Eric’s book, An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing, is available in print (full color and B&W editions) and e-book format through the following retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, Kobo, iTunes, and Google e-books

Streaming Videos

Captain Forsyth is pleased to announce a new attraction on the Yacht Fiona website—FREE streaming videos of the famous Fiona sailing adventures! Each video is about an hour long and covers a chapter in the Captain’s recent book An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing. After screening the videos you may want to read the book for more details about what you have just seen!

 



The Inexplicable Attraction of Ocean Cruising:
 This is the video of the book, all the voyages from 1964 to 2014 are reviewed briefly and the final chapters are some comments on how my life on the boat is organized and thoughts on how the world has changed in those fifty years.  I believe we have left it too late to greatly affect the coming changes in the global climate and the next challenge for mankind is how to maintain our standard of living without using any fossil fuel.  Get all the details in CHAPTER 12 and 13 of Captain Forsyth’s book – An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Fiona Sails Round the World  This was the first cruise undertaken by Captain Forsyth after he retired in 1995.   It was originally shot on VHS tape and edited by Eric using two VCRs.   The technical quality does not match the later videos using digital video.  Walter Van Vleck made the circumnavigation as crew when he was in his early 20s.  The route was westabout through the Panama and Suez canals, a good deal less strenuous than the later circumnavigation in 2002 to 2003.  Get all the details in CHAPTER 3 of Captain Forsyth’s book – An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Fiona Cruises to Antarctica:  This was my first cruise to Antarctica in 1998 to 1999.   I chose a tough route via the Chilean ‘Canals’- the labyrinth of channels and passages on the west coast of Chile.  We endured deep anchorages, gusty winds and icebergs.  On the way back, we duplicated the famous voyage of Sir Ernest Shackleton who made passage from Elephant Island to South Georgia in a small boat in 1916 after his ship was crushed in the ice.  We managed to anchor briefly in the open roadstead at Tristan da Cunha and get ashore in the dinghy.  This voyage attracted the attention of the Cruising Club of America, who were gracious enough the following year to award me the Blue Water Medal in recognition.  Get all the details in CHAPTER 3 of Captain Forsyth’s book – An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Fiona Sails to the Arctic and the Tropics: Our  route took us to the Maritimes of Canada, Iceland and Spitzbergen in 2000 to 2001.   Leaving Spitzbergen the engine sea water cooling pump died and we made emergency repairs to get to Norway.  We cruised the rugged northern islands of Scotland and the west coast of Ireland.  When we crossed the Bay of Biscay the weather got warmer.   After Christmas on Long Island, courtesy of a 747, we made a double-handed passage to St. Martin; two old men with an average age of about 75.  On the way home we visited the worker’s paradise of Cuba, and left it in stormy weather for the Bahamas and then Bermuda.  Get all the details in CHAPTER 4 of Captain Forsyth’s book – An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Fiona Circumnavigates Eastabout:  This circumnavigation was carried out in 2002 to 2003, taking about 67 weeks, much of it in the tumultuous Southern Ocean.   We rounded the major capes following the classic square-rigger route.   We were one of the few yachts ever to touch Kerguelen Island.   As usual. I had visa problems with the Brazilian authorities.  Get all the details in CHAPTER 5 of Captain Forsyth’s book –An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Fiona  Returns to Antarctica: This voyage occurred in 2006 and 2007.   There were many exciting adventures; the South Shetland Islands, Robinson Crusoe Island and a northbound transit of the Panama Canal.   One of the crew became ill in the Bahamas and had to be flown out by Bahamas Air/Sea Rescue.  Get all the details in CHAPTER 7 of Captain Forsyth’s book –An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Fiona’s Greenland Saga:   This was a summer cruise made in 2008.   The plan was to explore the Greenland west coast and Davis Straight in preparation for a possible transit of the Northwest Passage, which we did pull off in 2009 to 2010.  We switched crew in the Azores but one of the new crew became ill and we diverted to Newfoundland so she could get medical attention. In Greenland we saw many Inuit returning to port with their boats piled high with carcasses – food for the coming winter.  Get all the details in CHAPTER 8 of Captain Forsyth’s book – An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Fiona Challenges the Northwest Passage:  Traversing the Passage is very chancy as success depends on whether the ice will open for just a few brief weeks.   We were lucky and made it in one season, 2009 to 2010.    We stayed at the village founded by Admundsen, who made the first transit, 1903 to 1906, and we met an Inuit man who claimed to be his grandson.  But was he?  Get all the details in CHAPTER 9 of Captain Forsyth’s book – An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

 

