A voyage from the North of Scotland (above)
to Tahiti (right) and beyond.....
Pre GPS, email and Weatherfax, and with no
engine or electrics, a standing lug rig and flush deck giving
maybe 4ft of headroom below, this was truly minimalist sailing.
But back in 1973 for my then partner Julie (20) and myself
(23), The Aegre was a ticket to a most amazing adventure.
This is a brief account of the origins
of the idea, the preparation and the voyages. Voyages which
took us from the far north of Scotland to Madeira and the
Canary Islands then on across the Atlantic to the West Indies,
across the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal and half way
across the Pacific.
From 4 gales in 10 days in the North
Atlantic to a 360 roll and dismasting 150 miles south west
of Tahiti, the story of the voyage of The Aegre requires a
strong stomach and a good supply of seasickness pills. Best
read in the dark using an oil light sitting squashed under
a table with all the doors and windows open and a gale blowing
outside. For more authenticity have someone throw buckets
of cold water at you at random intervals. Stay there for a
couple of months at a time. You'll get the idea.
The story has been partially published before
in NZ SeaSpray magazine (October 1976-March 1977), and in
Classic Boat magazine (February 1998). A photo of The Aegre
taken in the Marquesas appeared on the cover of 'Pacific Skipper'
May 1977 issue.
This version contains many previously unpublished
photos plus additional material and some retrospective comment.
Your comments and questions via the Discussion Board are welcome.
After all these years it does seem like it's
worth a book. My sailing partner Julie has agreed to contribute
to it, as has Andy Bryce, in northern Scotland who originally
commissioned the building of The Aegre. And so too has Gene
Feldman, who bought The Aegre from us in Pago Pago back in
1975. Well we're working on it.
was built in 1965 in Wick, NE Scotland, by Mr Tammy
with a beam of 7ft, a long deadwood keel and internal
She is believed
to be similar to the classical Shetland Foureen
Prior to heading off across the
Atlantic she was given a full whaleback deck in
1973 by Mr Bob Macinnes in Scourie, NW Scotland.