‘Sea Fever’ print available for sale


Victoria, B.C. Canada – 2018

A number of years ago, MaryLou created this beautiful piece of artwork, a hand lettered piece featuring the poem Sea Fever by John Masefield.

Through her communications work, she’d met the accomplished Canadian marine artist Harry Heine (father to Victoria artist Mark Heine), who saw the work in progress and graciously agreed to add a watercolour illustration. The figure in the piece is a loose representation of Glenn looking out to sea.

Marylou and Harry went back and forth several times about who was going to work on the blank sheet and who was going to add their work over it.

“I was terrified to mess up Harry’s painting,” says MaryLou so she wanted to go first.  Harry, it seemed, didn’t want to mess up her calligraphy and in the end, Harry painted the watercolour illustration first and MaryLou did her calligraphy afterwards … with much trepidation. The name Heine appears at the bottom left above the words Sea Fever and just below the rocks and grass.

The original has hung in our home since 1992. On this occasion, we are for the first time, offering signed prints for sale. Prints are 18″ x 24″ and are reproduced on archival watercolour paper.

If you’re interested in purchasing one, please email MaryLou directly at mlwakefield@shaw.ca.

Thank you.

Latest Swiftsure Update

May 28, 2017  Royal Victoria Yacht Club

At 15:00 I called our second crew meeting and asked our navigators Paul and Nicola to evaluate the wind and current situation based on the models on hand.

We had the tide against us at 3 – 6 knots for the next 5 hours and no wind in the forecast. This would have effectively carried us back to the start line. We were in 350 feet of water, with 300 ft of chain, left us 50′ short of anchoring.

That, with the prospects of rounding the mark and finishing the race within the time limit was slim to none. So, we decided unanimously as a crew to withdraw from the race and head back to yacht club and to the bar. We consoled ourselves heartily with MaryLou’s homemade chili; drowned our sorrows in Spinnakers Pale Ale and arrived at the wharf with stories of another adventure.


May 27 @0:11:07

West Wind II had a brilliant start of Swiftsure this morning at around 0:9:30. It’s still early in the game, but at the moment, she’s looking very good amongst the competition in her Division 3 (the ones with track lines marked).

Stay tuned for updates here or go to the Swiftsure tracker website.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Here’s my able crew for the 2017 Swiftsure Lightship Classic. Left to right: Paul Roberts, Brendan McShane, Skipper Glenn, Nicola Wakefield, Dorian Halliday, and Stephen Shepherd. Photo credit: MaryLou Wakefield

We sailed the boat around to the Inner Harbour last evening and we’re now tied up at Dock #2 at Ship Point (not on the causeway in front of the Empress Hotel).

If you’re in the area, please drop by to say hello.



Swiftsure Lightship Classic

May 18,2017















Check out this article and short interview with Oak Bay News about how sweet it is to sail back down the Straits of Juan de Fuca after so many years.

No rest for the wicked. Now that I’m back, I’ve registered West Wind II in the 47th Swiftsure Lightship Classic race that takes place May 27 – 28. This is the largest international yacht race on the west coast and for me, a fantastic opportunity to teach others to sail. This is my 10th Swiftsure and the 3rd boat I’ve entered in the race.

This year, my crew is our daughter Nicola, (participating in her 3rd Swiftsure), and first time participants  Stephen Shepherd, Dorian Halliday and Brendan McShane.

We’ve been working hard to get the crew and West Wind II ready for her Swiftsure debut and the excitement is building.

You can watch and follow all the action of the 2-day race by going to the Swiftsure website. For friends in other parts of the world, you can watch the pre-race excitement in Victoria’s Inner Harbour via webcam and … you can track our race progress via the Swiftsure Race Tracker once we’re underway.

And …if you’re in the neighbourhood (Inner Harbour of Victoria) at the end of next week (Thurs/Fri) drop by and see us!


Arrived in Victoria

May 7, 2017 @03:30

Glenn arrived safe and sound at 3:30 this morning. He had an epic transit of the Straits of Juan de Fuca in about 12 hours and at times sailing over 9 knots.

He’s glad to be home with loved ones in this beautiful place.


The Home Stretch

May 6 @ 20:45

I’m having an amazing run down the Straits. Visibility is great and not too much traffic. An incredible sail to finish off a great passage. The sun is low in the sky and the moon is up. Both shores are extremely beautiful in this early evening light. I’m very tired but having the sail of my life.

I feel sooooo lucky. I’ll be phoning you as soon as I get coverage which should be in a few hours. Can’t wait to see you.

Land Ho!

Saturday, May 6, 2017 @ o9:40

I am about 35 miles off the coast and I’m not alone.

Just past the “Dora Mae” an old west coast troller. I spoke, I should say shouted, “Good Morning” to the two fellows baiting a long line out the stern to the flock of waiting sooty Albatross, must be a least one hundred of them, some diving for the bait on the long line hooks others on the water shooting the breeze and still more gliding around them and me. Great looking old wooden west coast boat. I asked them which way Canada was and they laughed both pointing in a different direction.

