withstand the rigors of maritime Canada, where Walter and June spent their summers for the next 20 years. Nova Scotia, Quebec, Labrador, and Newfoundland became their home cruising grounds. Walter became one of the few members of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron hailing from the United States. He especially enjoyed sailing with his grandchildren in early July in the Bras d’Or Lakes and Magdalen Islands while waiting for the ice to break in the Strait of Belle Isle and Harry Tabard could leave for Labrador. Meeting local Inuit artists and collecting their works became a favorite pastime for both Walter and June. Walter often remarked that the east coast of Newfoundland was his favorite cruising ground. issue 63 2021
Walter proudly flew the burgee of the Cruising Club of America. He always welcomed fellow sailors aboard his boats, sharing stories and offering cruising advice. He passed on his love of sailing to his sons, their wives, his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren. His family and many friends will miss him. Ethan Tower
Glenn H. Wakefield 1950-2020
lenn Wakefield passed away peacefully at age 70 on October 5, 2020, in Victoria, British Columbia. Glenn was born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1950 to parents who emigrated from Portsmouth, England, and later settled in Victoria. Glenn’s lifelong dream began when he was a small boy on the beach looking out to sea and imagining himself one day sailing a small boat on a big ocean. Glenn was captivated by the adventures of Captain Cook, Sir Francis Chichester, and Sir Alec Rose, and throughout his life he read and reread hundreds of books about sailing, particularly those of the single-handers with whom he most closely identified—John Guzzwell, Robin Knox Johnston, and Dee Caffari. Tucked inside Glenn’s copy of Trekka Round the World was a note that Guzzwell had penned in 1999: “With today’s crowded cities and the pressures of modern day living, the sea offers space where one can have time to think about one’s destiny. I hope you have found contentment in life.” Glenn worked as a logger, fisherman, surveyor, and carpenter. A born adventurer, he traveled around the world in 1969–70, making lifelong friends wherever he went. He kept in touch with them for more than 50 years. He became a carpenter and worked alongside his father, building Wakefield Construction into an award-winning company, best known for heritage restoration of some
Glenn H. Wakefield
of Victoria’s iconic landmarks. Glenn’s love of his family was well known. He met MaryLou in 1979. They had two beautiful daughters, Claire and Nicola, his pride and joy. In 1997–98, the four of them spent a year sailing their Haida 26, Sannu II, across the South Pacific to New Zealand, then traveled around Australia and South Africa. Glenn owned five keel boats in his lifetime: a Cal 28, Doxy II; a Northney 34, Sannu Sannu; a Haida 26, Sannu II; a Cheoy Lee 40, Kim Chow; and his beloved West Wind II, a Sparkman & Stephens Comanche 42. He skippered boats in many Swiftsure Lightship Classic races and double-handed the West Coast Race with MaryLou in the early1980s. The thrill for him was not winning the race, but sharing the adventure of racing with family and friends. Glenn often resisted rules and formalities, and joked that he wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have him as a member. For him, it was more about the people, and he cherished the camaraderie of many friends at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of America, and the Ocean Cruising Club. Over his lifetime, Glenn logged 55,000 nautical miles of open ocean sailing and made three attempts at completing a single-handed nonstop circumnavigation his way—westabout. In 2007-08, on his first attempt and
after 221 days at sea, Glenn battled a series of storms which rolled Kim Chow and caused him severe injuries. He was rescued by the Argentinian navy and returned home. His second attempt was in 2013–14 in West Wind II. This time, his trip ended in the Indian Ocean in the middle of cyclone season as a result of rigging failure. Glenn’s final voyage began on September 6, 2020, from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. He was to sail south around Cape Horn and back to the precise location where he was rescued in 2008, 48˚10' S, 51˚ 57' W, near the Falkland Islands. He planned to make landfall in Argentina to finally meet the members of the Argentinian navy responsible for orchestrating his rescue, and then return home. Tragically, fate had other plans. Just ten days out, off the coast of San Francisco, Glenn suffered a severe stroke and was airlifted to a nearby medical facility by the U.S. Coast Guard. He was later returned to Victoria, where he passed away. Until the end of his life, Glenn was the master of his fate and the captain of his soul. He will be remembered as a loving husband, a dedicated father, and a loyal friend. He lived life with passion and inspired others to pursue their dreams. MaryLou Wakefield
Charles W. Wellington 1928-2020
ill Wellington was born August 6, 1928, in Jacksonville, Florida, and lived there continuously until his death on June 18, 2020, at age 91. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School and was an Eagle Scout. He served on submarines in the U.S. Navy. Most importantly, his life passion was under, on, and around boats. He was a highly skilled boat designer, builder, and sailor. As a young boy, he built his first boat, a kayak, with his father. His early years were spent learning to
Charles W. Wellington
sail and working on boats of all types on the Ortega River. There, he first designed and built racing hydroplanes, which he raced in Miami. At a young age, he became a much sought-after delivery captain, delivering fine yachts up and down the Atlantic coast and to the Bahamas and the Caribbean. As an adult, his reputation as an accomplished sailor, captain, innovative marine engineer, naval architect, and yacht builder grew. He was a very quiet and soft-spoken man. His accomplishments were evidence of his many talents. In 1968, he and his business partner, Boltie LeCompte, founded Wellington Boats, Inc., an early and innovative builder of custom fiberglass yachts. The Wellington 44 and 47 were stock designs with custom rigs and layouts. Bill was among the first to build fuel and water tanks of fiberglass. The company also built the Wellington 57 motor-sailor as well as power yachts, which Bill often delivered to their new owners along the U.S. East Coast and in the Caribbean. Boltie and Bill ran the business side of Wellington Boats as a team. Boltie, the chief financial officer, loved to sail and made many delivery passages with Bill. Somewhere along the way, she became Mrs. Wellington. On one passage, while delivering a new boat to its first owner in the Virgin Islands, they were approached by armed pirates in
