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On the Wind Sailing

'On the Wind,’ is THE podcast about offshore sailing, where professional sailor & journalist Andy Schell interviews sailors from around the world to discover what inspires them in an effort to inspire you! Andy has interviewed everyone from legends like Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, to tech gurus like Nigel Calder, boat builders like Magnus Rassy (of Hallberg Rassy), inspirational family sailors like Totem, YouTube stars SV Delos & Andy's personal favorite, Arctic sailor and octogenarian Bob Shepton. Thanks for listening & hold fast!

Jul 18, 2014

#Bonus. This one is a bit more serious than last week, and looks at some of the 'rules' of ocean sailing from the perspective of two events from last fall - the Caribbean 1500 rally, and the Salty Dawgs. You'll recall that six Salty Dawg boats issued distress calls last year, two of which were later rescued by the Coast Guard. The incident made national news, and was a hot button issue among the offshore sailing community. I wrote down my own thoughts immediately afterwards, but didn't publish them until now, after lots of time to think it over and make a fair assessment of what happened. There's a lot of opinions in here, so buckle up! What did you think about the incident and what lessons did you take from it?

seven and a half years ago

No one wants to hear of sad sea tales! And no one wants to be one! We have chosen to sail with the World Cruising Club, starting with Steve Black's Caribbean 1500 for five years now. The C1500 Rally was great for our first offshore trip to the BVI as Steve held our hands during the months of preparation. I spoke with him several times a month. That was a great value as part of the Rally. We have completed three C1500's and two Atlantic Cups (now ARC USA) and are now sailing in the World ARC in the South Pacific.

While we found joining a rally a great way to start our offshore adventures, we find it even more valuable as we continue to mature as sailors. The pre-rally boat inspections are major advantages of the World Cruising Club rallies. The help within the fleet to get things corrected with the input of other experienced sailors is of great value. I don't care how experienced you are, when you are out there on the ocean, it is good to be with experienced sailors.

Fortunately because we sail with experienced sailors, we don't have scary sea tales to tell. And when it comes to keeping all systems running, the shared experiences have been important. The C1500 is not just for first-timers, but it is a great place for first-timers to begin their ocean sailing adventures. WCC has always been available by phone or email to answer any questions or help. Within these five years, we have covered 20,000 nm with the World Cruising Club rallies and highly recommend them. Not bad considering I just started sailing six years ago!

Rick Palm
seven and a half years ago

I really enjoyed listening to your points on the ARC Caribbean 1500 and safety thoughts regarding offshore sailing. I agree with your points and think the message is clear and to the point.
We will do the ARC+ in our new catamaran Archer this fall and will follow the same safety program regardless of our offshore experience. We would handle the safety issues and preparation in the same way regardless of how we chose to make the trip, as an individual boat or as part of the ARC+.
Having sailed in many rallies including the first Caribbean 1500 and the initial around the world rally Europa 92 we find the concept of rallies fun and that joining them adds much to our pleasure offshore and we value or connections to others in the rallies.
Thanks for taking on this topic.