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Podcast episodes

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Episode 78: David Hanton - Osmosis, antifouling & hull maintenance war stories. Protect your investment: shortcuts, paint options & warning signs.

David Hanton Episode 78.jpg

I catch up with David Hanton from Bradford Marine and get deep and technical about protecting whats under your waterline. We dive into the typical issues with hull maintenance, osmosis in fibreglass and what causes it, how to know if it’s a big vs small problem, how to prevent and repair it and we talk about how significant the damage and repair bill can be. 

David shares examples of shortsighted shortcuts boat owners and tradesmen take and the extra problems they cause. We talk about the product choices for owners when it comes to anti-foul paint and the differences between budget and premium and how the life expectancies differ, the paint thats better suited to warm and cold climates and racing versus cruising application options.

We discuss some of the ugly things that can happen to poorly maintained hulls and the construction materials to avoid when buying a second hand yacht. We finish up on rudders and keels and the warning signs you should pay attention to.

Episode 77: Jon Bilger - Dinghy sailor, Americas Cup Winner & Predict Wind founder. The accidental weather man who built a global business

Jon Bilger Predict Wind

With a father who went to 5 olympics as Flying Dutchman competitor initially and then as coach, Jon Bilger spent his early years around sailing. He bought is first boat after saving $250 and asking his dad to build him an optimist. In a P Class he then won New Zealand’s Tauranga Cup twice amongst a fleet of 120 dinghies that included young sailors such as Craig Monk and Ray Davies. Then the move to the 470 and the Olympics followed along with competing in various European sailing regattas. Jon was thrust into the Tag Heuer 1995 Americas Cup Team as navigator and it opened the door to his newly found passion for weather analysis. From there a decade with the Swiss based, Russell Coutts led, Alinghi Americas Cup syndicate, Jon was responsible for weather modelling for the 2003 and 2007 winning Americas Cup team before the loss in 2010 to Oracle. The weather technology developed for this team led to the model that Predict Wind is based upon today and is now used all over the world by everyday sailors. Interview with guest host John Ratcliff.

Episode 76: Pascale and Troy - cruising remote Australia in their 30’ Clansman. Camping, fishing, foraging, bushcraft and wilderness adventures.

Troy and Pascale Episode 76 Free range sailing

We join Troy and Pascale who are cruising remote Australia in their 30’ Clansman yacht called Mirrool. They left Perth in March 2017 and so far, have made it halfway around the continent traveling through the Kimberley, Arnhem Land, Torres Straits and Far North Queensland documenting their adventures along the way on their YouTube channel "Free Range Sailing" to over 59,000 subscribers. They share their love for sailing and adventure including how they deal with the challenges of long term remote travel in their tiny floating home on a modest budget. It's a great YouTube blog for sailors who love camping, fishing, foraging, bushcraft and remote wilderness adventures. Troy and Pascale are a great example of buying a yacht to fit your budget and then setting off sailing and worrying about working out the detail along the way. They are an inspiring couple on the adventure of a lifetime.

  • Watch Free Range Sailing on YouTube

  • Read the Free Range Sailing blog on Facebook

  • Watch video cast of this episode on YouTube

Episode 75: Taylor Grieger - Sailing to Cape Horn through 3 hurricanes and 2 storms. Navy Veteran raises awareness for veterans' suicide.

Taylor Grieger Episode 75.jpg

A unique and personal insight into the reasons some of us are drawn to the sea. Taylor Grieger is a Navy Veteran that returned from 6.5 years of active service and resigned from the military, only to suffer the tragedy of his fellow veterans and buddies dying from suicide. Research shows military veterans commit suicide at a frequency of 20 per day in the USA. Taylor is a young veteran who decided to use his own painful journey to help create a smoother path for those who come after him.

Taylor Grieger and writer Stephen O’Shea set out on the sailing adventure of a lifetime, sailing around Cape Horn to raise awareness of and spark solutions for veterans' suicide. They never anticipated that their voyage would take them through 3 hurricanes and 2 tropical storms or the extreme cold and personal hardship they would suffer. Their soon to be released documentary 'Hell or High Seas' captures the highs and lows of a personal path too often travelled. 