My old Perkins with its makeshift cast on is saving the day. Not a breath of wind here and big seas. I am not running him too hard but we are making about four knots in the right direction. Visibility is at least ten miles so no problems with being seen. Just going now to fry up some onions, potatoes and eggs for breakfast. I have had lots of sleep even with Perkins snoring in my ears. I feel much more relaxed now that it’s daylight and we have Perkins bringing us home.

All is well, cold but well. Those fishermen must be tough sons of fisherman!

May 6 @ Noon

Land Ho! 10:30 this morning! Off in the distance is Vancouver island and Cape Flattery.

Doing very well after an amazing breakfast, and lots of mail. I have been thinking about all the hundreds of people from all over the world who have supported MaryLou and I and our sailing adventures this past decade. From the morning I stood on the helicopter deck of the Argentinean Navy Vessel Porto Deseado and spoke with MaryLou for the first time after being rescued, we have always realized that our journey was not about the sailing as much as it was about the people we met along the way.

To all those who were there from the very beginning, I would like to send my deepest heartfelt gratitude for all your deep support and especially to the Ham radio operators who faithfully met me every day and listened and shared their lives with me and those on the blog as well. It is very important for me to thank them for supporting my dearest MaryLou through some difficult times as well as some hilarious times.

And of course it goes without saying that without her love and support I would never have made it. Many times I have sat at this nav station and shared more than a few tears of joy at being so very lucky to have been able to do what I have done.

Thanks to you all.

May 6, 2017 Position: @ 16:45 48.42 N, 124.69 W

MacGyver is at it again

May 5, 2017

I believe I have jury rigged a support for the engine. I’ve managed to lift the one corner that has the broken engine bracket sufficiently to allow me to run the engine in gear for short periods of time. That will definitely come in handy as I transit the shipping lane don the Straits. Not a permanent fix but probably enough to get me out of trouble if need be.

We have no shortage of photos of this scenario. Glenn, tools, knee pads, engine covers off.

Big squall going through right now with lots of rain. Even though I’ve shortened sail, we are hard pressed and flying along. It won’t last long but pretty exciting as it passes over us.

If my daily run in the next 24 hrs is the same as today, I will be at the mouth of the Straits at around 04:00 pm local time (tomorrow) with lots of daylight hours so I can see the traffic coming and going.

Signs that land is not far off

May 5, 2017 08:20 am
Position: Lat 46 31 Long 128 11  Temp 53 F

Glenn sails out the Straits of Juan de Fuca on his second solo circumnavigation attempt, September 2013.

The sun is up, albeit behind some very billowy clouds. The seas are still mountainous and the wind blowing hard. Good for making volts, not so good for standing up. My bunk is by far the most comfortable and warmest place be. If all goes well, we should be at the mouth of the Straits by the afternoon tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll have clear weather.

The tides, of course,  will start to play a big roll in my transit of the Straits.

I’ve been trying to imagine what it would be like trying to make landfall in a square rigger in these conditions. Boy those guys must have been tough. Up in the rigging on a night like last night is hard to imagine. How about Captain Cook and his crew, they didn’t even know where land was!

Photo: Intrepid solo kayaker, Hayley Shephard

In my very brief forays on deck and poking my head out the hatch I have seen sooty albatross and petrels in numbers that would make you think that land is close.

Looking out the galley port lights is difficult because of the condensation, but even so, the blue sky is visible and it looks warm.

All is well.

Slogging it out in big seas

May 5, 2017 0:6:30
Position: 46.33 N, 128.59 W

Still slogging it out in some big seas with a good course and lots of wind. I got a few hours sleep and once I go on deck and adjust our course, I am back to my bunk. At night, in the dark, my mind dreams up all kinds of scenarios, some of which come from an Alfred Hitchcock movie and make sleep almost impossible.

With the bright light of dawn those thoughts are gone and things are a lot more realistic and not quite so scary. I will feel better with a cup of tea and some hot cereal.

Only 186 to go to the mouth of the Straits. Should be there noon tomorrow and enter in daylight.

All is well and feeling good.

Hanging On

May 4, 2017 0:100
Position: 46.14 N, 129.09 W

With the horrific motion and noise onboard, sleep is illusive. I’ve been on deck twice to alter course and the seascape under the moonlight is awe inspiring. The waves marching at us are mountainous. Occasionally, one climbs aboard and completely covers us in white water which spills over the cabin and into the scuppers as well as any possible way into the cabin. Whenever we’re lifted up on a big wave, one of the water cans on deck smacks with a loud hollow thud that resonates throughout the boat making sure I don’t sleep.

I’ve just made  another cup of tea. My fingers are very cold and the warmth of the tea mug is very welcome. I must just hang on for two more days and we’ll be in the Straits.

We’ve been lucky so far with the weather – this is only 20-25 knots.  I’ll be glad when the break of day comes. Till then, I’ll drink my tea and hang on.