- About sailorxyz
- Vessel Make/ model
- One off 39ft 3 mast Junk Schooner
- Vessel Name
- Le Canard Bleu
- New Zealand
- NA, Boatbuilder & IT
- Sailing, Reading & Cats
- I was born in East London, South Africa on the 3rd of September, 1957. At the age of approximately one year, I caught Rubella (German measles) and Whooping Cough simultaneously. The resulting fever damaged my hearing nerve and I became profoundly deaf.
I relied on lip-reading alone until December 2000 when having become totally deaf I became a candidate for a cochlear implant. The implant has been so, so but it does mostly help.
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.
My family 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.
Work wise, I served an apprenticeship with Naval Architect Anglo Lavranos 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.
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- Steadman Uhlich
- Marine Service Provider