My name is Chris. I was born sometime in the mid-sixties in Stanley in the Falkland Islands (yes I was there during the war – the first question I am always asked). Some of my, so-called, friends call me Tweed. Thanks to one, Peter (Ben) Roberts, for that from way back in our school days. I have been many things in the past; carpenter, soldier, fireman, telecommunications engineer and most recently a professional sailor, and now a more-or-less full time cruising sailor, and boat maintenance person. Currently preparing “Morgane” to head west into the Pacific Ocean
I left school at 15, the norm in those days, in the Falklands, unless you were one of the chosen few deemed capable of taking O-levels and going further in education. I was interested in electronics but there were no openings in that field in the Falklands so I ended up following what was really only my fourth or fifth choice of career path and became an apprentice carpenter. I did that for over four years and then found an opportunity to join a company taking on trainee telecommunications technicians and went off to England to study electronics and telecoms. I stayed in the telecoms field until 2007 when I decided to knock the idea, of having a proper job, on the head and go and find some more adventures.
During the war (1982) I had joined the Falkland Islands Fire and Rescue Service and ended up staying on as a volunteer (retained) firefighter with them for, I think, 18 years. After the war I joined the Falkland Islands Defence Force, also a part time organisation similar to the National Guard in the USA or the Territorial Army in the UK. Those two organisations kept me busy and more or less sated my thirst for adventure although I did manage fit in a few climbing trips and some backpack travelling.
I had harboured a lifelong interest in sailing, adventure travel, nature, and wildlife. It was this that prompted me to give up a good career in telecoms and look for opportunities at sea or in the mountains. I handed in my notice, and advised all my contacts that I was disappearing off the telecoms scene. This was all timed to make myself available and able to grab any opportunities that came along during the spring and summer of 2007/08.
I was lucky – I was doing some voluntary work with Falklands Conservation working on a census of the breeding penguins in the Falklands when I got a call from a friend, who was the skipper of the yacht “Pealgic” at the time, he told me that the crew of “Pelagic’s” big sister “Pelagic Australis” were looking for a crew member to assist on a voyage to South Georgia was I interested – Yes I was! So off I went and have been sailing on the Pelagic Expeditions yachts ever since. Thanks to Alec for that first call, and to Stew and Jess for taking me with them and showing me the ropes, and of course to Skip Novak, and Pelagic Expeditions, for keeping me on the team and later giving me the opportunity to skipper both of his Pelagics.
Now it’s time for another change, as the work with Pelagic Expeditions became a new full-time career; which is what I was trying to avoid when I went sailing. It was a fantastic experience and I learnt a huge amount. I haven’t severed my links with Skip and the company though as I will continue to run the winter refits: I have now bought my own boat, a Charpentier designed Trireme 35, called “Morgane”. This site and blog will be the story of my adventures with “Morgane”.
My one constant hobby has been photography. I built a darkroom in a shed in the garden of our family home in Stanley when I was a teenager, and later embraced digital photography as soon as it came on the scene. I am starting to get into video photography and production now but find the actual production process very time consuming; and spare time is something that I have not had a lot of for the last few years.
My other hobbies and interests include; building/fixing/destroying things, electronics and technology in general, ham radio (callsign VP8BKF), the sea, mountains, traditional navigation, food, and I have recently come back to learning the guitar after a break of 30 years!