Episode 74: Paul Willison: A life of tall ship sailing, teaching & catamaran cruising. ‘Living the dream’ with a Kurt Hughes 45 performance cat.

Paul Willison Episode 74.jpg

Paul Willison spent his early days as an outdoor education teacher before he set off to travel around the world and sailed on different boats in unusual locations. On his return to Australia he bought the hull and decks for an Imp 33 catamaran and spent the next 3 years fitting it out. Next came a maritime training centre role then offshore again doing coastal and blue water deliveries. Paul tells of his 20-year love affair with his Wharram Cat, modelled on a Polynesian voyaging canoe, which he sailed the West and East coast of Australia, through Papua New Guinea and to Indonesia. His tall ship adventures saw sail as Mate on the STS Leeuwin II, a 55m long, 500-ton steel 3-masted sail training ship, voyaging from the South Australian border to Darwin and across to Indonesia, hitting speeds of 16 knots in 35 knots of breeze. Next came the role of Mate on the Batavia, a replica of the 1628 Dutch East Indies ship. Paul has recently bought a 45 Kurt Hughes performance catamaran 'Queimarla' and has set up his own sailing school on West Coast of Australia.

Episode 73: Jana McGeachy and Mick O'Keefe - Australians buy US yacht to cruise the Bahama’s, Caribbean and Pacific

Jana & Mick Nauti Nook

Jana and Mick are not your typical semi-retired Australian offshore sailors. Surviving a head on crash in the outback at 100 km/hr at a young age, made them think differently about turning their sailing dreams into reality sooner. They worked and saved hard for the next 2 years and I catch up with them onboard their dream yacht in Florida, waiting to sail to the Bahamas. Their yacht search led to a surgeon selling his 1986 Morgan 43 for $80k. They offered $58k and it was theirs. After lots of maintenance, upgrades, groundings, engine headaches and weeks of toil they are on the eve of departure. With a plan to sail the Bahamas for a few months, then fly home to Australia to save more money for next legs to the Caribbean and onto the Pacific, its a great story of whats possible with determination.We also discuss boat systems and handling and share some handy tips.

Episode 72: Glenn Ashby from Emirates Team New Zealand - will we see capsizes, 100% foiling and 50 knot speeds in the AC36?

Glenn Ashby Emirates Team New Zealand Americas Cup

From the moment Glenn Ashby won his first A-Class Cat World Title in Spain at age 18, he demonstrated an innate ability to understand the physics in play on the water and interpret them better than anyone else in his chosen class.

As the winning 2017 Americas Cup skipper and wing trimmer for Emirates Team New Zealand and now Cup Defender for the next edition on Auckland Harbour, Glenn shares insights on the design evolution to the new 75-foot foiling monohull and how the return to some of the traditional elements of Americas Cup match racing such as; upwind starts, larger sailing teams and tacking duels have driven the monohull design and created this hybrid of both ‘tradition’ and ‘futuristic’ design that even a ‘catamaran purist’ could love. Glenn gets technical on the physics that drive the performance of this exciting new monohull and candidly shares his thoughts on potential speeds, likelihood of capsizes, the potential for 100% fly time and the changes to crew selection strategy with the new design.

Episode 71: Patti and James Hunt - 73 countries in 25 years of cruising

La Aventurer Jimmy Cornell

James and Patti Hunt are Australians who truly have the traveller’s spirit, having extensively backpacked as young Australians throughout Europe in the early 1980’s. By 1995 they made the decision to find the ideal cruising yacht to become their travelling home and subsequently purchased ‘La Aventura’ (Spanish for ‘The Adventurer’) from Jimmy Cornell. Over the next 25 years they sailed two-handed to 73 countries and covered approximately 50,000 miles, including a circumnavigation of the UK, two seasons in the Baltic, sailing to Eastern Europe, St Petersburg, Russia, on to the Mediterranean in 2000, where they spent the next 11 summers, then Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. By 2012 they crossed the Atlantic to the Eastern Caribbean, before spending 6 years exploring the Eastern and Western Caribbean, Panama, Cuba and east coast USA. ‘La Aventura’ is now back in the UK and for sale, having just completed a voyage from the Western Caribbean, back across the Atlantic via Bermuda and the Azores.

