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Sailing around the world

Episode 10: Jessica Watson Show Notes

Thank you to the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club for hosting us for the interview.

Find out more about Jessica's new venture at is proving to be a hit for yachties looking for advice on products, services and marinas

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Hi Folks, welcome onto the Ocean Sailing Podcast. This week we are at the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club and we are talking to Jessica Watson. So welcome along Jess.

Jessica Watson: Hello and thanks for having me.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Jess, happy birthday for yesterday. I understand it was your birthday and ironically, as part of researching questions for today, it's just gone past your six year anniversary since you completed your circumnavigation?

Jessica Watson: It has, which is a bit scary. Six years feels like a while, a lot has happened.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Has it gone fast or have you just packed a lot into the last six years?

Jessica Watson: It kind of feels like a couple of lifetimes ago which sounds ridiculous for a 23 year old to be saying that but it really does. I mean there’s so many things that have happened and it’s too much to keep up with, and it feels like another world.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well in six years, when you, given you were 17, almost 17 when you completed the trip, six years as a percentage of your life. You’ve had like another third of your life almost.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, well that’s a good way of putting it and that’s kind of how I feel.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, and I read in your Wikipedia profile that your nationality’s described as an Australian New Zealander. I hadn’t heard of that nationality before. Is that how you see yourself?

Jessica Watson: No, that’s the problem Wikipedia, don’t believe everything you read on it. I mean it is true to some extent but I wouldn’t call myself a Kiwi, sorry grandparents. Sorry Grandad particularly, he’d be a bit upset about that but Mum and Dad come from New Zealand originally, all my family are over there but I do see myself as an Aussie through and through. Sorry to the Kiwis. Love the place, great sailors but I’m definitely an Aussie.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s a lot warmer here, right?

Jessica Watson: It is, yeah.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, so today I wanted to talk to you and touch on a few points and ask you a few questions about your circumnavigation. I want to talk to you a bit about life after the trip, which has obviously been a big chunk of your life really and then we’ll talk a bit about your new project that you’re working right now, Deckee, and how that came about. Then we’re going to give Andy Lamont a bit of a surprise call and talk to him. He’s got some questions for you about his upcoming westward bound trip around the world in an S & S 34 called Impulse.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, I’m looking forward to that, I’d love to hear his questions and have a chat to him.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay. So I guess jumping back to your circumnavigation and just some questions around that. It appeared on reading your story along the way and afterwards in depth, that something that started out as an idea when you were a little bit younger, turned into quite a serious, well-planned, well thought out project that really gathered significant momentum in terms of the people and the sponsors and supporters that got behind it.

I guess my question for you is, were there moments as the departure date approached, where you suddenly had the flashes of panic, or you got cold feet, or you thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore but I’ve come too far, I’ve got too many people behind it?”

Jessica Watson: No, not at all. And I’m glad about that because that would have been a pretty scary position to be in. I think when I first started thinking about it I realised from doing that first bit of research, I was young. I was 13 by the time I had sort of made up my mind about it fully. So it was before then that I had been thinking about it for a while and I realised how much was involved and I always sort of knew from, even right form then that if I was going to do this, it had to be done properly.

It wasn’t going to be a matter of getting a cheap boat and throwing together a few bits of equipment, and a satellite phone and leaving. If I was going to do it, it had to be in the safest way possible and that meant a lot of money, and a lot of sponsorship and an incredible amount of support that did snowball.

First it was the local sail maker and rigger who were amazing and then it just snowballed into something bigger. I’m very happy that I didn’t have cold feet at the last minute because, as you said, there was a lot behind it at that point. I was just probably the exact opposite, I was just itching to go the whole time and that was actually probably the harder part was to actually slow down and go, “No, I need to do this last part of the preparation properly,” rather than just wanting to get out there so badly.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, and so I guess then by the time you left, you were so well prepared and well-travelled, and you had done so many thousands of sailing hours. By that point you were just comfortable and ready to go?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, definitely. I mean, you can always do more, particularly solo in that boat. I would love to have done more of that but it wasn’t sort of possible with having to be 16 and have your boat license. It might have been an issue around sort of legally being able to skipper a boat by myself. It just came down to time and the seasons. But we did decide that I’d sail through the pacific first so that also gave me the first few months in a much better part of the world if any issues did come up with the boat, which we weren’t expecting.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: You were headed in a warmer direction to start with rather than in a colder direction.

Jessica Watson: Yeah exactly and just less terrible bit of ocean to give the boat a good run in.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, and I read a comment, I’m not sure if it was a quote of yours, but it was along the lines of, “My mom and dad are quite timid when it comes to sailing and they just wouldn’t go out on a rough day but it became my norm.” I just kind of wondered have you always had that kind of gutsy, give it a go kind of attitude?

Jessica Watson: No, not at all. I think maybe it came from mum and dad who, you know, enjoyed boating and a little bit of sailing but really aren’t sailors at all. I was very, very scared and timid when I first started sailing and as a young girl and it was only few years later that I decided I wanted to sail around the world. So I kind of did a back with, I realised that if I was going to sail around the world I’d actually have to toughen up a little bit and yeah, pretending helped to start with.

But I think my approach was quite typical of I think a lot of adventurers rather than maybe sort of your typical kind of adrenaline junkie kind of idea of adventurer. My approach was kind of going back and looking at what could go wrong and that’s kind of the path that fascinated me more than the sort of adrenaline huge waves. I’ve always been interested in that but it was more about what can we do to make this safer? Which seems a bit boring but that’s the part that really fascinated me.

Jessica and her business partners

Ocean Sailing Podcast: I guess reading about some of the extremes going around Cape Horn and across the Great Australian Bight, you had to endure 10 to 12 meter seas, which most people can’t appreciate that sort of three to four story building in terms of height and winds of up to 70 knots and several knock downs. How would you describe to someone who has never sailed in rough whether what it’s like as a 16 year old on your own to out on the ocean and in the dark and those kind of conditions, how would you describe that?

Jessica Watson: Not easy to describe. I suppose the first thing is, I sort of say that not to just totally down play what the conditions are like but we were expecting, I was expecting conditions like that and the boat was built for those conditions in the end and that gave me a lot of confidence.

If you put me out in those conditions in any old boat, I would be utterly terrified but because I knew I had absolutely every chance and we’d prepared to actually deal with these conditions that gave me a lot of confidence. It’s incredible. They’re beautiful, the huge waves. It’s just not something you see, it’s just absolutely awe inspiring, obviously a little bit of terror comes into that as well.

You know, there are and there were particularly few hours in the Atlantic that were pretty horrible because I’d had a really horrendous knockdown where you’re thrown into the trough of the next waves upside down and just not knowing how the boat could possibly be structurally sound after that and I was sort of sitting there going, “If we get another wave like that, surely we can’t survive.” And pleasant surprise, I realised that the boat was actually still okay and it was my mind more than anything just getting away from me.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: With that, I guess one of the bigger risks for you was probably injuring yourself in the process rather than injuring the boat and the risk of breaking ribs and bones and skull fractures. How did you sort of manage your own safety in those types of extreme conditions?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, that was something to be very aware of, you’re completely by yourself, days or even weeks away from help. So really it kind of came down to the way I sailed, there was just no risks taken, I’m very proud of the fact I never left the cockpit in over 30 knots of wind. I think it was once where I went forward, not even on the foredeck, and that’s pretty kind of crazy really to think that you can sail around, the whole way around the world without leaving the cockpit in over 30 knots of wind. 

So I had my storm jib up when the storm would approach and I’d just reef down from the cockpit and fill away the last bit of head sail. So, very conservative and that was my approach to the way I did anything. There were lot of days when I was sailing a lot slower than I could have but again, I just didn’t like being cold and wet but also potentially hurting myself. I had little lap belts for storms where I’d sort of sit down and belt myself in to not be thrown around. Inevitably the worst knockdown happened when I wasn’t buckled in.

I remember walking up the walls onto the roof and you get pretty bruised up in a storm like that but I didn’t have any severe injuries at all. We did coat the inside of the boat with foam, probably as much for insulation but also kind of going, “Maybe it’ll help?” The great thing about an S & S 34 is that it’s quite small in the cabin. You go to see in a modern racing boat or even a modern cruising boat and it’s quite terrifying moving around down below because it’s this beautiful wide interior. It has the potential to be thrown 10 feet across the…

Ocean Sailing Podcast: That’s a long way you can travel before you hit something.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, exactly. So a nice small S & S 34 was a bit of a security there as well.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay. Now, I have to ask, I was texted this morning by my daughter Madison who is 16 and has been doing a bit of off shore sailing with us now, a bit of racing. She’s reading your book at the moment and she just texted me and she’s like, “Dad, I hope it’s not too late, but I have a couple of questions,” and we’ve already asked one but the other one was, she said, “Did you ever feel that you had under estimated the scale and the enormity of the journey and the trip compared to how it unfolded for you?”

Jessica Watson: I can probably honestly say no. In those hours and those moments when you’re actually seeing those waves, you know I spent so long imagining them and trying to work out what they would be like and it’s still, you just can’t really imagine. But overall, I’m really quite proud of the fact that I had a lot of fun out there and that sounds a bit ridiculous but before I left was so hard and even that whole incident where I hit that ship which, you know, you look back and it did happened for a reason. As unpleasant as it was, I think all of that really did sort of toughen me up and I got out of there and I actually was tough. I’m told I do downplay it, but I had fun and I’m proud of that, I enjoyed it as well as having those tough times

Ocean Sailing Podcast: So did you find that any sort of fears around some of the more extreme whether just sort of eventually fell away and you were more in awe of the wonder of the forces of nature and just the natural beauty of it. Even though you can have the roughest, most crazy weather out there. The most I’ve been in is maybe 45 knots and six meters. That got to a point quite quickly where you realise the boat’s going to be okay and it’s just the awe of what’s happening around you. Did you get to that stage or did you still feel this sort of unnerving sort of, “Are we going to be okay? Can it handle everything that’s ahead?”

Jessica Watson: Yeah, after that storm in the Atlantic, I had a big sense of, “Wow, the boat coped with that. It’s still okay. Oh my gosh, if it can survive that, it can survive anything.” And that was a wonderful thing to experience and have that knowledge that it’s a really, really tough boat. But then coming back towards Australia, I sort of got a period where there was storm after storm after storm, and getting a bit closer to land again that was pretty unnerving again. 

You start throwing land into the mix, things get pretty scary. Sea room is an incredible thing. Most people still have this idea they want to run for shore and be near shore and it’s to me, as a solo sailor, it’s just the last thing you want to be near when you’re in bad weather. So that was hard and that was a healthy reminder again of how you never want to forget that as much as it’s incredible, it’s important to remember.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s quite amazing when it’s just you on the ocean and you’re on your own little circle of the planet and there’s just clear water in every direction to the horizon, it’s just you and the ocean, there’s no traffic around, it’s a lot safer and it’s quite magnificent.

Jessica Watson: Obviously ships never gave me a lot of confidence having them around me and yeah, there’s something very special about an empty horizon in every direction and I don’t think many people understand that but it is an incredibly and, of course it’s lovely to share experiences with people and racing, but there’s also something very special about having it entirely to yourself.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Tell me about your sleeping patterns once you set out onto the voyage, you hear about solo sailors being up for 20 minutes and down for 20 minutes and that sounds quite arduous if you’re going to have to do that for 10 days. So what sort of patterns did you settle into once you got established on the journey?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, it got better throughout the voyage. It started out across the Pacific where you do have more islands and more shipping where I would be doing sort of 20 minute cat naps, 40 minutes and then the advice we sort of have got in all the research we did sort of pointed towards “you really need to get a 90 minute sleep cycle in every 24 hours.” And I was getting in a couple of them. It sounds incredibly harsh, I think people just hear that and go, “Oh my goodness, how do you do that?”

Jessica Watson learning to sail when she was younger

You get used to it, it’s the first few days that are often very tough. The first three days typically and it’s a shame that most people are only ever at sea for three days because it’s wonderful after that once you’ve found your legs and you’re in a new sleeping pattern and I would get a lot of my best sleep in the morning, after the sun had kind of risen and you’d be able to relax just that little bit more. Then when I got further south, there’s a lot less down there in the southern ocean so I would be sleeping for 90 minutes at a time and then waking up quickly checking things and going back to sleep, it’s a lot better.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: In terms of collision avoidance at sea, did you use radar, AIS? And what sort of range alarms did you set? 

Jessica Watson: AIS, it’s just fantastic. I mean the radar is great but it chews through a lot of power and even just the alarms I don’t think are really, you know, when you're out in the middle of the ocean, really it’s just big ships or ocean going vessels that you're dealing with. So they are on the AIS, which is fantastic and the alarms that you can setup were just fantastic. 

Obviously once I was well out to sea you’d just, well anytime actually. By myself when I’d ever be thinking about sleeping, you’d have it just the furthest setting and if anything comes on to the screen at all which could be a quite a number of miles away depending on the conditions for the radio, and that would wake me up with a very, very loud alarm. My alarm was incredibly loud. The AIS was something we changed, I had a couple of them after the collision and one of the reasons for the collision was the fact that the AIS hadn’t gone off as it should have.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah right. So the great thing about AIS is especially in bad weather when you can see a vessel 90 minutes away, not just a few minutes away, how amazing that is in terms of being safe and confident at night in the dark, in really adverse conditions. Especially being able to understand the closest point of approach and how long that’s going to take you before you’re at that point, instead of trying to guess in the dark which side of your boat the vessel is going to pass, whether you’re on a collision course. It’s amazing how deceptive lights in the dark is and being able to judge depth and those sorts of things.

Jessica Watson: Without a doubt. You don’t have to sit there on deck for the hour it takes to pass and better still, there are a couple occasions when a ship would look like it was going to be a little bit close and I would literally call them up on the radio and go, “Hey, it’s looking a little close, hint, hint, do you want to get out of my way? Give me a bit more room so I don’t have to go out in the cold and jive?” A couple of times I talked them into it.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: That’s pretty good.

Jessica Watson: I think they were just so shocked from hearing this little girl’s voice on the radio that they’re going, “What’s going on here?”

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, so let’s jump to the conclusion of your trip on May the 15th, 2010. You stepped ashore in front of 70,000 people. Did you do anything to prepare for that great down to earth speech that you gave in that moment or did you just sort of step ashore and just wing it?

Jessica Watson: No, I mean I knew. I think everyone had told me what I should expect and I’m glad about that because it might have been a bit too overwhelming if I had just stepped off and been hit with that. The most incredible thing was that the couple of days before because I was running, well not a bit early but everyone sort of wanted to set a date. Even all my New Zealand relatives and all the people that supported me wanted to be there. I was at that point, if I wanted to come in I would have just come straight in but I was very happy to sort of hang out and wait a couple of days, just slow ride down. 

And those couple of days were just the most amazing thing because I was able to sort of let it sink in and get my head together and then be ready for the day I got in. It was just overwhelming. I’m sure anyone who has been at sea knows that feeling of returning to a port and everything feels so close and you’ve had empty horizons and just seen, you know, I only saw land three or four times the entire time. It’s pretty boring and everything feels overwhelmingly close and intense. Every smell and every sight is just a lot more intense than it normally is.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: How challenging was it readjusting to life on the land, getting back into a schedule and having people all around you again?

