Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness

Ocean Cruising Club Lockdown Lectures


OCC burgee and Marquesan courtesy flag

OCC burgee flying from CELESTE’s spreaders

To keep our spirits up during the pandemic, the commodore of the Ocean Cruising Club had the wonderful idea to organize a series of Lockdown Lectures. The OCC is full of adventuresome and accomplished sailors with fascinating stories – there’s no clubhouse, just a great group of people. I’ve really enjoyed all the Lockdown Lectures, from Steve Brown’s talk on his 2018 Antarctica voyage to Clive Woodman’s tale of skiing the whole length of Norway and sailing back in his little 19-foot Cornish Shrimper! Randall Reeves took us vicariously on his “Figure 8 Voyage”, solo around the Southern Ocean and then around the Americas, almost entirely nonstop; Pam Wall took us family cruising the Bahamas; and Bob Comlay took us back to the days of the renowned sailor, mountaineer, and author Bill Tilman – he sailed with Tilman on some of his last trips. It was a wonderful escape to “attend” these talks virtually during the lockdown.

And I was very honored when Simon (the commodore) asked me to give one, too. I must admit it was a little strange to give a talk to a screen instead of a room full of people! I gather that almost all the presenters felt the same way, but it was a lot of fun and I especially enjoyed the Q&A at the end. My talk was on French Polynesia: I tried to give a sense of the culture and great beauty – both below and above the water – of the Marquesas and Tuamotu archipelagos.

Here is a link to all the talks – they were recorded so anyone can watch them. They’re all wonderful! And here’s the Vimeo link to mine on the South Pacific. Here are a few of my favorite photos from that part of the world:

8 thoughts on “Ocean Cruising Club Lockdown Lectures

  1. Hi Ellen and Seth,

    Hope you are both doing well. A member of RVYC has run into some trouble off the West Coast of the US. Here’s a link to their family’s GoFundMe page https://gf.me/u/yz46hk and a link to his blog https://glennwakefieldaroundtheworld.com/ He’s been on board Celeste while she was at RVYC.



    • Hi Michael, yes, I was really sorry to hear about Glenn’s trouble. I’m glad he was able to get care and I hope he’s able to get home soon! I remember meeting him at RVYC right before he left on his first trip on West Wind. Such an intrepid, friendly man – I’m keeping him and Mary Lou in my thoughts! Thanks for getting in touch!

  2. That was a fascinating lecture Ellen in particular the Marquesas where most of the folk I have followed don’t seem to spend a great deal of time. Perhaps everyone is in a rush to head to Papeete.
    When are you going to rescue Celeste?

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the lecture! The Marquesas are one of my favorite places – such deep history, kind people, and gorgeous land and seascapes!

  3. Wow – the photos in your talk were spectacular. Thanks

    Hank Mortimer

  4. How exciting!!! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 Will watch this weekend. Hope you’re well! xx