An invitation to the discerning sailor

The trip is ideal for those wanting to log sea miles in a comfortable, well-equipped and well-maintained vessel. This exclusive voyage offers an opportunity to learn with an onboard, voyage instructor, Mark Devitt, as well as the experienced skipper and owner of the vessel, Stuart Kirk. 

This opportunity is available to a select group of six participants only.

1. The first leg

Cape Town To St Helena Island. We leave Cape Town around the 28th of December (weather dependent) and head for Jamestown, St Helena on a comfortable downwind sail. This section is 1700 miles and will take us roughly 10 days.

2. St Helena

Our first landfall rewards us with the beauty of St Helena Island, jewel of the South Atlantic. The feeling of stepping onto terra firma after more than a week of the rolling Atlantic swells is like nothing you’ll ever experience! 

Renowned for their hospitality, the Saints will make you feel welcome from the minute you arrive and will gladly share the unique history and topography of their island. Your stay should be between five and seven days, but your Instructor and Skipper will be helping you to plan an optimum departure window.

False Bay School of Yacchting - Coastal Skippers Course

3. The homeward leg

Refreshed and inspired, we set sail back to Cape Town. This time, we will set course towards Tristan da Cunha to make the best use of the wind and weather patterns. The journey back will be rewarded with the majestic and beautiful views of Table Mountain as we approach Cape Town from the south west as seafarers have done for centuries. 

On completing this voyage, you will have logged enough miles to qualify you to take the SAS Yachtmaster Offshore examination.

Arriving in the ‘Tavern of the Seas’ is always a momentous occasion and no doubt we will take the opportunity to wind down with a suitable celebration?

FAQ

Below are a few frequently asked questions from past voyages, but you might have a few questions that are not answered below. We are more than happy to answer your questions and talk through the outline of the trip.

This trip is ideal for anyone wanting to log  sea miles to qualify for SAS Yachtmaster Offshore. You will gain great experience in the comfort and safety of a well-equipped vessel, with the support of a qualified and experienced instructor. 

Candidates must have a coastal skipper’s ticket, 2500 nautical miles, 48 hours on watch, and three overnight trips of at least 100 nautical miles each. Full syllabus as set out by SAS.

The voyage is intended for, but not limited to sailors. The right calibre individual could also be selected and included in the crew. We will discuss our guidelines with those with similar mindset and interested to join the trip.

If you wanted to learn from an experienced and well-qualified Instructor, now is your time. Mark qualified at age of 18 as both RYA and SAS yachtmaster and skippered the youngest crew in Cape to Rio race in 2000 (age 20).
He has taken part in the Mauritius to Durban race as well as multiple Vasco da Gama and Mossel Bay races. He was boat captain of Tokoloshe 6, a 90′ canting keel super maxi and has been involved in sail training for 23 years in various capacities, including being the Chief Instructor for 2nd largest RYA school in the world.

With over 200 000 nm sailed in his career as a RYA and SAS Yachtmaster instructor and a SAS Yachtmaster examiner qualification you would be hard pressed to find a more qualified onboard instructor for your voyage.

Good Hope 56′ designed by Ed Joy Design, USA. She was built in aluminium for a South African couple who required a robust and self-sufficient yacht for extensive high latitude, remote cruising as well as for charter to research and filmmaking teams who want to access the most remote locations. With its lifting keel and rudder, it truly is a “go anywhere” vessel.

Dimensions
  • LOA | 17.12m (56ft 2in)
  • DWL | 12.9m (47ft 4in)
  • Beam | 4.83m (15ft 10in)
  • Draft | 0.97m (3ft) keel up
  • Draft | 2.67m (8ft 9in) keel down
  • Displacement | 24,950 kg

The interior is laid out with room to entertain. The sea berths aft and in the pilothouse are comfortable on passage. There are separate toilet and shower rooms mid ship and a galley that would not be out of place in an upmarket apartment.

On the deck the cockpit is comfortable, protected and functional, and integrates seamlessly with the Pilothouse and navigation area.   A fully equipped workshop in the forward area of the boat ensures that she is completely self-sufficient.

Urchin was launched and sea-trialed in October of 2016 and became the star of the Cape Town boat show that year, showing off the amazing skills of her builder.

The trip covers vessel costs, and accommodation and all meals and non-alcoholic beverages onboard. Safety equipment is included, but all items of personal nature (like foul weather gear) are not included. Whilst on passage we run a ‘dry’ ship. All shore based meals, drinks and activities are for your own account. Trip fees are R50 000 pp and include a full-time onboard qualified instructor as well as a skipper.

We are planning to leave on or after 28 December, weather depending. The trip will be a total of 30 days there and back and includes the time on the island.

The purpose of the voyage is an opportunity to log miles for Yachtmaster Offshore qualifications. The trip, however, is not limited to sailors only. Perhaps you are a couple and or individual wanting to gain experience without necessarily specific qualification in mind, you are welcome to apply and join us on the trip. We suggest you make contact with us to discuss.

St Helena Island is packed with history and character. There are a number of hiking trails and many historic sites worth a visit. The purpose of the voyage is first and foremost to complete the mile logging trip in good weather windows, which will always take priority. Having said that, there will be time allocated to enjoy some of what St Helena has to offer like the gruelling Jacob’s ladder, Napoleon’s Tomb, the St Helena Distillery, Diana’s Peak National Park, Scuba Diving with whale sharks and visiting the Heart Shaped Waterfall.

We are in close communication with the St Helena authorities and will communicate regulations and procedures to the crew. 

“I wanted freedom, open air, adventure. I found it on the sea.”
Alain Gerbault
French Sailor, 1893 – 1941