AROUND THE WORLD (Again) By Cpt. Martyn Walker
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On the next Owners trip in Thailand the Boss casually said he was busy for the next couple of months and would not need the boat. It was decided that he wanted to cruise his own country having sailed to so many other places. East Coast of the States for the summer. His word was my command and we sailed from Phuket for Ft Lauderdale. The total miles logged for that trip was 11,600nm. As we arrived at the Bahia Mar marina in Florida someone on the dock asked me, ‘did you just come from the yard’! I think he was living inside or we were traveling ‘outside the box.’ What a great compliment to my crew. I learned from Captain John Bardon years and years ago on the schooner Jessica, and thought he was nuts for it then, having just crashed our way across the Golfe Du Lion, clean the boat before you enter port!
At this time the boat was put up for sale somewhat semi seriously. None the less we made our way up the Chesapeake Bay to Philadelphia, the new regulations stretching the Maryland pilots to comply, and my explaining to the coast guard why I was reporting and changing my NOA (notice of arrival) three times a day. I had a funny incident in a town called Portsmouth where while anchored 100 metres from the US Coast Guard station and after very regular reporting with times and places the coast guard called us up and asked where we were. A 47 metre boat is not so small in that area. I guess he did not have a window. After cruising as far as Bar Harbour, where I had my life threatened by a young fisherman for running over one of zillions of fishing pots in the shipping channel, we headed for the Lauderdale Boat Show. I doubt I will buy a summer home in Bar Harbour.
With no takers at the show we sailed for the Caribbean on charter and out to the Galapagos for January 2005. From the Galapagos to Costa Rica and up to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico for the summer. Our arrival in Mexico was made interesting as there was not enough water in the bay to get to the berth on the opposite side, where we had been allocated to carry out our refit. A Spanish speaking crewmember and again a good agent solved the problem after some time and a few pesos of course.
Encouraged by talk of qualified buyers at the San Diego Yachtfest we had first to sail to San Francisco for Lloyd’s work. What a great bunch of workers they are at Bay Yacht and Ship. I highly recommend them for a haul out on that coast. San Fran is such a great city and the compulsory pilotage will get you an 80 dollar tour of the historic sites, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Oakland. Pilots love to talk about their harbours.
On to San Diego and the Yachtfest where we won ‘best boat in show’. Again my memories are so fond of San Diego, what great friends I have found in and around yachting there. With this show under our belt the Montigne days were obviously drawing to a close and we made our way back to Florida, around two hurricanes one of which, tropical depression 29, was to become hurricane Wilma.
The Montigne sat her days out in Ft Lauderdale waiting for her new owner. An interested party made a run at the boat and I was asked if I would consider the delivery to the Far East. ‘Sure I said’ ‘I could use the sea miles.’
The trip never came off and I said farewell to a fine vessel that had served her Owners and crew proud. For the two weeks prior to departing for the sale I drove over 17th Street bridge daily and looked down on Montigne at her berth at Pier 66 with a sense of loosing a part of me. On walking away when the day came I had gathered all of my feelings into an old sea bag and walked off proud and content at having been a part of an incredible journey.
What was the best place that we visited! It was a question often put to me. I never really knew how to answer it until the Boss one-day did it for me when asked the same by an agent. He replied, ‘Mangos and oranges are both tasteful fruits, how can we compare them to say which are best. The world with its people is a fascinating place, with so much beauty and many wonderful folk.’
And to see it, underway was the only way!
Contact Martyn: firstname.lastname@example.org
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