MY SHIP IS SO SMALL: High-Latitude Micro-Cruisers

Approaching Norway

This is fantastic stuff. I know nothing about these people, except that the fellow’s name (see photo up top) seems to be Euan, and he and his partner don’t seem to be shy about neglecting the kids for a while so they can knock around the North Sea on their tiny little 19-foot Hunter Europa sloop. Though I’m pretty sure he’s only kidding about having left them in the shed with the heat turned off.

Whatever. The kids certainly don’t seem to mind. All in all this was a 2-week cruise, from the Shetland Islands to Norway and back, that took place this summer:

As impressive (and fun!) as this seems, it’s an exploit that pales in comparison to the sort of sailing that Roger Taylor routinely engages in. He’s a bit older, with no kids to worry about presumably, and has been exploring northerly latitudes for several years now in two micro-cruisers named Mingming (the first was a 21-foot Corribee, the current one is a 24-foot Achilles) both seriously modified with junk rigs.

Mingming II

Mingming II, the Achilles 24, under sail

This summer Taylor, who won the Ocean Cruising Club’s Jester Medal in 2009, sailed 55 days non-stop singlehanded from northern Scotland to Svalbard and back.

GPS shot

Furthest north for the summer. On a 24-foot boat, no less. Not too shabby

Jan Mayen

Sailing past Jan Mayen on the way home, with a clear view of Mount Beerenberg

Mingming map

Mingming II‘s summer jaunt. Taylor seems to enjoy sailing past places without actually stopping at them

I urge you to check out Taylor’s website and explore his sailing career in more detail. Typical for a Brit, he’s pretty low-key and undramatic about what he’s up to. For example, in this viddy here, created aboard the first Mingming, he talks us through a two-day gale, complete with knockdown and broken ribs, in the Labrador Sea west of Greenland in 2012:

There are a lot more viddies on the website, including, among many others, an extended series on the creation of Mingming II and some fascinating stuff on whipstaffs.

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