Episode 70: Andy Schell - '59 North' Adventure Sailor & 'On The Wind' podcast host

Andy Schell On the Wind 59 North

Andy Schell produces the sailing podcast: 'On the Wind'. With more than 250 episodes under his belt, along with a sailing calendar that sees him tick off more than 10,000 sea miles each year, Andy eats, sleeps and breathes 'all things sailing'. Andy shares his love of sailing and podcasting in a rare and candid interview, where he's on the other end of the microphone for a change.

Andy and his wife Mia, are renowned for their generosity in sharing sailing content, knowledge and hands on adventures. I was inspired by Andy's work to launch the Ocean Sailing Podcast in 2016, so its a privilege to spend an hour with Andy, drilling into what drives him and the things that keep him awake at night.

Episode 69: Deborah Dalziel - Sailor and sailing technology entrepreneur. Founder of My Sail shares her start-up story and vision

Deborah Dalziel My Sail

Deborah Dalziel is both sailor and sailing technology entrepreneur. We explore the story behind the business idea, to find out what drove Deborah, as the Founder of www.MySail.Team to create a Web and App platform, designed to make race crew management easier for boat owners and skippers, while making it simpler for race crew to access and find crew positions on new yachts for races and regattas. With more than 500 yachts and 2,500 crew using My Sail, it's really gaining traction and proving that sailors love technology, that saves time and simplifies life.

As a Canadian immigrant to Australia, who has bootstrapped her start-up with a ton of grit and determination, Deborah shares her vision, the challenges, set backs and future growth plans for My Sail and what she hopes to achieve with the product enhancements that lie ahead. 

Episode 68: Vernon Deck - going sailing with minimal experience! Cairns, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and beyond.

Vernon Deck

Vernon Deck is a great example of jumping head first into sailing and just figuring it out as you go along. He learned by watching sailing videos and doing local racing as crew, then purchased a yacht, spent 3 weeks on preparation, then untied and departed. His first 3 seasons were spent sailing the 780nm passage between Brisbane and Cairn on the Australian East Coast on a S&S 34 before buying a much faster Sayer 37 yacht and heading offshore to Solomon Islands, then onto Papua New Guinea and then Indonesia.

After a lifetime of adventure and earning a living as a sports photographer, Vernon now spends half of each year in Austria earning a living and the other half onboard his yacht, cruising his way north through the Pacific. 

Episode 67: Paul Trammell - Using writing to fund a solo adventure sailing life

Paul Trammell Journey to the Ragged Islands

Paul Trammel has a passion for surfing, sailing and free-diving. Paul shares his plans to sell up and head off for a life of solo sailing adventure, funded in part by his solo-sailing book writing. With plans to live on the ocean permanently, Paul talks about how has made his dreams a reality, along with tips on the content distribution platforms that budding new sailing writers can now use to monetise digital and printed content. 

Paul lives by the mantra: "Fear is here for us to face and adventure waits on the other side" and he talks about the solo adventures that inspired his new book: 'Journey to the Ragged Islands: Sailing Solo Through The Bahamas', which includes stories of his adventures, 67 photographs, visits to dozens of uninhabited islands, several shark encounters, six blue holes and three point breaks.

Episode 66: New Zealand to Alaska and back in a 37-foot plywood cat

Dennis Webster Catalyst Catamaran

Dennis Webster built his 37-foot plywood catamaran ‘Catalyst’ for just $27,000 and then set off with his family to sail from New Zealand to the Pacific Islands, Guam, Japan and Alaska before sailing down the west coast of Canada and the USA and westward across the Pacific on a 3 year journey packed full of adventures and crazy stories.