Jessica Watson: Oh it was all just, I think I was riding a wave of adrenaline for a couple of years, I’m not exaggerating. It was incredible. I think a lot of people worried about how I might adjust but because there was just so many positive things happening, and I was a little bit strange and had a bad case of the sea legs. I think I used to never talk to people looking at their face and some silly little habits that I gained like that, just from being by yourself for so long.

But honestly, it was all so exciting and new because you’re doing these things you haven’t done, even the smallest things were a novelty. Just being able to go for a walk, which was still something I was enjoying months after.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: What doors have opened since May, 2010 as you entered the next chapter of your life that have really surprised you, that you didn’t see coming?

Jessica Watson: Look, there are so many things. One of the wonderful things was being able to go and actually do a bit of traveling afterwards. I’d sailed around the world but I hadn’t seen a lot of it. So whether that was sort of booked tours in all sorts of parts of the world and boat shows in Brazil and Europe and actually being able to do a bit of sailing in the Mini’s over in France. I really loved that.

I was sort of thinking whether I’d go down that competitive path for a while, and the Youth Sydney Hobart project we did is something I’m really proud of. That was a big project, it took a while, a lot of effort and energy went into that and really proud of the result. It taught me a huge amount sailing wise but much more than that as well.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: In terms of people management, leadership, and some of the skills like that?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, and we had the opportunity to work with some really amazing mentors and partners. Deloitte was one of our sponsors and they put us through some of their sort of leadership and team, very corporate style training and team work programs. That was really amazing to apply that to basically a bunch of teenagers on a yacht for sailing.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: I read about your role with the United Nations and your trip to Jordan and Lebanon where you met with Syrian refugees. Do you want to tell me about that?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, I mean obviously, the wonderful thing is that I’ve had the opportunity to support a lot of different organisations in the last few years and this is one that sort of has become a bit more of a long term role rather than a sort of once off. I have been over to Laos and to see the sort of school feeding programs over there and then, recently last year to Jordan and Lebanon. 

I mean they’re just an incredible organisation on a global scale and things like particularly with Laos. It was issues that are in our back yard and hunger and I think I’m just, you meet the families and the kids and they’re very inspiring. But I’m normally more inspired by the workers and what goes into, you know it’s not as simple as just dumping some food. So quite extraordinary and I’m just so lucky to have had those experiences. It’s again, changed me and taught me so much.

Ella's Pink Lady, an image that became famous across every household in Australia

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well it must be a pretty amazing perspective you have of the world now that you’ve had the opportunity to see it from so many different angles?

Jessica Watson: Yeah. Yeah definitely, very lucky to have had that and the funny thing is you think I sort of expected to walk away very upset from the refugee camps. But I actually walked away so inspired because I met some people who were making the best out of these situations. You come back here and my big sort of feeling was that we need to make the most of what we’ve got here and not waste it.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, it’s interesting, there’s a documentary called The Happiness Project, which is about where the happiest nations are in the world and interestingly, some of the African nations rank the highest because to gap between the expectations and how they actually live is nil.

Jessica Watson: Yeah.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: As opposed to many of the western nations where there’s lots of unhappiness because the gap between where they are today and their high ideals is vast. So it’s interesting when you talk about people being happy with their lot and being happy with exactly where they are despite how little we may perceive they may have.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, probably part of the reason I had a lot of fun sailing around the world as well because I had this expectation that it was going to be miserable a lot of the time. Got out there and realised it was actually quite enjoyable the majority of the time.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, so how much public speaking do you still do today? I guess there was a lot immediately after your trip, but do you still do much public speaking today?

Jessica Watson: A bit. A lot less than it was for a couple of years there but I still do a fair bit, and I have come to really enjoy it. I went through a period where I was just so sick of talking about sailing around the world but I’m really happy that I’ve found a sort of way of enjoying that again and bringing some of my other experiences into that which is something that I feel like is a good story and I enjoy talking about now.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, and where are you currently living?

Jessica Watson: Mostly down in Melbourne but I’m still up here in Queensland a fair bit with parents and family and I do seem to end up in Sydney a fair bit too. So East Coast Australia I think is a safe.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, and I read that you don’t really feel the urge to become a professional sailor and cruising’s more your thing. Did you ever feel the urge or the weight of public expectation when you returned from your circumnavigation with the questions sort of public about, “What’s next for Jessica?” Or, “What’s your next challenge?” And some sort of obligation to need to find new challenges to take on?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, there’s the one thing that people say and it seems to be literally the second thing they say to me is, “What’s next? What are you going to do to better that?” And I really struggle with that because everything I’ve done since, and finishing my degree and studying different things now, have bettered that to me. But people do seem to want me to go and do something more dramatic and media worthy than what I’ve done and I’m never going to do that for that reason.

Yeah, and it’s quite funny that some people seem to think that there’s some sort of ownership over me and what I should do that they have some sort of say in what they think I should be doing. It was something I was quite seriously considering whether I would want to pursue racing sailing and maybe race around the world by myself or something. But I kind of have come to realise, it took me a couple of years, that I just don’t have a competitive bone in my body, so it wouldn’t have worked too well for me.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Sometimes when something become a job, it’s not as much fun anymore as well.

Jessica Watson: That’s something that I’ve become more and more aware of and that’s really important to me. I love sailing and I love every part of it and I want it to be something that’s a big part of my life for the rest of my life rather than something I do as a job.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, and how did you feel about Ella’s Pink Lady being preserved forever in the Queensland Maritime Museum?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, that’s a perfect place for her. I mean by the time we’d finished setting her up for the voyage, she was sort of set up for one thing only and wasn’t going to help me with any of the racing I wanted to do. So that’s the best place for her. Bunch of school kids get to go visit and I go visit every now and again.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, that’s pretty cool and nice to think she’s not just going to deteriorate on a mooring somewhere and eventually get degraded like many other boats that don’t get the attention they deserve.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, exactly, it’s just wonderful. I didn’t have the time in those first few years to look after her and who knows what happens in the future, and this way she’s looked after forever.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Let’s talk about Deckee and your investment in that. It’s a technology based solution around the marine industry and it’s had some investment to date of some $90,000 and the Deckee website talks about being a service provider to a marine industry of more than a million boat owners that spend some $2 billion dollars a year on services in store and products. 

You have aspirations as a business for going overseas at some point and the business has been part of the Slingshot Accelerator Program and picked up a whole bunch of awards including tourism awards, start up awards, and digital creativity awards. So tell me about your role and how did you get involved?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, I heard about it, gosh it would have been late last year, maybe even more like middle of last, it would have been more like middle of last year and Mike had been through the accelerated program. Mike’s the founder and I heard about what they were doing and I suppose I just immediately saw there was a need for it. As a boatie, you’re traveling up the coast and you want to know where you should be finding the best marine businesses and locations. 

And we have all these fantastic cruising guides, which are wonderful but, huge big books in’ 2016? There should be a place for that on the Internet and I kind of eventually got involved because I realise that that’s something I want to be a part of and to give the boating community, particularly the sort of cruising sailing community, a place and an amazing resource online.

So yeah, my role is sort of communications manager but there’s only the three of us so it does mean a bit of everything for now, which is really wonderful. I absolutely love it because it’s working with amazing boaties all over the place and really exciting. We’ve got some great things happening with a rebuild of the site, pretty much done now so looking forward to rolling that out and getting some feedback on that as well.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, certainly great having everything online and on demand that you think of tips these days instead of having to carry everything on board and when you pull into a new destination or a new area, you may not have the information you need. So having that online and on demand is fantastic.

Jessica Watson rounding Cape Horn

Jessica Watson: Yeah, and obviously the other big thing about Deckee, so essentially part of it is that it’s a trip adviser for boating. So to have that information there from other people, not just the one author, you’ve got comments and reviews from a whole range of boaties who might have been there just the week before. So that’s where it will become really, really useful if everyone jumps on board as I’m sure they will be as they hear this and actually help the rest of the community out by sharing their opinion as well.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Just to clarify, it’s

Jessica Watson: That’s right, yep. Yeah, put it in Google or .com, it’s not that hard.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, and how old is the business now?

Jessica Watson: Well it would be, it’s just over a year now. Learned a lot in that first year, slowly and steadily growing and really hoping for some exciting things around this new website.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, and what’s your ultimate vision for the business and your plans beyond Australia?

Jessica Watson: Ultimately yeah, to provide a really helpful resource for the boating and sailing community. Australia first but certainly if it’s something that works here and it’s useful here, there’s a need for it around the world as well. So we’ll see where we go.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, and how many businesses do you have listed on there currently?

Jessica Watson: We’ve got close to 4,000, which I think out of six or 7,000 businesses, is significant. There’s still a way to go there so obviously we’re asking marine businesses to get in touch and definitely list their details and there’s the opportunity to be listed as a directory there but then also some of the ways it will be built in with locations and encourage your customers to actually leave the feedback there. There’s all this amazing feedback and people do want to say great things and this is the platform for it.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Great, and what sort of feedback have you had so far from the customers and the businesses that are benefiting from the platform?

Jessica Watson: We’re certainly seeing that people are saying that there’s a need for it, there are only so many options from the businesses perspective where you can be advertising your product and where is it actually relevant to be advertising, getting the word out about your business. 

Certainly that customer feedback is quite new. We’re seeing in every other industry that that’s becoming a really, really important marketing tool and it’s just, there hasn’t been a platform for that for the marine community yet. From a user feedback, obviously the more people on there, the more useful it gets. Hearing some positive things so far but we just know that the more people using it, the better it gets and that’s the important thing to get to that point. 

Ocean Sailing Podcast: What are the biggest things that are driving the growth of the site at the moment?

Jessica Watson: Well we are seeing a lot of people kind of discovering it through people, friends telling them about it. We’re getting out and doing sort of being part of as many community events as possible and then also through sort of the stories and the blog style articles that we’re writing, putting out a couple, normally one or two a week. A lot of people are reading that, sharing that and hearing about Deckee that way as well, which is wonderful.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, I’ve been chasing somebody for some details for a survey for three weeks, for a survey that I need to get done for insurance and last night I thought, “Why don’t I just go onto Deckee, look up the Gold coast and see what’s there?” And sure enough I found a surveyor straight away in Palm Beach and got the contact details and straight onto it.

Jessica Watson: Wonderful.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Otherwise if you can just Google the stuff, often you go mental because it brings up such broad results that it doesn’t often find what you’re looking for.

Jessica Watson: Well, that’s exactly it. Is that look, this is probably jumping ahead of myself a little bit here as I’d love to say Deckee become a bit of a Google for the boating world. It’s a place that you actually trust and you know that it’s actually boaties are on there, so it’s information for boaties rather than having to contend with everything on Google. Yeah, and we’ve had good feedback and that was around the award wins too about the design of the site. So something we’re keeping in mind as we build the new one as well.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, it’s a good looking site and I found it easy to use, and I think the review based concept is a really smart one.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, right direction but as I said, learning a lot as well which is really important because we want to be providing the most useful tool possible.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: What do you need more of right now to drive your growth? Is it business listings or customers, or essentially eyeballs and traffic to drive leads and contact to those businesses?

Jessica Watson: It’s hard to know what comes first, but really our focus is with the user and particularly a lot of our cruising sailors who are typically really generous people who want to share. Your average racing sailor might be a little more busy and heads down to the boat all weekend and doesn’t have a lot of spare time.

But cruising sailors are really generous and want to spread their opinions which is wonderful. So really engaging with them is number one concern and getting them on board in using the site, and hearing what they want to be using and what they want to see and then I think the businesses are seeing, once there’s a huge amount of people using the site and finding it useful that it’s something they want to be part of.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Are there any other similar websites in the world for the marine industry that are similar to Deckee, or is what you're doing here quite unique?

Jessica Watson: It is quite unique. There’s a few sort of similar concepts and in the States, we’re seeing, and globally a few sort of sites. Some pretty incredible marina booking platforms and things like that popping up, which is great to see that people are again sort of saying they want these resources online. But so far, yeah certainly it is quite unique but we’ll what happens I imagine in the next few years as well.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: So Jess, is there anything else you want to tell me about Deckee or anything else you wanted to share about Deckee and plans and ides for that before we give Andy a call?

Jessica Watson: No, look, I really want to encourage people to get on there and use it. Also we really love feedback and honest feedback. You know, that’s what’s going to help us grow and improve. So keen to hear that and hear what people think as the new site’s launched as well. So please do get on board and share your opinions, good and bad and your favourite anchorage. What’s good about that and what people need to be aware of.

Jessica enjoying the sunshine while sailing on Queensland waters

Ocean Sailing Podcast: The more people share, the more people get to benefit from that sharing and those reviews and that information.

Jessica Watson: Just becomes more and more useful, yes.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, great resource from that point of view.

Jessica Watson: Definitely, yeah.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, so Andy Lamont, we’re going to jump online and we’re going to call him through Skype to his mobile and we have a chat to Andy because I spoke to Andy maybe a couple of months ago, he’s got a trip coming up, big trip going west, going upwind for some crazy reason…

Jessica Watson: Yeah, that’s pretty crazy.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: …around the world, and he’s, it would be fair to say, he’s certainly a fan of yours. When I spoke to him I said, “If you had some questions for Jessica Watson, what would they be?” And he said, “I’d ask her about this, this, and that.” So got me thinking at the time, “Oh maybe I could organise for you to have a chat to him and maybe he could ask you those questions directly.”

Jessica Watson: Id’ love to. I always love somebody who has chosen the right boat for the voyage.

Andy Lamont: Hi, Andy speaking.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Hey Andy, it’s David here.

Andy Lamont: Hey Dave, how are you going mate?

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Good, thanks. Can you hear me okay?

Andy Lamont: Yeah, you're just a little bit faint, but I can hear you.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, I’ll try and speak up. So Andy, I’ve got somebody else here that is going to have a chat to you about your upcoming westward bound trip around the world and she’s listening in the background.

Jessica Watson: Hello.

OSP: In fact, we might have to sit a bit closer so she can hear you but I have Jessica Watson here Andy.

Andy Lamont: Oh Jessica? How are you going?

Jessica Watson: Yes, hi, good, how are you?

Andy Lamont: Good, thanks. 

Jessica Watson: Good to hear about your trip.

Andy Lamont: So is that you? Is that Jessica Watson, is it?

Jessica Watson: Yes, yes. Sorry.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: How many Jessica’s do you know?

Andy Lamont: I recognise your voice. Thanks for calling Jessica. Yeah.

Jessica Watson: No, no problem.

OSP: So Andy, we’re doing an episode for the podcast and Jessica and I have been having a chat for the last hour or so. When I had spoken to you a couple of months ago, you said if you could speak to Jessica, there are some questions you’d like to ask as part of your preparation. So now you have the opportunity.

Andy Lamont: Yeah. That’s right.

Jessica Watson: I love your choice in boat obviously.

Andy Lamont: Yeah. It was good to get an S & S 34 and just doing it up. Yeah, so where are you now Jessica? You’re in up north in…

Jessica Watson: In Brisbane, I’m down in Melbourne a lot these days but Brisbane today. You’re Gold Coast based, aren’t you?

Andy Lamont: Yeah, that’s right. So I head off in October and sail westward bound. But yeah, there were some things I wanted to ask you about. I’m sort of a blank at the moment.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: I thought you would, so I’ve written down your questions for you Andy because I remember some of them.

Andy Lamont: Good on you, all right.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: I knew I would be putting you on the spot. So one of the questions you said you would like to know more about is the sail configurations for each wind level and what Jessica found to be the best settings as the wind range went up.

