Whales! Roger was accompanied by a very large group of Pilot whales twice on this voyage, he estimates there were about 400 whales in this pod
all photos courtesy Roger Taylor
Mingming is a very small yacht, a 21' Corribee MKII, Junk rigged w/small jib and extensively modified by her owner Roger Taylor. She and Roger have had some very ambitious and adventurous cruses. After a lifetime of sailing and building boats for himself, Roger has formed some very firm ideas about what he wants in a cruising boat. Mingming is the culmination and result of his philosophy of cruising, his experiences and his experimentation. She was originally concieved as a vessel to compete in the Jester Challenge, a rather demanding undertaking, but lately he has moved on to pursue what may be considered even more ambitious undertakings, cruises above the arctic circle.
Rogers modifications allow him to stay in the cabin while cruising in almost all conditions, as well making the little boat very seaworthy indeed. I thought the other day that it was about time for his annual cruise so wrote him to see what he's up to, here's his reply:
Just caught me in time! I leave with Mingming for Scotland, by road, on Sunday, bound once more for Whitehills on the Moray Firth. Another northern voyage this year, the target being 80°N, to the north-west of Spitsbergen. On the way I intend to visit Jan Mayen once again, with the hope that I might be able to catch the island in clear weather and get a proper view of the 7000’ volcano Mt Beerenberg. If things go well I should have plenty of time in hand, and may also nose around the islands of south-east Svalbard and stick my nose into the Barents Sea.
The other main news is that both my books are coming out soon in Russian. Voyages of a Simple Sailor is now at the printers, and the Russian translation of the second book is almost complete. I’ve had great fun working with the translator, a retired Russian merchant master mariner (fortunately I am reasonably fluent in Russian). Looks too as if both books will be published in French before long.
Have a good summer (I should be back mid-August)."
So, Mingming is both Junk rigged and a twin or bilge keel boat which should go some way toward answering questions about either of these design element's suitability for long distance cruising. I will hopefully be writing about their cruise upon their return in August on 70.8%.