About us

Nigel is 56 years old, with an RYA yachtmaster ticket and more than 10,000 miles ‘under his keel’ as skipper and singlehander, and has lived aboard the boat for a total of about three years.

Nicky is his long-term partner and crew. She began sailing with Nigel in 1995 and the two of them did a two-way Atlantic crossing in 1999 – 2000. This included a leisurely cruise of the Spanish Rias, Portugal and Tenerife, then across to Barbados and up the island chain staying in St Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and Antigua before heading back with a stopover in Faial in the Azores.

Rusalka Mist is a Vancouver 28, launched in 1989. She is a heavy displacement, long keeled cruising yacht designed for ocean crossings in the 1960s. Cutter rigged and built of GRP she is very strong and sturdy, capable of handling just about everything the sea can throw at her. She has three berths and an optional pipecot, providing long-term comfort for one or two people with room for four.


17 Responses to “About us”

  1. Van Gansbeke Eric Says:

    Dear Sir,

    I am glad I can reach you this way.

    I just bought a Vancouver 28. She is hullnumber 57 from 1997. Formerly she was called “Gypsy Mood” and her owner was Herr Zbinder. In 2004 she was bought by Mister Van Houtte and she was renamed “Stella”. Today, I am the proud owner and I will rebaptise her “Sola Vela”.
    Why I am telling you this because from the first days I knew I would buy a seagoing yacht I found that the Vancouver has it all. When I was collecting data from the web, I read all your stories about Rusalka’s Mist. Honestly I hope to do the same but everything must start with a first step and today I am making the boat 100% seaworthy because the last owner was not the best sailor.
    I hope that I can contact you regarding some technical issues and tips to maintain and improve the boat and my sailing with it. As the name of the boat suggest I will sail singlehanded. “Sola vela”: solo sailing and only sailing counts.

    Kind regards.

    PS: In the meantime I will read your blog.

    • Nigel Says:

      Hello Eric

      Congratulations on your Vancouver 28. Mine (hull no 15) is still lovely and over 20 years old. I just did some internal re-varnishing where the sun had done some damage around the hatches. I hope you have many happy years with yours. By all means contact me whenever you like.

      Best Wishes


  2. Vladimir Says:

    Nigel: in searching through contributors to sailing topics on Wikipedia, I came across your name. I would like to ask your help in contributing to a wikipedia-style, but graphically organized social atlas of the world’s oceans and coastlines that we have launched at http://www.bloosee.com. BlooSee is a mash-up of Google Earth and its UI that allows geo-tagging of information and knowledge about the ocean, ranging from marinas to best beaches to places needing protection. We’re all sailors and passionate about oceans and ocean conservancy. The site is free and open to anyone for contribution. You, as a very experienced sailor, could make leading contributions about the areas you have sailed and know well. We have marked our home waters to varying degrees of detail. I would also very much like to hear your thoughts about the BlooSee platform. You can find me there by searching for “Vlado”, my user name. Many thanks in advance,

    • Nigel Says:

      Hi Vlado. I’ve had a look, created a logon and marked about 45 new ‘infopoints’ about my home waters. Great fun! I created a group, invited you to be my ‘friend’ and had a good look round. It looks like it will be useful too. One problem is that, of course it doesn’t work unless you have an internet connection. Still, people should be using proper navigation equipment when at sea anyway! But it’ll be fun for sailors in port with a wi-fi connection.

      The other problem I have is the licensing: “you hereby grant BlooSee a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and …” blah blah. What was wrong with Creative Commons? Wikipedia uses it. I’m not so happy spending my free time just boosting the stock value of someone else’s private commercial company for nothing.

      Someone asked Tim Berners-Lee if he regrets not charging one penny for every time someone clicked a hyperlink on the World Wide Web, since he invented it. He said, no, because if he had done that, it would never have been the huge success it is today. That’s how Wikipedia has worked so well too. That may prove fatal if BlooSee don’t change it, I fear.

