Hi, I've been lurking for a few years now but finally decided to take a more active part in the forum life. I joined initially just for OpenCPN
info but there is really more than that available here. I have been cruising for 26 years now since leaving my home port of Cape Town
, South Africa
so I believe that I have something to contribute in terms of experience.
I'm totally deaf and would enjoy linking with other deaf sailors if there are any here and I'm also a cat lover. My current
cat being a polydactyl Maine
Coon called Skatty.
My particular sailing interest is junk rig
and I design rigs and make sails
for anyone who would like me to. I'm also happy to discus, help and share information on junk rigs.
Cats and sailing have been my life long passion and a cat has always sailed with me on my boats. Which is fitting, as a feline adopted me when I was seven and ever since, felines have been a part of my life.
had no sailing background apart from a great grandfather who was a seaman at the beginning of the twentieth century. However when at the age of 11 I met a boy on the docks in the East London (South Africa) harbour. The boy was off a cruising yacht that was passing through. I made friends with the lad and quickly developed a passion for boats and sailing that has never died.
Among the highlights of my sailing career, I had the good fortune to be the captain
of “Acid Rain” a 38’ ketch
with two blind crew (the first blind persons to sail across the South Atlantic as an active crew aboard a sailing yacht) in the 1993 Cape Town
(South Africa) to Rio (Brazil).
I built my boat La Chica from 1989 to 1991 and then launched her in Cape Town, South Africa
. Left with cat Tommy to go cruising in 1994. In the process I have had the dubious pleasure of experiencing 4 hurricanes, the worse being Luis a cat 4 hurricane
while in Simpsons Bay, St. Martine… we survived intact sadly so many others did not. I went on to have circumnavigate and arrived in New Zealand
in 2002. That was supposed to be for a year or two but I landed a job, then rebuilt La Chica as she was due for a major overhaul
and so I took the opportunity.
wise, I served an apprenticeship with Naval Architect Anglo Lavranos (Cape Town, SA) in the late 1970's but later became a professional computer programmer and boat builder
. In New Zealand
, I worked for Johnson Yachts International Ltd. as a development engineer
Currently I'm in the computer business again. I also design junk rigs and make junk sails
for both local and international clients.