Ocean Cruising Club
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Ocean Cruising Club

Ocean Cruising Club

The little black box in the picture is what enables me to communicate via voice, email, and text. It also enables me to send low resolution images via email and to download weather data from a variety of different sources. It is an Iridium Go! satellite wifi hotspot that connects wirelessly to my smartphone, iPad, and laptop.

Without the Iridium, there would be no real-time Facebook, Instagram, or blog posts. And In all likelihood, just about everyone reading this post now would know nothing about the 5 Capes Voyage.

I would not have this device if it were not for the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC). Without the  OCC, being able to follow me as I sail my way around the world simply would not have been possible.

For years, I had aspired to membership in the OCC. In my opinion, it is the pre-eminent blue water sailing association in the world with a presence in nearly every major port you might wish to enter. The members read like a who’s who in the sailing world and they embody a vast warehouse of sailing knowledge and know-how.

Moreover, if I ever crash-landing in some far away, entirely unfamiliar port, an OCC Port Captain would be there to assist if assistance was required. For me in this trip, that implies a safety net of local knowledge that is priceless.

And they’ve got standards. High standards. Despite sailing nearly ten thousand miles in Seaburban, I didn’t qualify for full membership. I am an associate member of the OCC.

I applied for membership just before leaving and, not knowing any Club members personally, requested a sponsor. I was delighted to hear back that Ian Grant, a member of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and the OCC, had agreed to sponsor me. Part of the application process  required me to detail my sailing plans for the immediate future. That piqued Ian’s interest and he put me in touch with sailor and circumnavigator par-excellence Tony Gooch. Tony suggested I apply for the newly minted OCC Challenge Adventure Grant. I had thought that there was no way I would be awarded the Grant but applied anyway.

A week or so before departing, I was informed by the Club secretary that I had been chosen as the recipient of the Grant. I was honoured beyond words, dumbfounded, deeply grateful, and shocked all at the same time. The grant money enabled me to purchase the Iridium Go! device, the marine installation package, antenna, and pay for the required air time for at least the duration of the 5 Capes voyage.

You can read the official OCC announcement for the the recipient of the Challenge Adventure Grant here.

“There is no limit to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit”
Gen. George C. Marshall

For enabling me to share my adventure with you, all the credit goes to the OCC. They have asked nothing in return for honouring me with the Grant. Additionally, Rick White, Port Captain in San Francisco has already bailed me out when I needed to divert there and Darah Nagle, Port Captain in Victoria would have bent over backwards to help me with last minute departure details had I asked. All without seeking credit or asking anything in return.

To the OCC executive, the Grant Committee, and the many members and volunteers worldwide who make it all possible, I thank you.

Follow my tracks in real-time:
https://bit.ly/svseaburban

 

About the Ocean Cruising Club

The Worldwide Community for Adventure Sailing Since 1954

The OCC is the “home port” for those who have sailed long distances across big oceans. With 48 nationalities represented among almost 2900 members, and Port Officers around the world, we have a more diverse membership and a more international reach than any other blue water sailing organisation.

The Ocean Cruising Club exists to encourage long-distance sailing in small boats. A Full Member of the OCC must have completed a qualifying voyage of a non-stop port-to-port ocean passage, where the distance between the two ports is not less than 1,000 nautical miles, in a vessel of not more than 70ft (21.36 m) LOA; associate members are committed to achieving that goal. This standard distinguishes the OCC from all other sailing clubs.

Our membership as a whole has more experience offshore than any other sailing organisation – in the number of circumnavigators, in the range of extraordinary voyages members have completed, and in the number of solo sailors and female sailors among our ranks. This is what sets us apart from other organisations, even as it draws us together as a group.

Learn more about the OCC at their website:
https://oceancruisingclub.org/

26 Comments
  • Claude
    Posted at 20:39h, 29 March Reply

    In weather like today having a fellow partner would make the difference of the world.

