It has been an amazing year leading up to this day where I will sail off from the UK with hundreds of like-minded individuals on this Clipper Round The World Race.
My year has been full of so many challenges starting first with my decision to retire from work before it is too late for me to pursue other interests whatever those might entail. I first wanted to get back into the boating/sailing world but to experience that in ways different than when we owned the J24 sailboat and did around—the-bouys racing in Southern California. Long story short – in my quest for a new boat and new experiences I secretly purchased a Northeaster rowing/sailing dory sailboat kit and had it shipped from the east coast manufacturer toour home in California thinking it would be no small deal and quite fun to build and subsequently get back on the waters around our home.
I commenced building that while simultaneously getting sucked into interest in a much lager blue-water capable vessel and as I tend to do I obsessed on this until I had convinced myself that a used Bristol Channel Cutter would fit the bill nicely.
Article captioned above gives a good idea of the boat which is 28 foot long on deck with bowsprit protruding on the front and boomkin on the back end it is actually 37 foot in total length. In boating bigger is not necessarily better but is most certainly more expensive to purchase and own and maintain. I settled on this size boat as near perfect compromise.
Problem: Sheila was not quite having it. Not ready to retire and get on one of these small vessels with me. We did try to make it to a wooden boat show in Port Townsend Washington but just could not make our work schedules align. This was in the fall of last year. In frustration I ended up booking a weekend flight to Baltimore to attend the annual Annapolis Boat show as there were some very promising, in my mind, Bristol Channel Cutters for sale or as they say here in the UK: On Offer.
I spent literally the better part of 2 days sitting on BCC Pinocchio dreaming of what I would do if it was mine. The boat was beautiful. Every ounce of above decks wood was covered in pristine varnish and just gorgeous.
From the Stern
I took so many detailed photos of this boat in those two days but sadly don’t have an overall picture. It is a little bit cramped for head room for a 6 foot plus person like myself. In my mind that and the excessive exterior teak varnish are the only issues and I was quite willing to compromise on those.
However Sheila was just not quite having it. Not yet ready to retire and sail away. Can’t you find other people with boats who might need additional crew. We know from our previous boat owning days that good crew is highly sought after. But is that only in sailboat racing and the aspect of boating I was wanting to get away from or so I thought?
Purely by happenstance I was passing through the boat show exhibit tents and a brochure image caught my eye for a mere instant, long enough for the person manning the booth to start up a conversation about the Clipper Round The World Race and how they recruit crew persons from around the world, many with little or no prior sailing experience, train and equip them properly to sail their fleet of 11 high performance ocean racing yachts on an year long 40 thousand nautical mile circumnavigation race around the globe. So do I dare return from the boat show empty-handed with just an answer to Sheila’s question?
Well that is just what I did. I spent a few months agonizing the decision but around the turn of the year 2018 to 2019 I pulled the trigger and signed full on into this adventure that for real starts today.
Please stay tuned for more posts and go here as a starting point to following me and others as we sail around the world: https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/race/crew-supporters
Also the race viewer is here: https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/race/standings