Posts Tagged ‘sailing’

If you’ve every dreamed of a quieter, simpler life – then this short story is for you.  Though it’s a favourite among cruising sailors (for obvious reasons when you read it), Martyr’s story is really about the yearning all of us feel from time to time to be FREE. (more…)


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We can all celebrate the achievement of Geoff Holt who recently became the first quadriplegic person to sail across the Atlantic when he completed the 3000-mile voyage from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.  It was there 25 years ago that Geoff suffered the accident while diving that left him paralyzed from the chest down.  He has limited use of his arms and hands. (more…)

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Passage to Juneau, A Sea and Its Meaning by Jonathan Raban.

The Northwest Coast of North America – up through the island-strewn Inside Passage of British Columbia and north to Alaska – is one of the most fascinating sailing areas in the world.  Thousands of people travel up there on enormous cruise ships every summer; so when I saw that Jonathan Raban has made the voyage in his own sailboat I was eager to settle into my berth, forget the world, and enjoy a fascinating yarn of the sea by one of best contemporary English writers. (more…)

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Severn class lifeboat of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute - the same type that came to rescue us.

What probably happened is that we hit something hard as we fell off a big wave — maybe a length of stout timber or a log.  We soon realized there was more water in the boat than had come down the companionway and that it was still coming in.

We started bailing and looking for a broken hose or other source of the cold sea water. It was already night, the seas were big, the wind strong and the air cold. With four strong men bailing continuously with a bucket and a big saucepan we seemed to be keeping up with the water coming into the boat. But with the boat rolling as she was lifted on each wave, sea water soon flooded our batteries. At any moment we might lose all electrical power – lights, radio, navigation equipment and our ability to start the diesel engine. So we immediately started the engine –while we still could. Once running, diesel engines need no spark. (more…)

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Dawn over Portsmouth, the Spinnaker Tower on the left.

Only one more month of the RYA fasttrack Yachtmaster course to go before the final exam.  The challenge in these last weeks is to keep focused and 100% engaged despite being very familiar with the sailing area (The Solent) and the manoevres and navigation.

I’ve had the privilege of crewing for four other candidates during their exams (3 passed, 1 unfortunately failed) which has allowed me to see how the exams are conducted, and the demands and the pitfalls.  The biggest dangers are exam nerves and complacency. (more…)

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