From frozen fuel, to working on fishing trawlers out of Dutch Harbour, to being hit by 60 knots at anchor, being arrested, a whale collision that almost caused a capsize, this family of five had the adventure of a lifetime on a tiny budget. 

Episode 65: R2AK - Grahams Shaw's 750nm race from Washington to Alaska

R2AK Race to Alaska Graham Shaw

The inside passage to Alaska has been paddled by native canoes since time immemorial. It’s in the spirit of tradition, exploration, and the lawless self-reliance of the gold rush that the Race to Alaska was born. R2AK is the first of its kind and North America’s longest human and wind powered race, and currently the largest cash prize for a race of its kind.

It’s like the Iditarod, on a boat, with a chance of drowning, being run down by a freighter, or eaten by a grizzly bear. There are squalls, killer whales, tidal currents that run upwards of 20 miles an hour, and some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.

You, a boat, a starting gun. $10,000 if you finish first, a set of steak knives if you’re second. Cathartic elation if you can simply complete the course. R2AK is a self-supported race with no supply drops and no safety net. Any boat without an engine can enter. Last year 37 teams were accepted and 21 finished. Graham Shaw was one of the 21 and he shares his story.

Episode 64: Passage to Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef, Lord Howe Island & Balls Pyramid

Balls Pyramid Kenton Shaw

An episode with the Ocean Gem crew, who recount their epic 1,000nm trip from Southport to Pittwater via Middleton Reef, Elizabeth Reef, Lord Howe Island and Balls Pyramid. These unique reefs and islands are 300nm off Australia's Coast and are steeped in a history of untouched reefs, shipwrecks, incredible sea and bird life and the chance to stand knee deep in water, in the southern most coral reef in the world, surrounded by a 5,000m deep ocean in every direction. 

This 9-day ocean passage initially took us 300nm upwind to Middleton Reef, a stopover at Elizabeth Reef and 2 days ashore at Lord Howe Island before sailing around the 'jurassic like' Balls Pyramid, en-route to Pittwater, NSW on a 10-25 knot, 3-day, downwind sleigh ride, in preparation for the Pittwater to Southport race in January. 

  • Check out Southport to Middleton & Elizabeth Reef gallery

  • Check out Lord Howe Island to Balls Pyramid to Pittwater gallery

Episode 63: Josh Scarrow - Scientist and sailor, from Antarctica to Port Vila

Josh Scarrow Antarctica NZ

A fascinating interview with New Zealand scientist and sailor; Josh Scarrow, who has spent time on the ice in Antartica on three different occasions, taking him to 85 degrees south, 2,800 metres high and temperatures below -20 degrees C. Josh is with the Antarctica NZ organisation and shares his sailing experience from Hobart to Antarctica on the 95m icebreaker Aurora Australis and his flying adventures both to and across Antartica. Josh is also a sailor at heart and his Pacific adventures have taken him from Auckland to Port Vila on a 60 foot catamaran. Josh shares his perspective on the melting ice caps and what it would take to raise the sea levels as much as 60 metres globally.

Episode 62: Nick Moloney - 15 World Sailing Speed Records, 3 Circumnavigations, 2 Americas Cups, Vendee Globe, Volvo Ocean Race

Nick Moloney Delma Watches

Nick has packed a lot into his 30-year sailing career including an around-the-globe non-stop world sailing speed record in 2002, where he and his team captured the Trophée Jules Verne. That same year, he also achieved a 1st place in the largest solo transatlantic yacht race, La Route du Rhum. With 2 Americas Cups, 15 world sailing speed records and Volvo Ocean Races under his belt, Nick possesses a passion and drive to win thats seldom seen.

A sailor, windsurfer and free diver, Nick is still the first and only person to ever windsurf 125nm, across the notorious Bass Strait to Tasmania in 22h 11m. In this episode Nick provides advice about focus, passion and managing energy levels to maximise performance. 

