25 Years of Adventure
Some sailors say the passage is the purpose whilst many others quote that the arriving is reason enough. Still undecided we present a very brief history of High Aspect. Always the main theme has been to explore remote islands and to offer expeditions away from the madding crowds.
Islands and sailboats give each other perfect purpose.
Author; Glynn Burridge. Written about High Aspect after his trip to the Aldabra Atoll
High Aspect was discovered in the waterways of Florida and after a short refit in Ft Lauderdale for the Trans-Atlantic, the classic route of Bermuda and the Azores was followed. In past days of the square riggers helmsmen were ordered not to look behind them as the Atlantic waves in an autumn storm can be very intimidating indeed, this has not changed in recent times and a November crossing to the UK still required similar diligence.
England 1991 to the Mediterranean
Southampton saw nearly a year of major refit work to bring High Aspect up to standard as an exploration style yacht suitable for remote areas and many backup systems were added specifically for the Indian Ocean.
Maybe it is the leaving that really counts so the last view of Southampton is historic. Enroute the Bay of Biscay lived up to its reputation forcing a short stop at La Coruna in Spain for some timely repairs before Gibraltar and Malta were sampled.
The Red Sea
Cyprus to Sudan is a real eye opener with the Suez Canal and the rapid change in lifestyle plus the diving is exceptional. Djibouti however as a refueling stop should be best avoided in times of internal strife. But the Atlantic is not the only ocean where one must 'keep eyes forward' as the N Indian Ocean demonstrated.
Mombassa 1991 to 1994
Nearly 3 years chartering the coast of Africa was the highlight of the arrival. Zanzibar and Pemba had rarely seen a yacht and High Aspect became locally known as Kijiji Kieliacho in Swahili - meaning floating village. Many times the villagers lined the beach to see the man running on the water, water-skiing was unknown at that time.
Seychelles 1994 to 2004
As the new Government formed its strategies, High Aspect became the first foreign charter yacht in the area. For the first few years only an occasional glimpse of the only other boat was the norm. With over a hundred remote islands expeditions to outer islands became popular and later in the 90's fly fishing was discovered in remote atolls, hundreds of miles from civilisation. For a few short months each year the World Heritage site of Aldabra was accessible - 600 miles from the capital Mahe this was the extreme in exploration sailing.
South East Asia 2004 to 2009
The well known Phuket Island and surrounding area is probably the center of cruising here but the little known Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar and Andaman Islands are mostly uninhabited and prime for adventurous expeditions. On the east coast of Malaysia, Tioman represents that timeless and unique quality sought in offshore islands.
The Pacific 2010 to Present
Palau was a welcome break from transiting past Indonesia with its many islands and warm clear waters famous for diving. After stops at Kosrae, Kiribati and Tuvalu High Aspect wound her way to New Zealand for cyclone season.
Now High Aspect is based in Fiji ready to explore the islands and coves on offer. With around 330 islands within this South Pacific Archipelago there is a vast array of exploration to be done.
So is it the leaving, the passage or the arriving that quantifies sailing: probably none of them individually but more likely just the doing.
Ocean passages have their advocates but they are quite a rare breed, but bay hopping encompasses leaving, the passage and arriving all in the same day. That is the doing that provides so much pleasure to thousands.