By way of Explanation

Steve Powell
Fri 22 Apr 2011 16:24

My last blog seems to have caused more speculation than clarification. Beans has been inundated with calls from friends asking if I am all right, is there a problem, why has he “given up” on his dream.

Well, yes I am alright; no there’s not a problem; and I no I haven’t “given up” on a dream. I have achieved a dream, but one I didn’t fully understand until recently.

When I first ‘dreamed’ of this project nearly ten years ago, my ‘dream’ was to do something different and exciting in a sail boat. I had done a little sailing in my life and always enjoyed it. I particularly enjoyed the isolation of quiet anchorages and the planning of complex passages. At the time the obvious challenge was to sail around the world. So that became my stated ‘dream’.

Well things moved on, 5 years ago I supplemented that ‘dream’ with a passage across the Southern Ocean to Antarctica and around Cape Horn into the Chilean Archipelagos, after reading an article about Billy Budd, an Oyster 72 purpose built for these waters. And with the help of Richard Haworth from High Latitudes, modified the specification on UHURU’s plans to include certain essentials for high latitude (extreme north or south) sailing. And that became my main driving force.

Well, we have achieved that with spectacular success, and in doing so it has given me enormous satisfaction, and pride in a job well done. Even perhaps, as I sit here thinking about ‘life, the universe and everything’, contentment.

It has certainly been different, tens of thousands of people have sailed around the world, and thousands more do it every year. You can even buy a crew berth as a complete beginner now and race around the world.  But the number of Private yachts that have sailed to Antarctica since American sealer John Davis first set foot on the Antarctic Peninsula in 1821, nearly two hundred years ago, amounts to no more than a few hundred. And if I go onto the Arctic Circle, (which is still under negotiation), you could count the number of boats that have done the ‘double’ in hand full’s.

Just putting things in perspective. By the time I get home I will have sailed just over 34,000nm, ten thousand of those just getting home. If I left Lymington and sailed around the world I could do it in under 26,000nm.

So I’ve done the miles, I have had the adventure, and I think I can claim with some justification that it was “something different and exciting in a sail boat”.

So for me the “dream” has been achieved, and I don’t need another three years of long, tedious, ocean passages to prove it. I am content.

Have a very Happy Easter everyone, and I look forward to boring you all with my stories ‘face to face”.



Good Friday, 2011.