Episode 61: Tony Allan - Tasman Sea trimaran capsize, 20 days in a liferaft

Tony Allan Alone in the Tasman Sea

After competing in the Solo Tasman Yacht Challenge 1974, Christchurch man Tony Allan was sailing back to New Zealand from Mooloolaba, Australia, when his boat, Rebel II, capsized two days into the journey, leaving him adrift in his life raft for 20 days. As Tony wasn’t expected back to Lyttelton for another 12 days, had no form of radio contact and, suddenly, after a life-time spent on water, was now afraid of the sea and how he would survive? 

This is an inspiring story of survival as Tony battled through nightmares, hearing voices, loneliness, and absolute vulnerability. Tony’s is the longest-known survival on the Tasman Sea in a life raft. Tony kept himself busy during the days lost at sea, his mounting depression, and how he rationed the little food he had. Tony had to deal with the realities of living in a slowly-sinking raft and being constantly soaked by the sea and tells of his and his extremely lucky rescue.

Episode 60: Sytske du Crocq- Sail Race Crew founder & sailing entrepreneur

Sytske du Croc Sail Race Crew

Sytske du Crocq is a Netherlands based sailing entrepreneur who has turned her passion for racing in exotic destinations, into a global business. I met Sytske by chance at Hamilton Island in Australia when she was here to compete in the Sydney to Gold Coast Race and unearthed a great story, about what you can create if you have passion and determination. Sail Race Crew offer both grand prix yacht racing and cruising adventures on yachts as extreme as TP52's and Volvo 70's and as classy and Swan 65's. With destinations all over the world and access to 4,900 yachts, they create 'bucket list' experiences for sailors of all ages.

Episode 59: Mark Gallick - 22 years with the United States Coast Guard

Mark Gallick US Coastguard

Mark Gallick joins me onboard Ocean Gem for a 600nm ocean passage from Hamilton Island to Southport in Queensland. Its a challenging passage that takes in islands, reefs, whales, commercial and military traffic and a number of navigational challenges including the shallow 70nm passage down the western side of Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world.

Mark shares the personal goals he wanted to achieve on our voyage south and his future plans for acquisition of a Seawind catamaran to go cruising with his family. We dive into Mark's 22 year career with the US Coast Guard including some colourful stories and being stationed on the US mainland, Hawaii and the Bahamas.

Episode 58: Jason Ker - The history and future of Ker Yacht Design

Jason Ker Ker Yacht Design

Guest host Joe Richardson interviews Jason Ker, founder of Ker Yacht Design onboard his very own ‘Ker designed’ 19.2m (63 feet) racer/cruiser yacht “Dark Horse of England”. Jason Ker launched Ker Yacht Design than 20 years ago and he talks about how he got started in yacht design, his ocean racing experiences with both the Fastnet and Sydney Hobart Races under his belt. He lives by the design philosophy that “you are only as good as your last boat”.

With success all over the world, it’s a fascinating and technical insight into the mind of one of the world’s leading yacht designers with proven pedigree ranging from monohulls to cats, cruisers to grand prix ocean racers and he shares the highs and lows of the GFC and financial risks of designing for the Americas Cup. Jason talks about yacht design 10 years from now and what the future might look like.

Episode 57: David Young - Ship wrecked off the San Francisco Coast 

David Young meets Bernard Moitessier

Guest host Paul Trammell is back and interviews David Young who lives in Jacksonville Florida on his Endeavour 35 yacht, built in 1984. He shares his experience on Pacific voyaging, using parachute anchors and drogues, 4 decades of ocean sailing; starting with pilot charts, radio direction finders and sextants and talks about evolution to GPS, the risks of GPS navigating and the explosive growth in confident technology-equipped cruisers. 

David met the famous sailor ‘Bernard Moitessier’ in the early eighties at a boat yard in Northern California, when was building his new steel yacht ‘Joshua’. David shares some of Bernard’s advice about handling storms and various sea states, along with staying well off the coast in onshore gales. David yacht was ship wrecked off the northern coast of San Francisco in a bad gale after rolling through 360 degrees and losing his mast. Bernard Moitessier new yacht ‘Joshua’ was also beached and wrecked in a subsequent Cabo San Lucas storm with 30-40 other yachts a few years later.