    Heavy weather conditions are great only when you have enough energy to enjoy it. I wish you the time of your life.

  • Tony Yanca
    Posted at 02:58h, 06 April Reply

    Hi Bert, I came across your voyage on goodnewsnetwork.org looking for more positive and up-beat news in the world today. As we continue to try to isolate ourselves looking to conquer this extremely serious virus, you’re essentially isolated fighting the elements of Ocean Blue. I’m a surfer in Southern California and I’m always intrigued by extremely passionate individuals who take on these adventures, especially when it involves the ocean. I’m currently listening to some Reggae and enjoying a Pale Ale from our local brewery 🙂 Our Family is healthy and I’ll be working from home tomorrow, but will continue to follow your voyage rooting you on the whole way through. I wish you safe passage and pray that you will utilize all that you’ve learned to help you endure the many obstacles that come your way. You will make complete this voyage and I look forward to your future posts. Take care of yourself.

    Cheers,

  • John T.Rice
    Posted at 04:06h, 06 April Reply

    Be safe..pulling for you!

  • Susan Conway Gray
    Posted at 05:56h, 06 April Reply

    Bert,
    What an incredible journey you have set up for yourself!
    I find your reflection on the coronavirus to be incredibly insightful.
    Self isolation as a time to reflect on what we want to become, what legacy we choose to leave behind.
    To many that level of self introspection will appear daunting and even impossible.
    To truly examine our minds, behaviors, and motivations while holding them into the light through the prism of our souls is an exercise most would not have the courage to do.
    But I hope some will take up that challenge.
    Good luck to you!

  • David
    Posted at 21:30h, 06 April Reply

    Que incrível seu isolamento, optou pelo mais extremado.
    Admiro sua coragem, você está bem conectado com a força que vem de Deus.
    Que Ele proteja você por todo a jornada.
    Deus o abençoe.

  • Barbara Rhyneer
    Posted at 00:25h, 07 April Reply

    Enjoy your solitude!
    -human of the Great Lakes/Lake Superior/transplant from Alaska

  • Elizabeth Higgs
    Posted at 14:37h, 07 April Reply

    Sending luck and love from Southern Oregon and the mighty Rogue River.

  • Len MacDonald
    Posted at 13:22h, 08 April Reply

    Just now picking up on your adventure. Thanks for all the work taking time to give a glimpse into your challenges and triumphs. I’m looking forward to each new post.

    Fair winds.

  • Fernando Solorzano
    Posted at 23:49h, 13 April Reply

    Came across your article and what an adventurer. Lots of time to think about things and catch up with inner self. I can’t imagine, light pollution is non-existent and I bet a great view of the stars and milky way?

    All the best from Tracy California.

  • Robert Schell
    Posted at 00:08h, 14 April Reply

    Captain Bert ter Hart,
    You are truly an inspiration to us all. I look forward to reading your posts and following your journey. Hold fast, and Godspeed.

  • Zach M
    Posted at 06:29h, 14 April Reply

    Thank you for inspiring adventure! I learned of your story this evening and look forward to following your travels and sharing your story with my daughter in hopes she too will be motivated to explore.

    Safe travels.

  • Mary Bertin
    Posted at 09:56h, 14 April Reply

    Just learned tonight of your incredible courageous journey. I look forward to your next blog post to know if you are ok from the bad weather in your way. I’m a former scuba diver and perpetual ocean 🌊 lover. Now a stay at home Mom to a severely disabled 13 year old son recovering from a major surgery. Reading about your adventure has momentarily lifted me out of the daily difficulties of my life. Imagining you sailing ⛵️ once again soon on a beautiful day of calm sea. I’m pulling for you from Round Rock, TX.

  • Dale Bloom
    Posted at 12:10h, 14 April Reply

    Wow, I am speechless! Saw this on the Yahoo Finance website.
    I will be rooting for you and your audacious goal!
    I admire your clairvoyant timing of the trip, brilliant.
    Your description of the 21’ sea swells reminds me how under qualified I am to be even ballast onboard.
    God speed as you round the next 3 capes.
    I now will read more of your adventures in your blog, and take in the cape pictures, trying to piece together your route, I am woefully challenged to where all these capes are located.

