Pounding into it

Dec 10

Dec 10, 2014

Dec 10, 2014

The sun’s come out and is shining over the stern through the hatch warming the cabin. The sea is very short and steep so West Wind is battling through these waves with some force tossing them aside one after another. The motion is very herky jerky and occasionally she comes across three or four in row that bring her up short but she pushes on undaunted, slowly but surely fighting back with amazing tenacity.

It will be a bumpy ride tonight, but for now the sun is shining. Kind of a metaphor for life, don’t you think?  

Later that afternoon …

This beating into these waves this afternoon is starting to put me on edge a bit. I spoke with Cliff on the radio this afternoon.

I’ve been lying down reading and just got up to make some tea. I burned my fingers on the cup which I was warming – nothing serious. The tea has hit the spot.

This weather pattern seems to be holding steady so if  I can take the pounding, we will put some miles behind us today and through the night.

The nights have been cloudy and I have not experienced the full aurora of the milky way here in the southern hemisphere yet. The moon has cast some light through clouds and occasionally shines brightly.

Not that hungry tonight but I am sure a little stew will warm me up a bit. The rice is so good with the stew. It is 1:23 am at home so you will be tucked warmly in bed. 

Thinking of you through the night.

Later that evening …

The sun is setting off our stern. The clouds are scudding west in cotton batten flocks like sheep that seem to stack up on the far horizon as if at the edge of a fence. The sun is obscured but for red fringes on the flying sheep occasionally breaking through and shining over the flock reflecting in the coming flocks from the eastern sky.

Once the heat from the ‘orb’ is cooled in the great Southern Ocean, the sheep turn grey but keep stampeding ever onward filling the far horizon.

Silently and invisibly, the east wind blows power into West Wind’s sails and she shoulders her way obediently through the legions of white crested waves, tossing aside those that confront her strident surges.

Her motion below is smooth and rhythmic like that of a powerful steed with the bit in her teeth. It’s amazing to witness this extraordinary exchange of energy between the wind and the set of the sails.

I am a lone sailor on this privileged voyage across the ocean taken by thousands of sailors before me over hundreds of years, all sharing in its wonder, and mysterious moods.

There are huge birds here that have sailed these vast oceans long before we mere mortals. They are at one, also harnessing the great energy of the wind and riding the oceans of waves in a motion as moving as a symphony. This is their domain.

I am a visitor, and here only for a brief moment to test my ego against this formidable environment.

May the forces that created this watery domain let me pass unscathed back to my earthly world where the love of my life patiently waits on the shore.

I am missing you tonight my love.

These words grew out of a few moments while I sat in the companion way observing the world around me. It is astonishing to me that those feelings and the ability to put them into these words lives within me only at sea.


Battle in the Southern Ocean

Leaving Albany

Leaving Albany, WA


Leaving Albany, WA

Dec 9  36.08 S, 121.03 E

The great southern ocean rollers rush beneath us occasionally hanging their white caps on West Wind’s rigging and washing her decks with champagne foam as they march in legions towards their sudden death on the shores of Australia.

Occasionally  these unseen behemoths collide with West Wind with such force that they all but stop us in our tracks and shake us right down to our keel bolts. Undaunted by their intimidation, West Wind shakes off her attackers and soldiers on. 

Shout out to Mark McRae of Southern Ocean Sailing for taking these shots of Glenn sailing out of the harbour at Albany.  

 Mark is an experienced seaman having sailed to most parts of the world including Antarctica and Cape Horn. He teaches sailing, does assessments for boating licenses and generally helps people out when they arrive in Albany from distant shores.  

“Glenn is a wonderful person and I appreciated the opportunity to meet him and then sail out alongside to bid him farewell,” said Mark.

Thank you Mark. The shot of the two flags is emblematic of the strong connection we feel to Australia and the Australian people.

 Dec 9, 2014


Feeling the support

Dec 8

Great night’s sleep here snuggled down in the port berth, while West Wind II weaves her way through many miles of a big Southern Ocean sea at breakneck speed.

During one of my sojourns up to the companionway last night, I caught a glimpse of the big bright moon through the clouds.  As I looked at that bright face I felt many of the people who over the years have said they would meet me there and we would think of each other in other parts of the world. Claire in Auckland, Peter in Victoria and others. 

storm petrel

storm petrel at sea

Lots of petrels around this morning racing up and down the dark green watery hills and valleys as they pass unrelentingly beneath us.  

