Pixie Sails!

If you’re not aware of this, Bill Norrie on his BCC Pixie is on a solo circumnavigation from west to east. He left Alberta, Canada, in November and is cruising along from South Africa to Australia. You can track his progress along with some short notes on his Yellow Brick tracker: YBlog - YB Tracking. (sorry - I have no idea how to make the link live on here.) He and his wife, Cathy, also have a great blog.

They “right sized” from a PSC 37 to the BCC after a 5 year circ on that boat.

What better way to “enjoy” a global pandemic than at sea on a very long sail. Hard to be much more socially distant than the middle of the Indian Ocean Sounds like my idea of heaven
Go the unstoppable BCC,


And “Seaburban,” which someone mentioned a few weeks ago, is 200 to 250 miles to the southeast of “Pixie.” They are both about to get walloped by another system, one of several they’ve weathered in the last two weeks or so - 40-45 knots sustained, 7-8 metre seas. Seaburban is an OCY 45, based on the Reliance 44 hull. Her single - handed skipper is Bert Terhart who comes from Gabriola Island in the Salish Sea, about 25 kilometres away from me here on Salt Spring Is. So two Canadians in tough and glorious self-isolation. “Pixie” seems to be “comfortable” heaving to (at least once with a sea anchor deployed) while “Seaburban” has relied on running off - not sure if he’s streamed a drogue.

Derek Lundy

An update on “Pixie:” She just made it into Lyttelton, the port for Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, 95 days out of Cape Town where she had had to put in for repairs. This was a particularly long passage because she had to weather a series of strong, dangerous systems coming down on her one after the other between 40 and 45 degrees, the worst of them south of Australia. Winds up to 55 knots sustained, seas 10 metres or more (significant wave height). Her invariable storm tactic was to heave to, and when conditions got very hairy, to deploy a parachute sea anchor, which her skipper, Bill Norrie, seems to have done 4 or 5 times. He praised her ability to stay safe and reasonably comfortable with this arrangement. He suffered only minor damage on this leg - a wave coming below as he was going on deck which soaked some of his electronics. And on its last deployment, his sea anchor succumbed to chafe and was lost, Otherwise, the BCC came through a very tough test as we would all expect. Bill is now apparently drinking beer while standing in a hot shower.

Bill has made it home!! Congratulations Bill on living your dream! It was wonderful watching your track and reading your comments. Some of you may have missed this link to his blog on some of the preparation work on Pixie: Pixie Gets New… Everything!! – Pixie Sails

Thanks Derek for your updates. Where is Seaurban now?

Dan, thanks for the update on Pixie. She had a tough time for the final 4 or 5 days - calms and fluky winds off the coast and in Juan de Fuca. And she had struggled with high pressure windless areas which kept forming over her north of Hawaii and after she’d made the turn east. Bill managed to maintain his patience and his sense of humour.

Seaburban got back to Victoria on July 19th, I believe and is now in her home harbour on Gabriola Island. She was luckier than Pixie - rode some good westerlies all the way from when she turned east at about 44 north and right into the entrance to the Strait. I understand that Bert was one of the first welcomers to meet Pixie. Both wonderful achievements, but from our points of view of course, especially for the BCC.

Can this be described as one of the more notable voyages for a BCC?

Bill’s voyage is certainly the most notable I heard of. We met Bill and Cathy in Desolation Sound several times when they had just bought their previous boat, the Pacific Seacraft 37. He and Cathy went on to sail Terrwyn in a 5 year circumnavigation. I think he caught the BCC virus from Shaula, although I’m sure the Pardey’s should probably take most of the blame. When Bill was younger, he was a mountain climber that did expeditions, like Alps, Andes, Himalayas, etc., not the usual background of BCC owners I think.