Medic At Sea

Decorated sailor, Liz Baugh, has turned her Royal Naval medical career into essential first aid for sailors. Dick Durham sat down with Liz to find out more. I find myself at the refectory of London’s St Martins-in-the-Fields Church, quite fitting I think with its long and illustrious association with the Admiralty, because Liz, 44, spent […]

Poles Apart

The fates of Shackleton and Franklin This month the wreck of the polar exploration ship Endurance was found perfectly preserved beneath the Antarctic. It follows the 2014 find of the 19th-century ship HMS Erebus beneath the waters of the Arctic. Dick Durham looks at two disastrous voyages of discovery: one fatal, the other a triumph […]

Sailor Girl

Mother-of-three Erin Carey tells Dick Durham how she and her husband ditched their jobs, sold their house, and emigrated to find blue water. When teenager Erin Carey started sailing on a muddy pond in the Australian bush town of Wagga Wagga, she dreamed of going shopping with her two sisters instead. She became even more […]

Voyage Of The Damned

90 years after Donald Crowhurst was born, Dick Durham, who interviewed his eldest son Simon, looks back over his tragic last voyage. The Teignmouth Electron before it fell into complete decay. There’s not much left of Teignmouth Electron’s hull, just a few sun-bleached and delaminating sections of plywood, a rudder blade frozen to its stock […]

Peter Firstbrook

Scientist, BBC filmmaker, author and yachtsman Peter Firstbrook is seriously concerned about the political lethargy over warming oceans. Dick Durham met him at his Thames-side home. Peter Firstbrook SVEA Vindo 40 We sit in front of the log burner at Peter Firstbrook’s Oxfordshire home, in a picturesque village famous for being the setting of the […]

Winter Sailing

Yachting’s greatest cartoonist, the late Mike Peyton, was born 100 years ago in January 1921. His biographer, Dick Durham recalls Mike’s love of winter sailing. Once the sailing season was over and most boats were laid up, Mike Peyton would sit by the log fire of his isolated cottage in the Essex marshlands, marking up […]

Bruce Curran

Eccentric adventurer Bruce Curran, who produced an original pilot guide to the Philippines, died before he could finish a second edition. Thanks to his friend, Kraken 50 owner, David Wilkinson, the book, Combing the Coral Carpet, is now available. Dick Durham looks at the life of a much-loved sailor and storyteller. A day out of […]

A View Of Heaven From A Seat In Hell

A new documentary is being made about a solo sailor’s 76-day ordeal on a liferaft. Steven Callahan recalls the horror to Dick Durham. You’re alone, at night, there’s a gale blowing, you are 800 miles from dry land and your boat is sinking. Does a reporter really have to ask you how you feel? I […]

Still Sailing After All These Years

Dick Durham throws a centenary birthday party for his gaff-rigged cutter, Betty II, to commemorate her launch in 1921. In the early summer of 1921 at a small boatyard on the banks of the Thames Estuary, a yacht was launched, the lines of which had as much to do with terra firmaas H2O. Her owner, […]

Gipsy Moth IV: A Dud or a Classic?

As watch leader aboard the world’s most famous yacht, for two legs of her second circumnavigation, Dick Durham ponders the question: Did Chichester circumnavigate in spite of his yacht? Before we’d cleared the Strait of Gibraltar, night had fallen and the wind had risen: 40 knots of apparent, bang on the nose.  The pencil-slim hull […]