How to take a Mini across Europe

Once the excitement of buying a new boat faded away and my Pogo was safely resting in Marseille for the winter, I started pondering seriously about how on earth I would manage to bring it home, or more precisely, to the Life Harbour in Limanu. As the winters tend to be long and mostly dark, they are perfect for adventure dreaming. With Google Earth opened in the cozy comfort of my home, I plotted different routes from Marseille to the Black Sea. And as it usually happens, it was just an email exchange with Marc, who graciously took care of…

But then better things come around… (Part 2 of a long transitional post)

Alas, it took me more than a year to get going again and retie the loose ends of my sailing stories 🙂 Just before Easter 2016 I received a call from a person interested in finding out more about Mem Pas Peur. Since for the previous six months I had already spoken to more than a dozen potential buyers and travelled many times to show them the boat without any second calls, I did not expect much from this new contact. But in any case I decided to give the boat a thorough sweeping, which was required any ways after…

Book Review: Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum

After a tough  introduction into the hard-core world of solo sailing, not to mention in an open boat, I was totally hooked and decided that I should continue the study of the history of small boat sailing from its beginnings, namely from the first ever solo circumnavigation. This mighty feat was achieved by Joshua Slocum, an experienced sailor from Nova Scotia at the turn of the 19th century, in his 36-foot sloop Spray. Using solely traditional methods of navigation he undertook and East-West circumnavigation, and in its course he was also the first to cross the Straits of Magellan in…

Book Review: Bumfuzzle – Just Out Looking For Pirates, by Patrick Schulte

I received this book as a gift from one of my best friends who was about to embark on a cruising vacation on a catamaran in the Cyclades. Talking passionately about my first sailing experience in the Greek islands, I convinced him that chartering a boat is the best way to explore the Aegean Sea. A regular sailboat seemed a bit small  and uncomfortable in rolling for my friend Mihai and as a consequence he made up his mind for a big cat. Wanting to get some prior experience about living on and sailing a catamarn, he came upon this…

Book Review: The Ocean Waits, by Webb Chiles

I had to know how Webb Chiles’ open boat circumnavigation ended… and so I followed him from the New Hebrides where he recovered his boat, all the way to Saudi Arabia where he was imprisoned and lost his boat again, only this time for good. And then again a year later, with a new identical boat departing from the Red Sea, crossing the Mediterranean and reaching the Canary Islands. Overall, his voyage is a true inspirational story and his feat unique in the history of small boat sailing. After reading many-many accounts of single-handed voyages, Webb’s books still remain among…

Book Review: The Open Boat: Across the Pacific, by Webb Chiles

And since after reading Storm Passage I have become a huge fan of Webb Chiles, I decided to continue my sailing readings with Webb’s depiction of his second voyage, his bold attempt to cross the oceans in an open boat. And I was not disappointed – his adventures surpassed everything I could have imagined. His boat was capsized twice, he endured strong gales, experienced unique moments in the Pacific islands, and finally lost his boat and drifted for two weeks in his life raft before managing to come ashore on an island in the New Hebrides…. Fabulous stuff, although I…

Book Review: STORM PASSAGE: Alone Around Cape Horn, by Webb Chiles

This was my first modern sailing narrative and I could not have picked a better one! Webb Chiles, now a 5 time circumnavigator and the first one to circle the world in an open boat in the late 70s – early 80s, describes in a vivid and sometimes humorous manner his first attempt at rounding Cape Horn. In doing so with a leaky boat that required an enormous amount of bailing every day, he became the first American sailor to round the famous cape on solitaire. Born and raised far from the sea and completely self-taught in the art of…