Mingming and the Art of Minimal Ocean Sailing

»«Sunday 20th March 2011

RCYC member Roger Taylor introduced his latest book to his cruiser friends at the Corinthian, bringing a most successful winter season of talks to a close. This time, however, he abandoned the electronic approach with slide presentations and video clips and went for 'the simple sailor' option, relying on a good story, well told. His tools were his book and his voice - and we hung on his every word...

The extracts he chose included one when Mingming sailed for several hours with a pod of long-finned pilot whales, globicephala melas, several hundred of them, "grandmothers, toddlers, teenage jack-the-lads, uncles and aunts and cousins, hoary old bulls and little princesses looking for love." They sailed so close to the boat and kept such constant company for over six hours, that Roger was able to pick out individuals who surfed alongside in gentle conditions with an easing wind. Sadly, the longed-for real wind so he could experience "ranging along with them at full speed ahead" was not to happen. And in the morning, when Roger had reluctantly succumbed to sleep, they had drifted away.

Perhaps that gives you a flavour of the writing, thoughtful, poetic, often with humorous and unexpected images. Certainly he experienced no problems in keeping our attention, despite the fact that lunch was approaching!

Dick Durham from Yachting Monthly was among the audience-there is a link to his blog on the right side. If you scroll down you will reach his review of Roger's latest book.

Wendy Eagling