Tales from six years at sea

On a too-small boat and using old school navigational charts, David Beasley sailed the globe

David Beasley sailed his 11-metre yacht Beasmaster around the globe for six years

David Beasley sailed his 11-metre yacht Beasmaster around the globe for six years

Who can predict the people you’ll meet or the stories they’ll share in a given day in Oak Bay?

Last month at Oak Bay Marina when the 11-metre yacht Beasmaster tied up, it came with a boatload of stories.

Owner David Beasley brought the boat in for a diesel engine repair, having recently finished sailing around the world. He claims to have visited 102 countries in total – many from his Air Force days and more from this sailing experience.

Oak Bay Marina’s Jim Allen listened attentively to Beasley’s many tales from the high seas.

“This is representative of a person going out and doing what most people just dream about doing – (what) most people wouldn’t dream of doing in that boat,” Allen said.

Local yachters gathered on the docks chatting with Beasley while Charles Lewis, manager of Gartside Marine, worked on the Beasmaster.

“This boat is not designed for open ocean,” Lewis said. “This is more of a cruising boat to the Gulf Islands. There are far better choices, but he seemed to do it without issue. After hearing his stories I felt very privileged to live in this country and in this lifestyle compared to some of the places he travelled. He had no plan of where to go. He would just put the boat into the wind.”

Lewis was surprised to learn that Beasley had no rescue equipment on board. “He wouldn’t put another rescuers’ life at risk. He had a friend in the Air Force who lost his life in a rescue mission,” reported Lewis.

The tale of how Beasley wound up in Oak Bay began just before he hit age 40.

“I wanted to do something interesting and unique. The idea of sailing was interesting to me,” said Beasley, 47. “I took two years of (sailing) lessons to get educated and find out that this is what I really wanted to do. Six months before my 40th birthday I found this vessel (in Vancouver).”

He sold his house, car and possessions in Calgary to prepare for the trip. An avid diver, he had always dreamed of owning a sailboat and sailing around the world.

Prep work in Sidney included installing solar panels for power, a radar arch and a water maker, which desalinates the water by reverse osmosis.

He worked his entire career in technology doing radar support work. A handyman, he was able to handle the boat on his own and do most of the work to maintain it.

He chose to sail alone. “I had no schedule and no plan,” he said. “It’s not all luxury and fun. You have to be aware of the situation you are in. I’ve had problems with the sail ripping and not being able unfurl it, so I had to climb up the mast with climbing gear and come down onto the foresail to cut or unfold pieces of the sail.

“People always ask if I’m lonely. I think the worst thing that could happen would be if you came on deck and your partner was gone. That would be horrible.”

Even without a boat in sight you are never alone. “You always have birds with you. Dolphins are everywhere out on the ocean. It’s common to see 200 dolphins. They are so smart, so strong and so fast – you see pods of hundreds.”

Seals, turtles and whales were everywhere too. “All of a sudden, a turtle will come up beside you and scratch the barnacles on his back on the hull.”

As Beasley sailed to the South Pacific, he relied on the traditional method of using paper charts instead of a computer to map his co-ordinates. “I like the paper charts system so the whole picture is in front of you – not little blobs on a small screen – and it’s more accurate.”

During his extended sail he visited California, Mexico, South America and many islands of the South Pacific, he recounted. He said he survived 24-metre waves in a treacherous storm.

After six years at sea and now back in Canada, he told fellow boaters he plans to “enjoy (sailing) inside the Georgia Strait for the next year” then sell his boat next spring and return to the Prairies.

“I don’t know if I want to do anymore travelling,” he said.

editor@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

There were 255 babies born in Victoria in May 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic baby boom makes for a busier Vancouver Island Father’s Day

Victoria’s 255 babies born in May up almost 10 per cent over last year

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Brooke Morneau, a previous participant in car parades, will watch one she has organized for this weekend from her Sidney workplace. (Courtesy Brooke Morneau)
Rolling show and shine ready to cruise Sidney through Saanich

Car parade past senior care homes set for Saturday, June 19

In January 2019, Grade 5 students from Glenlyon Norfolk School, accompanied by Grade 11 student Anastasia Castro, gave a presentation to Oak Bay council seeking a ban on plastic bags in the district. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay set to survey businesses on single-use plastic products

Survey gathers information ahead of expected legislation on provincial, federal level

(Black Press Media file photo)
School parking problems plague Oak Bay residents

Need exceeds official requirements for parking at St. Michaels school

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

Most Read