international waters off the Dominican Republic. While Bill kept them occupied topsides, Boltie went below to the nav station and hailed the U.S. Coast Guard on the SSB, transmitting repeatedly their lat/long position and other critical information. Her loud booming voice scared off the pirates, and they withdrew. Bill and Boltie built three custom boats for their personal use, all named Rebel Venture. The last was a Wellington 57. They sailed all three across the Atlantic to the Med and back to the U.S. In addition to their wide-ranging cruising in the Med, they cruised the rivers and canals of France to Paris on their last voyage. Boltie wrote many articles describing their cruising adventures, which were published in Yachting, Motor Boating, Sailing, and Sail magazines. Bill’s last design and build, at age 88, was a lightweight, fast Wellington 30 powerboat. He built her with his longtime retired foreman, Kenny Lowe, and his close friend Joe Abood. Launched in 2016, she was a creation of love for all three lifelong friends. Bill was very proud to be a member of the Cruising Club of America, which he joined in 2000, proposed by his close friend Skip Barlow. He was also a member of the Florida Yacht Club. In 1985, he was inducted into the International Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. He is survived by his sister, Mrs. Robert Knipe; his niece, Laura Knipe; his daughter, Sandra Schwartz; his stepdaughter, Melissa Rehfus; four grandchildren and one great grandson. All his family and friends miss him greatly. Gus Hancock and Melissa Rehfus
William Blunt White 1926-2020
illiam Blunt (Bill) White, age 93, sailed over the horizon on the morning of September 16, 2020, with his son and daughter by his side.
He was the son of Marion White and G. W. Blunt White, CCA commodore in 1952-53, and thus was introduced to sailing at an early age. Bill was one of the CCA’s most senior members, having been elected in 1952, 67 years ago. He served as commodore in 1984-85, one of the few second-generation office holders. Bill graduated from Eaglebrook School, Exeter Academy, and Yale University. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the diesel submarine U.S.S. Becuna. He married Shelley Bindloss, daughter of CCA member Johnny Bindloss, in 1952. Bill and Shelley became known as one of the premier sailing couples in the Long Island Sound area, and one of the nicest and happiest anyone could know. Their marriage lasted for 64 years, ending with Shelley’s death in 2016.
William Blunt White
Bill also served as commodore of both the Off Soundings Club and the Wadawanuck Yacht Club. He belonged to the New York Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Ocean Cruising Club, and the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club. He was a lifetime member of the Mystic Seaport from 1942, serving as a trustee for 30 years (1962–1991) and trustee emeritus for a further 23 years. He contributed greatly to the museum, especially to the issue 63 2021
G.W. Blunt White Library. He served as a board member at Washington Trust, and was one of the early contributors to and a trustee of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. Bill was an experienced ocean racer. He skippered his own boat five times to Bermuda: White Mist, inherited after his father’s death, in 1962; Snow White, a Tartan 41, in 1974, 1978, and 1982; and White Mist II, a Swan 47, in 1984. He is said to have been happiest with the 1978 race, in which he won MHS Class C. On Snow White, each crew member was one of the seven dwarfs: I was “Bashful,” Sandy Van Zandt (ESS) was “Sneezy,” and Warren Woodworth (FLA) was “Doc.” Bill was “Prince Charming.” In 1976, Bill and Shelley chartered a Cal 36 to join the CCA cruise in the Pacific Northwest. Sandy Van Zandt said that they had a wonderful cruise in spite of hitting a floating log on the
first day and jamming the rudder. They got a tow from a powerboat into Bailey Sound. The next day, they were about to head up the sound to get the rudder fixed, but Howland (Jonesy) Jones (BOS) helped by loading down the bow with volunteers, which lifted the stern out of the water enough to saw the top off the rudder and clear the jam. After that, it was a wonderful cruise despite lots of fog and very little breeze. In 1978, Bill sailed White Mist II from Stonington to Spain in a joint CCA/OCC Azores rally that drew boats from both sides of the Atlantic. On the return voyage, he sailed from Spain via Gran Canaria to the Bahamas, then north to Stonington. He especially enjoyed sailboat racing and in 1978, won first-in-class in the Bermuda Race aboard Snow White. In 1985, he earned the John Parkinson Memorial Trophy for sailing White Mist II across the Atlantic
and back to Stonington. In 1987, Bill sailed White Mist II from Stonington to Newfoundland and explored its coves and bays. Bill also owned The Hawk (as a member of the Perfect Partnership, a CCA group), a Bill Tripp design and one of the early one-tonners. Later yachts included Green Pastures, a Wilbur 34 lobster yacht, and, finally, Summer White, an Alerion 28. Bill especially valued the spirit of teamwork in both sailing and business. Whether aboard his boat or in his business, there were many races and journeys. In addition to sailing, Bill loved fishing, hunting, traveling, and golf. He also loved dogs. His two favorites were a golden retriever named Sachem and a Brittany spaniel named Gillie. Bill is survived by two children, Blunt White and Kassy White; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Chris Wick
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a O O When shooting digital photos, set your camera’s Image uality and icture Size to High or Best. Anything less, and the photos will likely be too small to use in print. lease D T send laser, inkjet, or desktop photo-printing software printouts; photocopies; newspaper or magazine pages; or any low-resolution digital images. hotos become unusable when scanned or digitally resampled. 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 roperties to see pixel counts. The relationship between digital image pixels and maximum print size is as follows: 00 x 00 pixels 2 x 3 inches; 1200 x 1800 pixels 4 x inches; 2400 x 3000 pixels 8 x 10 inches. The more pixels a photo has, the better the clarity will be when printed. lease note that some online photo storage services automatically compress photos to a smaller file size. ead 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.
