Links to the idea and preparation pages Links to the voyage from Scotland to Madeira Links to the voyage across the Atlantic & Caribbean Links to the voyage across the eastern Pacific Link to an account of the mid Pacific capsize Links to story of the 1500 mile voyage after the capsize Link to the Caledonia Yawl Crazybird homepage

Introduction - by Nick Grainger

12,000 miles in a 21ft Shetland boat?

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This version contains many previously unpublished photos plus additional material and some retrospective comment.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.

The Aegre departing Tahiti - click to enlarge

The Aegre was built in 1965 in Wick, NE Scotland, by Mr Tammy Edwardson.
21ft LOA, with a beam of 7ft, a long deadwood keel and internal ballast.
She is believed to be similar to the classical Shetland Foureen design.
Prior to heading off across the Atlantic she was given a full whaleback deck in 1973 by Mr Bob Macinnes in Scourie, NW Scotland.

But in the meantime here is Part 1, The Idea....

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