Staying the right way up: wind and knots

I have just downloaded the US Sailing Directions to Antarctica, a weighty tome full of dark warnings. The British would call it the Pilot Book, the detailed description of the coastline and sailing conditions of the area. (The Admiralty Pilot is not available electronically and costs at least £60.)  In addition to … Continue reading

Women on tall ships (part 1)

Were there women on tall ships when they were the biggest vessels afloat? The wooden world is often seen as totally masculine, full of Russell Crowe types with their supporting cast of thugs and young gentlemen. Son of a gun It depends rather on both the work of the ship … Continue reading

Sobbing and bravery: Lewis, Aston and Macarthur

Ellen MacArthur smashed the records for sailing single-handed round the world in 2005. She was 29 and she took the 23m trimaran B&Q round in just 71 days. She did not have a safety boat trailing along to pick her up, or helicopters on stand-by, though I’ve heard people mutter … Continue reading