Episode 56: Double, Solo Trans-Tasman Crossing - challenges and setbacks

Double Solo Trans-Tasman Crossing.jpg

David Hows set out from Hobart in Tasmania and sailed 1,300nm solo across the notorious Tasman Sea to New Plymouth in New Zealand in preparation for the 4-yearly 1,400nm Solo Tasman Yacht Race back to Mooloolaba on Australia's Sunshine Coast. David talks about race stratgey, sleep patterns, nutrition and sail performance management.

He also shares his challenges and set backs which include; battery charging problems, bilge pump failure, loss of autopilot, tainted drinking water, dysentery, dropping a spinnaker into the sea, when a hoist went wrong and wrapping his spinnaker around his forestay for the 4 days of the race. He finished 3rd on line honours and 1st on IRC.

Episode 55: Paul Trammell - Solo sailing, free diving, surfing & canoeing with alligators

Paul Trammell Solo Sailor

Paul Trammel is one of the most down-to-earth, consummate sailors you will meet. With a passion for surfing, sailing and free-diving, the ocean is a big part of Paul's life. From cruising the Bahamas, to free diving into under water caves in Florida, to sleeping with alligators in the Okefenokee Swamp and surfing big waves in Puerto Rico.

Paul's tales of his free spirited adventures and his outlook on life is simply inspiring. Paul lives by the mantra: "Fear is here for us to face and adventure waits on the other side". Paul shares his adventures in his 1972 Dufour Arpege, named Sobrius and they were colourful from the get go.

Episode 54: Caroline Ballard - An  Atlantic crossing tale of strange night time noises

Caroline Ballard Humanature Podcast

In this episode, we’ll hear from guest host Caroline Ballard from a fellow podcast called HumaNature, which tells stories where humans and our habitat meet. After passing Sable Island (a small island situated 190 nm southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia) on their first Atlantic crossing, this is a short story of a family who traded life on land for a 25,000nm sea adventure.

They share the tale of encountering strange noises in the middle of the night and how they were terrified at first, but eventually discovered the source, which turned into a unique, once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience.

Episode 53: Jim den Hartog and Helen den Dekker on 22 years of cruising all over the world

Guest host Paul Trammell talks with Jim den Hartog and Helen den Dekker on board Gaia, a steel Colvin Gazelle designed yacht, that they spent a decade building from plans. Paul interviewed Jim and Helen at Conception Island in the Bahamas and they share tales of their lessons from sailing all over the world, including 22 years at sea and never experiencing a storm, along with sailing the intra-coastal waterway from Maine to Florida in the USA. Jim and Helen have circumnavigated the globe and draw on their many adventures in this episode.


Gaia Episode 53.jpg

Episode 52: Lena Padukova - Sydney to Hobart, sailing the Arctic and leading teams

Lena Padukova

We catch up with Lena Padukova in Gothenburg, Sweden for finish of the penultimate leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. Lena is an experienced ocean sailor, mountaineer and leader of multiple ocean adventures and land expeditions. Lena shares stories from her years of sailing all over the planet from the Pacific to the Arctic and her lessons learned from leading teams and crews to high latitudes and high altitude destinations. In this candid chat we discuss leadership styles and the risks that come with taking people on adventures in extreme conditions. 

Episode 51: David Hows - my next sailing challenge and adventure

David Hows Offshore Sailing Queensland

Whats next after my double solo tasman crossing? I share my thoughts on my first 7 years of keel boat cruising, racing and ocean passages on my Beneteau 445 'Ocean Gem'. After 25,000nm and 400+ races, with the most recent adventure being a double solo Tasman Sea crossing of 2,800nm in total and lots of 'thinking time" I share my plans to turn my passion for sailing into something bigger than a part-time pastime.