Andy Lamont: Yeah, that would be interesting to know.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: And at what point she changed from a genoa to a full genoa, and a genoa to a jib and reefed the main, and things like that.

Andy Lamont: Yeah, that would be good to know how you went with that.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, I suppose I kept it all pretty basic It was certainly no racing trim with a lot of it. Really it was just the main with, I had three reefs in it which was fantastic and the genoa, which would just fill away a bit of as it got windier and then the big thing I did was used the stay sail a bit which was good but probably not. I don’t think it made a huge amount of difference but then I’d keep the storm sail on the stay sail and just I had to leave that up for quite a while, it wasn’t doing any damage before or after a storm to have it up there ready.

And I don’t know. I suppose the big thing is just getting the main down earlier so it’s not overpowering when you’re sailing, I don’t know if you’ll have a wind vane, but you just can’t sail with too much sail area with the wind vane, you’ve got to be a bit more conservative.

Andy Lamont: Yes, I’m just fitting, I just spoke to Phil George just sent me up a wind vane actually.

Jessica Watson: Oh wonderful.

Jessica Watson inspecting the top of her mast on her circumnavigation

Andy Lamont: I just fitted that last week, yeah. That’s the thing, you’ve got to balance the boat to just keep it underpowered.

Jessica Watson: Yeah. I highly recommend a nice small third reef not that on an S & S 34 sail it could be that big anyway, a third reef.

Andy Lamont: Yep. Oh good, so that’s good to know. Well I’ve got a small third reef, but I’m probably going to do. Did you just have the one main sail for the whole trip?

Jessica Watson: I did, I had a spare, which wouldn’t have been a great sail but I didn’t need it. I was stitching it up a little bit. There was little bits of damage and things.

Andy Lamont: Yeah, okay. So that’s good. It lasted the whole trip for you?

Jessica Watson: It did, but it was suffering a bit towards the end so I’d definitely be taking a spare.

Andy Lamont: Yeah, well I’ve got a spare. I thought I might get another new one made, but I’ve got a spare sort of the whole thing that came with the boat. That was the idea I had of having another main, just so I could have one ready to pop up just in case.

Jessica Watson: Yeah. That would probably do the job.

Andy Lamont: Yeah, well that’s good to know. And what about things like did you have a wind generator the whole way?

Jessica Watson: The wind vane sorry?

Andy Lamont: No, the generator.

Jessica Watson: Wind generator?

Andy Lamont: Did you have any at all?

Jessica Watson: I did actually replace that quite towards the end of the trip. It was fantastic, I liked it and I had a spare whole unit, which I might have been able to problem solve with the first one. I don’t know, someone with a bit more technical knowledge and experience might have been as well but I had the spare there and I just replaced it which was just fantastic. But yeah, you really need your different options with the solar and even being able to run, I was running in and out gear a fair bit, which is not overly great for it either.

Andy Lamont: So you say solar was pretty much, not really that much help down south?

Jessica Watson: No, I still found it surprising how down south it was more that they, or one of them particularly got a bit smashed up during some knock downs and was a bit less effective after that.

Andy Lamont: Yeah. That’s good to know and so you took all your water didn’t you?

Jessica Watson: Yeah but I was catching a lot. My water maker was only like a little hand backup one so it was really only going to get me out of trouble in a sort of survival situation. But I was very surprised and impressed with how much I was able to collect particularly through the Pacific, which might not be as much help for you but the gutter…

Andy Lamont: Well I’m going up and under on down straight home. Because I’m going out the way. So there were gutters on your…

Jessica Watson: Dodger. They were very effective. Yeah, they were great and then obviously just you turn and run with it if once you’ve sort of washed the salt off and put the topper on the end of the boom, pull it up a bit and let it all run off the gooseneck.

Andy Lamont: Yup. That’s good to know. What about, is there anything you would have done differently now that you’ve done it once like as far as the boat goes or?

Jessica Watson: What was that, sorry? Would I do anything differently?

Andy Lamont: Yeah, that you sort of think, “Oh, that was a bad idea.” Were you able to rely on certain things, or is there anything you would have done differently?

Jessica Watson: Look honestly, there was very little with the boat, which was fantastic. I don’t know if it was me now, I would probably actually enjoy sailing it a little bit better and get the code zero out and things like that but equipment wise, yeah, really very little. There was a few things that corroded and didn’t sort of work and rigged up a new little battery meter, but there were all such small things that didn’t really matter.

Yeah, no I can’t honestly say that there would be one sort of big thing that would really, I’d change. It’s the right boat for it and yeah, just keep it simple with the equipment and back up for everything, it’s really all there is to it.

Andy Lamont: Did you have separate bilge? Did you close up all your bilge or did you have it all draining in under the motor? Oh no sorry, you didn’t have the motor in it, did you? So did you have your separate bilge or was it just one big bilge of all that?

Jessica Watson: No, they were quite separate and that was some pretty impressive bilge pumps in all of them and hand pumps as well, probably a bit overboard. Yeah, so have you got the engine in the centre, do you?

Andy Lamont: Yep.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, that’s great.

Andy Lamont: Yeah I got the engine in the centre. I want to close it off, because it all drains into the bilge, the one bilge…

Jessica Watson: Yeah okay.

Andy Lamont: …under the motor and I was wanting to sort of change it all up so that I’ll separate to have a forward bilge, a mid ship bilge, and an aft bilge so that if there is bilge coming in, I know where it’s coming from. Did you have that? Or did you just have it all separated? The bilges?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, it was quite separated obviously at the front. I think the engine really was a bit separate but got to a point and it would just drain in and I did have a pretty leaky prop glands, stern gland.

Andy Lamont: Oh did you?

Jessica Watson: Yeah. Which didn’t worry me but towards the end it was getting a little worse, which wasn’t ideal.

Andy Lamont: Yeah. Was that just a stuffing box gland or?

Elle Bache; major sponsor for Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson: Yeah it was. So yeah, there wasn’t too much I could do about it but it didn’t even matter too much, I just had to make sure I was pumping out every now and again.

Andy Lamont: Right. Cool, well that’s pretty interesting. Is that right on you?

Jessica Watson: Yep, that’s right. I mean I don’t know how, my rig was definitely pretty overkill so whether that’s entirely necessary but I suppose the rigger just thought it was absolutely no harm at the time. Yeah.

Andy Lamont: Yeah. I know you say the inaudible were pretty easy to deal with, and you didn’t have any problem with accidents. Did you have a boom break?

Jessica Watson: Oh what sorry? A boom break? I did use one a bit to start with but I actually just found that really your only option is just to run a preventer and just run something towards to the front of the boat and back and because you’re only tacking every few days, it’s no big deal just to set it up and yeah.

Andy Lamont: Set it up, yeah.

Jessica Watson: That really is the only thing that I found really effective.

Andy Lamont: Yeah, that’s really cool. Well that’s quite all. I’m sort of in the boat ready now. I’ve been sort of working on it over 18 months. Just slowly getting everything done. That was sort of very interesting things to talk to you about. The main thing was just sort of pretty much the boat’s pretty much standard as it comes, and it handles everything pretty good and not really insistent. What navigation do you use, chart plotter?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, chart plotter but I also just had the software on the computer, on the HP Toughbook, which was great and then all the backup GPS handhelds and charts. Which hopefully never had to get used and there was even a sexton on board which I would have been in trouble if I needed that. Might have eventually found where I was.

Andy Lamont: Yeah it’s the same. I’ve got like a million different GPS’s and sextons.

Jessica Watson: Yeah exactly. Yeah, likelihood of needing it is pretty low.

Andy Lamont: Yeah.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: So Andy, David here, when we were talking, you had some questions around downwind sailing and whether you were going to pole out your genoa or run wing and wing, or what have you. Did you have any other questions around down and sailing sail configuration at all?

Andy Lamont: Did you run twin heads at all Jessica or?

Jessica Watson: I never did, no. I mean it probably would have helped. Yeah, but I never did, I had a code zero too which I reckoned was pretty useful. I didn’t use it a huge amount but yeah, poling out would definitely be a good thing to be able to do but I never tried the double.

Andy Lamont: Yeah, right. I was all keen to pole out and do that and I re-read John Sanders’ book and he was saying that he didn’t want to pole out the genoa because it rubbed the foresail too much and I was thinking, “Oh, all right.” So I might not do so much of that poling out. But that was what I was talking to David about, whether or not to use the pole or not.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, I mean I’d definitely have it with you but I mean, John’s the real expert. If you’re going to go around three times, you’re going to really going to have to really keep an eye on what’s going to wear out and what’s going to be an issue.

Andy Lamont: Well that’s really interesting. Yeah.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, well do get in touch if there’s anything closer to the time. Yeah I’m sure there’s a lot of good people and you’re talking to all the right people I’m sure…

Andy Lamont: Yeah, how much metho did you take?

Jessica Watson: I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head but it would be in the back of my book. I actually had far too much.

Andy Lamont: It’s in the back of your book? Yeah.

Jessica Watson: I think it is but if not, I’ll follow up with that but I did have far too much.

Andy Lamont: I’ll have to have a look at your book again.

Jessica Watson's route around the world

Jessica Watson: I didn’t need quite that much and it was great with the little cylinders that I had so it was completely sealed and there was no way that any meth could spill even completely upside down.

Andy Lamont: Yeah. I’ve got one of those, it’s fantastic.

Jessica Watson: Great.

Andy Lamont: Yeah, so do you know if you had a lot left over when you came back or whether you’re sort of go back and have a look at how much it took and do you remember that or not?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, no I do remember there was a lot left over. So however much I took, it was too much. But I suppose it’s something that you don’t want to be running out of so you know, cold food would be pretty miserable. Yeah, well good luck with the wind vane. It’s awesome, it takes a bit of getting used to. I’m sure you’ve used one before but lots of spare blades, loads of spare ones because I did snap a few of them and also lines you can never have enough lines because they did even if I set it up perfect, it will still chafe a lot.

Andy Lamont: Yeah. So that’s good. I’ll take lots of spare blades. It’s so light, so you can sort of take as many as you need, can’t you?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, exactly. Honestly, however many you think, just add a few more.

Andy Lamont: What about anti-foul? Do you remember what anti-foul you used?

Jessica Watson: It was an international brand and there was a lot of it on there.

Andy Lamont: Was there?

Jessica Watson: Yeah, there was. Probably the only thing there is you probably couldn’t go high enough because that’s where I had a bit of growth because you obviously healed right over and then so much water higher up that we probably should have gone even higher than we thought. 

Andy Lamont: Yeah, I hear you. I was thinking the same thing actually. I was thinking I might even put a vinyl strut above my water line and to sail that. That’s probably six or seven inches above the water line because yeah, they do tend to get dirty, don’t they? Close above the water line.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, definitely.

Andy Lamont: Well that’s good. Well, look I really appreciate you taking my call. It’s quite great to contact you. I sort of followed when you began to turn around and yeah, I thought it was fantastic what you did. It was very inspiring, so it’s great to talk to you. If I come up with something, I might have to shoot you an email or something like that, if I need some advice on something.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, please do.

Andy Lamont: Ah thanks. Your boat was pretty much perfect as it was, probably the whole way.

Jessica Watson: Perfect in that we didn’t get tempted to over complicate anything. If you keep it simple, there’s only so much that can go wrong. So yeah. I’m sure there’s more we could have done to get the right speed and different things out of it, but it wasn’t about that.

Andy Lamont: No it’s the same for me. It’s about finishing really, that’s the main thing.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, exactly. Good luck with it, I’m sure you’ll be sort of posting or updating somehow on the way and look forward to following you as well.

Andy Lamont: Yeah, well I will be and Dave will be working with me on that, so that will be great. Thanks very much for talking with me Jessica and you have a great day and I’ll shoot you an email and so you’ve got my email address if you ever want to talk to me about anything. Let me know if I can do something for you?

Jessica Watson: Sounds good, yeah, I’ll do that.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, we can arrange that.

At age 23, Jessica Watson has packed a lot into her young life already

Andy Lamont: All right. That would be great. As I said to you, if I have some questions I might just shoot you an email and maybe get some tips, and I’d really appreciate it. So thanks very much and again for all of that. Thanks for your time Jessica.

Jessica Watson: No problem, good luck with all the work.

Andy Lamont: All right, thanks very much.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Thanks Andy.

Andy Lamont: See you, bye.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: See you later on. So that was a few challenges just getting sound clarity and stuff.

Jessica Watson: Yeah.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: So thanks for doing that because I know Andy’s been consuming all of the good advice that he can, form all sorts of people and getting as much as he can read to prepare, he’s got a massive to do list as you can probably appreciate.

Jessica Watson: Gosh yeah.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: I know he wants to…

Jessica Watson: Never ending. Yeah. No it’s funny because I sort of go, “Oh, I don’t know how much there is.” I can sort of tell him but you start realising all these little things and yeah, there are a lot of simple little things that would possibly make a big difference.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: I saw one of your presentations once and the thing I actually truly felt sorry for you on the sail was having to rebuild the toilet because it’s not and a very pleasant job.

Jessica Watson: No, no that was one thing that it fell apart during knock downs. Bit annoying.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, that’s great and so is there anything else you want to touch on before we wrap up the day Jess? Is there anything else you want to share or talk about?

Jessica Watson: No, I think I’m good. I mean, as I said, I love sailing of all kinds these days and I love good stories and following and looking forward to following trips like that, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to do. I think that the Internet and things like this these days you can just follow such great stories from around the world from home.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Actually, one question, on last question on that. What percentage of your trip was reaching or downwind sailing would you say? Versus going upwards?

Jessica Watson: I don’t know, probably maybe only half or I don’t know? I’ve never really kind of looked at it on percentage terms, yeah.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay. Because Andy’s going the opposite way so I was just wondering if we were to work backwards on the percentage his was going to be upwind as opposed to downwind.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, he’s in a bit more trouble but I reckon as much of the course is into the prevailing but mine was probably a bit unique because I was supposed to be further south. The idea is you’re down south and you’ve got more wind behind, stronger and faster but I tended to enjoy sunshine warmth and the whole way across the Indian Ocean which is of course such a huge percentage of the trip, I was just so much further north than I really should have been. I was getting a lot more headwinds and lighter winds as well.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Right, but you are warmer and drier.

Jessica Watson: Yeah, I was pretty happy about that. I was totally okay that it was a little bit slower.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, and if you’re not in a hurry, you might as well stay warm.

Jessica Watson: Exactly, and just the severity of every storm that came past was just that you just see it, it was so blatant on the weather charts that if I was a couple degree further south it would be 20 knots more and that’s not good.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah. Okay, well, Jess, it’s been really, really great talking with you today. So thank you so much for traveling to the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club so we could sit together and thanks for sharing your story on the Ocean Sailing Podcast and thanks for taking the time out to talk to Andy as well. I know he really would appreciate that and I’m sure when he gets off, when he got off the phone he probably had five more questions straight away for you.

Jessica Watson: I’m sure, yeah no problem, it’s been great.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, great, good luck with Deckee. It looks like a great business model, a great idea and it’s going to be a great new website and a great service. So I encourage everybody to take advantage of and you’ll find all sorts of great help and advice and tips and stories and blog articles and reviews, and it’s a great looking the website, so good luck with that, that adventure.

Jessica Watson: Thank you very much.

Ocean Sailing Podcast: Thanks Jess. 

Interviewer: David Hows

If you enjoy the show and find the content valuable, consider the extra benefits of becoming an Ocean Sailing Podcast Patron.