I feel good this morning. I’ve had my cup of hot water with fresh squeezed lemon juice to get things started.  My hot porridge will follow shortly.

I’m going to plot our position on the chart, check the weather, and work out a strategy for our course as the low passes just beneath us. Because of the very lively motion this morning the port bunk looks like a safe place to spend the morning and I can throw the sleeping bag over me to take the chill off.

My book “Citizens Of London” about Americans Harriman, Murrow,  and Winant during the Second World War is very interesting and filled with facts about the British-American relationship I was not aware of.  

Please thank all the people on the blog for their support, I truly feel it out here. 

Hope you’re having a wonderful day ML.

Back at Sea

Dec 8

Back at sea. I should clear the land in about an hour. The wind is off the starboard quarter !!!!!!!

All is well. 


Albany boat basin

Albany boat basin









Albany harbour

Albany harbour

Albany WA

A well kept secret

Dec 7, 2014

Just finished my day with a magnificent walk from the marina around to Mandira beach and back. It was about 10k round trip on a mostly paved trail through native vegetation with spectacular views south to the ocean. There were old gun placements from the second world war – typical of New Zealand and many of the south sea islands we’ve visited and very similar to Fort Rodd Hill at home. The smell to the vegetation on the sea breeze up from the ocean was soft and tropical. As the sun set there were spicy eucalyptus and sweet floral scents softly buffeting me as I walked along the boardwalk path with amazing views of the sea and surrounding islands. It was peaceful and such a surprise to find myself here by happenstance.

Albany coastline

Large collections of boulders protruded out from the trees and were streaked with water marks from thousands of years of rain showers. They were near perfectly round like the Devils Marbles near Alice Springs except they were grey. The colour of the ocean near the mostly rocky shore is aqua green in the shallows and darker blue in the deep. On the way back as it got dark the kookaburras were screaming and laughing. I could hear doves cooing from the brush and the occasional lizard jerked across the path. It was a great way to end my day. Albany is a well kept secret.

This afternoon I removed all the cabinetry in the main salon and pulled out the starboard water tank for inspection. It seems the inspection covers were leaking and the hose clamp on the vent pipe was loose. I tightened the hose clamp and caulked the inspection covers, put the tank back in, filled it up and tested it. I went for a walk up to the phone booth at the train station and when I returned,  all looked good so I screwed it all back together and will keep an eye on the level in the tank and the bilge. I won’t really know till I get back out to sea and start beating into the wind on port tack. I picked up 30 litres of bottled water just for a little insurance. I spent time this morning adjusting the slack in the tiller so we’ll see if that helps. 

After completing these jobs in the few days since I’ve been here have made me feel a lot better about the rest of the passage to New Zealand.

 There was a country market this morning at the top of the gangway on the foreshore and I was astounded at the variety and quality of the local produce, and me just leaving port! I bought half a cabbage, tomatoes, apples, and a bag of limes. So between the lemons, oranges and limes I think I have the scurvy covered.I am feeling a lot better in my stomach too and I think I have that sorted that out as well.

It is getting late and I have another big day ahead of me tomorrow. I have to clear customs, pay for wharfage, then cast off and sail for NZ where we can meet up once again in the Bay of Islands. I’ll write about the birds tomorrow. They have been spectacular.

I want to give a shout out to Margie and Karl (friends of friends) who were so kind and generous to Glenn while he was in Albany. Thank you for all your kind hospitality and friendship. It shall not be forgotten.


Out to sea

WWII off Binningup

OK, this is a long shot. A trusted source tells me that Glenn and West Wind II are in this photo. Do you see the black lump to the left? That’s not him.

Look all the way to the right, almost to the edge of the photo on the horizon. There is a very small, faint, white triangle. That’s him. Can you see him?

If you squint your eyes in a certain way, a kind of wishful way, you can see Glenn standing on the lazarette in the cockpit with a huge smile on his face waving goodbye. Ok I made that up.

Thanks to our friends Maryanne and Alek on the beach in Binningup for taking and sending this photo.

And thanks to all of you for following the new adventure.


