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Following inour wake.

Sir - Permit me to offer John Shipton (Explorer sets out to prove Wales is an island. Well, almost... Western Mail, January 15) my best wishes for his proposed circumnavigation of Wales.

In September 1990, the late Dave Sinnet-Jones and I sailed a Drascombe lugger named Celtic Circle (18'6'long) from Aberaeron Yacht Club, clockwise around Wales, back to Aberaeron.

Our voyage took 21 days and the boat stayed in the water all the way!

The trip was filmed and screened on HTV as Two Men in a Boat during 1991.

The event must have stirred the imagination of many would-be explorers and we built up quite a 'fan club' at the time.

It is a great pity that this entertaining film, in four half-hour instalments, has not been shown again as a repeat!

Unlike John Shipton who intends to use rivers and streams, the 1990 circumnavigation of Wales used the canal system to link the Dee estuary with the Severn at Stourport.

As we passed the junction with the Llangollen Canal, my shipmate Dave commented that we were 'floating on Welsh water' from there on!

Going past Wolverhampton I think we were somewhat stretching the point!

Our trip was blessed with reasonable weather, apart from the gale that kept us in the bar of the Ship in Porthgain for several, enjoyable days!

Jamie Owen's recent voyage in the pilot cutter Mascotte has again highlighted the beauty and variety of scenery around the coast of Wales.

In an 18ft Drascombe lugger, the overfalls off the Great Orme and the Gower seemed a bit larger in proportion and our landfall at Rhyl harbour in the dark, I shall never forget!

In an Avon dinghy, John Shipton's trip is going to be memorable. If he succeeds we shall be pleased to welcome him to the elite band of eccentric 'Circumnavigators of Wales'.

There aren't many of us left. Good luck!


Market Street, Aberaeron, Ceredigion
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 21, 2005
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