Engineers with presence

Originally published in Engineers Australia, August 2014

My father was an engineer who became the CEO of a small utility company based in the State of Maine just across the Canadian border in the US. He grew up in Portland and spent his entire working life at the same firm. When I was 16, he and my mother took our family on a ‘grand tour’ of Europe. What interested Dad the most, as we moved from the UK across the Continent, was the varied designs of the water towers he discovered en route…

Choosing the right crew

Originally published in Ocean Navigator magazine.

Finding eager and competent crew while voyaging can be a challenge. The question of how many crew one should engage to help safely sail a small boat around the world is a tough one. Obviously, it’s a matter of personal choice. Some sailors prefer to sail alone and others feel safer and happier with help on board…

More tricky passages

Originally published in Ocean Navigator magazine.

In the September 2013 issue of Ocean Navigator (#212) I wrote about two of our four trickiest passages during our five-year circumnavigation: 1) up and down the Strait of Malacca, and 2) along the “Wild Coast” of South Africa. The other two, in and out of New England, and in and out of New Zealand, I’ll discuss here…

Cents and Sensibility

Originally published in Ocean Navigator magazine.

The big question for most aspiring voyagers is: “Can we afford to embark on the voyage of our dreams?” It’s one that must be answered honestly and as accurately as possible. There are as many budgets that can support a round-the-world voyage as there are people out there trying to accomplish it…

Two tricky passages

Originally published in Ocean Navigator magazine.

On our circumnavigation aboard our Montevideo 43, Bahati, we found there were four particularly tricky passages. The most challenging passages were: 1) in and out of New England, 2) in and out of New Zealand, 3) up and down the Strait of Malacca (connecting Malaysia and the Indonesian archipelago), and, finally, 4) the stretch of water known as the “Wild Coast” connecting Durban and Port Elizabeth and onward to Cape Town, South Africa…

Tapping into 20-something power

Originally published in Ocean Navigator magazine.

When Bahati, my Montevideo 43, landed on Christmas Island, the first stop in our 2010 Indian Ocean crossing, I had three 29-year-old crewmembers on board, all male. It had been eight days since our escape from Bali and the crew were a bit desperate for female companionship. Within three hours of landing the guys had discovered the Golden Bosun Tavern and three Bundabergs later they’d scoped-out and befriended the entire bar staff, including a wild-looking young Aussie woman who called herself “Kathy.” …