Steady on

Dec 3, 2014   34.36 S, 113.47 E 

Dec 2 w Cape Leeuwin

Great news …I’ve just finished my first dinner – the first real meal since I left Fremantle. It was my stew of course.  I hope it brings back my energy. I feel like I’m running on half a tank. Had some good naps and read for a while in between a few tacks and sail changes this morning. My hair is salty from my deck work the last few days and my ‘encounter’ with the waves.

The sun showed itself through the grey clouds this afternoon and it is once again unceremoniously slipping away on the starboard side. Out through the port side, its reflection is mirrored in the half moon now becoming more visible. 

We have been sliding along towards the south with the wind from the southeast blowing across a two meter swell coming up from the south. Our speed has been steady – around five knots with full main and jib. It is cool out but not as cold as you have been. 

Life on board is similar to my last trip, things are familiar, but the premise is much different. There is no grand scheme, no record to attempt, no intriguing life and death struggle. The dishes are done and I had a nap and read for a while. Just poked my head out the hatch.  Through a very thin layer of cloud, the moon is shining and a huge sun dog, or I suppose a moon dog, is all around it. Hopefully in a day or so we’ll get into the westerlies and start to run down to Bass Strait some 1400 n miles east.

I had my first radio sked with Cliff (in New Zealand) this afternoon and we talked for half an hour just like old times.  

I’ve only seen a glimpse of a few birds, that familiar gliding motion quickly up and over the waves disappearing for a moment then shooting up into the sky only to dive back down the face of another wave. Uniquely pelagic.

Heading: 208 T Speed 4 kts Wind SE 10-15 kts Waves West 2m Cloud 100% Temp 19 C Baro 1019 Steady Miles in last 24 hrs: 120 nm

Good night. XO





Noisy …with diabolical motion

Dec. 2, 2014

We are travelling across a grey sea beneath a low grey cloud cover. The sun is trying to filter through and illuminate the white caps topping the two meter waves coming from the opposite direction to the wind. The wind shifted about half an hour ago in our favour so we are now headed south just below Cape Leeuwin where I hope in the next few days to pick up the westerlies and head east to Bass Strait – about 1300 nm away. 

The ride on board has been very exciting but also very very noisy and the motion is diabolical.

industrial strength ear plugs

They look like miniature boxing gloves but these are industrial strength ear plugs to cope with the noisy conditions down below 

We were beating in 3 meter seas at eight knots with a triple reefed main and double reefed Yankee. West Wind II has shown some speed I didn’t know she was capable of.

I am still suffering from a touch of dysentery and have had very little to eat since leaving Fremantle. I am trying to keep hydrated, but have lost my appetite. Had a good sleep last night – only up a few times. Still tired and a little weak but will make one of my stews today if I can do it single handed. I have noticed a few birds around – petrels mostly.

The temperature has gone down as well, not -2 like you have fortunately but 16 – 17 C . If this keeps up, I’m going to have to get out my long under wear!

The moisture below is not bad at the moment. I am hoping to be off the wind in the next day which will be much more pleasant.

I will be sending you and Ron my noon position every day and I’m hoping he will do the weather for me again, If not, I will use Grib files from the ham net.

Going to lie down now for a while. Keep those cards and letters coming!

frozen north

Glenn’s reference to -2 degree weather here in the frozen north. Victoria, BC.


Rough day

Dec 2, 2014

transom view

Still got the wind on the nose. Not only is the dog gone, but so is the chain. High winds, big seas.

Tummy no better. Hard to sleep, may have to take a pill. Any movement down below is not worth it. Could not make dinner if I wanted to. 

Hope for better day tomorrow. 

Miss you madly.

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Heading to Cape Leeuwin

Dec 1, 2014  33.21.129 S , 114.55.735 E

Dec 1, 2014

Dec 1, 2014

Last night I witnessed the lights from Alek and Maryanne’s truck on the beach at Binningup, and then the gale set in for the night. 


Alek on the beach, Binningup talking to Glenn on West Wind II via ham radio

Woke this morning after sinking into the abyss for two hours, my mouth full of parchment.By the time I got down the coast to Bunbury I had to tack away from shore and out to sea for the night. I was very tired by 9:00 pm, so tired I was afraid I would fall into a sound sleep and disconnect from this world. The thoughts of being so close to land at night in a gale my first night at sea made me very nervous. It started the game of “What if?” in my head and because I was so tired already the number of scenarios I envisioned about going ashore was more than enough to keep me up all night till around four a.m. when I felt confident enough to hit my bunk for a solid two hours. I was up nine times during the night tacking twice and plotting my position.

