A Great Escape for the Times We Live

 “I used to dream of setting sail to a South Pacific island with a shortwave radio 

and listening to the Problems of  the world.” 

by Sandy Estabrook / AbacoEscape.com 

Having a strong passion for boating and tropical islands, I’ve always lived vicariously through the writings of the world cruisers. These are cruising couples, individuals and friends sailing around the world.  I’ve read Eric Hiscock’s books,  Hal Roth, Robin Lee Graham, Tania Aebi and so many many more including of course, Joshua Slocum, who in 1898 started it all (solo) aboard his 36 foot yawl (Docu).   Lastly, throw in Herman Melville’s, Typee.  All the aforementioned were way before GPS and Loran and when a sextant was the navigation tool of choice. 

Today world cruising is common place albeit wrought with hazards in many foreign lands. Still the record for youngest female solo navigation was 14-year-old Laura Dekker, New Zealand-born Dutch sailor, who set out in 2012 to become the youngest person to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe aboard her 42 foot ketch taking her 518 days.

A couple years ago  I hit upon the travel blog, videos etc. of the Sailing Vessel Delos and crew and their ten year sail around the world. and Its all documented in once a week half hour videos. In a word extraordinary! It's the story of  Brian Trautman who was studying electrical engineering in Seattle when he was struck with a similar passion. 

“One hot summer day in Seattle, which are few and far between, I ventured into the library for some forgotten reason.  A book with a beautiful blue picture of the Pacific Ocean on the cover caught my attention.  The title was something like “Cross the Ocean In Your Own Boat!”  Was it even possible to sail your own boat across an ocean?  The thought had never occurred to me.  Wasn’t this something only old-school pirates and cruise ships did?  I had done some lake sailing on my Catalina 22 and occasionally ventured out onto Puget Sound for a weekend cruise but the thought of undertaking an ocean crossing voyage blew my mind. The idea of being self-sufficient and voyaging off the beaten track to exotic locations became a sort of addiction.  Suddenly a switch flipped in my head and I knew.  This is what I wanted to do.”

Brian, being an electrical engineer, his boat was well equipped with all the latest gadgets taking much of chance and nasty weather out of his cruising life and making it self-sufficient with the use of solar panels and wind turbines. Of course there was an auxiliary engine, generator, water maker and air compressor for his scuba tanks. He even has a bow thruster on his 53 foot ketch-rigged sailing vessel.  Delos also carried aboard every conceivable spare part and a variety of tools for self repair. She even was equipped with a sewing machine, which you’ll see put to good use along with the spare parts and tools. In a recent video, I heard Brian say, he missed not having a lathe.

I am bringing this to your attention because their Video presentation of SV Delos travels is Superb and there are many chapters in his travels to choose from. From the obvious, beautiful islands to the cities of foreign lands. There are informational videos for heavy weather sailing, navigation, repairs at sea, helping other sailors in distress,  fishing and  just hanging out and  having fun. There are long and short ocean passages and all the time with a change of new and ever refreshing crew. You can go too.
Click on image below for a half hour tour of life aboard Delos.

Brian’s brother Brady joins him early on and never leaves . They both eventually meet  their spouses who continue on the 10 year journey often accompanied by guest crew.   In 2019 Brian handed over Delos to brother Brady & wife Blue who circumnavigated the Atlantic, during which time  Brian & Karin welcomed to the world their baby girl Sierra while ashore. Episode 258 is Brady & Blue’s last ocean crossing voyage before retirement ashore. Brian, Karin and Sierra spent the COVID shutdown in the  Crooked Island group of the Bahamas with other similarly marooned sailors. They had a jolly good time.

Note:  It took a while before Captain Brien got his act together with the videography in all areas from video quality to editing and formatting including time lapse and lots of drone shots. But once he did, one could spend hours cruising with him and his crew. As a suggestion, take a pass and begin your trip with him on his 15th episode in Australia skipping his South Pacific adventures much of which is slide show effect low res video with poor audio track, and no standard editing. For example the Delos official theme song, by a Solomon Island group finally arrives in Episode 17 at the great Barrier Reef.

Again I can’t say enough on how well these videos are edited once Captain Brian got his act together. Each episode always has something unusual to show, to break up what otherwise might be a boring 10 year ocean cruise. Often he will superimpose the boats instruments, sails and rigging while under way, close ups on emergency repairs and always with a smiling face popping into a scene. There are trips ashore and underwater photography galore - and those drone shots of New England costal towns in the fall!

Sampling Suggestion;  Start here Episode 195   Departing a jungle River in French Guiana / Surinam  as they head to the Caribbean and Tobago. 


YouTube - All Videos

The Crew

Be Sure to Watch on Large Screen

Sandy Estabrook / AbacoEscape.com  is a sailor I came across while researching Hurricane Dorian’s effects on the Bahamas