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- About Tom Cunliffe
the salty road to freedom
~ pilot cutters to high-performance cruisers,
journalism, books, film ~
and the sea…
I’ve been Mate on a coasting merchant ship and run yachts for gentlemen. I’ve operated charter boats, delivered all sorts of vessels, raced at quite high levels and have been teaching sailing intermittently for thirty-plus years. I became a Yachtmaster Examiner in 1978.
Classics have been my passion and for forty years I owned wooden gaffers. My wife Roz and I have sailed them all over the Atlantic, from southern Brazil to Iceland and from the Caribbean to Russia, with a number of trips to the US and Canada thrown in. I love traditional craft, but now I’ve finally gone bermudan. I’m happy sailing anything though that does the job properly.
25 September National Maritime Museum Cornwall
12 October Manchester Cruising Assoc
19 October Newhaven Yacht Club
30 October Chipping Norton YC
11 November Henley Offshore Group
23 November NVK Holland
25 January Westerly Owners
14 March CSSA
22 October Lady Emma
‘Pilots Cutters Under Sail’
Out 5 July
Signed book service is suspended until September as I’m at sea
Back in the 1970s I had the good fortune to meet Win Brown and her son Tony Adams on board her yacht Perula. She wrote Duffers on the Deep, one of my favourite nautical books. She told me then about some of her exploits, but I didn’t realise the full extent of her amazing life until I read a recently published biography by Geoff Meggitt. She was a true adventuress of the 1930s; canoeing in the upper reaches of the Amazon, winning the King’s Cup Air Race round England and sailing to Spitzbergen in her own yacht.
I heartily recommend both these books for a great read about an inspiring lady.
Duffers on the Deep by Winifred Brown, published Peter Davies 1939
Winifred Brown, Britain’s Adventure Girl No 1 by Geoff Meggitt, published by Pitchpole Books 2013more...
Gybing an yacht below 40ft or so in a light breeze, it is generally a waste of effort to pull in the mainsheet. Just gathering the parts and manhandling the boom across is perfectly safe. As the wind picks up, however, you’ll need to take precautions. Steer 10° or so off dead downwind, then heave the mainsheet right in and make it fast.more...