The wind this morning has filled in from the southwest and if it holds we’ll make some good miles towards Cape Leeuwin. The sky is overcast and it’s a comfortable 20 C down below. We made 115 miles yesterday which I’m very happy with. We are sitting at Lat 33 21.129 S and Long 114 55.735 E.


Cape Leeuwin,Western Australia

I am sitting at the nav station yawning, so I’ll send this off and hit my bunk for some well earned sleep. 

Position: 33. 39 S,  114. E Course 265 T Speed 7 kts Wind S 30 kts Waves S 2m Cloud 30 % Temp 20 C Baro 1009 rising Miles in last 24 hrs: 120 nm







Off the coast in light air

Nov 30, 2014

My old skills have fallen into place within the first few hours. The wind is just off the beam.  There are several different patterns of waves coming from a couple of  directions. I’m taking it easy, lying down and reading. Staying on course is very important because we’re close to the reef. We’re running parallel to it at about 4-6 knots. The wind is not so much gusty – as it seems to pulse.


One set of waves is right on the nose so occasionally we are brought up short by a bigger wave. When I’m lying down, I can see the sun pouring in through the port side windows in the main salon. By keeping an eye on the sun and its relationship to the port lights, I know when we are off track. I have checked the sail set a dozen times and can now feel whether it’s right for our course by the motion of the boat. These skills are very much a part of me, and I will always be able to draw on them. The motion, of course, is back with a vengeance and has caught me off guard a couple of times.  The motion as I speak, has just changed and it seems the wind is dying or getting light for a while.

Having a good first morning out in the Indian ocean. West Wind II is about 5 miles north of Mandurah, headed for shore on a starboard tack. I am sure it will take me a week to recover from from last week. I had so much fun. The wind is light out here but more than enough to keep me moving along at a pretty good pace. I’ve had some porridge and christened my new mug with a great cup of tea this morning which kept very hot to the last drop. Alek, I will keep the frequency open tonight just in case we can connect.

Nov 29, 2014

I am having an amazing sail right down the coast. It’s a little overcast and 25.5 C at the nav station.  Being only a few miles offshore I must keep my guard up and not fall asleep which I so badly want to after very little sleep last night. My plan to leave early is paying off. The wind has filled in very nicely from the southwest. I have full main and jib and our speed is very good along with our heading. The sea state is about 3/4 meter of swell topped with wavelets. Not too much water on the deck.  I have lots of power now that the wind generator is working.

I keep having flash backs from the last two voyages – some good, some not so good. Makes me realize what an amazing feat those two voyages were.

 Sleep well honey. I will be thinking of you.


A different voyage

Nov 29, 2014

8:53 pm Saturday on board WW II …still tied to the wharf.


I was saying as recently as this afternoon how special it was to sit on the patio of the yacht club and have WW II sitting at the wharf right there in front me. Well now it’s right in front of a rock and roll band and I’m finding it hard to think straight.

G and A FSC

It’s definitely not congruent with the thought of starting out on an ocean voyage. Somehow I had something else in mind but I am OK with it. People are having fun. I honestly don’t think I’ll get much sleep tonight anyway. One very positive thing is that the customs people have been and gone so I can leave whenever I want to. I said goodbye to Alek and Maryanne this afternoon.  None of us were looking forward to it so we made it short and sweet. 

The GPS is loaded with tomorrow morning’s way points and my warm cloths are laid out on the bunk – my old uniform. There is plenty of space in the area I’m moored in till this afternoon when two big boats pulled in behind me after their race and I think they are here for the night. This will make it rather difficult to get out six hours from now, but I’m sure I’ll make it somehow. The moon is waxing which will brighten my nights at sea. Hopefully it will be there to illuminate my transit of Bass Strait which will make it easier for me to see the traffic and hopefully for the traffic to see me.  

