Reminiscing on his fiftieth anniversary at sea from Saga

Yacht Saga Insurance
Sunday 4th February 2007
Lat 49 20S Long 165 40W
Miles To Norfolk, USA: 10,511 nm
Distance In 24 Hours: 235.4 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours: 9.81 knots

“To-day is the 50th anniversary of my going to sea. I joined the British India Steam Navigation Co’s Cadetship Chindwara in the Royal Albert Docks and so began my apprenticeship. I had no seagoing experience at that time apart from 16 days aboard HMS Vanguard moored to buoys in Plymouth as a Boy/Junior seaman RNVR, as being a reservist was the only way to guarantee you went into the Navy when you received your call-up papers for National Service.”

“My first deep sea voyage in Chindwara was to East Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope as the Suez Canal was still blocked at that time. We learned on the job in those days and on the Cadetship we were the crew, a fabulous training.”

“SAGA INSURANCE has been sailing quite well the past day, using the steady sw’ly winds to sail deeper south. The winds are slowly rising, but the glass is too, so I am not sure what might be coming. We appear to have been sailing about a knot faster than Pakea and AGD for the last 24 hours, but we need at least that. It would have been good weather for the spinnaker had it not been for the squalls and the waves throwing us around, so we are still using the jib as a reacher.”

“I’d had a small problem with the Maxsea dongle, but after some careful surgery with a clasp knife on its terminals succeeded in getting it working again. This success warranted the declaration of a headland! I can now at least see where we all are although I still cannot get any weather.”

“On the culinary front, the addition of a tin of stewed steak and some dried peas to the potato and onion stew made a welcome difference. I have spent the past hour, my happy hour, sipping wine in the cockpit enjoying the delicious problem of what tins to add tonight!”

“A good start by England in the 6 Nations and a welcome return for Wilkinson. Dispiriting for the Scots but they have 4 more matches to show their mettle. To-day Ireland v Wales should be spirited. RKJ”