The RIN Joint RIN Small Craft Group/Royal Thames Yacht Club Joint Autumn Meeting will be held as a webinar online.
The topic for Rod Heikell’s talk is based on the last chapter of his latest book
'The Gift of a Sea: A short history of yachting in the Mediterranean’.
The talk starts with the Periplus of Skylax, arguably the first sailing guide to the Mediterranean and continues on through early contributions from the Greeks to the first Portulans. Sailing guides for the yachtsman started in the 19th
century but it wasn’t until the 1960’s that yachting pilots really came into their own with the likes of Henry Denham and Phillip Bristow and later the RCC Pilotage Foundation. Today electronic navigation has made our navigation so much easier, but
there are caveats to navigation in the digital age. In this book he has painstakingly put together the history of sailing for pleasure in the Mediterranean from the ancient Egyptians up to the present.
About the speakers:
Rod Heikell was born in New Zealand in 1949 and sailed hesitantly around bits of its coast in a variety of yachts. In England he abandoned academic life and for no good reason other than curiosity, he bought a 1950’s plywood JOG yacht nearly 20ft long, and sailed it down to the Mediterranean. He worked on charter here and delivered yachts until, in ignorance of the scale of the task, he set off to write a yachtsman’s guide to Greece. This was followed by guides for other countries in the Mediterranean. Subsequent sailing voyages included to SE Asia and back for the research for Indian Ocean Cruising Guide. Apart from sailing the ‘wrong’ way and
back again the ‘right’ way across the Indian Ocean, he has done four transatlantics. However, he always returns to the Mediterranean, his favourite cruising grounds, where with his wife Lu he updates his guides on the area.
Lu Heikell grew up in the west country and gained a love of cruising and dinghy sailing from her father, Peter. She met Rod when she joined him as crew on a trip from the Azores to Gibraltar in 1999. Many sea miles and a circumnavigation later she and Rod have lived, loved, and worked together for twenty years and live on the Isle of Wight when not on their beloved yacht 'Skylax'.
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