It is no secret that Margaret and I watch a lot of YouTube. Just last night we plowed through ten or so Jimmy Fallon clips, and I watch a climbing video over lunch nearly everyday. But sailing videos occupy most of our time on the site, and we subscribe to several dozen sailing channels, eagerly awaiting new posts.
Twice now we have posted about some of our favorite YouTube videos and channels (see the posts here and here). And with all the solid new videos we have been watching recently, we figured it was time to make a third post in this vein. It seems that many of the people who were inspired by some of the first cruising YouTube videos are now making their own films while they search for a boat, undertake a refit, and chase their sailing dreams, which is a good thing for those of us who enjoy watching or, like me, need the videos to make it through a cold and dark winter.
One of the new YouTube channels that has become a staple for us is Sail Life, by the Dane Mads Dahlke. We have gained confidence, skills, and ideas by watching Mads totally remake the cabin on his Albin Ballad 30, including the addition of a diesel heater. He has also been giving us some advice on fiberglass repair over email. But Sail Life is not just about boat maintenance; Mads also has some nicely narrated and edited films of his life on the water, including of a month-long trip he took this past summer. These videos should become even more frequent when he moves aboard early in the new year. Mads is an incredibly friendly and entertaining guy, and his videos rank up there with the best sailing content available on the web. We are really looking forward to seeing his future adventures.
Another new addition that we have come to enjoy is Wicked Salty, a channel about the adventures of Weston, Kate, and their little pooch, Lola, aboard their Ericson 30. Just out of college, these guys bought a boat and are on their way south from Scituate, Massachusetts. Like a number of YouTubers, it took them a few videos to find their own unique style and improve their editing skills, but now they are putting out quality videos about twice a week. It has been a treat to watch them gain confidence in their boat and improve their seamanship skills. And, though they are moving south quickly to get out of the cold winter temperatures, their videos of the East Coast have allowed us to relive our summer cruise and dream about our own future adventures.
We have also recently begun to watch Project Atticus, about a young couple who bought and refit an Allied Seawind 30. Though they are now cruising somewhere in the Bahamas, we are still making our way through their early adventures in Florida. So far, watching them begin to pursue their dream of cruising the world has been a real treat. Given how thoroughly we enjoyed their first videos, it will probably only be a matter of days before we are up to date with Project Atticus and have to start to waiting for their updates, which seem to come about once or twice a week.
Lest you think all the clips out there are of young folks, Captain Eric Forsyth, who is around eighty years old, has some amazing videos of his adventures on Fiona (you have to pick through the other, non-sailing videos on this Vimeo channel), his Westsail 42. You might remember Captain Forsyth from DrakeParagon’s videos, as Drake crewed aboard Fiona, helping bring her from Ireland to Portugal. That trips was just a casual sail for the captain, as he is an amazingly accomplished sailor, having put in more than 300,000 miles while circumnavigating twice, going around Cape Horn four different times, and basically sailing just about everywhere. His videos are about an hour long, covering a single voyage in substantial depth. We have learned a great deal about seamanship, voyage planning, and crew management from him and have been tremendously inspired by his passion for long-distance cruising.
A final channel that we watch is Volvo Ocean Race, which, quite obviously, follows the round-the-world race of the same name. These videos run the gamut from professionally filmed, narrated, and edited daily and weekly segments to raw on-board footage. They provide unparalleled access to the boats and the racers, allowing you to follow along in near real-time. For instance, within hours of Team Vestas Wind recent grounding south of Mauritius, the Volvo Ocean Race channel had interviews with the skipper of Vestas and Charlie Enright of Team Alvimedica, who had diverted to offer assistance, as well as analysis from race officials. The channel provides unprecedented coverage of the race, making me laugh at how I used to follow the Whitbread (the former name of the race) before the internet, namely by reading pithy updates in Sailing World when a new issue arrived in the mailbox. Together with the speed of the yachts, the onboard technology, and the skill of the crews, the incredible access the channel offers makes the Volvo Ocean Race compelling viewing for any sailor and even, I think, fan of extreme sports, human endurance, and outright adventure.
We have also viewed several other compelling videos that are not part of a sailing channel or series. Many of them are professionally filmed and edited and are the equal of any television program. We will be highlighting a number of these in an upcoming post. Until then, you can always check out our videos.