As with everyone on this world COVID has changed, slowed and halted all my plans. Last year I didn’t return to SWALLOW until June. Once back aboard I, and I assume Momma Kitty, enjoyed the six months we did have before deciding to head back on land to see, from a distance, family. Last year I choose to remain in the marina as Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands were swarmed with record numbers of boats. Going to the Canadian Gulf Islands and places north wasn’t an option (smart choice by Canada as the US is the world leader in COVID).
While aboard SWALLOW I spent my days doing a boat tasks, enjoying a row in the Montgomery 6’8″ (wishing my sailing kit for the dinghy was complete!) and reading all forms of books and magazines. The Internet connection is really bad at Port Ludlow Marina so I didn’t spend a lot of time watching YouTube or even going online. Being ashore with access to stable high-speed Internet means I’ve caught up on many of the YouTube Channels I enjoy. I thought I would share with you some of my favorite & why (in no particular order):
Sailing Wave Rover – Alan’s plan was to sail a self-modified 1979 Contessa 26 around the world. Well … coronavirus changed the circumnavigation info a circuit of the Atlantic: Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia, Azores, Canaries, Caribbean, and back to Prince Edward Island. His boat is simple and his story telling is not filled with the unnecessary drama and overproduction of many YouTube cruisers. You can binge watch the entire series or get a taste by checking out the three-part summary videos –
(Alan has also released a few very informative ‘lessons learned’ videos that I recommend for all sailors to review.)
Wind Hippie Sailing (at times also called Gecko Sailing) – After recommissioning GECKO, a Grinde 27, for her circumnavigation, Holly departed Maine, passed through the Caribbean, Panama Canal, and then completed a 41 day Pacific crossing to French Polynesia. As I type this she is still island hopping her way west. Holly’s videos are basic, real and have no fancy production – refreshingly different! Here is her channel’s introduction video –
Sam Holmes Sailing – Sam first crossed the Pacific to Hawaii on a Ranger 23. After cruising the islands for a few months he sold the boat and returned to the US mainland. Now on a Cape Dory 28, Sam has sailed from Florida to Maine and is currently recommissioning for a 2021 crossing of the Atlantic. He has a bootstraps, duct tape and bailing wire style to making videos, boat maintenance and repair that, for better or worse, works. Sam’s attitude is what is really infectious – he is always positive, doesn’t get frustrated, and is willing to give anything a try. Here is the first video about the Hawaii trip –
How to Sail Oceans – Kevin is a full-time liveaboard sailing an engineless full keeled gaff rigged Southern Cross 31. In 2020 Kevin crossed the Atlantic from Virginia to Ireland and then back across the Atlantic to the US Virgin Islands. His simply edited video style is educational and descriptive. Here is the first video of the 2020 Atlantic crossing series –
Cruising Lealea – Laura and Chuck sail and liveaboard a Albin Vega 27 named Lealea. They have had a YouTube channel since 2006 (before we called them ‘channels’!). They have sailed from Hawaii to Puget Sound, down the West Coast, back to Hawaii and then to Alaska. Their passage videos are done in a videolog style that is informative and shows real life on passage – no fake drama and intrigue. Here is the first video of the 2007 Hawaii to Washington State crossing –
junkming – From 2006 to 2018 Roger Taylor modified a Corribee, called Mingming, and a Achilles 24, Mingming II, into junk-rigged Artic Ocean cruisers. The five books about eight trips are excellent reads and his videos also share his tales about sailing to the Azores and the cold waters of the far North. Roger’s raw footage videos are descriptive videologs about day-to-day activities while sailing a small boat. What I really enjoy is the trip videos are just about sailing and living on very small and simple boats. as Roger generally doesn’t make landfalls during his voyages! To wet your apatite here is the first video in there series about sailing to Greenland –
NBJS – (No Bullshit Just Sailing) follows Erik Aanderaa’s North Sea adventures. If it isn’t blowing a gale and he is beating up wind Erik isn’t happy. After many years of practice sailing in conditions that keep 99.9% of sailors tied to the dock and in the marina bar Erik undertook a Norwegian Sea cruise from Norway to Jan Mayen to Iceland to the Faroe Islands and back to Norway. Erik’s videography is outstanding! This is the first of the Norwegian Sea cruise videos –
KEEP TURNING LEFT – Back before the current juggernauts of Sailing La Vagabonde, Sailing SV Delo and Sailing Uma even had channels there was Dylan was following the English coastline, always by turning left, on a series of small sailboats. His videos share wonderful visuals, Dylan is a retired BBC videographer, with his soothing voiceovers sharing observations, history and a good amount of British humor. His YouTube presence is now limited because of bad behavior on Google’s part (long story, maybe I’ll cover it in detail sometime, he has had multiple uploads with over one million views). You now find his videos on VIMEO (the older ones are lower fidelity as, well, that was all one had to record with back in 2008!). Here is the first video –
I hope you find these video channels enjoyable. These videos are, to me, real sailors really sailing. No bikini beach bodies on floating condos creating made up dramas. There are many YouTube channels these days and for me the above are the few that give me the most joy – mostly because they are relatable to my style of sailing.