I’m both excited to get going and also a little nervous. The circumstances around me being here now are very different from the last time when I arrived back in January. This is a new adventure on a whole different scale than the last voyage. Going to the store today to provision was on a much smaller scale. Same food, just a whole lot less of it. WW II is well up her lines and will sail very well in the light airs that I may get. Psychologically, it’s very different as well. First of all, it’s not as daunting, four weeks as opposed to forty weeks! Four weeks is very doable. And, there’s no pressure. The fuel tanks are full and if I want to power, I can. The water tanks are full as well so hopefully no rations with that either. The library is filled with great books, and to top it off Barry has downloaded lots of movies and documentaries. I only have four dozen eggs to turn instead of 30. But …there won’t be any funny jokes in amongst the cartons that Cathy and her friends did to keep me entertained.

This is so far from the last voyage that it’s difficult to imagine, and yet the ocean is still very much there with all its unfeeling force and indifference to me even being there. I believe WW II is ready and well equipped to stand up to the force and meet it head on. I am too. 

Well the yawning is getting more prevalent here and I think I should succumb to it, and get some sleep even though the party booms on around me. I will write again soon.


Back in the water


Nov 26, 2014
6:07 a.m. Sitting at the nav station, boat is on the hard, bottom is painted and we’re going back in the water at 10:00 this morning. There is some weather moving in today and the grey over cast sky and howling wind would confirm that. Managed to get the second coat of paint on just as the sun set. It was a scorching day yesterday, 36 C by the end of the day. I was very hot and withered. Nice part about the heat is I could do a second coat after a few hours , during which I went for a swim at the beach just a stone’s throw from the yard.

Maryanne brought the stores down to the boat this afternoon as well as lunch, so we took a break, had lunch in the shade and then had a swim. I swam again later in the afternoon. Although the boat had been pressure washed, it was still covered in small white worm casings which had to be scraped off. I then had to hand wash the hull with a scrub pad and then rinse it off before I could paint. I kept a steady pace, all the time trying to avoid the energy sapping sun.

Andrew from WA Sails finished work on the main and will deliver it to the boat later today. In the bright night lights of the yard I saw a large moth bloom which gave the birds quite a feast. There was a terrible cacophony of screeches from the marauding sea gulls and that, coupled with the trains just on the other side of the fence AND, the wind howling in the rigging you might wonder how a man could sleep at all. I was so drained I passed out. I will change the zincs this morning and try to organize everything on board, load the stores Maryanne brought down then get ready to launch. I may have some difficulties getting back to the (boat) pen with this wind but hopefully I can get some help.

Another full day. Got the boat back in the water and put back in the pen before the weather broke. Thunder and lighting with heavy rain from noon on till later this evening. Hard to get much done so I accepted an invitation from Alek and Maryanne for dinner and will stay the night and head back down tomorrow morning. Planning to get the main back on and the water tanks filled up then check the trim on the boat.  

Lots of small details to sort out and I seem to be in a rush to get to NZ and feeling some pressure. I did manage to get a swim in between deluges this afternoon. I am getting lots of exercise – walking, swimming, and working on the boat. I have that very tired feeling after physical work, stiff as well but seem to have the energy to push on.  





Bottoms Up


West Wind II Royal Victoria Yacht Club

Nov. 24, 2014
Wind is blowing the dog off the chain as I backed the boat out of the pen. West Wind is having her bottom washed now and then I’ll get stuck into painting. I’m trying to chill out and not look at the list. 

Maryanne, God bless her, is going to the airport to pick up my camera (left it behind on the flight) and bring it down to me along with all the stores I left at their house last time I was here, and she wants to help paint! Such lovely people Alek and Maryanne.

Going Solo Presentation Wednesday, Oct. 8th, 2014 Maritime Museum of B.C.


Join us Wednesday, October 8th @ 7 pm at the Maritime Museum of B.C. in Victoria for a presentation about Glenn’s 2013/14 solo non-stop circumnavigation attempt hosted by the Thermopylae Club of Victoria. 

Hope to see you there!



WestWind II is coming home

DDay Trial Isl

West Wind II is now off the market, no longer for sale in Australia. 

Glenn will sail her to New Zealand in November, 2014 and further plans will be made. We’ll update the blog as we approach his departure date. Stay tuned.

Glenn interviewed for ‘The Godforsaken Sea’ on CBC’s Ideas


transom view

Glenn sailing solo on West Wind II in the Southern Ocean

The CBC radio program ‘Ideas’ presents The Godforsaken Sea about sailing solo in the Southern Ocean. Glenn is one of four people interviewed along with Derek Hatfield, the first Canadian to race solo around the world twice, Dee Caffari, the first woman to race around the world solo in both directions and Derek Lundy,  the author of many books, including The Godforsaken Sea.