Fiona’s Atlantic Island Adventure:   An attempt to reach islands accessible only by boat between 2011 to 2012.  Highlights include the lonely wild horses on Sable Island, walking up a volcano in Iceland, the dangerous St. Peter and Paul’s Rocks in the middle of the Atlantic and spooky Devil’s Island.   We were able to enjoy a beer at the South Pole Inn!  Get all the details in CHAPTER 10 of Captain Forsyth’s book –An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

 

Fiona Battles to Reach Antarctica:   This voyage of 2013 to 2014 is the last to be chronicled in the book although since the publication Fiona has completed two more transatlantic trips.  The boat was badly damaged in severe weather south of the Falkland Islands and prudence dictated a retreat to South Africa for repairs, even though it was four thousand miles away in the furious fifties and roaring forties.  Get all the details in CHAPTER 11 of Captain Forsyth’s book –An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

 New York to Falmouth, U.K. on Arvincourt ll:     This depicts the start of Captain Forsyth’s ocean sailing in 1964; a voyage to England as crew with Edith on board John Knight’s home-made cutter.   The action was filmed with an 8mm camera by Steve Gould, it was later edited onto a DVD with narration.     The boat was sturdy, but slow; the trip took 33 days.   It is briefly described in the INTRODUCTION of Captain Forsyth’s book – An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

The Voyage of Sea Swan: This boat was built mostly on the Patchogue River by Arnie Cortner and his wife, BettyLou.   He started with a stand of trees that had been cut down by a developer and built a 46 ft-long schooner to his own design.  When it was finished, after 8 years, Captain Forsyth volunteered to navigate from Long Island to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands in 1972.   The voyage took nearly a month, when we left in early November it was snowing.   This was originally shot on VHS and later edited onto a DVD with narration.  The cruise is mentioned in the INTRODUCTION of Captain Forsyth’s book –An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

 

Fiona Tackles Four Canals and Four Ocean Crossings:  This is the video of a cruise made while the book was in preparation, and is not described in the text.  We crossed the Atlantic to Scotland in 2015 crossed into Denmark and cruised the Baltic.    Sailing across the Bay of Biscay Fiona was badly damaged by heavy weather and due to failure of the welds on mounting brackets we were lucky not to lose the bow platform and probably the mast.  After emergency repairs in Portugal we made a double-handed Atlantic crossing with mostly light winds to St. Martin of 27 days, very slow!

A Year In the Sun:   This video was originally shot in 1969 on super-8 mm film and edited by splicing film by Captain Forsyth.   It was transferred to VHS tape and   later it was converted to DVD with narration.   In 1968 Eric, Edith and 3-year-old Colin spent 15 months in the Caribbean aboard Iona, a 35-ft long sloop built in Holland of steel.   In those days the Caribbean was unspoiled and a cruising paradise. They were determined not to work until they ran out of money.  The cruise is mentioned briefly in Captain Forsyth’s book –An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Fiona Leaves the Pacific – 1992:  This loosely edited video shot on VHS depicts the second half of  the trip back from Polynesia, covering the leg  Uruguay to Bermuda via Brazil and the Cape Verde islands.  The headstay broke and was replaced in mid-Atlantic.  Fiona’s  return from French Polynesia after Edith passed away.  This cruise is mentioned in CHAPTER 1 of Captain Forsyth’s book –An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

A Hiatus in Bermuda, 1992: This loosely edited video, shot on VHS was made as Fiona returned to Long Island from the Pacific.   Captain Forsyth spent several months in Bermuda before returning to Long Island to face a life without Edith.   Brenda flew down with her friend Jessie, followed by many old crew including Shoel, Walter, JoAnn and  Louise and her daughter Christina.  An interesting clip shows a cruise ship colliding with at yacht at St. Georges during high winds.  This interlude is not mentioned in the book. The cruise is not mentioned in Captain Forsyth’s book –An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Fiona in the Pacific – 1990 After a Bon Voyage party we sailed via the Panama Canal to the Galapagos Islands, the Tuamotus and Tahiti.  Good shots of a party with Polynesians playing their guitars and ukuleles.   Edith and Brenda joined the boat for a tour of Bora Bora and Moorea .   Edith and Eric visited the Gauguin museum near Papeete shortly before Edith flew home, only to discover she had cancer.  Eric put the boat on the hard in Raiatea. VHS tape of variable quality, loosely edited.  The cruise is mentioned in CHAPTER 1 of Captain Forsyth’s book –An Inexplicable Attraction: My Fifty Years of Ocean Sailing

Please contact Eric Forsyth via email at ericbforsyth@gmail.com

If Fiona is at sea you can contact the ship here: WDI95@sailmailc.om