James ‘Scotty’ Scott on preparing to sail slowly for six months, supporting the first attempt to swim the Pacific Ocean Words by James ‘Scotty’ Scott – Published January 19, 2017 in Adventure, Innovation The most remarkable journeys always begin with the smallest of steps. In an ongoing series Avaunt looks at the preparation, training and planning involved in…

The Longest Swim…

This is a long overdue post, and hopefully the beginning of a wide and varied set of articles spanning the next year. Sometime last March, during the some motorbiking action in Australia, I received a call about a little sailing adventure. Despite having good plans for the year in Australia, the lure of a truly…

Avalon sailing

A mini-sailing adventure out from San Diego was on the cards. Having spent 2 months in San Diego, living on, working on, and occasionally sailing, an 83′ sailing schooner, we had never made it far enough to have a proper explore of the wonders the Californian coastline has to offer. Luckily, when 2 Frenchmen and…

The long haul South.

Oregon behind me, progress down the 101 was fast and picturesque. I soon ran off the edges of my two afore mentioned and over-priced maps, but quickly worked out if I kept the ocean on my right, and the desert on my left, San Diego would probably pop up in a couple of days or…

Ocean portraits

When collating my photographs after my year of Clipper (no mean feat), I realised that I had unintentionally accrued a collection of photos that I felt quite well expressed life at sea. It should be said, however, when things were going really badly, there wasn’t usually time to be getting the camera out, so that…

Wilson Inlet – Solo spinnakers

Third time out, light airs, another gorgeous day. I wasn’t the only one to have thought it was a great day to go sailing, and another small catamaran was slowly coming downwind under mainsail as I tacked upwind close to them in order to say hi. We agreed that it was a cracking day for…

Wilson Inlet – My first solo sail

Sailing with Court was fun, but he only went and got himself gainful employment for a few weeks, which left me to play with his boat on my own. While it doesn’t really count as ‘solo sailing’, I did go sail his boat by myself. It’s only little, so perfectly manageable as one person, but you…

Wilson Inlet – A small sailing adventure

Wilson Inlet is wonderful bit of water in Denmark, South West Australia. A slice of paradise, neatly nestled in the corner of the WA wine region. I recently had the pleasure of staying with my good friend Mr Courtney Powys and his lovely family for a few weeks, and among being part of Denmark life and…

Clipper RTW – Leg 8: Across the pond, around the top

The final stretch now ahead of us, we started out of New York in the company of people even crazier than us. As we motored out of the main channel we passed two Brits setting out on their attempt to row from NY back the UK. It was an impressive sight to see them in…

Clipper RTW – Leg 7: Coast to Coast, Part 3

So Jamaica was fun. Riding round in route taxis, generally causing trouble with Mike Carter, ending up getting shot full of antibiotics by Dr Dan, and a good day spent rafting down a river.

Clipper RTW – Leg 7: Coast to Coast, Part 2

The Panama Canal. An incredible feat of engineering, best appreciated from mid-way through, or space. For me, while the physical task of carrying out such a project is remarkable in itself, I find the most impressive bit the concept of joining two oceans of differing heights together, by cutting a path through an entire country. Truly trailblazing…

Clipper RTW – Leg 7: Coast to Coast, Part 1

San Fran to Panama. Roll on some of the best spinnaker sailing of the year. Take a left out of SF, chuck up a spinnaker, keep on going until the wind dies out. So we did. Initially all togged up as it was still a tad cold, the sailing was great, and lots of smiling…

Clipper RTW – Leg 6: Stitches and spinnakers

Qingdao to San Francisco was going to be a long one, and probably a fairly grey and miserable existence for a while. We started off our 6500nm trip with a small crew of 12. Considering Lindsay still had cracked ribs and I already had stitches, it was never going to be easy.

Clipper RTW – Leg 5: Another drift, then a thrashing, Part 3.

New skipper Jan onboard, we started out of Singapore, heading straight up to Qingdao, China. This was, however, to a be a short lived plan. When two of the other yachts suffered structural failures with a rigging component, it was deemed a high risk that other yachts would suffer a failure of the same nature….

Clipper RTW – Leg 5: Another drift, then a thrashing, Part 1.

Brisbane, Aus, to Qingdao, China, was always going to be up there as one of the most varied legs. Fast sailing up the coast of Australia, until the tropics where things were expected to get hot and slow again like our last equatorial crossing. Then busy busy on the entry and exit to Singapore, and…

Clipper RTW – Leg 4: The Bass Strait x 3

The next month would see us sail from Albany to Brisbane, while taking in a Sydney Hobart race, and transiting the Bass Strait three times. New Skip Burkes on board, and the biggest change around of crew thus far meant there was lots of learning to be done, from both new and old crew.  Still…

Clipper RTW – Leg 1: A drift to Brazil

Leg 1 of the Clipper race saw us depart London, UK, a quick sail to Brest, France, and then embark on a long, eventful, and at times unbearably slow journey to Rio, Brazil. This saw all the crew really cut their teeth on sailing the yacht, with much being learnt about every aspect of sailing and…