Episodes 2 & 3: Andy Lamont Show Notes

OSP: Good morning folks. We are on board Impulse this morning down at Southport Yacht club with Andy Lamont. Good morning Andy!

Andy Lamont: Gidday, how are you going?

OSP: Good. So, today we are talking to Andy. Andy is heading to do a solo circumnavigation later on this year so we have got an opportunity to talk to Andy and find out about his plans, find out about his background, find out about his preparation and hopefully over a number of episodes share his story as he prepares to depart on a very long trip. So, Andy, when are you planning on leaving?

Andy Lamont in the saloon of Impulse with his HP Toughbook on top of the engine cover

Andy Lamont: Well, we plan to leave mid October. We are just going to talk to Bruce to get the exact date that is going to be more favourable to get under New Zealand because Bruce doesn’t want to go under New Zealand because it’s going to be over 30 knots there. But, I need to go under there because one of the things I want to do is go under the five caps on the journey. So, we want to get a favourable window under there so I don’t get some really big seas and wind right at the very start of the journey. So, that is what we are looking for at the moment, we are getting some long term forecast probably in August and then we will set a date in August, but it’s going to be Mid October.

OSP: Ok. Great. If you are going under the five capes there is some pretty wild weather down there several times a year. What’s your wind tolerance or what are looking to stay below in terms of wind and sea conditions?

Andy Lamont: So, we plan to stay below 30 knots most of the time, but of course that is pretty unrealistic in the real world and most of the time we will be in conditions about 40 knots and no doubt actually as we come towards the end of the journey, we will be coming through the southern ocean in winter, so we are going to get hit with some pretty strong winds there. It will be unrealistic to not get 50 60 knots plus, but the trip is planned so that most of the really heavy conditions come, mostly we will be around the bottom of Tasmania and that is going to probably be the worst or the highest risk of bad conditions.

OSP: So, you will be on the home stretch at that stage?

Andy Lamont: Yes. I can sort of just close my eyes and just cry all the way home.

OSP: Okay, so, Andy, tell me what made you decide to do this? When was the point that you thought I am thinking about doing this and the point which you though I am really going to do this?

Andy Lamont: Well, it’s a bit embarrassing because some of these things you just set out to do in a couple of months and its has always been on my mind, as that was something I wanted to do one day right back to when I was a young kid. But, the moment came when I had a bit of cash due to the pending sale of a business and I thought, I am going to buy a yacht and sail around the world nonstop, that is the next thing I am going to do.

Andy's clearly articulated plan to circumnavigate alone in a yacht, written at age 6

That was in 2002 and its now 2016 so it’s been a long time coming, but I didn’t get that much money for the business that I sold, only about $20,000 so I looked around and really wanted to buy an S&S 34 at that time, but that was ridiculous trying to buy one at that price. John Dankenson is a really well known and well-respected designer and had designed a new kit boat and the kit was $20,000. So I went down and saw John in Melbourne and thought that was a great boat design, so I bought the kit and then I spent the next sort of 2 or 3 years building that boat which was about 2006-2007. I thought it was going to be finished in about a year, but it took a bit longer than that.

The boat was pretty much nearly finished when I started to develop a reaction to epoxy. So, I found it really difficult to work on the boat and then a few things led to my business needing me to be close to it, so I ended up putting my plans to sail around the world on hold. I also went and did a law degree and I don’t know why and then I was just looking at at boats for sale, as you do - not really thinking of buying anything, but thinking about how am I going to finish this boat and there was a lot of things I had done on the boat so far were quite easy.

Andy's backyard kit set project to build a John Dankenson yacht

But now the build was at the stage of some really technical difficult things, like putting a one ton lead bulb in the keel and that type of thing started playing on my mind and I saw this S&S 34 for sale and they wanted just under $50,000 for it and it was probably about 11:30pm and I just sort of sent off an email and said “look, I will give you $35,000 for it”. Well, they accepted.

OSP: Wow! Just like that. And was it was called Impulse when you bought it?

Andy Lamont: Yes, it was called Impulse, the same name it has now.

OSP: It’s kind of ironic really?

Andy Lamont: Yes. Because I had to have the conversation with my wife and I said “I know we have got a beautiful boat sitting in our backyard and we have spent a large amount of money on it, but now we have got this other boat, isn’t that great?”

OSP: So you are still happily married and you have got two boats?

Andy Lamont: Yes, I have got a very accommodating wife. She is very good to me but she has said “one of the things (and there are a few things) before I leave to sail around the world that I have to do is finish the skirting boards”, because I put a new floor in our house with no skirting boards. That was like a year ago, so I just did the skirting boards and then the other thing was I had got to get rid of the half built boat in the backyard. It’s out there now, anyone can have it for free and all I want to do is sell the mast and the other bits and pieces that I paid money for along with the hull. We’ve have a few people come and look at it but its quite interesting. It’s probably harder to give something away than it is to sell it sometimes.

OSP: The yacht is not quite finished so you need the right person?

Andy Lamont: Yes, you have got to have the right person and some people have wanted to take it and I have pretty much talked them out of it because you need either the money or the skills to finish it.

OSP: Otherwise it could have been a sort of play hut for kids to hide under in a backyard?

Andy Lamont: Yes. I know. A friend of mine said I will put it on my farm and all the goats will love it.

Andy's kit set project had to go once he purchase Impulse

OSP: I guess it’s not quite the vision of how you wanted it to turn out, when you started building it?

Andy Lamont: Yes. Exactly.

OSP: What does your family think about your plans to sail off around the world, when your daughter has just got married recently and you have a grandchild on the way?

Andy Lamont: Well, the interesting thing is when I first started talking about this in 2002, my oldest daughter was 13 and now she is 25 so it’s kind of its something they have grown up with, that they expect to happen. So, it’s not come as a surprise or a shock to them and they have had a lot of time to get used to, it so they are all sort of pretty excited about it.

OSP: It’s good they are probably relieved you are getting on with it at last and not just talking about it anymore. You are actually doing it.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly, that’s right. They have told all their friends “my dad is sailing around the world”. So, it will be good to go.

OSP: That’s good, and how did you decide I guess on this particular design and model? What was the sort of decision points for you for choosing this versus something else?

Andy Lamont: Well, I guess John Sanders is a great hero and an amazing sailor and an amazing seaman. He sort of made this boat famous for circumnavigations and back when I wanted to do this trip, it was this boat that I wanted to do it in - the S&S 34. John Sanders sailed around the world twice in one of these and then David Dicks did his circumnavigation, then Jesse Martin did his circumnavigation and most recently Jessica Watson did hers.

They were all non-stop circumnavigations, so it is really comforting to know if something goes wrong, it’s not going to be due to the design of the boat and that is a really important thing. That is why, when I made that offer on an Impulse I wouldn’t have made an offer on another type of boat it was not the S&S 34 that I wanted. John Sanders did a triple circumnavigation on later occasion in a larger boat, but the budgetary factor with a 34-foot boat is that everything is so much cheaper with a 34 footer, when compared to a 44 or 48 footer. So, it is a great sea worthy little boat and it was cheap to buy and it’s cheap to get up to standard. So, all those things were factors.

The S&S 34 called Impulse was in need of new paint

OSP: And this size boat is physically easier to manage than another 10 foot in terms of physically managing bigger sails, bigger rigging and things like rig and sail loads become more challenging if you are on your own. So, it’s a nice size for physical management.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly, that is the other thing. I can pretty much lift everything on the boat and carry it. I have tried to lift up some big Code 2 Genoas and stuff like that and moving them around the boat is just exhausting. Whereas with everything in this boat, I can pick it up and carry it and don’t have any problems with putting new sails up or getting them down or that type of thing, they are all manageable. So, that is a big factor as well.

OSP: Ok so why don’t you talk us through the work that you completed already on Impulse and the things you plan on doing. Talk us through the things you are working on, the upgrades you are installing, the things you are doing to make it more manageable, safe and secure and the things that will help you to stow and secure everything, to be able to manage your way around the world.

Andy Lamont: I will start at the outer section of the boat. We are taking the wheel off as it’s got wheel steering and its nice little system, but the boat really wasn’t designed for a wheel and pedestal steering. It is difficult to get behind the wheel; you have got to step over the seats in the cockpit to get behind it. Operating the boat with the wheel single-handed is much harder than operating with a tiller single-handed.

So, I have had a new tiller built that by a good guy I met on the sea breeze forum and he has made a laminated tiller for me over in Western Australia, so that’s been great. So, thanks to him for that. I will be taking the wheel out and that’s probably the next big. When I take the pedestal that the wheel is attached to out, I am going to replace the cockpit floor. I have already replaced a quarter of the cockpit floor and the only weakness with this boat really is the deck in the cockpit.

It gets wet in there where the pedestal goes through the cockpit floor and the whole floor is pretty much rotten. So, I will cut that out; replace it with glass over marine ply and then add the tiller. So, that’s the next job and I love my Thursday afternoon twilight racing so it’s a job I have got to start on a Friday morning and finish by the following Wednesday. So, I am sort of arranging that right now so that I can still compete in the following Thursday’s twilight race.

The rotten cockpit floor in the S&S 34 needed replacing

OSP: You are certainly sitting pretty much to the top of the twilight series table and you finished well in the last series, so pretty means you are leading the overall championship for the year. As well as sailing around the world, you are a pretty competitive local racer even though you don’t say much about that.

Andy Lamont: Yes. I am a very competitive person. I try not to be.

OSP: I haven’t noticed.

Andy Lamont: I just can’t help it, I just love racing, I think it’s great fun and the crew here at Southport Yacht Club are a lot of fun to race with. No one gets too serious and we all have a lot of fun and also over the past sort of year of racing with this boat, we have really been able to get a lot of performance out of her, that we probably wouldn’t have got if we didn’t do the racing.

We commenced racing at Southport Yacht Club with a starting handicap of about 3:30pm, but by the time we did some things like trimming the sails better, putting on adjustable jib and genoa tracks and most importantly; putting a folding prop on and keeping the bottom nice and clean, we are now starting at 3:49pm with the faster yachts.

OSP: So, the difference of starting about 20 minutes in a 1 to 2 hour yacht race is 15-30% plus improvement in speed, right?

Andy Lamont: It is.

OSP: And its interesting because people often assume you are a racer or a cruiser but I think you can be both and if you become good at racing, your boat goes faster, well cruising is more enjoyable. It you have a long passage ahead of you and you can get an extra 1-2 knots of speed out of your boat, you will get to your next destination an hour or two earlier, or the speed may help you out-run some bad weather a whole lot faster. If you tune your boat well, you are looking after better, rather than being a lazy cruiser and having sails poorly trimmed or flapping and sheets chafing. I think being a good racer can actually make you a better cruiser and make your cruising more enjoyable.

Andy Lamont: Yes, definitely I believe that and of course when you are cruising there is a lot of joy eking a quarter of a knot of speed out of your yacht and that is one of the reasons I want to use the expedition software for my navigation, because it’s really a great tool to help you tweak your boat and measure all the different variables, so I am really looking forward to spending 8 or 9 months just tweaking my boat.

New sails arrive for Impulse

OSP: The expedition software is pretty well respected. So what else have you have to do all day?

Andy Lamont: Yes. I know. Other than checking my planning software, that’s it really.

OSP: It’s interesting having a feathering prop. I put one of those on my boat and I am adamant is made the difference of about ¾ of a knot and sometimes as much as 1 knot compared a fixed prop, so the speed difference is quite substantial. And if you are doing 5 knots, ¾ of a knot is a big chunk of extra speed.

Andy Lamont: It might be an extra ¾ a knot when you are doing 5 or 6 knots which is good but I think it’s probably an extra ¾ a knot when you are only doing 3 knots, that is a bigger deal.

OSP: Actually as a percentage it’s a big difference.

Andy Lamont: Yes, it’s massive. The biggest difference I have noticed is racing against the boats originally with my fixed prop and against them now with a folding prop. I noticed that when the wind was fairly light, it was an incredible difference. Congratulations to Gori Folding Props, because I have fallen in love with my prop. Even when I first looked at it, I was like “this is just a beautiful thing”.

OSP: It’s an amazing piece of engineering and that’s the great thing with twilight racing, when you sail against the same 10 or 15 boats each week, you have a great barometer when you make adjustments, because you can measure your performance against a like-for-like comparison. It’s not just guesswork and that’s kind of satisfying.

The feathering prop that folds flat when sailing

Andy Lamont: Yes, it is.

OSP: Moving from a wheel to a tiller makes sense as this removes another point of failure by not having the wheel and steering chain system, with the extra fittings and weak points that can also break under load. What else have you got planned as we look through the boat?

Andy Lamont: I have put in a new switch panel, which you can see underneath the stairs. I have got to tidy that up, and then I have got to replace my battery tie down systems. There are existing battery tie down systems in place, but I wouldn’t like the boat to be upside down and have to trust these, as they are a little bit dodgy. I have got all new instruments, as when I bought the boat it came with some really old B&G instruments that were made in 1976.

The original 1976 B& instrument panel

OSP: Wow!

Andy Lamont: Some of them still work but most of them didn’t.

OSP: Before the days of GPS

Andy Lamont: I have got all new instruments installed and they are set up with all of the connections and software to make them talk to my expedition software so that’s good. I have got to install the AIS and that’s going to be nice and easy to install and then I will connect it all up to the computer.

I went with a HP Toughbook laptop, because I thought one of the biggest things that knock people out of circumnavigations these days is a loss of electrics. With that in mind my Fleming Wind Vain is coming next week so I will have self-steering that is not reliant on electrics.

I will have navigation systems that will be independent of the boats electrical systems and that is why I went with the HP Toughbook as it’s got its own integrated GPS and power supply so we can run it if the worst comes to worst, as I can keep this charged off a solar panel and I will still have my navigations software running, even with a total loss of electrical power on the boat, not that I plan on having a total loss, but if it does happen, it is not going to stop me. So, I installed the new instruments and I have a plethora of GPS’s with a GPS in the chartplotter, a GPS in the AIS, a portable GPS and a GPS in the HP computer itself so that is four GPS’s.

OSP: So you will always know where you are.

Andy Lamont: One of the things you did ask me is what am I going to do with my time. Well, I am going to learn how to navigate with a sextant and take a daily sight and hopefully by the end of 12 months I will be proficient even competent maybe.

OSP: I also think that learning the art of navigating by the sun and stars is a fantastic skill to learn. It helps connect you to your ancestors who also used the same stars to navigate centuries ago. So, Andy, tell me about your plans with power generation and how you are going to manage charging batteries. It’s always a tradeoff between the extra comforts you carry and the amps they draw. What’s your plan with managing consumption and replenishing your batteries from a charging point of view?

New Raymarine instruments for Impulse

Andy Lamont: Well, I guess the first thing I am going to do is pretty much turn everything off that I don’t need. Turn the displays off and just have the whole thing running on low power mode. I have a Ray Marine chart plotter and a course master self steering system, but that will be turned off most of the time and I will just be using the Fleming wind vane for my self-steering. I will have the radar in sleep mode so it wakes up every 20 minutes or goes to sleep every 10 minutes.

So, basically I am going to run on low power mode as much as I can. I have 4 x 100 amp batteries so they should be able to run that gear and they shouldn’t really use very much of my capacity in any 24 hour period.  I still haven’t how to go about arranging solar panels on the boat. Conventionally with the boats most people are putting up a solar panels at the stern on top of a stainless frame or Bimini cover, because they have uninterrupted sunlight. However I don’t like them there, I just think there is too much windage in strong wind and they always seems to get damaged.

