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:


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:

  • BT
    Posted at 10:41h, 02 July Reply

    Bert, you are amazing! Following you progress and posts with great admiration for you courage and wishing / willing you success. You are on the downhill run now. All the best from an Aussie follower BT ( 2 degrees of separation from your Uncle Joe).

  • Sandi Lyon
    Posted at 03:20h, 06 July Reply

    That looks about right. When it’s hot out in the ocean, its foggy and wet on the Wet Coast. That means you’re on the right track, heading the right direction. Finally. Woohoo.

  • Anita Kuntz
    Posted at 00:10h, 08 July Reply

    Following you journey and am truly amazed.

  • Suzan Persons
    Posted at 15:43h, 09 July Reply

    What an amazing journey!!

  • Karin Hill
    Posted at 15:27h, 13 July Reply

    Been following you for a couple of months now. What an amazing journey! Your blog is insightful and humorous. Almost home. Safe travels!

  • MountainJack
    Posted at 19:52h, 14 July Reply

    Has to be an amazing feeling to be so near home, Bert.

    Have spent months at sea “steaming”, not sailing, gaining my sea legs with the constant motion just became second nature. Getting back to a stable platform at dockside or over on the beach left me wobbly for a day or two. Cannot imagine how you’ll feel after a year of hardly ever being stable. There is that other thing having been on your own for that long; the familiarity of constant aloneness , the feeling of approach avoidance, being forced back into humanity. Might feel as though you could just extend a little bit more and savor the experience just a little longer…naw, probably not.

    Welcome back home, Bert. You’ve completed one heck of a feat.

  • Arthur Oliver
    Posted at 04:33h, 15 July Reply

    Getting oh so close. What’s the ETA?

  • estelle C whiddon
    Posted at 02:58h, 16 July Reply

    Bert, your homecoming Saturday will be a joyous occasion! I have followed the voyage daily and hope your arrival home brings much joy.

  • Peter Jungschaffer
    Posted at 07:19h, 18 July Reply

    This has been so great. Thank you!!!

  • BT
    Posted at 09:50h, 18 July Reply

    Hi Bert, you are just a few hours away from home. We are cheering for your most successful journey. We are especially amazed at the sailing conditions below Australia and New Zealand, as we can have some very big polar blasts hit us at this time of the year. Cannot imagine what it was like to sail through that type of weather. Can only take of hats off to you I amazement. Hope that you make it to Oz for a visit. What a wonderful achievement you have accomplished. /bt

  • Antonio Corbelletta
    Posted at 16:15h, 18 July Reply

    Congratulations! What an adventure! Well done. I have enjoyed tracking your voyage everyday just wish I would have know about it earlier, from the beginning.

  • Suzan
    Posted at 18:13h, 18 July Reply

    Yeahhhhhhhhh Bert!!! You have done it!!!
    Happy Homecoming – And stay safe!!!
    It isn’t the same world that you left!!
    I’m going to miss reading your travels and your adventures!! But thrilled that you’re home (almost) safe and sound!!
    Next trip around the world, hope that you’ll stop along the way and post your photos of the locals and the ports!!

  • Raegan Elford
    Posted at 19:23h, 18 July Reply

    Soldier who has logged more sea time than this Navy sailor.
    What an incredible accomplishment (the journey vice logging more sea time than I)

  • Marianne Scott
    Posted at 18:25h, 19 July Reply

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I guess we will have to put up a plaque commemorating your voyage on the Victoria Harbour wall.

    Hope to see you this week.

    Marianne Scott

  • Tom Cory
    Posted at 07:40h, 23 July Reply

    Congradulations Bert from Annapolis MD. A Great Adventure.

  • Mark
    Posted at 12:24h, 29 July Reply

    I don’t think that anyone that attended Estevan Junior High could have imagined that this was in the future for one of it’s students. I checked in at different legs of the journey and was fascinated every time. Congrats!

  • Marcel Neamtu
    Posted at 07:14h, 06 December Reply

    What an adventure! But i do have a comment about the structure of the blog: it’s very hard for a late reader to read your earlier posts in a timely order or something. Very annoying to scroll all the time to your earlier posts..is there anything or I can be done? Am I missing something? If yes, pardon my ignorance.
    Cheers and take care!

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