Article in Soundings magazine, thoughtful and heartfelt

Sept 2 waving copy

Setting off, September 2, 2013.

Over the past year, Glenn spoke with writer, and fellow sailor Dieter Loibner on the wharf, on board West Wind II and over the phone about solo sailing, what it takes to leave the wharf, and how the adventure impacted our lives.

In this May, 2014 article in Soundings magazine, Dieter writes a very thoughtful and heartfelt piece titled Disappointed yes, but in no way defeated.

An evening with Glenn

Going Solo presentation

Join Glenn and MaryLou on Monday, May 12th at 7:30 pm for an informal evening and chat in the main lounge at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club 3475 Ripon Road, Victoria, B.C. 

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 3.36.55 PM

Glenn will talk about his personal journey and the extraordinary experience it was. Hope to see you there!




Pacific Yachting does a follow up story …

Thanks to Marianne Scott for her interest in Going Solo and her column in Pacific Yachting. (pg 10)

Photo credit:  Tristan Yuswak, Harbour Master, Fremantle Sailing Club

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 11.04.44 AM

Ocean Navigator picks up the story …

Thanks to Ellen Massey Leonard for her interest in Going Solo and her article in the March issue of Ocean Navigator.

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 11.07.34 AM


Read more

West Wind II is for sale

West Wind II is for sale in Fremantle, Western Australia. Here’s the listing.  West Wind IIYou can visit the Refit page of this blog to see details of the full refit, and view a short video of her at anchor in Cadboro Bay, B.C. Canada.

“Rare and lovely. This magnificent, fully refurbished, classic Sparkman and Stephens Comanche 42 has recently come on the market in Australia. Meticulously constructed by Chris-Craft in the USA, it has been maintained to the very highest standard in full trans-ocean condition. If you’re harbouring a dream to sail the world or circumnavigate Australia, this exceptional and proven ocean crossing yacht is ready to go and, at a bargain price. Nothing more to spend except on provisions.”

WWII at RVYC Victoria, BC Canada

“A rare opportunity to purchase a true ocean going thoroughbred in superb condition at a fraction of the replacement price. She has just been slipped and fully certified by licensed surveyor at Fremantle Sailing Club, all in A1 condition. New anodes fitted. Fleming sail self steering system with Autohelm electric steering under power. Extensive inventory of spares and tools included. Inspection will impress.”

Glenn Wakefield on West Wind II




AU $85,000 
Vessel Name  West Wind II
Year  1970
Length  42′ 3″ – 12.88m
Beam  3.3
Draft  1.9
Displacement  8002kg
Keel / Ballast  3915kg
Vessel Location  Fremantle WA

Region  Western Australia
Designer  Sparkman and Stephens
Builder  Chris-Craft USA
Hull Material  GRP
Decks Material  GRP
Engine  Perkins 4108 45HP. Shaft drive with 3 blade folding prop.
Engine Hours  950
Engine Room  Easy all round access with midship mounting position.
Fuel  Diesel, 150 litres in stainless steel tank.
Water  260 litres in two tanks
Toilet  Standard Jabsco marine toilet.
Accommodation  Forward V berth and 3 single berths.
Galley  Four burner gas stove with oven
Refrigeration  12 volt fridge freezer
Ground Tackle  CQR chain and extensive ground tackle
Safety Gear  Full cat 1.
Electrics  Complete new wiring system with marine grade cables 
6 x Trojan T105 batteries[350AH]. Solar charge system. Ampair wind generator.
Extensive navigation equipment. MF/HF radio with pactor sailmail modem. VHF radio.
Sail Inventory  Extensive cruising wardrobe.
Mast / Rigging  A1 condition
Deck Gear  Extensive winches, blocks, sheets and halyards.


We’d love to hear from you …


connected world

Many times on my voyage, I received comments* and emails from you that I found encouraging, supportive, and heartfelt and it meant a lot to me to get your honest feedback. 

MaryLou and I are are now working on a book and planning several presentations about Going Solo in the future.  

We welcome any comments you may wish to share about what following the voyage meant to you, and, what it meant to you to take part in the online conversation here on the blog.

