Ho ho ho - but where are all the sailors? (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) .
You may be huddled by a cosy fire opening your presents... or maybe you're basking on a beach in the southern hemisphere enjoying a prawn salad... ... but what about those adventure sailors who are embarked on sailing venture?
Let's scour the globe for globe trotting sailors... There are quite a few round Africa at the moment.
Spirit of Mystery .. .
EX-racing sailor and Southern Ocean hero Pete Goss, for instance, in his wooden lugger, is following in the wake of seven Cornishmen who made a heroic journey to Australia 154 years ago, and he, with members of his family are just about to make Cape Town, travelling so fast they are thinking of putting out rodes.
Yann Elies, on his way to Perth Hospital Commonwealth of Australia 2008
As for Yann Elies, participating in the Vendee Globe round world solo yacht race, he'll be spending Christmas in the Perth hospital, while some of his support team, headed by Philippe Laot, will spend Christmas on a power boat heading south from Perth to try to recove Yann's boat, Generali which was last located drifting northwards, 700 miles south of the coast of Australia. The rest of the competitors (those that haven't retired) are charging on, and will probably pay respects to Christmas by munching on a bit of fruit cake.....
Mike with the troublesome yacht .. .
Then there are the two teenagers currently sailing the world solo. Mike Perham, 16, currently caught in the Canaries waiting for a new autohelm to arrive, is expecting to be departing on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, so he'll either be in a flurry of activity, or just left civilisation for a few months - no time for even thinking about Christmas for him. This will be the third start for the teen who is attempting to round the world solo, unassisted and non-stop.
Zac off Durban .. .
The other teen is Zac Sunderland, just turned 17, who is taking it much more easy in his boat. He is also in Africa, in Durban, and will next head for Capetown. By the sound of the reception that the Durbanites have given him, he will have trouble leaving. He's also wanting to be the youngest teenager to circle the globe solo, but, as he is a little older than Mike, would have to complete his journey 108 days before him. If you want to call it a race (which the families are being careful not to) It's a bit like the hare and the tortoise.
The French foiler, l'Hydroptere, after capsizing on 20 December 2008 Gilles Martin-Raget / Hydroptere
Up in the Mediterranean, there's a sailing trimaran hydrofoil that just might be spending its Christmas upside down.
Down in New Zealand, there's a family of Belgians on a cruising boat Wakalele, with Annemie and Stephan and their children on board,
Wakelele .. .
who have just decided to stop their cruising because they like New Zealand so much, and settle there.
Malalaika sailing between Las Perlas and Ecuador .. .
In Fiji, South Africans Lynne and Chris on cruising boat Malalaika, have just taken two years to cross the Pacific, ended up in Fiji accidentally, and are currently house sitting in the mountains of Fiji.
My Bow Tie Lady .. .
Down in Ascension Island, Australian Peter Barker on Bow Tie Lady, has just phoned in to tell us how much he has enjoyed St Helena, and is set to have one of the most interesting Christmases ever on the remote South Atlantic Island
And there are hundreds more, sitting in anchorages, crossing oceans, or departed from boat life for a luxurious bath or two on shore for Christmas, or to spend it with land bound family.
Vive all! Happy Celebrations to you all, wherever you are, and I wish you the best possible New Year for 2009. If you're not 'out there' right now, don't let the 'Meltdown' dominate your life - forget it all and come sailing!
Now read on and enjoy...
Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor
l'Hydroptere: All I want for Christmas is an upright boat! Sail-World Cruising, 'All I want for Christmas is an upright boat.' Just prior to her capsize, this sailing hydrofoil had sailed at the amazing speed of 61 knots off the coast of France.... [more]
Seawind Seminars at Miami Strictly Sail Boat Show Brent Vaughan, For the past two years, Seawind Catamarans have been host to a series of information seminars at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in Australia, which were all extremely well attended. Now these seminars are going on the road and will make their American debut at the Miami Strictly Sail Boat Show to be held at Bayside, Miami FL, USA on February 12 – 16.... [more]
Win a Southerly Offshore Jacket, a Seabrake or an inflatable PFD Sail-World, To celebrate the season, Burke Marine are running their first ever Sail-World online competition. You can win a Southerly offshore jacket, a Seabrake or a Burke Marine Inflatable PFD in the latest Sail-World online Competition... [more]
Coast Guard Goes Green in time for Christmas BW Media, The string of bright, blue holiday lights wrapped around the display anchor at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in the USA signifes a bright future for Coast Guard units of New England, and just hopefully will be a model for the rest of the world of rescue authorities... [more]
When is an Ocean not an Ocean? - When it has no Fish. Blackwattle Studios, Most cruising sailors love to troll for fish, or throw in a line when anchored. It's good fun, although sailing would still be sailing without the fish. However, many of the world's coastal populations depend on heavily fish as their main diet, and a lack of fish would spell disaster for the world. So when scientific studies show the fish are fast disappearing, it's understandably alarming.... [more]
Teenaged Adventurers:One Baffled, One Charging on
Two teenaged adventurers who are both trying to circumnavigate the world solo are so different that maybe the only thing they have in common at the moment is the fact that they are both in African waters.... [more]
French Sailor Rescued, Yacht Sails Alone - Update Sky News/Sail-World, Injured round-the-world yachtsman Yann Elies is in a serious but stable condition aboard Australian frigate HMAS Arunta after being rescued in the Indian Ocean on Saturday night, and his abandoned yacht is sailing north alone, also waiting for rescue.... [more]
EPIRB, Flares & Coast Guard Rescue Yacht in Storm Coast Guard, A yacht with a disabled engine and shredded sails has avoided a disaster in cold stormy seas with little visibility, with the help of their EPIRB, flares and the speedy and skillful attention of the Coast Guard. The incident occurred in the Atlantic Ocean off Rhode Island, USA, this week, and shows again the importance of these safety items.... [more]
Phoenicia Departs Port Sudan for the 'Pirate Zone' Business Wire, In H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, history is altered by a scientist who seeks his own epic adventure, traveling through time. Similarly, a group of present-day adventurers are seeking to rewrite history through their own amazing journey. The Phoenicia Expedition will circumnavigate Africa in an attempt to prove that the Phoenicians were the first people to conquer such a feat.... [more]
Calling all Young Yacht Designers Boat International Media, A transformation will come to the life of one young yacht designer in 2009. If you are, or you know of, a young yacht designer who would like to zoom straight to the top in the world of yacht designers, think about entering the 'Young Designer of the Year Award Competition, 2009... [more]
Marten 49 Summer Celebration Andrea Francolini, On a picture perfect 'Champagne sailing day' 4 boats from around Australian and 1 New Zealand crew flew in for a different regatta.... [more]
Letter from the Indies: St Barts and St Martins
Andrea and Ian Treleaven, on their yacht Cape Finisterre, continue their tales of sailing in the Caribbean. Don't miss Andrea's story about the dinghy that was determined to escape: It's a wake up call when something goes off beam. It was our last night in St Kitts, the winds had settled and we were looking forward to sailing the next day to the luxury island of St Barts.... [more]
Dismasted Cruising Sailor: 'I only need diesel.' Kristin Edge, Northern Advocate/Sail-World, In an admirable display of calm seamanship, a solo European sailor on 12 metre cruising yacht Guardian, on his way from Tonga to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, has been dismasted, and has said 'No' to abandoning his boat when requested to do so by rescuers. He says the assistance that he needs is merely of fuel, and is hoping to obtain some from a passing commercial vessel... [more]
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