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Old 07-09-2009, 16:02   #31
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High latitudes also. Just give me that 50' alu van de stadt and a new set of sails ...


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Old 07-09-2009, 17:02   #32
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Looking back I had always had an interest in boats. Along with everyone else I played with toy yachts as a kid, then grew up and went on several motorboat/cruiser holidays. But it was just fun-on-holiday stuff and I didn't feel any kind of passion for being afloat at that point. Various other interests came and went but in 2000 I found myself on a yacht for the first time and I loved every minute of it. The moment I fell in love with sailing came not long after.

It was on a clear, moonlit night in the middle of the English Channel on the way back from France. On a joint watch at about 1am, I looked up in awe as millions of stars shone like I'd never seen before, phosphorescence glowed in the water all around the boat and then a pod of dolphins appeared way off the port bow, only visible by the glow from the phosphorescence around them as they swam towards us like torpedoes on a collision course. As the pod reached us they split up and began swimming every which way under the boat. It was a surreal moment - magical even. I went below to wake up a crew member who I knew wouldn't want to miss what was happening. As I made my way forward I could hear the dolphins squeaking and squealing through the side of the hull. We went on deck, clipped on and made our way to the bow of the boat - the phosphorescence clearly lighting up each and every dolphin - maybe 40 of them. It almost felt like I'd been drugged! Wow what a trip! I lay down and stretched out my arm. A dolphin turned on it's side and a flipper sprayed us both with salty water. I swear it was looking at us.

Almost getting carried away there just recounting that moment, but that was when I fell in love with sailing and I promised myself that I would one day have my own boat. The plan then gradually evolved into living aboard and the coconut milk run Anyone wanna buy a house?

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Old 08-09-2009, 06:54   #33
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Originally Posted by maxingout View Post

I am a person after your own heart. I have a severe allergy to high lattitude offshore cruising. If I had to do a high lattitude circumnavigation, I would have never sailed around the world. I am a trade wind sailor at heart, and I am allergic to storms in the tradewind belt as well.

When I was younger and had a my Westsail 32, thoughts of a southerly circumnavigation around the southern capes passed through my mind. Fortunately, I outgrew this dream, and I settled into a trade wind trip. For me it was the right dream and the right decision. Some people need to go to the high lattitudes to prove themselves and their yachts. It works for them, and that's just fine.

It really doesn't matter where you sail; what matters is that you are living your dreams.
It's not really a matter of needing to "prove yourself" as that's foolish. I've done all my sailing at higher latitudes and it is what it is. It is more solitary, and a lot less touristy. Works for me as I don't like crowds.Every time I think of going south I think of the packed anchorages and the Moorings ads. If and when I get back to the Atlantic I'll turn left- the scenery is better.
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Old 11-09-2009, 20:55   #34
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My sail boat epiphany

In 1978 after finishing my hospital residency in Darwin NT OZ, three friends and I were hanging down at Dinah Beach with the cruising pirates.

Their cllub house was a tug that had washed up courtesy of Cyclone Tracey in 1974 that had devastated Darwin. We met a pommy who had already circumnavigated once & was off on a second go. Unfortunately he had got married in Sydney where he had a ferrocement Roberts 34 built by the same builders who did Helsal.

The newly weds struck a nasty storm in the Gulf of Carpentaria on the way to the Top End and his blushing bride immediately jumped ship and headed back to the big smoke. She left him with the usual two options - "It is either me or that boat".

The groom was desperate to sell. He wanted 34K and we had 16K. The boat was full of supplies, sails that had never been used and charts all the way to the UK. None of us four had ever been on a sail boat of any description before. The boat was built like a besser block, short stumpy mast & undercanvassed as he was used to sailing in the high latitudes. Average boat speed in the tropics was 3 kts. I once saw the log hit 9kts surfing down a wave under bare poles in a cyclone in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The lonely groom eventually accepted our 16K. We had two learning sails on the harbor with one of the cruisers (?Jeff off a ferroC Roberts 45 "Gandalf" - wonda where he & his boat are?) and two weeks after splashdown we set off roughly in the direction of East Timor, recently invaded by the Indos. Ain't it great to be 26 and immortal.

Off we went, no liferaft, no radio, no sailing experience BUT did have two cases of Jack Daniels & hundreds of old Playboy magazines to use as bribes in Indonesia (the latter) & we were a lusty lot.

Learnt all my sailing from mistakes and reading books. I did read "Dove" on that trip - great book.

I was away for two years. We made money running surf trips to Grudjigan in East Java from Bali. One of the co-owners now does deliveries on super yachts from the Med.

Did not have another boat for 20 years until 1999 when I chartered a Beneteau 45 in the Whitsundays. Two months later, bought a 33 ft Crowther cat (not being stupid, I didn't buy a mono) & cruised east coast OZ for five years then purchased our present cat 12 months ago. Hauling anchor and heading north from Brisbane as soon as I return from this rig tow.

I am no longer immortal but am a much better sailor but still reading them books.

Paul & Kaspar de Wonda Dog
S/V "Pelican V"
"Trust not a living soul and step warily around the dead"
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