We look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks.

Glenn and MaryLou


*Note: Going Solo had 750 subscribers. Visitors came from 73 countries. The total number of page views was 176,836. There were 1165 comments.



2/1/14 Home


G & ML in Victoria

I’m home! One part of this extraordinary journey is over and another begins.

MaryLou and I have had several wonderful honeymoon days together and are going away for a few more to catch up on some time lost while I was at sea. We are charting a new course for our future which will include writing our book and me going back to work. There will be more adventures as well.  Your overwhelming support through comments and emails helped sustain both of us through the many difficult times we had over the past several months and we’d like to thank you for that. It’s difficult to describe how much having that contact helped make the adventure more meaningful for us. We hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride.       

The last two weeks in Australia were hectic.  After many months at sea, I was suffering from sore leg muscles and a drunken swagger that sometimes caught me off balance.  My pristine, self contained aquatic environment ended when I landed in Fremantle and got a bad head cold from having been kissed and shaking hands with so many wonderful people. A small price to pay for all the attention and love I received on arrival in Fremantle.  Bob Kucera, Commodore of the Fremantle Sailing Club (FSC) along with Terry Baker Vice Commodore, gave me a genuine Australian welcome and over the next two weeks I was treated as a guest and helped through a labyrinth of details by the friendly and competent staff at the Club. Their kindness and generosity went above and beyond the familiar assistance afforded a sailor in need. I owe them a great debt of gratitude.

West Wind II is in a “wet pen” (berth) at the FSC and is listed for sale with Peter Robinson, a long time member, through his brokerage. The very special situation that was created by pulling into Fremantle meant I could meet the ham operators and their families that had kept me company on the air through both my attempts as I passed Australia. It’s very difficult to put into words the bond that was formed between myself and MaryLou, and the ham operators and their families. 

From the first teary contact in Fremantle until the heartfelt goodbye at the airport, my days were filled with wonderful times over barbecues at their homes, fishing at the beach, and playing cards at the kitchen table. We shared many stories about the hundreds of calls made between us over thousands of miles and many months. I left West Wind II in Fremantle which was difficult, but doesn’t come close to how I felt leaving the many friends behind whom I had become so close to in those two short weeks in Western Australia.

I made many videos while I was at sea. Here are a few to give you an idea of what captured my imagination. Enjoy!

A bird’s eye view

Whale sighting


Heading home 29/1/14


With apologies for the interruption in regular blog posts this past week, it’s been a jam packed and emotionally charged time in Fremantle, and here in Victoria.

After clearing customs and passing quarantine restrictions, Glenn’s first hurdle after being at sea for five months, was to adjust to a world that was suddenly very still (insofar as Glenn’s world is ever very still). He met with the Commodore and Vice Commodore and Harbour Master and others at the Fremantle Sailing Club who were gracious and accommodating and made everything go smoothly. The first order of business was getting the rigging repaired and they were able to connect him with the right people to get the job done quickly and efficiently. 

On his first weekend on land,  his long-time ham radio friends Alek and Barry and their wives Maryanne and Gina hosted Glenn and Claire at Alek and Maryanne’s cottage for a few days of hanging out at the beach, surf fishing, and getting to know each other over a few “frosty ones”. I was able to enjoy a virtual version of the party over Skype. 

The next big hurdle was making the difficult but practical decision to put West Wind II up for sale in Fremantle. There were many conversations back and forth and ultimately it was decided that selling her there was for the best. Claire and our friend Hayley rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to help with the mountain of chores involved in taking inventory,  cleaning and polishing the boat inside and out, offloading gear, and a thousand other things to get her in shape and ready to show a yacht broker. Peter Robinson came highly recommended and was impressed with the sight of her and of course, with the way she sailed. Peter wrote “West Wind II certainly ticks all the boxes as a luxury cruiser.”

                                  Here’s the link to the listing.  West Wind II 

If you know anyone who may be interested, we would very much appreciate you sending them the link or letting us know who they are via the blog. 

While Glenn makes his way home, I’m clearing my work schedule and other commitments and making a few plans for his arrival. We’re both looking forward to some quiet time to reflect and share our thoughts about our solo journeys.

We’ll be offline for a bit and back here with some reflections in the coming weeks.

Thank you all for your very kind comments.