So, pretty much everyone that has gone around the world has come back with damaged panels or so all of that effort gets wasted because you get knocked down and the whole thing gets bent. I am more inclined to have flexible solar panels on the deck and maybe some kind of hydro-generator. Unfortunately in my boat it’s very narrow in the stern so fitting a hydro-generator along with the self steering gear at the back is probably going to be too crowded.

I know it’s all happening in October but these are the areas I haven’t really made my final decision on what we are going to do there, but pretty much it’s going to be running the solar panels. I think flexible solar panels is my plan and if we are in situation where there is a not much sunlight or we are not generating much, we can always run the boat on a no power mode and that’s a really important thing to me. We have a lot of guys going around the world in nice 40-foot boats, but once they lose power they pull out and they say oh we can’t sail the boat without power.

Impulse's new distribution panel is fitted

I can sail this boat around the world without power and so it’s nice to have power, have a radar, have AIS and all those things, but it’s not going to be something that is critical to the voyage. I could leave tomorrow with no power and navigation-wise, although I still need to do a little practice, but I have enough to be able to navigate with a handheld GPS and a box of spare batteries if I have to.

OSP: Now, that’s a brave approach to take and if you have got your navigation and your wind-vane self-steering, then you are well on your way in terms of being completely independent of whatever else you add on top of that, luxury-wise and necessity-wise because it will be a shame to have to pull out of something because of batteries. You don’t want to have to start motor every so often, just to keep your batteries supporting a big instrument panel and all the extra electronics that you live without if you want to.

Andy Lamont: Having said that I will run the motor every week at least and I am still thinking that you have got to open that self-feathering prop, because if you leave it shut for 10 months and you finally decide you have got to use it and it might not open. So, that the other thing it’s a non-stop unassisted solo trip around the world, but in all truthfulness I will have 90 litres of fuel and I will start the engine and open the prop once a week for half an hour or something like that. If the prop doesn’t open, it’s worse than not having a motor at all, isn’t it?

OSP: Yes, that’s right, and then if you lost your rig at point and you need to be assisted in some way if you can’t manage the boat by motor in a rescue situation, then all sorts of things start to get harder, don’t they?

The prop is a piece of art when its feathered

Andy Lamont: Yes that is exactly right. One of the first things that happened to me on the delivery trip from Sydney to the Gold Coast, where we motor sailed, we dropped below 5 knots with motor sailing and the starter motor stopped working. And we were lucky there was a crank handle here, so I took the engine cover off and gave it a few turns with the crank handle and just started up straightway. I had the boat like 9 months before I got a new starter motor because it was just so easy to hand crank it. I really didn’t mind hand cranking it, so another great thing about the engine is doesn’t need to rely on any electrics either to start or run

OSP: Simplicity is good.

Andy Lamont: Yes.

OSP: What about you rig? Is there anything you have to do with your rig to get it to where you want it?

Andy Lamont: Yes, absolutely. So, what we are doing and its going to happen sometime around June is we are going to take the mast out, we are going to take it to Cookie, the local rigger at S&H Spars and he is going to go right over it and make sure that there is nothing that is worn or near the point of failure or that might not be up to scratch. We will have a look at the whole mast for corrosion and then we will run a new VHS Aerial through it and do that type of thing to get the mast set up properly. Even when I bought the boat the first thing that I did was change the standing rigging so its only 2 years old, but I will change all that again and go to probably one size or two sizes heavier than actually is needed for the standing rig and also Cooky is going to put in an inner forestay so we can hank on the storm jib as well.

OSP: Great and an inner forestay is kind of useful because if you did lose your forestay for some kind of reason you act quickly it can allow you to have a backup forestay.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly.

OSP: So, it depends whether you have got it permanently attached or whether you have got it set up so you can just clip it on when you need it.

Andy Lamont: Yes, well the other thing too is I will probably put a little bowsprit on for a code zero sail. So, I will probably just run a spectra line to the bowsprit as well, just in case the forestay fails and the heavy spectre line will still hold up the mast.

OSP: Its good to have those kind of fall back plans.

Andy Lamont: Yes.

OSP: And with the length of your trip you have got a lot of provisions that you have got to take, you have got water that you need to take, you have got yourself to fit inside here and you have got sails and other bit and pieces. What are you doing with the layout, what sort plans do you have around storage and how are you going to handle all that?

Andy Lamont: Not completely 100% decided but I think I am just going to use the saloon berth as the bunk I sleep in. The engine is right at the centre of the boat and I have just started to make a new engine cover which will extend about 100mm behind where it extends now, which will then add a lot of storage space as it will be higher and longer.

Scraping the old paint off Impulse's hull

So, there won’t be much room to walk around the boat but that will provide me with a nice table in the middle of the boat and I will have a seat on the port bunk and also an area to get out of my wet weather gear on the port bunk as well. Then there is basically a whole lot of nooks and crannies in the boat, we have got all the whole area at the back of the boat that we can store stuff in and all the areas underneath the cockpit area that we can store stuff in as well. So, what we do with food is to put together one week packs, so all we really have to do is to take probably 50 one-week packs of food and I am pretty sure we will just be able to just stuff them into any nook and cranny…

OSP: Anywhere and everywhere.

Andy Lamont: And probably the harder to find the better because knowing me, I will go through all the one week packs and take all the chocolate bars out first. So, we will just basically fit them wherever they go. So when we are talking about all the provisions that you need, basically we need sails, food, water and some spare parts and tools. And some plywood, I love plywood. I love working with wood and I just think plywood is the most amazing stuff. So, I will take a fair bit of plywood underneath the bunks and just double up with plywood there. It weighs a little bit, but it’s just such a great material and you can easily cut it and do anything with it. It’s super strong, I will take a few large pieces and I will probably take 15 litres of epoxy, which is only 15 kilos plus hardener, so more like 20 kilos. But with 15 litres of epoxy you can just about do anything. Any sort of thing that is made up of steel or stone you can make an epoxy substitute for it.

I will take some fibreglass resin and matting, I have got plenty of glass at home from my other projects. So I will take a fair bit of glass which doesn’t weigh much and I have probably 6 or 7 meters of 600 gram glass and 20 litres of epoxy, which is going to mean I am pretty confident of fixing anything in the boat. So I will have my 50 one-week packs of food, 200 litres of bottled water and also 70 litres in tanks, so that’s 270 litres of water and I am going to make some water catching devices, so when it rains I will just spread those out and I will be able to catch a lot of water I will put that into the tanks so I am pretty confident I have enough water and I have an emergency hand water maker, although I have thought about an electric water maker, but at this point I haven’t gone with it, but I was really encouraged, actually amazed to see at the last boat show this little rain maker that runs on petrol , which I don’t really like on the boat, but he is saying on 1 litre of fuel it will make you 100 litres of water which is massive.

OSP: It’s a tradeoff with using fuel, otherwise you will probably use 100amps battery consumption to make 100 litres of water using a traditional water maker so that’s a pretty expensive tradeoff as an alternative.

Andy Lamont: One of the things of course is everything costs. My plan is look at people who have done it before; they just take their water and its fine. So, that is my plan to do that if I end up with sponsorship or some other form of unexpected wealth well, I would buy a water maker. But, apart from that I will just take bottle water. Bottled water is great because it’s really secure.

OSP: Can’t get contaminated.

Andy Lamont: Yes.

OSP: You are limited it to 600mils of contamination.

Andy Lamont: Yes. And the other thing that I haven’t decided to do yet, but am very keen to look into is to install the Turtle Pac self-inflatable bags inside the boat which basically turns the boat into an unsinkable unit, because these bags don’t take too much room and they attach to a diving cylinder and in the event the boat starts to fill with water, you just open your cylinder, the bags fill up with water and the boat still floats, even with a hole in it. A local here makes it on the Gold Coast. I have used the Turtle Pac fuel bladders on other boats, they are fantastic, durable and strong, you jump on them to get the fuel flowing out of the bladder into the tanks of the boat and they just seem to be indestructible. It seems to me to be a real great option and I am really surprised it’s not used more for this purpose.

OSP: Sounds like a great solution. I have read a lot of stories about people living in life rafts for 4-5 months and they are not really life preserving devices beyond 2 or 3 weeks, but if you can keep a hull from fully submerging and you stay attached to it you are more likely to be found as well and much more secure than getting off it.

Preparing the cabin top for repainting

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly, if this thing fills up with water for some reason and I have my Turtle Pac system, I will float around for 2 years.

OSP: As long as it rains regularly and you can catch fish you will be fine.

Andy Lamont: If I have 50 weeks of food onboard and I also have emergency rations, I can float around for a very long time. I am still trying to understand why it’s not used more.

OSP: Instead of building a waterproof bulkhead as lots of boats do, you have got an inflatable bulkhead instead essentially.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly.

OSP:…that is waterproof that you can put in a pocket inside the boat.

Andy Lamont: Yes. And of course IRC racing boats and Volvo boats and even the class 40s they all have the space to do that to have full bulkhead watertight rear bulkhead. They have got enough space to do that whereas this boat, we could build a watertight bulkhead there but you are still using that space, the door is going to be open and for a cruising boat it seems to me to be a good solution. And the trouble with water tight bulkhead is they can fail If the breach in the hull goes both sides of the bulk head, then even it’s all over.

OSP: It’s just a function of time even with the smallest leaks they will fail eventually. So, what is the cost of something like that?

Andy Lamont: 5 grand. I spoke to the guy last year about it and he said look I have done this on an S&S before, it will cost you $5,000.

OSP: Its pretty good life insurance.

Andy Lamont: It’s pretty good. It’s the same price as a life raft really. Although I will have a life raft as well but it’s another 5 grand and every that old story with B-O-A-T standing for “Bring Out Another Thousand” and you want everything but as you were saying before it’s a factor of time and money. With a trip like this you are probably going to run out of money and not get everything you want, you are going to run out of time not enough have enough time to put everything you want into the boat.

OSP: And then there is space to add to that as well. You have to pull these stuff somewhere too.

OSP: Ok. So, what are the things about this trip that keep you awake at night at 4 am with your mind sort of overly processing and thinking about things you might have overlooked or things you certainly decide to make out a contingency plan for?

Andy Lamont: The biggest thing that keeps me awake at night is which is why I haven’t got in the recent offshore races is because I jumped in this boat and we just sailed back up till Sydney and I was getting in there and I was doing things. One of the things I did is I though “Oh I just better replace that exhaust hose that runs up under the companion way stairs”. And  I pulled the old exhaust house out and it was completely perished.

OSP: Wow! So you were one step away from carbon monoxide poisoning basically.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly. We ran that motor coming from Sydney with guys down there sleeping, it looked fine at the exhaust elbow and all the way up to where it disappeared  under the companion way stairs and under the companion way stairs it’s that hard against the hull and under the battery compartment and you can’t really see into that space and it was totally perished. So that kind of thing.

The perished exhaust pipes of the engine the previous owner had attempted to repair. 

When I was under there actually replacing that and looking around, I was looking at the seal on the rudder stock and the little piece of rubber pipe that sort of clamps onto the fibreglass housing and thinking that piece of rubber there is nearly 40 years old and, if that starts to leak, what are you going to do? It’s a big question what are you going to do. So, obviously you are going to take the rudder out and replace that. So, it’s like realising the things that you don’t know that are the problem.

Wasn’t it Donald Rumsfeld who said “the unknown and unknowns are the things you have to worry about.” So, it’s the things that you don’t know you don’t know that are the worst and that was one that, really I just really give a moment though to. I thought it all looked nice and solid but when I had a really close look at it, I thought gee this is a bit of a worry.

So, what keeps me awake most of all is the boat sinking. If the boat doesn’t sink, I can just curl up in a ball and cry.

OSP: Yes and set your EPIRB off.

Andy Lamont:…or just sit there and just wait for things to change things gets better because with everything there is greater energy for life and every storm passes and if the boat doesn’t sink well you are out the other side. So, that is the main thing that keeps me awake at night. That is why I put all new 10 mm lexan windows throughout the boat and type of thing.

If I can keep the water out, that is the main thing. I put a new PSS seal in and now I lie awake thinking, what happens if the PSS seal fails? An old stuffing box you can just tighten that up but you can’t do that to a PSS seal do I get a Zip tie and tie it up , surely there is sort of a set procedure for a failed PSS seal. Its things like that keeps me awake at night, but really what keeps me awake most of all is about like sinking.

OSP: Keeping the boat the right way up.

Andy Lamont: Yes. So, the keel attaches over on these boats over a really long period. It is very solid but when we take out the water, we are just going to drop the keel off it, check the bolts, if the boats are a bit suspect we will replaced the bolts. But again, it’s a great system the bolts come up through the boat and they tighten down with nuts inside the boat.

OSP: You can see them easily and you can see the condition of the boat.

Andy Lamont: And I have never heard of an incident where S&S 34 has lost its keel but everyone that goes around the world takes the keel out and checks the bolts and so that is just one thing to do.

OSP: Ok, and have you thought about what you can do to minimise the risk of injury, minimise the risk of falling over, falling off when the boat rolls upside down? How do you avoid breaking bones and puncturing lungs and that things like that, can that really debilitate you despite the boat being perfectly fine to carry on.

The S&S 34 engine in need of TLC

Andy Lamont: Yes. It’s a really good point. So, I am going to buy just a racing car seat with a seat belt which I can sit in and belt myself in. I am going to put a seat belt in the bunk so if the boat turns upside down when I am asleep I won’t just fly across the boat. I’m replacing the engine cover with a nice big storage compartment which is going to mean there’s not very far to fall inside the boat. There is a central pole which obviously people can’t see, it’s not in the boat at the moment it goes basically from the centre of the boat up to cabin ceiling that is going back in. plus I am going to put two more poles by the sink and just in front of the hatch so that it’s going to be 3 poles, it’s going to be like a little forest in here. There is just not going to be far to fall. So, that is going to be the big thing.

So, it is a nice little boat, there is not far to fall anyway but when I am asleep or drowsy or resting I will be in this and the weather is rough I will be in a seat belt so that is what I will be doing. I will take of course ok I have got some protective body amour and head gear so I will take that as well with me. So, if I got to get up the mast I will just put that gear on so that will give me a bit of protection from slamming into the side of the mast.

OSP: Put a helmet and stuff on because that is quite a risk really knocking yourself out if you…

Andy Lamont: Yes, I have a Gath helmet which is very light and nice and strong

OSP: I am sitting on your bunk and I visualise you being thrown across the boat and punctured by one of those bolts thats sticking down below your cabin top and theres about 20 bolts there and I am looking at them and they are about an inch long, thinking about the risk of punching one of those through your skull. Have you thought about that?

Andy Lamont: Well, so I have just left them long because the just look so handy.

OSP: Handy for what?

Andy Lamont: Well you can see I have attached some eye bolts (nuts) on them.

OSP: That could work.

Andy Lamont: So, then what I am going to do is I am going to make some netting so it attaches to those eye bolts so that anything that’s inside this shelf here won’t get thrown out and then what I will do is for every bolt that doesn’t have an eye bolt, so all those bolts I knew from the jib track for every bolt that doesn’t have an eye nut on it I will cut it off with an angle driver. I am pretty vicious with the angle grinder cutting off bolts at the moment. Sometimes I leave bolts a bit long because I am thinking I will use that for something. This used to have that basically similar to the car hood lining and foam underneath it.

