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Reaching Back In

by John Curnow, Global Editor, 14 Oct 2020 07:00 UTC
Rebak Marina long term resident © Hugh & Heather Bacon

In July we ran the editorial, Reaching Out. In it, we delighted on the number and range of people who make contact with us. As you know, our Managing Editor Mark Jardine and I really do appreciate everyone who makes such an effort to say hi and more. So thank you - really appreciated.

Recently, Hugh Bacon got back in touch. We had not published anything from them since January, when in their series, Memories of a Circumnavigation, we got from Egypt to Turkey. Now Hugh and Heather have been terrific sports, and allowed us to complete their journey back to British Columbia with them, so just last week Asia to Africa was published.

The Bacons are now octogenarians, and sold their trusty Argonauta 1 back in 2013 when they returned. They were really keen to complete the series, and had it not been for our fiends at the Bluewater Cruising Association, may not have even begun writing them a few years back. Personally, I am just delighted, for there is definitely a large proportion of living vicariously every time I take in one of their tales.

They have not been locked on land, either, having "...headed up several charters out of the Ottawa area to destinations in the Caribbean", as Hugh told me. They spend time in Sidney, British Columbia and out in the Ottawa Valley, where they have owned a place for 45 years. "We maintain a membership with Bluewater and when in the west, we enjoy a drink or two at our yacht club, The Sidney North Saanich YC. Cheers, Hugh." Indeed, cheers to you both, and many, many thanks!

Beating. Reaching. Gybing.

Another inhabitant of Canada, Christian, came to us, and the start of that tale is The Juxtaposition, which looked primarily at getting Christian some help with extra intel on his 'new' purchase, a Yamaha 9. We have had great response to that, but if you know something, Christian is keen to learn more.

After a lifetime at sea, Christian knows a lot, and during our conversations he extended to me, which was just simply wonderful. Here was 'some of his loves', and the picture of, Athene, which is a 20 metre Sparkman & Stevens built in 1937 appeared. Reaching away like that was always going to get her a place in this here missive.

"When I first started with her, she still had a full set of cotton sails, and because she was designed for the East Coast of the USA, where the winds are very light, she had an 88 foot mast and 25 foot boom, with end boom sheeting."

"Every time the word Jibe was spoken everyone got nervous. The main sheet would almost drag the helmsman away. She has won many races; Fastnet, NY to Bermuda, LA to Tahiti etc."

"Now, after many years, I got my wish. Do to the advent of carbon fibre, I built a 20 foot boom, shifted the sheeting to for'ard of the dog house, put on a new suit of North Sails with a fully battened main, and jibe away, who cares..."

"I just went back to France to say hello to the old gal last Christmas."

PS. Thanks very much for reaching out Christian... Nice one, pal.

May he enjoy glorious reaching conditions forever more...

They did manage to repatriate Glenn Wakefield to Canada before he passed on, and I really hope this gave his family some kind of solace. That he called his wife, MaryLou, to alert her to his stroke speak volumes as to his tenacity. Alas, when he was out there trying to complete his maiden lap of the planet after facing so many obstacles previously is inspiring to all, and I hope his family can come to appreciate his legacy in that way.

A big, big thank you to all those who went to his aid out in the Pacific, and also to the near 1000 people who funded so much of the expenses involved in his care.

Reach out and touch, see, feel!

This weekend at Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour in Sydney, Groupé Beneteau will be displaying a wide array of their newest models. Most of which of not been seen in the Southern Hemisphere before.

Flagstaff Marine will have all of these monohulls there:

  • New FIRST Yacht 53. Note that having developed such a tremendous, performance oriented hull form, the Groupé then took the very same hull for the just released Oceanis Yacht 54, which is a cruisers utter delight!
  • New Beneteau First 27, which is all about keeping the brand at the forefront of both approachability and performance.
  • New Oceanis 40.1. This is the first one in Australia, and like a 44-footer inside. Given this is a hugely popular segment you'll see this one go really well.
  • New Oceanis 30.1. Also a new model, and such a global hit that it's sold out until next year.

    Flagstaff Marine will also have the very new to the Southern Hemisphere, Excess 12 Catamaran. Excess is the Groupé's sportier brand, and this particular one is set to be just that with the taller Pulse rig fitted, as well as a whole range of cool bits, including electric winches. She has different VPLP hulls to her cousins, which is bound to keep the performance dream well and truly lit. This one is actually available to buy now and be straight out on the water (all I ask is that you wait until I have had a chance to drive it myself, however).

    There are limited slots still available, so go and grab one now!

    The Multihull Group will have the mighty Lagoon 42 on display. Her VPLP design is as distinctive as her collection of amenities, and remember, Lagoon is by far and away the world's largest production cruising catamaran builder. QED. The Multihull Group also have limited spaces still available so if you can get to Sydney and want to see this glorious craft, then book in now.

    So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please use the search window at the top of the home page if you are after something specific, as only the latest news appears on the site as you scroll down. We enjoy bringing you the best stories from all over the globe.

    If you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top of the Sail-WorldCruising home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

    In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

    John Curnow
    Global Editor,

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