  • Stewart
    Posted at 13:16h, 14 April Reply

    Glad to know you are making great progress Bert. Wishing calms seas and fair winds!

  • Cari Gillette
    Posted at 13:26h, 14 April Reply

    Praying to the Creator of the universe, Who has a special interest in us humans He placed on earth, to keep you safe and draw you closer to Him.

  • Daryl R Heiser
    Posted at 21:55h, 14 April Reply

    Read about your journey today on AOL about the safest man on earth…You!! Wow. what an epic adventure. I wish you sincere safety in navigating the weather you are currently facing. Stay strong. You are an inspiration to all of us sheltered in place during COVID 19. Your words of encouragement during periods of isolation are so helpful . I hope everyone gets to read about your adventure. Be well, and may God’s Blessings and Guidance be with you on your journey home.

  • Edward Bamberger
    Posted at 03:26h, 15 April Reply

    Just found your blog, wish I had seen it earlier. Good luck finishing your journey.

  • Bob Morton
    Posted at 14:12h, 15 April Reply

    …..there is always a way

  • Chris Lazzarino
    Posted at 15:07h, 15 April Reply

    Eagerly waiting word of your safe emergence from those terrible storms. The maps are truly frightening. Be safe!!

  • Phil Purkett
    Posted at 04:34h, 17 April Reply

    I pray God be with you and strengthen you sir! #nofear13:6 Hebrews 13:6

  • Gary Peterson
    Posted at 02:43h, 18 April Reply

    Thank you for the BOAT BREAD recipe – it’s great bread and easy to make, Very delicious! Hang in there!

  • James Norwood
    Posted at 04:33h, 19 April Reply

    I too wish I had followed your journey much sooner. I am sure that you were well prepared for this epic journey. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 still lurks in the shadows. Fortunately for us mere mortals it seems that due to new found evidence that humidity and temperature has an affect on this menace to man. Hope your worst weather is about to be over with and that the Pacific is much nicer to you. Hang in there Bert!

  • Gerry Peterson
    Posted at 15:40h, 26 April Reply

    Run Forrest Run…

    You are all by yourself but you are not alone. We await each update on your progress.

    Just one but certainly not done.

    Good luck on your journey Bert!

    .

  • Darrell Wells
    Posted at 21:03h, 28 April Reply

    AYE BERT, YOU ARE AT LAST, HOMEWARD BOUND ..!! FARE THEE WELL.

    https://youtu.be/MaQYQnrPgSM

    In the quiet misty morning
    When the moon has gone to bed,
    When the sparrows stop their singing
    And the sky is clear and red,
    When the summer’s ceased its gleaming
    When the corn is past its prime,
    When adventure’s lost its meaning –
    I’ll be homeward bound in time
    Bind me not to the pasture
    Chain me not to the plow
    Set me free to find my calling
    And I’ll return to you somehow
    If you find it’s me you’re missing
    If you’re hoping I’ll return,
    To your thoughts I’ll soon be listening,

    And in the road I’ll stop and turn
    Then the wind will set me racing
    As my journey nears its end
    And the path I’ll be retracing
    When I’m homeward bound again
    Bind me not to the pasture
    Chain me not to the plow
    Set me free to find my calling
    And I’ll return to you somehow
    (softly)
    In the quiet misty morning
    When the moon has gone to bed,
    When the sparrows stop their singing
    I’ll be homeward bound again.

  • Martin Gonzalez
    Posted at 04:31h, 14 May Reply

    Best of luck…!!

  • Douglas Lock
    Posted at 15:49h, 15 May Reply

    What you are doing is amazing. I read your blog daily and live through your adventure vicariously. God’s speed.
    from AD6H, ex-Estevan resident of many years ago.

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