This Site is a `picture’ of my life since retirement … and I’m trying to pass onto the reader the feeling/sensation of sailing solo (mostly) since 2004 … now a total of 32,000 nmiles as at 2010. When complete it will be a LOT of reading, with hundreds of photographs … but there’s been a lot happen.
For those who know nothing about me … I’ve added the detail below. Hope you enjoy!
My working history has been one involved primarily in the Motor Vehicle Industry. I worked through a five year apprenticeship as an Automotive Engineer … then won a job with General Motors Holden (GMH) as a Service Rep., enjoyed a promotion to Sales Promotion Manager for GMH, in the State of Western Australia (WA) … then in 1971, bought an established GMH Retail Dealership in a small country Town (Carnarvon, WA). After ten years, having sold the Dealership, my family and I returned to Perth, WA and I found a job in Local Government. This experience took me through to retirement.
My Family life revolved around marriage to Erica in 1964 … the production of two gorgeous daughters, Melanie and Arianne (who has now produced my only Grand Child, Sienna).
* L/R … Self …Arianne (younger daughter) … Sienna (Grand Daughter) … Erica (Wife until 2006) *
* Melanie and Dad … Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia *
My retirement date came around through July, 2004 … and I was more than ready for it! Having recently divorced and split our assets … it occurred to me I was in a position to lead a life in retirement, of considerable change! My health was good and I had the finance to buy a new home in the form of a 10 metre sailing catamaran yacht. A vessel was found in Sydney and I became the owner of a four year old 10 metre Seawind 1000 catamaran.
* `SV Tsunami’ (name when vessel was bought … and later changed to `SV Déjà vu III’ *
I've been sailing solo for six (6) years around the East coast of Australia … Indonesia … Singapore … Malaysia … Thailand … Borneo … Brunei. And have just finished sailing from Langkawi, Malaysia, to the Mediterranean … via Sri Lanka … India … Maldives … Oman … Yemen … Eritrea … Sudan … Egypt … Turkey and at this time, (October, 2010) I’m in Greece.
* Historic Port Sawakin, Sudan, Red Sea *
Whilst in Borneo, Déjà vu competed in the `Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2009' ... which took us from Miri, Sarawak ... to the island of Labuan and on to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. For us it was a fun time, as I don't pressure Déjà vu to race ... she's purely a cruising vessel, however, we did gain a second place on the leg from Labuan to Kota Kinabalu. Hoorah for the handicap system!
* 2nd place in our Class for the last leg. Thank goodness for the `Handicap’ system. People in photo L/R ... Skipper Lloyd and 1st Mate BeBe (Bravo) Speed, UK. *
* There are unexpected obstacles off the coast of Borneo … would you expect to see a Palm Grove? *
Through December, 2009, Deja vu and I spent two weeks in Singapore having two new motors fitted (old units have reached the end of their reliable life!) … in preparation for the long haul to the Mediterranean. This proved an essential investment as the motors worked at least 70% of the time to keep the yacht moving. Lack of wind is a major problem on that journey of five months!
* One of two new Yamaha 9.9 Motors. Arguably my salvation for the Red Sea run? *
I was extremely lucky to have a Canadian woman fly to Langkawi to take the position of 1st Mate … and she proved a very competent sailor.
* 1st Mate Bev … and some of the `Stores’! *
I had planned to sail to Phuket, Thailand, for 1-2 weeks through December, 2009, for the making of a new `Screecher’ sail ... however, being a flexible Dude; I contracted to have the sail made in NZ ... and for it to be delivered to me in Langkawi. I'm also an optimist and relied on my luck to have the sail meet me at the appointed place, on time.
* Without Sails, we go nowhere! 1st Mate Beverly helping with repairs. *
We thought we would sail in company with other yachts during the journey to the Med ... however, in leaving one month late (due to servicing problems with Déjà vu) … we sailed alone for 99% of the time. By the way, this IS NOT recommended by the Naval Forces patrolling the Gulf of Aden.
* `Coalition Warship #56’ … looking after Déjà vu and Crew … no doubt about that! *
There will be more in the body of the Website soon!
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."Spoken by Ratty to Mole in Wind in the Willows a children's book by Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)"