O O G We prefer photos T 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. O O
O lease limit the number of photos submitted to your 10 or 12 best images per article easy to say, hard to do. lease include a separate A TI IST as a Word file, with B IEF information for each image (location, people’s names, and boat names). abel each caption and image with a number or title that we can tie back to your article. aptions can easily be edited and refined once the article layout and design have been prepared, and it is di cult 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 (dropbox.com) or WeTransfer (wetransfer.com). 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 J EGs or TIFFs that are Windows- and -compatible.
i e i e
G From 1,000 to 3,500 words. Any article in excess of 3,500 words will be returned to the author to be edited. O Word document with m rma i or photos. lease 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 hotos - hoto Submission for further information). G For authors new to o a es, we can supply a comprehensive o a es St le if you look at this prior to submitting your article.
i e. It will help us immeasurably
Oa O O O lease include a short sailing-oriented biographical sketch and good digital photo of the author, the boat’s home port, and the author’s A station. lease note the station for each A member named in your article in the following format: ame (B S GM ). 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.
a lease include a digital image or photocopy of a map or nautical chart showing the places you visited, with your route clearly marked. O 2022 -O r 1 2021 Manuscripts submitted after the deadline will be held for the following year.
ri l a oya es i r - mi a Gr voyages cruisingclub.org r amigreen17 icloud.com
Our Last Words e
his is our final issue as editors of o a es. In 201 , when we returned to ortland, Maine, from our circumnavigation, we committed to a four-year tenure four issues. It doesn’t seem that long ago, actually. In a way, we were able to live vicariously and keep our cruising imagination alive as we read (and re-read and re-read) the wonderful cruising stories submitted by our members from all over the world. There were many unexpected pleasures. o a es authors are some of the most accomplished sailors in the club, perhaps even in the world, and working on their articles gave us a chance to get to know them, if only at the end of an email. Who, for example, would turn down an invitation from Steve and inda Dashew to come aboard for a tour of o ise following publication of their 2018 article, featuring a ,000-mile shakedown cruise into the trade winds either of us had ever been involved in publishing. We thank Doug and Dale Bruce (the original arm-twisters) and the club for taking a chance and giving us the opportunity to learn a whole new set of skills. We didn’t know how rewarding it would be to watch the raw material stories in draft form and, more often than not, beautiful photos come in and be transformed into a finished publication. And who would have thought that we would enjoy being a part of the inner workings of the club We have been struck by how well people work together, and we credit the club’s leadership for achieving this. In every instance, we have had complete support in all things related to o a es. voyages
utting the magazine together involves a cast of characters. We must first thank our outstanding team of designers whose creative talents do so much to make the magazine what it is. They are: laire MacMaster of Barefoot Art Graphic Design (who, in addition to working on articles, puts the pieces together to make the magazine print-ready); artist Tara aw ✧; and Hillary Steinau of amden Design Group. Their unique graphic signatures appear at the end of each article. Eagle-eyed irginia Wright of amden, Maine, assists us in proofreading and editing. We also want to express our appreciation to the many club members who have generously volunteered their help and assistance. In particular, we are grateful to Maggie Salter, who has graciously agreed to continue as the editor of Final oyages next year, and our excellent crew of editorial advisors (see the masthead on page one for a complete listing). ext year, your new editors will be Ami and Bob Green. We have already been in extensive contact and we know that they will do a superb job. We are delighted that they have agreed to take on o a es and hope that it will be as satisfying and enjoyable for them as it has been for us.
Second Shots Bonus images from the issue ...
Mo’orea, French Polynesia.
Tower Bridge, near St. Katherine Docks.
Owls Head lighthouse, Rockland, Maine.
The Union Jack in Greenland.
Film crew member, Hamza Yassin, takes a leap of faith.
The Places Places We We Sailed Sailed The Places The We Sailed