In 2008 the Volvo Ocean Race had a stopover in Boston. I was fortunate to be invited there. One problem the race had is that between stopovers the yachts were racing flat out and nobody had time to create content. So the organisers introduced a new crew category. We made this film about one of the Media Crew Members, Rick Deppe.
A very long time ago (2011) I was crewing as navigator for a friend. We left his boat for a week in St Malo on the north coast of France. On my return I was introduced to Erling Matz, a journalist living on his boat. We spent most of the afternoon in the yacht club bar and, when thrown out in the late afternoon, repaired to his boat Elise, where there was more to drink. He is such an interesting bloke that I felt it incumbent to interview him drunk though we were. This is one of my early write, shoot, edit and upload jobs on my iPhone 4s. The job took half an hour from end to end, which impressed the heck out of me.
Heinz Neiman bought, lived aboard and took Serafina across the Atlantic. After sailing around the Caribbean, he brought her back to the UK. Part of this voyage was single-handed. He stopped me from buying an inferior boat and sold his to me. He was kind enough to give me an interview before heading back to Australia.
It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression: ‘As pretty as an airport.’ — Douglas Adams
So here I am in my 60s. Looking after Mother, overweight and underemployed. Not quite how I had imagined things panning out. So I bought a boat. It’s not the first time, but probably the last. If it all works out then Serafina will eventually be my lifestyle, universe and everything…
It almost didn’t happen. I was looking hard at other boats and had almost decided to buy one, but quite by chance I met the owner of Serafina. Heinz had just sailed her across the Atlantic, partly single-handed. When I showed him the boat I had in mind, he laughed and showed me his. The man has a gift for logic. Now he has my money – but I have his yacht.
The last few years have culminated in a repeat of what I always do when reaching a point in life when it’s not clear what comes next – I reinvent myself. Like Doctor Who at the end of a series, there comes a time when the old personality just will not work any more.
The plan, in this iteration of self, is to reconnect with some of the best parts of my life. Sailing, stories, and being scared witless. With plenty of skin in the game, I am setting out on and documenting this new journey.