In 1991 the original owner paid the deposit to Orion Marine in Falmouth for a Rustler 36 that was to become hull number 56, “Artemis of Lleyn”. In 1992 she was displayed at the Southampton Boat Show. Her first season of use was 1993.
During 1995 she did a circuit of the Atlantic and cruised in the Caribbean. After that she was in the Baltic for three years and cruised as far as the Russian border in Finland to the East and the Aaland islands in the North.
I knew that I wanted to sail; that was the easy bit. The hard bit was knowing what I wanted to sail.
Two weeks on a brand new Dufour 350 with self tacking jib showed me exactly what I didn’t want. A roll threw me on to the chart table and it broke. The locker fittings broke as you opened them and we found some screws on deck at the bottom of the mast. And the noise of the flat bottom at the bow slapping the waves was awful. Four weeks on a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 were fun and most of the time I could actually reverse in to a marina, but deep down I knew I was looking for something else.
After 18 months I had read all the arguments in the Internet about sail area/displacement ratio, stability index and the angle of vanishing stability and was thoroughly confused. The only useful result of all my reading was that I was slowly getting a feel for what I should be expecting to pay for the boat of my dreams.
Thirty years ago I was a young member of the British Army out sailing in the Mediterranean. I was actually meant to be in Germany protecting the free world from the Soviet menace but that was a very boring way to spend a summer so instead I was off sailing.
One night we were sailing west towards the setting moon and I was alone at the starlit helm enjoying riding over the seas that approached as looming black hills. The weather was perfect, the temperature just right, the boat perfectly trimmed and I decided that I was just going to remain at the helm and keep sailing west for ever.
I have been using Garmin devices for years to navigate to new places and to record my adventures. Additionally I use a Polar Training Computer to record my fitness training. Recently I updated to a Garmin eTrex Touch 35t partly in the hope that I could reduce the amount of devices I need and the complexity of my data aquisition.
After a long pause I am returning to sailing. This year I took the RYA day skipper course and exam. A part of the course was about navigation and if you believed what you were taught then you could be forgiven for thinking that it was all about understanding the charts and pilotage notes and applying them.
So what is this entry actually about? Well, some of us “work & holiday” backpackers end up liking Australia so much or not having any idea what else we want to do, be it back home or elsewhere in the world. After spending one year in Australia we think “Hey, I’d like to spend another year Down Under”.
Fortunately, for us, Australia has a visa which grants exactly that, another year on the same terms as the first working holiday visa (subclass 417). As I could find no help online exept a few unofficial websites that offered the visa (while wanting money for their help), I decided to write this article. Continue reading “Getting a Second Year Visa for Australia”
Probably the most annoying sentence that one has to hear is “But you are so lucky!”
My daughter spent the last summer working in Portugal and then flew on to Shanghai to work. One son is training to be a joiner and loves it. The other son is working his way across Australia and has now been doing so for nearly a year. I have a job I love and enjoy at least one adventure every year. And all because we “are so lucky”. It is not luck and the record needs to be set straight. Continue reading “Why we hate hearing “But you are so lucky!””
Elsewhere I mentioned that an important factor in achieving your adventure is to make and then keep to your training plan. This applies equally to training new skills or to your physical training.
I enjoy cycling (mountain bike and road bike) and the last few years we have been doing a week long road bike trip each Spring. Obviously it is vital to have a route planned but, with routes of a thousand kilometers, it is your fitness program that decides between success and failure.
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I was writing an article for this site and decided I had some text that I wanted to separate in an “infobox”. Ideally I wanted the infobox to take up about half the space on the right side of my column and for the text to flow round it. Checking in Google I found links to plugins that world achieve this but I also found that plugins can not be installed on sites hosted at WordPress.com.
The world is full of potential adventurers; people who have a plan to “get out there and do something”. But in reality most of them are waiting for a tomorrow that never comes.
A couple who had cycled to Nepal were giving a presentation to a packed hall. They cycled up to Finland, across in to Russia, took the Siberian Express (after smuggling their bikes on board) and then cycled across the Gobi Desert and through the Himalayas. After the presentation, some one asked what the most difficult part of the journey had been and the man answered “setting off!”