The menacing looking bolts the hold the new genoa track in place

OSP: Like a final foam or something.

Andy Lamont: Yes. And it was all starting to sort of deteriorate and it was just raining tiny particles of foam from the holes in the lining on the boat. So, that was a big job. We had to pull all that lining off and I got the sander out and sanded it because all the foam  that sort of open cell  foam was glued to the ceiling, sanded all that off and then just put a coat of paint for the time being but I might put some closed cell foam just like Jessica Watson did to her boat which is quite a good idea. So, she just lined the cabin and the cabin sides in closed cell foam from Clark Rubber and that does a couple of things because its good insulation and it’s also all soft. So, that is one of the things. Those bolts won’t be staying long for too much longer.

But I am just looking at the design of the netting I probably have to get a sail maker to make it up for me but I think it will be great. One of the things you have to do is imagine about upside down and look at everything that could actually fall out of a place and make sure you have a system to have it all locked down but most importantly have that system that is nice and easy to use. You don’t have to go around, oh, there is a storm coming I have got to make sure you got through this to lock everything down, just have it locked down as a matter of course. That is what I want to do and make sure it won’t happen for that.  That is where I think the netting is probably great because a lot of stuff you are using all the time is visible and you just have to unclip the net and grab what you want and the clip the netting back on.

OSP: Its light, you can see it, it feels behind it. So, what do you think it’s going to cost you to get to the start line with what you have spent so far and what you are still to spend and then all of your provisions and all the other things you have yet to think about?

Andy Lamont: Is my wife going to hear this?

OSP: Probably not.

Andy Lamont: Well, the boat only cost 35 grand.

OSP: So, you already saved 100k.

Andy Lamont: So, we are already 100k in front. Well, I have spent a fair bit. I am probably of spending another 40k on it since I have bought it and I have probably another 40k before we go. So, that probably a hundred and…

OSP: 15…

Andy Lamont: one hundred fifteen thousand dollars.

OSP: And that is just getting essentials it’s not the sending it out fitting it out in terms of and this is really luxurious sort of items it’s just getting good solid safe see where the boat…

Andy Lamont: Something probably like this computer which is another one of those ridiculous things but it’s really it is kind of great in that way. Like let’s say the whole thing happens for less than $150,000 that is great for a trip like this which could cost millions and I know previous people that have been around the world nonstop, some items have cost more than that alone. The satellite phone for Jessie Martin back in those days cost him around $165,000 alone.

The new starter motor is fitted to the S&S 34's engine

OSP: Here is the thing. You can go out tomorrow buy $150,000 boat, it would not be great to sail around the world, you will still have to put another 40,50, $60,000 into preparing it to sail around the world. So the near end result because I have got an older boat and when you kind of build it from the ground up, you can of restart the life of every part of the boat that you then replace or upgrade like your engine, exhaust systems and like your steering and then you know that part of the boat is good to go for another 10 or 20 years. So, in some ways it’s a smarter approach than maybe to buy something that is 5 or 7 years old were due to its treatment or the lighter weight production these days and the way things are built you don’t need something that is robust anyway.

Andy Lamont: Yes. And I think every component has a life and if you buy a boat that is new you have got the maximum life for every component on the boat and then depending on what boat you buy all those components may or not be up for the serious challenge. So, some would be and that would be great but then if you bought a boat that was 7 years old, the every component needs to be replaced.

OSP: Yes. That’s right and manufacturers these days don’t actually spec things out for going around the world anyway they pick them out for coastal cruising. So, 2,5 or 7 years old may not be fit for purpose anyway despite paying three or four time the amount for the boat upfront.

Andy Lamont: Yes. And an interesting thing too, the difference in the newer designed boats and the older boats is really not that much, as far as cruising boats (I’m not talking about IRC boats)  there is not that much speed really it’s just space.

OSP: Yes some of the cleverness around the design…

Andy Lamont: They are not fast. They are probably more comfortable downwind , less comfortable upwind but they are not really an order of magnitude faster or more seaworthy probably less seaworthy some of them. It is an interesting thing. All the boats like this boat, now getting close to 40 years old, I can’t see why it is not going to be a viable beautiful boat in another 40 years.

The engine gets a complete makeover on Impulse

OSP: If you maintain the hull.

Andy Lamont: Yes. Very easy to maintain and that’s right if you maintain the hull and keep replacing the systems as they start to degrade…

OSP: Keep the water out, fix the leaks, stop rotting inside the boat. What things are not on track in your preparation from here October since like a long way to go away but it’s probably like having a baby you go from talking in months to talking in weeks, you are probably not far from talking in weeks soon rather than months so it will tart ticking down?

Andy Lamont: What is not on track? I have got my old Musto HPX sailing gear which is great stuff but I have already thought about getting a new set just probably a good idea you have to get some new off shore gear. The stuff I have got its great but I am sure it’s going to start to reach the end of its life pretty soon so that type of thing. So, the fitting out in the interior is – I am doing a fair of bit at the moment and it is  running to a pretty good schedule that is ok.

 The truth is the things I need to worry about are the things I haven’t thought about. So everything I have thought about I am going that’s ok. The mast is coming out and I am pretty sure if I am going to mount a radar on it even though probably it might be better on its own individual mast at the rear of the boat. It is just another mast getting knocked over isn’t it. 

OSP: Yes. And the higher up your mast or the higher the radar it does affect your range particularly with sails so that is something to consider versus a lower level. And when you like if you need things these days when I did a radar training course they talked about not standing in front of the radar because of radiation and when I had a technician recently say I should put my radar at the back of the boat I talked about that and he said the radiation was nothing, no more than a five flights to Perth or whatever the comparison is. But radiation I don’t think it’s good for you so there is a radiation effect if you consider standing in front of it and the height which gives you the range to consider as well.

Andy Lamont: Good point, so the mast is coming out so that radar going there, the new tricolour on the mast, all those things are pretty much covered. There’s a bit more work I will do glassing the inside of the boat but to be honest with you, the worrying thing is I think I have got it all under control which is … well that is the worrying thing.

What will happen is like everything else I have ever done in m life? It’s always like everything is under control until the week before and then it’s kind of pain stations. So, it’s probably what will happen. The thing for me is, really,  I can pretty much go next week onceI fit my wind vane on I could go next week, I would have everything I wanted, I won’t have my new storm sails but I could go, and  I would probably make it. So, I am not hung up really on having every last gidget and gadget that’s needed on the boat as long as everything is to a certain standard, one of the things I haven’t done yet is bought new stanchion for the boat. So, that will be nice to have new stanchion and stanchion bases. Again, if I didn’t do that, it’s not really the end of the world

OSP: Unless you are attached to them and they break and you don’t stand on the boat for some reason.

Andy Lamont: They are fine they are. Okay a bit bigger taller ones would be better but even tall stanchions are not going to stop you from falling off the boat, it’s really jack lines that is really their purpose.

Impulse's hatches are remove for refurbishing

OSP: Ok. So in terms of, what’s the safety equipment that you have got on your must have, must be bullet proof, must be triple strength, on your list

Andy Lamont: So for Christmas this year I got a set of jack lines, I also got a harness that doesn’t have life jacket attached to it just a harness which is really it’s a Bourke harness, it’s really light and I will just wear that all the time. I will just wear it all the time so it will just be like my undies. So, it’s nice and light and it’s never inconvenient to wear so and I think that the main piece of safety equipment.

OSP: And then be clipped on with that.

Andy Lamont: Yes. So, that is right. So, if I am wearing that and that I what I asked for, for Christmas was a harness, jack stays and a leash but I probably have 4 or 5 leashed. So, they are all over the boat and if run out and forget my leash there is a leash there. So I am pretty much probably going to sleep in this, in this harness and basically I won’t take it off.

OSP: And if you rush up in the middle of the night because you hear a sound and then you are not then racing out there in your undies with nothing else on and fall off in the back of the boat.

Andy Lamont: It is really I am not really fussed about a life jacket because it will be handy while I am close to Australia and when I am close to New Zealand. The last thing I want would to be sitting in an inflated life jacket halfway between here and South American watching the boat sail away. You probably feel like just getting a knife and because…

OSP: You would be pretty fortunate for somebody to just happen to be in the area.

Andy Lamont: So, really it’s the harness. Its making sure I just do not fall off the boat no matter what and luckily for me I am clumsy so I am not sort of going into this with a false sense of my own invincibility when it comes to having great balance.  I will trip over walking up stairs. So, I don’t have any illusions about that.  The main thing is to be hooked on all the time even when its dead calm because stuff happens.

OSP: That’s the time you trip and stumble when they do come and you are going twice the speed to do something.

Andy Lamont: Exactly.

OSP: So, prior to this trip what offshore sailing have you done? What is your experience been getting out of sight of land?

Andy Lamont: I haven’t really done a lot. I have always sailed. Sailing has been my sports and my passion since I was 11 years old but in sailed right through my teens and then when I was 17 I sort of met some people who were sailing to New Zealand so I sailed to New Zealand. When I got to New Zealand I just got bitten by the wind surfing bug and for me that was still my sport of sailing and I just had a passion for it, if there was an Olympics for enthusiasm I would have been gold medal player. I never really had a lot of talent but I just loved wind surfing and that was my sailing outlet.

The original Coursemaster 800 auto-pilot on Impulse

It was the first time I got in a boat and I just felt being on the water and being powered by wind that was to me I knew that was my thing and windsurfing satisfied that for me for all my adult life. I learnt to windsurf over in New Zealand then I came over back to Australia, stayed in Brisbane for a while, windsurfed in Brisbane and then moved to Western Australia purely for the wind. I just went out there I am going to Western Australia, I lived in Western Australia until my first kids were born then came back here and had a break from windsurfing for about 3 or 4 years than I was back into it again.

And then kite surfing came along in the 1990s 1999 and I kite surfed and then recently after more and more sailing but in-between – I have done south to Sydney quite a few times, South to Adelaide back to Port Macquarie with Tony Mowbray who sailed around the world nonstop in a Cole 43. So, I have done that. But I helped to deliver Wedgtail (RP55) with Cossie and John Gower they put up with me. I think it’s the funniest thing in the world and I am the butt of all their jokes,” you won’t get this one you are sailing around the world.” So, it’s been a lot of fun but I have learnt a lot with them and I probably have done more miles under Jury Rig than most people because we sailed back from Hobart to Brisbane twice under Jury Rig with a broken mast.

OSP: Wow! That’s a long trip.

Andy Lamont: Yes. two years in a row and so unfortunately they didn’t go to Hobart this year so we didn’t get to sail back because they are still trying to sort out their mast issues. And apart from that a few other little trips, but the main ocean trips that I have done are obviously New Zealand and from Adelaide to Port Macquarie which is not a bad trip quite a few miles. So, not a lot of offshore experience but enough to feel confident.

OSP: And the Tasman sea around Southern and Eastern side of Australia you can get all sorts of weather, you can get some big blows coming through, you can get stormy squalls, you get a fair taste of what is bad possible.

Andy in action kitesurfing

Andy Lamont: Yes. I don’t think the actual boat handling side of it I don’t think will be anywhere nears as challenging as the solitude side of it and that will probably be down to trying to maintain your capacity to make good decisions when you are tired. I guess this is really what happens to people. So, it doesn’t matter how much you know about seamanship and how many years you have been sailing around with a crew but when you are single handed, tiredness can be akin to drunkenness. The tireder you get the worse your decision making gets. Being able to sort of stay alone, you don’t have to make great decisions just have to  not to really make stupid decisions when you are super tired.

OSP: And just the fact you actually have to make decisions and not procrastinate and wait and wait and wait and things deteriorate.

Andy Lamont: Yes. There is plenty of cases like that and its pretty well documented. This is one of the things that happens to people who are solo sailors, they become paralysed and they just don’t make any decisions. So, they leave sails up and they are in all sorts of trouble.

OSP: Like the flight crash investigation one that indecision sets up a chain of events that snowball to the point of no return sometimes.

Andy Lamont: So, that’s the thing like act early act prudently and act early and all the other things and get enough rest like you just don’t know how I am going to feel after say 100 days by myself. So, that I what I am saying I guess they are more of the challenging things for me more than handling the boat pretty much this boat really to be honest with you. If you don’t have too much sail up and follow some pretty basic practical seamanship principles, you might not get there fastest, you might not be the most comfortable but you are probably ok. So, that side of things doesn’t really concern me too much and the other side doesn’t concern me too much either.  I am looking forward to that challenge but that is the unknown and how am I going to cope.

OSP: So, when you think about the solitude, have you thought about the ability to communicate with the rest of the world? Have you got any plans in terms of satellite or other communication options?

Andy Lamont: Yes.

OSP: What have you given thought to then?

Andy Lamont: I think the main option is the satellite phone. They are great now and the plans are much cheaper than they have been for ever so that will be the main thing. HF radio maybe but probably satellite phone is going to be the main conduit for communication with land. But having said that I do not want to be on the phone.

OSP: How is your day today? What do you see? Ocean.

Andy Lamont: Exactly. Part of me would be happier if there wasn’t that technology and I could just say I’d love to talk to you but I can’t but of course that’s me saying that now, that is not me saying that in 100 days into the journey so probably will be a whole different.

The rotten foredeck on Impulse has to be removed and replaced

OSP: And so have you talked about the communication side with your wife, what the expectation is and what – we are going to catch up once a week or once a month? Have you talked about that?

OSP: Its one of those things you often don’t get concerned until its only happening.

Andy Lamont: No. that is not a conversation we have had and it’s a difficult conversation to have, it’s probably one we will have as time draws nearer and like I said probably I am great one for these really strong ideas about how tough I am, how I am great I don’t need anything until I am right in the guts and that will completely change my mind. The roles will probably be reversed and I will be ringing – I will want to ring her up every half an hour and she will be going I have got a life to live leave me alone. So I don’t think calling anymore than once every couple of days is necessary at this point probably even once a week or something but I don’t know.

OSP: I found with crossing the Tasman the combination of I will send you a text every so often once a day or whatever and I will and I will call you at this frequency was kind of good because somebody just takes to say it’s all good rather than the obligatory phone call when there is nothing more to say than it was yesterday. So, you can get quite a frequency that kind of makes more sense and text through your GPS location.

Andy Lamont: Well actually I will have to have a tracker on the boat. So, that should actually just…

OSP: Great. You can track you progress around the world. So, we are getting on the Gold coast there is a bit of helicopter activity on the outside I am not sure how much of it is coming through the microphone but that’s ok.

Andy Lamont: Ok. So, my sail wardrobe plan I have a 150% Genoa and a mainsail with 3 reef points in it. So, that is a furling Genoa and then going down from that I have a 100% jib which is again on the furler. Once I am expecting more than 15 knots I will take the Genoa down put the 100% jib up because there is not a lot of performance lost over 15 knots with the smaller headsail and it’s just means that 100% jib is quite ok up to 25 knots downwind probably up to 30 knots but it’s quite ok and then that is on the furler too so if it is downwind we can furl that. After that we will go to probably a smaller headsail hanked on to the inner forestay.

I haven’t had that built yet but that would be probably 50% of the size of the 100% jib , that is going to be a fairly small sail then you can go to a triple reef main with that sail. I am guessing it’s going to be fine under 40 knots and then we will have a storm  jib with the triple reefed main which is going to be pretty much the lowest that we go and then we could put away the jib just to go under the main. So, that should be triple reefed main is pretty much going to act as my storm mainsail. I will carry a storm tri-sail as well. I may put a track on the outside of the mast to put it up but my understanding is that these boats under triple reefed main there is pretty much triple reefed main then bare poles.

