The end of a great adventure is a nostalgic time, but also a hopeful one. So many great memories and friends met. But, also the promise of new adventures ahead.
After 11 1/2 years of voyaging in S/V DESTARTE’, my 1981 BCC-28, I’ve decided to put her up for sale in Brisbane, Australia. I bought her in 2005 at Shillshole Marina in Seattle, Washington, after retiring from the Navy. My plan was to have a 2 year sabbatical and sail to Mexico. That sabbatical has turned into a “baker’s decade” and a crossing of the Pacific, voyaging through many of the islands of Polynesia.
The first cruise was through the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands. Then, out the Strait of Juan de Fuca and down the wild, not-so-pacific coast of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California–during the Autumn. She weathered two, clear air gales, as I learned how well she heaves-to. A Winter’s cruise through mid and southern Cali ended at San Diego, home of my club.
The Baja HaHa in 2006 was the trigger to go to the Sea of Cortez for a year, and then cruise the Mexican Riviera for another year. Perhaps the two happiest years of my life. It’s hard to beat the warm, calm weather, friendly Mexican locals, and collegial cruising characters in Pacific Mexico.
After returning to work for a year and a half, the Sirens called me back to follow in the wakes of Cook, Bligh, Moitessier and Robin Lee Graham, and voyage through the South Pacific. 2010 was the crossing year to Marquesas, Rangiroa, Tahiti, Moorea and the Isle Sous le Vent.
The next leg, in 2013, was Bora Bora to Fiji by way of Suwarrow in the Cooks, American Samoa, and Tonga.
This past year, 2016, the journey was completed through Vanuatu and New Caledonia to Bundaberg, Australia, and then down through the Great Sandy Strait to Scarborough Marina in the Brisbane area.
I’ve done some of it single handed, and some with a crew, generally one other person: 7 were women and 6 men. In between passages, I would return to work in the US. But always, the call of the sea has been in my ears.
The boat performed very well. You all know her seakeeping qualities and her legendary ability to heave to well. Her beauty was part of the voyage, because people just come up to you when you sail a lovely boat and want to know who is the owner of such a vessel. This starts many friendships. With a BCC, the boat essentially becomes your calling card.
Although I plan to move on to a somewhat larger boat in the future, I’ll always cherish the time I’ve had living out my boyhood dream on this beautiful vessel. Thanks, Mr. Hess!