Navigating the open sea is without a doubt the purist form of adventure one can achieve in this world tamed by the almighty dollar. Rich men in thier yachts have sea stories and while the experiences of these yachtsman surely exist they pale in comparison to those who made the same journeys in sailing craft that at first glance may appear to be more fitted for lake travel than that of crossing oceans.
Since the beginning of time the true sailing yacht has come sans engine, a proper and seaworthy yacht with a seasoned and confident crew can sail in and out of any situation the captian finds the need of entertaining. Put the Falmouth Cutter designed by Lyle Hess next to any other boat in any yard across the world and you will see one very distinct difference. The FC wasn’t designed to sell to sailors wives at boat shows, she wasn’t designed to be mass produced or built by any economy other than that of surviving the ravages of the sea. She is a work of art, strong, simple, beautiful from any angle, a true blue water ship that can be obtained by any blue collar sailor with the passion to do so.
Unfortunately for this little ship we are at a financial standstill, a cross roads where ownership came with its costs but finishing the last fidly bits in a region where not only the weather dictates progress but also very seasonal employment. The thought of passing this boat on is a painful one but it’s Either that or find a way to ship her somewhere where we can both earn an honest living and finish this little masterpiece we call home.l
With her long run, hollow bow and fat Buttox she is a lady of very few moods. She doesn’t squat, get cranky off the wind, doesn’t suffer from weather helm and can easily carry a bounty fit for the small crew that she can carry across the sea in comefort and style. It’s the crew and thier courage, skill and desire that makes the voyage of a small yacht a success. No need for inboard engines, radar or depth Saunder or any of the other modern day instruments that destroy the challange of crossing oceans. To the voyagers on thier small yachts it’s the wind and waves that they set off to seek and where thier challange lies. To navigate by the stars, steer by the wind and truly feel thier diminutive size on a sea larger than the land from which the ship and her sailors kcame. A battle of wind and waves, ships in the night, uncharted islands, fog, lightning and all the other things that frighten the most experienced of us for we know full well what lies ahead.
Working on Sookies self steering is turning out to be far more of a challange than I had originally thought, she will set off from the east coast straight into the Bowles of the Bermuda Triangle, short stacked seas too much wind and currents that will challange the best of the best of sailors, even those with thier huge rumbling Diesel engines and a every modern aid to navigation, we will do it with paper charts, a sextant and a lead line.
I know for a fact that thier are dozens of modern adventures out there, they slip through the cracks preferring the quiet solitude of ananymity so there are no charts for us to follow. When Lin and Larry Pardey retired from voyaging it was the end of an era for those of us who prefer the purist form of sailing and enjoy the ramblings of others who share the sail though books and the web. There is nothing easy about living this life of simplicity but I have been given the gift of gab so as much as I would prefer to silently drift about, the story will continue.
“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”
― Rosa Luxemburg