OSP: In terms of, how much sailing do you expect to be upwind versus downwind?

Andy Lamont: Well, it’s probably predominantly going to be downwind although you never know. You might run into the wrong side of the system where it might be upwind for quite a while but predominately downwind then you as you go through the southern ocean, its mostly going to be north westerlies ,south westerlies and westerlies but it could can clock around to the east as well.

Then up to the Atlantic I think it’s just going to be complete variation of all directions and that is quite a long leg from basically from Cape Horn up over the Azores and back down into Cape of Hope. Probably be the longest time wise and that is going to be all directions. So there will be fair bit of upwind quite fair bit of light wind sailing that is where the 150% Genoa will come in handy. If the budget stretches and everything is good I will get a code zero as well something that will just ghost along in 3 knots will be great to have as well because the Genoa is not a nice heavy duty Genoa but it just doesn’t really it need 5 knots.

Significant repair work is need to the cabin top as well along with strengthening for new genoa tracks

OSP: It hangs in the lack on winds rather than fills…

Andy Lamont: Yes. So, it will be nice to have something like a big code zero that just sort of ghosts along.

OSP: I bought a code zero over last year and the predominant thinking was that sorts of 2 or 6 knots of breeze I read that you get another knot of boat speed easily. I bought it without realising its actually a brilliant reaching sail and as long as you are reaching at about 90 or 100° you can then carry it into the 15 to 18 knots, it’s just a great reaching sail. Obviously as its starts to come up on the head will drop dramatically because it overloads really quickly but as long as you off the wind around sort of 90-100-110 it’s a great reaching sail in 15 plus knots and it really is quite powerful.

Andy Lamont: Yes. Well, that right. So it will be great to get a code zero. Again but that’s on the wish list. So, that depends I probably priority wise before I buy a code zero I will buy a radar. So, I will buy a radar and then probably after the radar definitely need new VHF, definitely need a sat phone, HF is a nice one on the wish list.

OSP: Yes. And it’s a tradeoff between an HF versus be it I am going to spend more money on satellite phone credit given the number of people that aren’t on HF these days, it’s almost hard that you should get anybody and if they have got HF radios [inaudible] [00:05:27] anyway. So, that is a tradeoff to make.

OSP: I guess if you have got a lot of downwind sailing, what thought have you given to running wing and wing, calling out your jib or Genoa? How are you going to make the most of your going straight downwind if you get that kind of wind from behind a lot of the time?

Andy Lamont: Well, it’s interesting you asked because the boat goes great with the 150% Genoa and I have actually got much to the chagrin of all the local guys I have been competing against I’ve got a longer pole I’ve got a spinnaker pole plus a plus a long whisker pole that pushes the Genoa out to its full extent and the boat is really balanced and goes really well. I have got a spare Genoa as well so I could run twin headies and go down when with that. And that was my plan until I read John Sander’s book. It’s only a very tiny book and I have read it about 4 times and each time you read it something else jumps out at you and this time I read it and he said in downwind sailing where he went for his double circumnavigation in the S&S 34.

He dropped the genoa completely and just used the mainsail because he didn’t want to work the forestay because working the forestay is a potential cause of damage or failure for the boat. So, I sort of had all my plans of being really nicely setup running downwind and now I’m thinking “really I am going to do that now?” So, however I think as long as I make sure we have got really oversized fittings there and talking about setting it up properly plus I think the furling forestay arrangement is not going to flex and work as hard as a forestay without a foil in it. So, that is my plan anyway. At the boat it just settles down once you pole it out.

OSP: Yes. And there is a couple of things to consider as well. If you run wing and wing and put your main sail away, you have eliminated the risk of crash gybe or even if you have a boom break on and you have got none of that trying to happen, but also if you have got a bit of seaway out there, if the weight is forward seem to be pushing right in front of the boat, there is less tendency for the main to try and round the boat up. So, with all the pressure right in front of the boat, I have heard and read that running downwind is a lot more easier and the natural tendency to want to broach is just eliminated completely.

Andy Lamont: Yes, that also brings into its own self steering sort of moment at well because as it just wants to run dead downwind. So, everything works…

OSP: Great so it’s a nicer motion. You mini that seesaw motion that you often have running downwind with main trying to push it sideways.

Andy Lamont: Yes. So, I am going to run with two poles. I have set the boat up to run with two poles. I have got a new system on front of the mast so I can use two poles nicely. I am going to run it. I am just going to make sure we have got a not only the – will have the spectra line forward to the bowsprit it’s just on all the time just in case we do break some fitting or something fails on the forestays. I will have that built up properly and make sure that that’s all we have got failsafe and redundant systems there. But I have got twin grooves in the foil Basically you can just run both Genoas up there, in light winds running two 150% Genoas at the front of the boat will just motor along. And also you can just furl them both up.

Windows are refurbished and replaced with thicker 10mm lexan hatches

OSP: Which is pertinent to the manageability of the boat. And if you need to climb the masts, can you and will you?

Andy Lamont: Yes. It’s been one of things that I have been thinking about on the original boat that I built, I have got a mast built for that and I put steps little folding steps on them and that was great.  I was thinking about doing the same thing to this mast when it gets out but I just had to go and was looking at these rock climbing systems with the giri and then I can’t remember that name they lock onto the halyard and you just walk up the mast. When you attach the mast just walk up I had to go with that and I think I am going to do with that and I not worry about the steps because that system doesn’t seem to be very difficult at all. I am not really scared of heights so it doesn’t really worry me and it seems like a really – it’s a nice system that you – basically what you do is you run two halyards main halyard and another halyard onto a nice 20 mm rope specifically for the purpose and that is right the climb up. So you pull that rope up the mast on two halyards.

OSP: So, you have got safety.

Andy Lamont: One halyard for some reason breaks you’ve got another halyard on to the purpose built mast climbing rope that’s not going to break. It’s a really good system.

OSP: Well that sounds good. And if you know you are going to drill all those extra holes in the mast attached steeps too. I am just a fun of less holes things like that.

Andy Lamont: Yes.

OSP: So, in terms of if you want to just describe your plan and route into that were are you going to tell us where the toughest parts of the trip will be.

Andy Lamont: The initial first toughest parts will be while leaving the Gold coast and heading east to clear of all the shipping channels because as much as I probably wanted to be rested before I leave I probably won’t be and that is the biggest risk of all. That is hitting something and we will be straight out of the seaway into a well used shipping channel off the east coast of Australia. So, that is the toughest first part is basically making sure that I get at least 100 miles east before I can relax a bit. Luckily ships travel quite near to the coast here so I think I might sail 100 miles east I am much out of all what is going on apart from fishing boats. And then of course you have got the Tasman Ocean which it could give you anything. It’s a real interesting piece of water, isn’t it?

OSP: Yes. And you are straight into the action. There is no sort of 3-4-5 week build up, you are straight out there.

Andy Lamont: Which is what Jessica Watson did that was really smart, she was went up over the equator in the Pacific Ocean which gave her a nice window to get used to the boat and I was really tempted to do the same thing.

OSP: But the moment you are heading for the bottom of New Zealand right?

Andy Lamont: I was really tempted, but for me it’s always been under the five capes to me that is what it’s been. So, then if I was to go and start here and go up in the equator in the Pacific all the way back I will have to go under New Zealand or it seems like a waste of time doing that way and also it will be under New Zealand in the Middle of winter which is…

OSP: Which is not a good idea. Well, also if you are not fixed about your departure date you’d have the ability to wait two of three days if your weather router wants to kick you off as a system just gone through depending on how you want to approach it.

Andy Lamont: I think I will have to settle on a date probably a couple of months out which is go to be because I have got family coming up. So, it might be just a matter of a month out going whatever you do wait till the second half of October or whatever you do you go a bit earlier it’s probably the best as close as you can expect…

OSP: And you just got to go.

Impulse's refurbished hatches are ready for refitting

Andy Lamont: And then you sort of go of course you can slow down and so that will be- Tasman Sea will be – I only sailed across it once and we had 60 plus knots so….

OSP: Okay so, that’s as bad as its going to get most of time anyway.

Andy Lamont: Yes. And that is just the Tasman Sea so it’s quite interesting but then obviously under Stewart Island it’s predominantly over 30 knots. It’s very rare to be less than 30 knots under Stewart Island so, that is going to be the milestone to get around that probably to jump around that and depending on what the weather is doing I might head up, go down few degrees head north and get a bit of better weather or if the weather systems look alright you sort of continue down a bit lower.

OSP: So a shorter course around the bottom.

Andy Lamont: Yes. And I have got to remember it’s not a race but that’s the thing. Always when you are sailing you always want to go as fast as you can.

OSP: And if you are done you log each day knowing to see how much ground. You will always going to be conscious of those records days and anything less wouldn’t feel good enough all that stuff will start to happen.

Andy Lamont: So, then of course, after that is pretty much the big one is Cape Horn and that is where I will rely on Bruce a fair bit just to give me what he thinks is the best strategy to get around there. I definitely don’t want to be going round there with a big low pressure system. That will be kind of terrifying.

OSP: Yes. Timing that well because its so shallow through there the sea can really stand up. There is no point of rushing to get there if you can just sow down to get there a couple of days later and have a nice trip round.

Andy Lamont: Just go behind the system and get down and around and out.

OSP: Ok. So, you get around Cape Horn and then what’s next?

Andy Lamont: So, really and again this is going to be very reliant on the weather routing as to where I go next. I have got to go up over the equator up to the Azores. Well, I don’t need to go as far as the Azores but I am still not so sure under the world speed sailing record council whether I can go around a way point now or whether I still have to round and island. But anyway I am going to go around the Azores at the moment. So, that is quite a distance and there is a lot of different weather patterns so the way I go will really depend on the weather routing up there.

So, I will be doing my own weather routing and then I will be asking Bruce for advice on that because I will probably be saying,” look this is what I plan to do, what do you think?” He will say, “Stupid! You should do this. You haven’t factored in all these other things.” So to get up and down the Atlantic I don’t want obviously go too close to Brazil or any of the South American countries and I definitely don’t want to go too close to Africa and end up getting boarded by crazy pirates.

OSP: No.

Andy Lamont: I will stay like pretty much a couple of hundred miles off the coast so that is another factor. And once I am up and over there then getting down under Cape of Good Hope will be quite a fair distance under there. Then pretty much after that it’s just trying to miss many systems as you can to get back under Cape Leeuwin and then under Tasmania and the back home. But, that is probably going to be the worst, weather wise, section of the journey because that is going to be approaching winter, or getting right into the winter months.

So, that is where the systems will start running through pretty regularly and that’s probably the way to do it and the fact that the closer you are to home, the more  able you are to limp home if you do sustain some damage and also I will be a bit sea hardened as well. I have been probably have been though a few storms on the way and by the time I get into winter in the Southern Ocean I will be a lot better than I would have been 8 months ago or 6 months ago, that’s the plan.

The new tiller for Impulse gets to the finishing stage in the workshop

OSP: Ok. And staying warm will be a big factor too, wind chill and heat.

Andy Lamont: Yes. Because I don’t mind the heat so much but I do hate being cold.

OSP: It’s a wrong place to go during that time of year.

Andy Lamont: I don’t know why I am doing it. So, I just went and bought myself a nice sleeping bag rated to   minus 13 degrees C because it can’t be down so it has to be al fibre filled stuff so that’s good. So, I have got that lots and lots of layers. I use the Gill sappolettes which I find really warm. I found wearing those and some long couple of layers of long Johns and sappolettes and your wet weather gear and you are going to wear a beanie and gloves, you are pretty even in Tasmania you are pretty warm. But then again that’s the coldest I have been. The furthest South I have been is really Hobart which will probably make some people laugh but to me Hobart is like...

OSP: Antarctica?

Andy Lamont: I just think I have got lots and lots of woollen underwear, woollen base layer stuff and as well as the normal long johns and thermals and I will just take all that stuff and wash it when I can. They will probably stink, they probably won’t let me back in the country I will smell so much.

I think that’s the main thing is before I go that is one of things I will do I will buy some more wet weather gear. The gear I have got the Musto HPX gear is bloody fantastic I love it. I have got Musto boots. Probably don’t need a new pair of boots but I will get some of those seal skin socks which are really good and that should be it – a dry suit would be nice. Survival suits would be nice.

OSP: That’s when having your life jack with a dry suit could be convenient if you can float about for 12 hours ships will be passing by.

Andy Lamont: But if the boat just fills up with water you can just put the dry suit on.

OSP: True.

Andy Lamont: You can sort of slosh around in that. That would be good but probably even putting on your wet weather gear like when the boat is jumping around all over the place it’s a bloody pain in the butt.

OSP: It takes a long time. It’s a good 20-minute job to get it off get it back on.

Andy Lamont: I am just trying to imagine putting a dry suit on it might even take longer so I am not quite sure. But I just know the wet weather gear I have got get another set of that should see me through and just to stay warm. I have thought about getting a heater but it’s just another thing that can go wrong. So, I will probably just go with lots of layers, some emergency clothing in dry bags, towels and that type of thing. The other thing is those space blankets and those survival bags are quite good too.

OSP: And they take no space at all.

Andy Lamont: No space at all. So, that’s another thing if I am really cold I jump in the sleeping bag or jump in the survival bag and then into a sleeping bag. Then another thing I saw at burnings was the AEG heater jackets. You know the 18 volt lithium ion drill . They have also got where you just put a battery in the pocket and then you have got a heated jacket. So, I might even get one of those.

OSP: Could be handy if you have been outside for half an hour and the wind chill fixing something up and then you come down below and just seem to warm back up again.

Andy Lamont: You just put that up and warm up. They are only 150 bucks or something so it’s kind of for the job that it might do its pretty good value.

OSP: It’s more practical than trying to heat a hot water bottle.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly. That’s right and its instant and I haven’t got a battery grinder yet which is one of the things I want to have. So a little 4 inch grinders so if I need to cut stuff away.

New teak rails are fitted

OSP: And if you get the discs that carbon or something but way better for slicing through regiment trying to get a hacksaw or bolt cutters out if you have to cut mast away they are excellent for that.

Andy Lamont: So, one of the things I am thinking about is go the AEG route, getting the grinder and getting the jacket…

OSP: Happy days cutting the regiment away with your warm jacket on. So, if you can ask Jessica Watson questions about her circumnavigation, what would they be and when you start to think about some of the unknown few that lie ahead?

Andy Lamont: Well, there is lots of things we are really interested. One will be the polars for this boat. What strength and sea state did you change to different sails? That would be really good information. I might not do the same thing but it would be good reference point. So, that would be really interesting because basically it’s the same width it’s the same boat.

OSP: Yes. And traditionally if you find out you have too far that you should have changed sails once you break something.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly. So, that would be a good one to ask her. and then what would she do for power generation next time because I do know like I have read her book but she didn’t say anything negative in a book and good on her but there must have been things that really pissed her off and were really just bad systems or really just annoying and it would be good to know those things and what she thought about. She was very adamant she wanted the D400 generating wind system. Which is great it’s a beautiful systems its nice and quiet but she had to take it down every time it got over 30 knots and that type of thing. That will be interesting to find out power generation thing. But that will two key questions could be really interesting and also – I guess that will be the two main ones.

OSP: I saw a presentation she did she had some great photos of rebuilding her toilet after it had completely seized up.

Andy Lamont: Oh! Yes, right.

