101 Things To Do*

* before I die

Ultimate Rides

Be a Crewmember on a Tall Sailing Ship

Some people say everything happens for a reason – which I think is simply a way for them to cope with the unpleasant occurrences in their lives.  But if there's any truth to it, then the reason my wallet was stolen on the day I was to leave Sydney, was so I would be forced to stay for the opportunity to sail on a tall, square-rigged sailing ship.

The ship in question was the James Craig, a three-masted barque built in 1874.  It spent most of it's working life hauling cargo (mostly coal) to various ports of call around the globe and, in the process, rounded the infamous and dangerous Horn twenty-three times.

It was a pleasant, sunny Saturday in March when I joined the crew of forty-five dedicated souls to sail on this beautifully restored vessel.  The winds were light and the seas were calm – which made for rather slow progress.  But it was an enjoyable day nonetheless.

During the six-hour trip, I got to lend a hand setting and trimming the sails; climbed up in the rigging for a panoramic view of Sydney Harbour; and even took the helm of this massive ship for a short while (okay, so it was only long enough for a photo – but still it was quite exhilarating).

Here are a few photos from my very memorable trip on the James Craig...

Here I am climbing the rigging...

...and the view from up there.

The crew practicing man overboard
drills – and, no, they didn't actually
throw anyone overboard to practice on.

Here I am at the helm;
looking for all the world like a pirate.
Hoy, matey!

And finally, a few members of the very
capable crew as they reef the sails
in preparation for arrival back at port.
You'll notice that they're just a bit higher
up in the rigging than I got to go.  Sigh!

You can visit their website at: