GAYLE FORCE: TREASURE ISLAND CALLING
“Without a doubt, top of my list of places in the world to return to aboard Gayle Force is Robinson Crusoe Island,” says Scott Whittaker, captain of 29m Doggersbank explorer, Gayle Force. “It’s just a really cool island that very few people go to. It’s not at all what you think it is.”
As the largest of the islands in the remote Juan Fernández Archipelago, Robinson Crusoe falls within a national park off the Chilean coast and is best known for its dive sites and endemic wildlife, such as firecrown hummingbirds and fur seals. Its name derives from the wayward 18th century mariner Alexander Selkirk who was left stranded on the isle for four years before eventually being rescued.
INCREDIBLE WORLD TOUR
For the owners of Gayle Force, who completed an incredible world tour in 2019 aboard their Vripack-designed boat, stepping foot on those sandy shores was wholly positive encounter.
“We ended up doing 28,000 miles under 10 knots in a year, just for the point of circulating the globe,” marvelled Captain Whittaker.
Culminating in November, just a few months before the world entered lockdown, the boat travelled from Florida to the Pacific Coast and Antarctica, across to Patagonia, stopping off at Robinson Crusoe, the Galapagos and Panama before heading back up to Florida, New England in the autumn, and then back down to Florida “to get the miles in.”
ROBINSON CRUSOE, TREASURE ISLAND
“What spurred us to head to Robinson Crusoe was the very fact that not many people go there,” said Captain Whittaker. “The owners prefer it when there are few white boats on the horizon. They’re active people who are not about being seen. They really enjoyed the hiking trails and wilderness that it offered.”
For six days, the crew and owners covered the island by foot, played horseshoe and sat around campfires on the beach. Despite its serenity, the island attracts few yachts, in part due to its remote location, and not least because of the treacherous waters that surround it.
We took a beating getting out there, he laughs. It was tough water, and we were towing our 9m safe boat. More than worth it though.
CAPTAIN SCOTT WHITTAKER
With 30 years of marine industry experience under his belt there are few places on Earth where Captain Whittaker hasn’t travelled, nine years of which have been at the helm of Gayle Force.
Known for its heavy duty use, low emissions, clean engine rooms and long-lasting equipment, the Doggersbank epitomises Vripack’s design philosophy; to create safe, durable yachts with light, elegant and comfortable interiors that make you feel at home, at sea.
When put to the test, Gayle Force more than deliverd.
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