OSP: So, I know that she had that system failure which was pretty unpleasing by the sound of it.

Andy Lamont: Yes. So, that’s right. So I don’t have an electric toilet. I am just going to pretty much at the end of the day I don’t think you can beat the bucket, that a pretty good system. We always go over the side and that is not a good system single handed but I just got a pump out system – if you are just yourself on the boat then you sort of think that should be alright. I have go that system where your toilet paper and just get right down to the nitty gritty, you just take a big supply of paper bags so you use your toilet paper put in your paper bag, throw the toilet paper over to the side and pump out.

OSP: Because that’s the toilet paper that notoriously blocks those toilets up.  I am fan of the pump toilet it’s just one less thing that can fail electronically and it’s a pretty simple system and it only fails if you put too much down the hole.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly.

OSP: So, if you just don’t, that is probably not going to fail.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly.

OSP: If it’s not used by 10 people a day it’s definitely not going to get a lot of use.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly. Definitely when you sail solo the person that blocks the toilet up is the person who has to clean it.

OSP: Self governing.

Andy Lamont: Exactly, right. That is the best system I have seen it’s just the paper bag for toilet paper and a hand pump and what can go wrong.

OSP: It makes a lot of sense. Ok. So, what do you love being out in the ocean by yourself or what is it that you love about that because you are going to have a lot of that?

The final coat of paint goes onto Impulse's hull

Andy Lamont: I am interested to find out whether I will get sick of it because I am mid to late 50s and I am not sick of it yet so it’s quite interesting. For someone I am bit nerdy and that type of thing for something so basic to completely satisfy me and not just me hundreds of thousands millions of people. A whole thing about being on a boat and having nothing but the wind and I have never gone like this is boring of days and days and days and I am just like oh! God just give me another day so, it’s really interesting. It came down to the first time I got on a boat I was 11 years old and I got on a trailer sailor I was just watching sitting on the boat just watching the water separating from the stern of the boat it was a little hard chine trailer sailor.

OSP: Its quite hypnotising.

Andy Lamont: Yes. And it’s pretty much all I need. It’s a very weird thing if you get me off the water I need to be connected to the internet, I need to be get stimulating conversations, I need good friends, food and the excitement and the entertainment and everything and challenges. I mean there is this unending list of everything I need in my life so that I don’t go crazy from boredom or feel like I am wasting my life, but put me on a boat or a wind surfer or a kite board, that is all I need. It’s quite bizarre, isn’t it?

OSP: Its amazing isn’t it? And the nights will be as magical as the days for different reasons.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly. That’s it. The first ocean sailing I did from Brisbane to New Zealand some of those night sailing memories are just seared it into my memory I can remember them as if they were like yesterday and two days after I arrived in New Zealand was my 18th birthday and that was 40 years ago.

OSP: Its quite incredible.

Andy Lamont: Its just like yesterday. They are the peak moments of your life. For me, the peak of your life are your children being born and all obviously getting married and all that but the peak sort of – I am not a spiritual person but they are the spiritual moments of my life.

OSP: I think what I found is when you are out there on the ocean and it’s just you, there is not land on sight, there is not ships, it’s just you and the ocean and you are on the circular plate because everywhere you look every direction it’s just the horizon in this crowded world you got a piece of the world just to yourself and its perfect an un-spoilt and its magical and even the sea life comes to life. The light show that happens below the water once you really adjust your eyesight and the stars are like you never see on the land because of all the smoke and light interference. It’s quite stunning. It’s hard to explain.

Andy Lamont: As the stars have meaning to you as well. One rises on the horizon you follow that for a while.

OSP: You can see the shooting starts occasionally.

Andy Lamont: Its nice.

OSP: Well its good you are going to have about 300 days of that. So, when you are not sleeping or tending to your daily tasks in terms of checking on chafe and wear and tear and doing bits and pieces, what else are you taking along to be able to occupy your time?

Andy Lamont: Well, I will take a guitar a ukulele and some harmonicas so they are the three instruments.

OSP: But the audience will love you.

Andy Lamont: I will play some music and I will take probably a couple of kindles and iPad and all the books I can fit on that because I love reading. So, that would be pretty much all I need because I wouldn’t be bored. I can play music, I can read and I can even maybe write some stuff and that’s probably a full day.

OSP: And you have got a plan for each meal.

Andy Lamont: Yes.

OSP: After you finish this meal you start planning for the next one.

Andy Lamont: And probably make bread and do some other little sort of nice things during the day when the weather is right.

OSP: And put plenty of sleep in the bank so you keep topping your sleep up.

Andy Lamont: Yes. That’s then I guess that’s a really important thing, isn’t it? Making sure that I don’t get fatigued and don’t enjoy something so much that I sort of don’t leave enough sleep in the bank, sleeping all the time. But that is another thing about being on a boat which I never have trouble sleeping. It’s just I don’t know if it’s the same for you.

OSP: It’s the best sleep; it’s the most restful sleep I have ever have.

Andy Lamont: Yes, so you just put you head down and the next thing you know your asleep.

OSP: And it’s the only place I can sleep during the day. I normally lie down and sleep during the day but on a boat once you are in that rhythm about day 3 or 4 you just lay down and sleep because it’s almost like if the motion is great and you know your body needs it, it just changes your whole ability to rest and recharge.

Andy Lamont: So, that would be my daily routine I guess. One of the things I was thinking of doing like I would love to learn to play the bag pipes. I don’t know whether I would have the time to do that but I thought that would be fun. You mentioned like in the middle of a foggy day, in the middle of the ocean just the sound...

OSP: It would be stunning, wouldn’t it?

Andy Lamont:…on a quiet day with sort of low fog and cold and just the sound of bag pipes…

OSP: Just come rolling out of the mist.

Andy Lamont: Yes. So, anyway I have never played bag pipes but I can’t imagine it would be that hard.

OSP: I was forced to as a child.

Andy Lamont: Oh, truly?

OSP: However, I thought it was quite glamorous until I realised you spend the first two years learning to play I don’t know what it called but it’s like the flute part, you don’t see the bag for the first two years.

Andy Lamont: Oh!

OSP: So, until you learn to play the flute part that plugs into the bag – pretty much so you have got to wait two or three years before you are given a bag. I didn’t last that long.

Andy Lamont: So, you can play the piccolo

OSP: Exactly, so, I didn’t get to the good part but obviously it’s an amazing sound. So, what resources have you used to plan this trip? Where have you turned for information, research and advice?

Andy Lamont: I guess Tony Mowbray has been a help, so he’s been great. I have spoken to him. I sailed back from Adelaide with him. So, he sailed around in a Cole 43 nonstop unassisted. I read a lot of books of course John Gower and Kevin Costin they have taken me on as a bit of a project because really at the end of the day even though sailing has been my sport, ocean sailing I pretty much knew nothing and pretty much still know not much. So, they are both experienced ocean racers. So, they keep telling me like I am crazy going around with a slow boat I should be going around in a fast boat and they just think its nuts to go around in an S&S 34. You should go in something that goes faster than the waves. That’s one opinion. It’s quite a good opinion anyways except that the evidence just doesn’t beat it out. It’s the slow boats that complete.

The gold stripe is added to the hull as the finishing touch

OSP: They get there.

Andy Lamont: They get smashed along the way but it’s the fast boats that have problems. On a crewed fast boat going downwind at 20 knots well they are no problem, you have got someone on the helm all the time but on auto-pilot the boat has to be like an open 60 or an open 40 with all the systems been built to broach it has to be that type of boat to sail under auto-pilot. Like a lot of them don’t finish.

OSP: They break down and you are taking five times the overall cost plus and they are more demanding to sail and things are happen fast with bigger loads so you can get injured too and sleeping is probably a lot harder when you punching through stuff at 20 knots and when you are rolling along nicely.

Andy Lamont: Like downwind those boats are sailing. They just flat and stable and fast…

OSP: And wet.

Andy Lamont: Yes, if you haven’t got someone on the helm 24/7 then you relying on the autopilot so it’s the slow boats they are the ones that can do it on a budget unless your budget is in the millions. I don’t think a little maybe an Atlantic crossing on a small fast boat would be alright but unless you have got a really big budget with like some of these autopilots which are coming up of the shelf models now but they are pretty high end systems and they take in account the yaw of the boat so and everything inside it, they are not going to approach on a wave or…

OSP: And you still need a back up for them because otherwise if they fail your trip is over.

Andy Lamont: Yes. If an IMOCA boat or class 40 boat loses its electrics it’s just over.

OSP: Yes. And then working 24/7 under reasonable loads too.

Andy Lamont: Yes. Exactly and it happens. Whereas to have the systems would cost more than this boat the whole trip.

OSP: So, putting a Ferrari engine in a Skoda or something…

Andy Lamont: Yes. So, that’s all their opinions which is I respect their opinions but I just think look! This boat has been around the world more than anyone and at the end of the day everyone agrees: The S&S 34 you are going to get there.

OSP: Yes, it’s not going to break in half and sink.

Andy Lamont: Yes. And it’s not break any records but you are going to get there. But they have been great Mabo and Kozzie have been a real help for me and pretty much they are the main two guys that have been helping me out apart from everyone at the club here too, it’s just interesting like just the doing sailing I am doing here. Even, everyday you go out you are kind of learning a little but more, you tweak a bit more, don’t you?

OSP: Yes. that’s is right and the more people hear about your story and plans and what people popup and contribute also ideas and obviously the help and the strategic all that will create a bit of ground swell. You have to go now because once you tell people about it you are first taking the ground. Did you ever read that book about the guy that did that very first solo trip? He went out there and sailed around in circles for several months just sort of thrown in the towel and disappeared.

Andy Lamont: Yes.

OSP: Sad story.

Andy Lamont: Yes, a real sad story. Donald Crowhurst.

OSP: That’s it.

Andy Lamont: Its an interesting story, isn’t it? And then it was the slowest boat in the field was Robyn Knox Johnson’s boat that won.

OSP: That’s a very good example of choose a well prepared solid boat.

Andy Lamont: This is a good example of that rather than these trimarans. But those days have changed and now the – I guess it’s the most important example of that is pretty much about your mental state. So, it was Rob Knox Johnson that had pretty rock solid mental state where I think Bernard Mointessier I think it was the guy who was actually…

OSP: He was leading, right?

Andy Lamont: Yes.

OSP: And then he decided to carry on nonstop.

Andy Lamont: Yes. Exactly. So, he carried on. So, his state wasn’t to finish the race, his state was to keep sailing I guess and there were a few others there. It was pretty interesting story.

Andy in action in his kitesurfing training business

OSP: Great story and Robin Knox Johnston story is a good example of if you know your boat from end to end and you have got confidence in it then everything comes from confidence in your boat. I think the only think he didn’t like was he had a cover over his heel as a form of antifoaming and it started leaking into something and he had to get off the bottom in the Southern Ocean and go down below hammer a nail some patches on the boat or something and sharks were hovering around so…

Andy Lamont: He talked about that so matter of fact, I will just have to jump under hold some copper nails in my mouth. Have you ever tried to nail something underwater I would drop the nail anyhow.

OSP: I have tried to swing a hammer underwater you can’t do it. But he saw a great white shark and he short it but he figured there wasn’t any other so he as safe to proceed. I would be thinking about the other 100 waiting there too. Anyway, so great story. This is a bit of Mount Everest in terms of challenges short of going somewhere crazy like North Pole or South Pole. Have you thought of beyond the trip in terms of what happens when you get home and what you do next?

Andy Lamont: Well, definitely, I am ready for a new change in my life. I have run the same business with my wife for 20 years and she has done most of the work. I was basically on the kind of ideas guy and get everything rolling and doing all then we are a great team in that it works really well for me and she sort of figured out after 20 years it doesn’t actually work so well for her because we both really want to do some other things in our lives. So, that is why I did a law degree so I would like to do something with that when I get back and we would like to do some public speaking if that comes up after the trip then really life’s over too quickly isn’t it.

OSP: It is, far too quickly.

Andy Lamont: But luckily I am 57 I am fit enough and its interesting because I have had a fantastic life from the time I was an adult say from the time I was 20 to the time I was 57, that’s 37 years. Like it’s quite possible to have another 37 years of being active and doing stuff with the advances in medicine and all that type of thing. But even another 20 years its whole another life.

OSP: It is and once I was racing flying fifteens I sailed at the nationals against a guy who I thought this was in 2009 I thought he was in his early 60s and so it is 50 boats and flying fifteens are quite demanding to sail, he finished I think 7th at the nationals. He had been a boat builder all his life, he was 86 years old and still racing at a really physically level. I thought that is a great example of someone who has stayed healthy stayed active and he got to 60 and he has added another quarter of a century of active sailing to his life. I have always remembered that example.

Andy Lamont: It is. Its great and I have a friend a great role model who I have wind surfed with and kite surfed with for the last 20 years and he is a keener kite surfer than me, he is out every windy day and he is 69.

OSP: Wow!

Andy Lamont on the S&S 34 'Impulse' at the Southport Yacht Club

Andy Lamont: It doesn’t matter how big the waves are he is just there and at 69 these people they do forge a pathway don’t they. You don’t have to sort of get to your 50s and 60s and start to slow down you can just turn another page and open a new chapter in your life and do something new and exciting. Yes, that is what I want to do and the other great chapter of my life will be becoming a grandfather, which is going to be fun. So, they are all great things as well. There is a lot to look forward to and when we get back whole new chapter to write I guess.

OSP: It’s been great spending the time with you this morning. I think we have got two episodes out this we are at the two hour mark which is great and its going to be excellent Andy following your journey over the next few months as you prepare to depart and then keeping in touch with you as you head off around the world and seeing how your experience is going. So, thank you so much for sharing your story and I know people listening to this find it fascinating, find it inspiring as well and I just shows you that if you put your mind to something the financial barrier is not the bigger issue or the age barrier it’s just putting your mind to it and heading down the path and certainly the departure day will roll around.

Andy Lamont: If anyone can take anything from what I am doing you can fail your way to your goal when my goal was to leave in 2004. It’s been a massive failure and a lot of detours but failure is just someone said I don’t know who it was, someone once said that failure is a real essential part of any journey. No journey and nothing happens without failing.

OSP: Yes. And the irony is if we didn’t put these unrealistic timeframes against things other than the timeframe you did everything else right because you are about to go.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly.

OSP: If you hadn’t put and unrealistic timeframe you would have said the plan just took a little longer.

Andy Lamont: Yes, exactly.

OSP: The plan has turned out…

Andy Lamont: And that is the way I look at it.

OSP: But as often if we are not unrealistic about timeframes we don’t actually push ourselves hard enough to even get to what is a reality, otherwise if you just said I will do it in 10 years, of course 10 years comes and goes and there is no stake in the ground. Well, thank you Andy and we look forward to catching up and updating things as they unfold and good luck on all of your plans and preparations. I am sure you will start to have all sorts of people popping up the out of the woodwork and offering support and help, which will help you prepare for some of those extra things on your wish list that will get you off on the right foot with your fantastic lifetime bucket list type opportunity.

Andy Lamont: Well, that will be great, it doesn’t matter like when someone says what kind of things are you looking for and I said, “even a can of coke would be great” like anything would be alright. So, thanks so much for your interest and I look forward to speaking with you again.

OSP: My pleasure, great, thanks Andy.

Interviewer: David Hows

Checkout out the article on Andy Lamont in the Gold Coast Bulletin that was published following our podcast interviews with him.

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