The Accidental Sailor
In 1976 Rod Heikell set off in Roulette, a 20 foot boat that should probably have never left the sheltered waters of the Solent, for the Mediterranean. Via the French Canals and Biscay he somehow got to the Mediterranean and sailed to Corsica, Italy and onto Greece. It records the near disasters and highs and lows of a voyage which shaped his life in ways he never imagined. He became the accidental sailor and has led to a life-long love of sailing and exploring the seas. In 1987 he took a Mirror Offshore 18 down the Danube behind the Iron Curtain to the Black Sea and Aegean, probably the longest voyage one these tubby little craft has made.
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These were simple voyages on small yachts with minimal equipment and not a huge amount of experience that shaped what he was to do in ways he never thought would happen. It's a mystery, an accident, he is fond of saying when asked how it all started. He has gone on to write yachting guides to many of the Mediterranean countries, on the Indian Ocean and on routes and landfalls around the world. His latest book is on food, The Trade Wind Foodie, a subject dear to his stomach.