8 years sailing experience, over 10,000 miles at sea, well over 100 night watches, one Biscay Crossing, five years living aboard and over 500 nights at anchor. Longest sea trip... over 650 miles from Levkas to Tabarka non-stop. As of Sept 2011 Maury is recovering from a serious operation, and is unlikely to be back on board till Summer 2012. I'm sure you'll all wish her a full recovery, and her directory updates will have to wait a while.
23 years sailing experience having owned boats ranging from a 21' strip planked sloop to a 60 ton gaff rigged MFV. (Not forgetting an 18' speedboat with a 140 HP engine !) 9 years live aboard experience on different boats, well over 30,000 miles sea experience as a skipper, 7 Biscay crossings, and coming up for 1000 nights spent at anchor. Longest non-stop sea trip... over 800 miles from mainland Spain to the Canaries on a gaff ketch. Current boat Westerly Longbow 31'. A cautious mariner, never had any injured crew or had to call for help.
Don Thomson learnt his boat handling and navigation skills as a Naval Officer, trainee Fleet Air Arm pilot and Air Traffic Control Officer. He's taken the Coastal Skipper and Inshore Yachtmaster shore courses and has plenty of small boat experience, owning a Leisure 22. His main cruising grounds have been the Bristol Channel, E.Ireland, the Clyde and Moray Firth. We welcome Don onboard as a diligent researcher and writer.
I don't suppose any of the above experience qualifies us to compile and run a website, especially seeing as none of us had any prior writing experience. However we don't navigate at our desks, we actually get out there and thus have an eye for the kind of information the roving mariner would really find useful. We tend to be more obsessed with easy provisioning, gas bottles, water, and diesel than... exclusive restaurants, "designer" sailing wear, or gadgets and gizmos.
"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... cruising, it is called.
Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
"I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it.
But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?"
The above quote is from Sterling Hayden, (a grand seamen, adventurer, and movie star) and seems to make a lot of sense especially in these days of the credit crisis.
Changing his quotation a little and applying "business" as opposed to "voyage" also seems to make a lot of sense. Having once started a fantastic business from scratch with no capital in the early 80s (that enabled the vessels and the voyaging), doing things out of necessity seems a good way to go, as it encourages innovation.
The Internet is mushrooming, the time is right to have Internet onboard your boat (we've been online on board for over five years). "We" believe that our website being optimised for fast loading on low speed connections is probably one of the first specifically aimed towards onboard use. We hope you enjoy it, and we also really hope that many of you will participate and contribute to the site in the spirit of "Brothers of the Sea".
Finally this couldn't have been acomplished without the programming skills of our designer, Derren Nugent, who is totally dedicated to making the site FAST and easy to use. Check out his web/database design business "Black Culm", or his own project http://www.safeconcerts.com/ dedicated to exposing ticket touts and internet scammers.
Happy Sailing !
Find out more about Sterling Hayden, he's the stuff heroes are made of: