I have spent the last ten years pursuing a dream of living ‘Off-Grid’ in a truly carbon-neutral way. Wind powered travel on an ocean, using solar electricity and recycling an abandoned boat, restoring it with recycled equipment, then setting out around the Caribbean in a zero-impact format
January 2014 to September 2014:
5000 Sea Miles as Master of 37ft International Sailing Yacht ‘Sandpiper of Ynys-Las’, navigating and negotiating hurricane-season passage-making into Cuba and North West Caribbean down America’s Atlantic East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.
Passage making: Crew Training, Welfare, Immigration Legals, Hazardous Weather/Hurricane Negotiation, Ocean Navigation, Safety, and All Technical Systems.
10,000 Sea miles, and RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Course (not yet examined). Yacht deliveries as Crew and First Mate in UK, Europe, USA and Caribbean
2008 S.V. Sensa – British Classic Yacht Club Regatta,
Racing Sensa, 31ft Swedish Metre Boat, from 1937. We sailed from Plymouth in a ‘shakedown cruise’, before arriving on the Isle of Wight, for a fabulous sun-and-wind-filled week of thrashing around the Solent and the Isle of Wight. Position:Midshipman, Skipper: Cornelius Van Der Rijke.
2008 – S.V. Frenessi
Delivery of Frenessi of Clynder, gorgeous 1959 McGruer Yawl, from Poole to Lowestoft, via Brighton, across the Thames estuary, and up the gateway to the north sea in November. Remarkably convivial and relaxed project – mainly due to the excellent skipper, Tom Board. Position – First mate, Skipper – Tom Board
1997 S.V. First Choice
The opportunity of a passage home to the UK up the Atlantic, via Madeira, Portugal, and across Biscay was too tempting to pass-up. I had a wedding to get to in Sussex! First Choice, 45ft Bermudan Sloop, Built by Beneteau, France. Position – Crew, Skipper: Jim Widdowson.
‘…This is not mysticism, but identification – man building this greatest and most personal of all tools, has in turn received a boat-shaped mind, and the boat a man-shaped soul.’ (John Steinbeck; The Log from the Sea of Cortez)
May 2013-September 2013
The ‘Resurrection’ of Sandpiper, 37ft Blue Water Ketch (Built and Commissioned by John Laudadio, Middle River, Maryland, USA, 1972). Copy of Carleton Mitchell’s Bermuda race-winning yawl of 1954, Finisterre in Ferro-Cement Completion of seven-year ‘keel-up’ unassisted full technical foreign refit of ocean-going yacht, to include solar and wind-generator systems, diesel engine installation, engineering of electrical self-sufficiency, water and sanitation system, electronic navigation, fibreglass, fine carpentry, cement repairs, self-teaching and supply logistics.
December 2013 to January 2014:
Preparation and repair of Yacht ‘Impossible Dream’ for Quadraplegic Transatlantic Sailing Attempt. Multimarine, Millbrook, Cornwall.
Refit and cruise-preparation of Solace II, of Fowey, 58ft Bermudan sloop. (Commissioned and built by H.L.Peel, Fowey, Cornwall, 1901) San Diego, CA.
May 1999 – 2015
Restoration and Maintenance of Teakwork, Brightwork, and Deck of Vera Mary, 61ft Schooner, (Commissioned by King George V, 1932) – Sunshine Maritime, Gran Canaria,
Sea and White Water Kayak trips and marine conservation, including White Nile, Bujugali Uganda. Cardigan Bay Expedition-Work – Crew on Marine Survey Vessel – Cetation Statistics.
Bujugali Falls, White Nile, Uganda. Whilst on a research mission to Uganda, investigating the life of an old family friend, and the history of Ugandan and African Politics, I needed a break, and heard, whilst catching a bus in Kampala, of Bujugali Falls. Even with thirty-five years of Kayaking behind me, I’m not the world’s most technical canoeist. It was my first ever outing in a playboat, not really understanding that people had come from around the world to Kayak what I had stumbled across (just like the explorer Speke had the century before), which is arguably the biggest standing wave in the world. Another fine mess I’d got myself into. Thanks be for my bullet-proof eskimo roll.