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Oilskins for Winter Sailing

It’s time I told you about our Mullion oilskins. A couple of years ago we were singing the praises of Decathlon’s cheap and cheerful breathable oilskin jackets; and we still reckon that those oilies are far better value for money than the leading name brands. But we’ve now come across something which knocks them into a corner. Credit for the discovery of this new brand of oilies goes to an Irish sailor who contacted us after reading about our journey…

Mollymawk: The School of Life

This article was written by our Brazilian friend, Gean Monteiro. Gean has spent many months sailing aboard Mollymawk over the course of the past five years. In fact, it’s high time we got round to giving him a place on our Crew page. I’ve often suggested that he might like to put together some words which describe our adventures together. What I wasn’t expecting was something which would make us blush to the tips of our toes…!

Wat Pah Maha Somut

1 2 3 4 Day Four of our six day cruise in the Beagle Channel was spent anchored alongside Polarwind. In fact, by the time we had run back down the fiord from the glacier, on the previous evening, there was already another little charter yacht moored to Polarwind‘s other side – so, in fact there were three of us snugged away in the cove, all set to ride out the storm which was forecast to come our way on…

Sailing Lessons for the Sangha

1 2 3 4 Day Two – and the forecast showed a strong headwind pumping down the Beagle Canal. Glad to have the chance to set some sail and to show our guests how a boat is really supposed to travel, we set forth from our night’s refuge at first light. Oswaldo had planned on leaving at the same hour, but when we weighed anchor there was no sign of life aboard Polarwind. Even before we left the shelter of…

There is Suffering

1 2 3 4 The plane is landing. And I’m still tidying the cabin. I grab my wellies and pull them on; we leap into the dinghy, and Nick pulls hard on the oars. The creek is just 100 yards wide, but Puerto Williams airport is one of the smallest in the world. By the time we’ve landed and I’ve scrambled up the bank, the last of the passengers has already climbed out of the Twin Otter and is walking…

How the Buddha Came Sailing

Ever since I first heard the Buddha’s teachings, some three and a half years ago, I’ve fantasised about the idea of taking a couple of monks sailing. The Buddha and his monks and nuns dwelt in the forests of northern India, and the branch of Buddhism which resonates with me is the one which sticks closest to the life which he advocated: a life verging on the ascetic, with the monastic members of the community still camping out in huts…

Glaciology and Global Warming

During the past couple of weeks Mollymawk has been a-voyaging without her Second Skipper, the reason being that Caesar has been having fun elsewhere. To be exact, he’s been signed up to serve as mate aboard a famous expedition yacht called Northanger. After a fortnight of hard work, while he prepared the boat for her forthcoming voyage, he’s heading back to the glaciers once more, and this time he’ll be checking them out in the company of a trio of…

Cruising the Glaciers of the Beagle Channel

Mollymawk has just returned from a six week cruise amongst the ventisqueros, or glaciers, of the Beagle Channel. Most yachts make this round trip in a fortnight or less, but — well, as you know, we like to travel very slowly… We mollymawks like to have time to get to know the places that we visit but, truth to tell, one could spend six months and more on the ventisqueros circuit and still not see everything. For this post we’ve…

The Boggy Isles

I used to think that bogs were rather drab and dismal places. They’re definitively damp, and nothing much grows there except… well, you know – boggy stuff. Some of that ‘stuff’ I identified tentatively as sphagnum moss, and the rest I dismissed as “some other kind of moss”. And who could possibly get excited about moss? Well, lots of people, as it turns out; and me too, eventually. It turns out that the flora of the Cape Horn National Park…

The End of the World is Nigh : The History of Cape Horn

The wind blew hard from the south-west, driving up great waves. Not since they left the northern hemisphere had the ship ridden seas this big – but far from being afraid or dismayed her captain was ecstatic. During the months that she had spent on the coast which we now know as Argentina the Endracht had seen plenty of strong winds, but always before the adjacent land had provided a lee. Now, evidently, there was no lee, or else how…