Monday, November 20, 2017

Fabulous Day of Positive Feedback

Today started out with this note from our friends Fred and Chris, who have just bought their dream cruising yacht, a catamaran called Sea Jay. They come from New York but they bought the boat in South Africa, and sailed her first to St. Helena. Not the typical first leg of a cruise. From St. Helena, they sent us this note:

Hi Daria.  Greetings St Helena where we arrived from Cape Town on Saturday.  We are off to Fernando de Naranhas off of Brazil tomorrow.  I thought of you and Alex yesterday because we are living the dream -- as you did.  We might have done it anyway but the example the two of you set helped us see that it was possible, so thanks for that.
Fred and Chris

 Wow. To know you influenced someone's life is a powerful emotion.

Then on our website, we received this note:
Cory N Mendy When we sold everything and purchased our cruising boat, the closest I had ever come to a sailboat was seeing a few mast tops in Daytona when driving over the bridge. 2 years later, we were setting anchor as Irma was about to pass 60nm south of us. Sustained hurricane force winds and gusts 100kn plus for 12 hours, TS conditions for over 24 hours. Boat is fine. 

The techniques in this book, coupled with thoughtful investment in the whole anchoring system have provided many restful nights. Thank you for writing it in a way a neophyte and and an experienced cruiser can understand and learn from. 

Every purchase of a cruising boat should come equipped with the collected works of Nigel Calder, The Pardey's "Storm Tactics", The Boat Galley Cookbook and The Art of Anchoring.
Happy Hooking - The Art of Anchoring. Thank you very much for your thoughtful words!
Commented on by Alex Blackwell4 hrs
Cory N Mendy Well deserved. Anyone can acquire information and knowledge, but the ability to present and teach it to others at such a high level is a rare skill.

Wow, to have two such powerful messages in one day. I feel very blessed to have made a difference in people's lives. Often, we have no idea who we've touched in the course of our lives. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

There are no roses on a sailor’s grave,
No lilies on an ocean wave.
The only tribute is the seagulls’ sweeps,
And the teardrops that a sweetheart weeps.
—German song

Another sailor has perished in the Clipper Around the World Ocean Race. Simon Speirs, a crew member on the yacht "Great Britain", was helping to change a sail at the bow of the 70-foot boat when he was knocked over the side in the Indian Ocean. He was clipped in and wearing a life jacket with AIS but somehow got separated from the yacht. He was recovered 36 minutes later but could not be revived. It will be important to learn why his tether did not keep him secured to the boat. Simon was buried at sea. RIP.

No Roses: British version

No crosses mark the ocean waves;
No monuments of stone.
No roses grow on sailor's graves,
The Sailor rests alone

His tributes are the sea gulls' sweeps,
Forever wild and free . . .
And teardrops that his sweetheart weeps
To mingle with the sea


Saturday, November 18, 2017

The rise of adventure yachting

I suppose it all started with yacht chartering. Being able to fly to the South Pacific and charter a yacht for a couple of weeks was adventurous at some point in time when it was first introduced. If you couldn't sail across oceans, you could at least explore the destinations.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Back to Galicia

Anchored in the Cies

In October, Alex and I had a chance to return to Galicia and go sailing for another week. We'd spent two months there in the Rias Baixas this summer.  The Ryanair flights from Dublin are only twice a week. We flew out on a Thursday morning and were on the boat before noon. It was a foggy, drizzly kind of day and we were wondering what to expect.

Nevertheless, we trudged up the hill from Punta Lagoa to town with our trusty cart and shopping bags to provision. The Froiz was open and the bakery still had one loaf of fresh bread. Yeah!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

European Congress of Nautical Tourism

Hosted by the Monte Real Club Nautico de Bayona
Baiona, 27-29 October 2017

In attendance on behalf of OCC:
Daria Blackwell, Rear Commodore
Alex Blackwell, Regional Rear Commodore, Ireland

Representatives from 24 yacht clubs and cruising associations from Britain, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Spain took part in a 2½ day conference on cruising in Galicia, Spain. Several specialist media representatives also participated. Representatives from ten marina and service organisations were in attendance as were members of the regional tourism and harbour development authorities.