Third voyage – closing the loop

August 5, 2020 Royal Victoria Yacht Club N 48 27.2′ W123 17.7′

Later this month I’ll be heading off in West Wind II on another voyage back to 48.10 S, 51.57 W where I left Kim Chow in April 2008. This will complete my circumnavigation.

This spot in the south Atlantic is about 300 kn miles North East of the Falkland or Maldives Islands depending where you are from. It is where I was picked up by Captain Hernan Montero and his very brave crew aboard the Buque Oceanográfico ARA Puerto Deseado and taken safely to Argentina. My rescue was coordinated by now Rear Admiral Pablo Fal whom I have never met. It is my hope that I will be able to meet up with these amazing people in southern Argentina if the current Covid situation allows.

I still foster a desire to finish what I started in 2007, a single handed non stop west about circumnavigation. Both my previous attempts were met with failure, albeit the kind of failure that accompanies daring greatly. Something that has only been accomplished by a few. I do not have it in me to once again start off from Victoria and attempt to do the whole voyage again. Instead, my route will take me south from Victoria through French Polynesia then further south and east around Cape Horn back to where I left off in the south Atlantic tying the knot of a circumnavigation and then turn around and continue west about around Cape Horn and back up the Pacific to Victoria, completing a single handed west about circumnavigation. This voyage will be a distance of approximately 18,000 nautical miles or about 33,000 kilometres taking about seven to eight months. I will have satisfied a personal goal not for any notoriety or place in the history books, except the one I have been trying to write ever since I arrived home safe, but not unscathed from Argentina twelve years ago.  

Today Marylou and I did my first big shop for supplies to last for ten months. It will take me several more tries before I get all of what I need. I finished my last house renovation a week ago and have been full time getting West Wind ready for the long voyage ahead.  Although she is still pretty well ready to go I have taken on some long overdue cosmetic maintenance projects that are time consuming. Replacing all ten port lights with new stainless steel frames and wooden interior trims. The coach house and cockpit were in bad need of a paint job which crept into a re KIWI Grip of the whole deck. There is a new holding tank, cushions and many small upgrades such as relocating the mainsheet traveller aft into the cockpit area, relocating the solar panels so I have better access to walk on the coach house while reefing the main, and removing a small lazarette that enclosed the rear of the cockpit to decrease the volume of water when pooped. The bottom has been thoroughly cleaned and repainted, and hull cut polished and waxed. The staysail furler and running back stays have been taken out of storage and re hung. All the sails have been to the sail makers and checked and a new main and jib cut. The Fleming self steering gear has been serviced, the rudder removed and serviced. The list goes on.

I will once again keep sending email through my Ham radio to Marylou who will post them on this blog. I had originally set to leave August 8 th but due to other commitments this has become unrealistic, so I think I will wait till I am ready in a few weeks which will be announced here on the blog. I will be sailing away from the visitors dock at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and people are welcome to come by and say goodbye keeping in mind social distancing and any other protocols put in place for Covid.  

Cheers Glenn      

‘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 who saw her work in progress and graciously offered to add a watercolour illustration to his favourite poem. The figure, sitting on the dinghy looking out to sea, is a loose representation of Glenn. Marylou and Harry discussed who was going to work on the blank sheet of paper and who was going to add their work over it.

“I was terrified to mess up an original Heine 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 won.  He 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 just below the rocks and grass.

The original hangs in our home and has done since 1992. Signed prints on archival watercolour paper that measure 18″ x 24″ are available for sale.

If you’re interested in purchasing one for yourself or a friend or family member, contact MaryLou at mlwakefield@shaw.ca or you can visit her website at mlwakefieldart.com

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.