      • Vlado Says:

        Nigel: thanks for joining and checking out BlooSee. Thank you especially for your feedback! I will pass on your comments about switching to the Creative Commons license at tomorrow’s management meeting. I expect that we will make that change. It is certainly our intention to keep access to the site free and fair for all users. I absolutely understand and identify with your view, having contributed some 300 infopoints and over a 100 photographs myself. I will connect with you on BlooSee. Please continue to share any thoughts, good or bad. I will connect you with our VP of Community, Manuel Maqueda, too. That way the feedback will move the fastest. Best,

  3. JohnRS Says:

    Nigel: I’m enjoying your blog immensely! Thank you for publishing your thoughts, knowledge and wisdom. I’ll be reading along whenever you post.

  4. Mark Muller Says:

    Hi Nigel,
    We spoke a few months back. I thought I’g get in touch to let you know that I now have a blog of my own. I’ve given you a mention and I hope you get some traffic your way via my blog! I have taken a much more commercial approach and gone self-hosted. Read my blog and you’ll see the reasoning! Anyway, the address is mullerunlimited.com if you would like to have a look. Nice to chat again!
    Mark Muller, Isle of Man

  5. amtrup Says:

    Dear Nick.

    I have read and followed our blog with great interest, and I would like to invite you to become a guest writer at TheSailBlog.com.

    TheSailBlog is a start up news site with focus on long distance adventure sailing. Our editorial goal is to gather sailors that are out there and who enjoy to write about their lives, encounters, places, equipment and people.

    Please have a look at your site, and let me know if this is interesting. But most off all: Keep sailing.

    Best regards, Jon
    editor (at) thesailblog (dot) com

  6. Grahame Connolly Says:

    Hi Nigel, I like your ‘double bed mod’, can you tell me how long and wide it is please?

    Best regards


    • Nigel Says:

      Hi Grahame

      I haven’t measured it (but can do so if there’s something specific you need to know). What I can tell you is this. Nicky and I are both about 5′ 8″ and can sleep easily in the single bunks. The mast post was a bit of a pain in the double bunk – if we use it ‘normally’, the post comes directly between our heads of shoulders, which is a nuisance. Finding suitable bits of foam or pillows to stuff in the gaps around the mast post to make something like a level mattress is also near to impossible. So, we ended up sleeping crossways – athwartships – in front of the mast post. Here the beam is already narrowing towards the bow and so we were within an inch or so of being uncomfortable at our height. It was so close that actually poking our feet slightly into the open cave lockers along the hull sides was enough to make it noticeably better. Just a few more inches of beam (or a few feet further aft for the mast post) and it would have been perfect.

      Hope this helps


  7. Gerald Says:

    hi Nigel, best wishes from Gerald, St. Lucia 2010:)

  8. Daniela Says:

    I was checking out about this on yet another blog and its shocking
    how lots of various point of views there is – then once again thats why
    I like checking out online

  9. Jesenia Says:

    Highly descriptive post, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

    • Nigel Says:

      Thank you Jesenia. To tell you the truth, we don’t do much sailing these days. We still have Rusalka Mist but we tend to only use her locally in the summer at the moment. I am busy building my first traditional clinker-built wooden boat, and also busy with Jersey in Transition, a local ‘Transition Town’ initiative and charity, which I founded in 2010. My main ‘home’ online these days is https://www.facebook.com/groups/jerseyintransition/. Very best wishes, Nigel.

  10. Tim Rowe Says:

    Hello Nigel.

    Thank you for your Blog. I have a 1950 built Robert Clark long keel cruiser. She was designed for the Royal Engineers as their first ever Ocean Going Racing Yacht. So Far I have cruised with her for 4000nm in the last 12 months. I am now planning my first Atlantic crossing for the backend of 2015.

    Your Blog is most informative and even with my relatively limited experience, practical and echoes precisely how my boat was equipped. We have a total of 4 anchors on board, plus 1 for the dingy, I have used 2 at once in an un-forecast blow where “super yachts” of all shapes and sizes were dragging backwards past me at alarming speeds. I had got the second anchor out in good time.

    I am the forth owner since she was built with the owner previous to me cruising and living on her for 25 years with his wife whilst doing a slow slow circumnavigation. It is my aim to follow suit. Many thanks and good sailing. Tim

    • Nigel Says:

      Hi Tim. Your boat and your sailing both sound wonderful. May she bring you many more happy hours of open sea. Good luck with the Atlantic in 2015 – it’ll be wonderful out there. Best wishes, Nigel.

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