Ron Marchand

I am a biologist with a passion for sailing. When I retired in 2016 from paid work – one can never retire from being a biologist –  I knew that the best way to keep my mental and physical health was to own and live on a seaworthy sailing ship. Then I found “Spirit” – a 49 feet long Staysail Schooner (launched in 1985) – in Langkawi, Malaysia, and fell in love with her.

While this website was initially motivated to share experiences and stories with the ship after my retirement with relatives and friends, I also will use it to share some other aspects of my life and thoughts.  That is why I created some other Categories for blogging, next to Sailing that will receive posts by time. I just finished one about music – while important for me, that category will probably not become the most populated with posts.

The first post I wrote was “Roots in Youth” – in search of how my sailing passion had started.  Secondly, a first attempt to describe what, exactly, makes sailing attractive to me and many others – “The Soul of Sailing“.

The first year Spirit was kept on land in Langkawi while I was mainly busy with repairing urgent mechanical issues around the engine. But much more needed to be done before “Spirit” could undertake larger travels: getting rid of the old, leaky, teak deck, repainting, and renewing the standing rigging.

This was too big a job to do by myself and could better be done in Thailand than in Malaysia. So in April 2018 I sailed Spirit from Langkawi to the newly opened marina Port Takola near Krabi, Thailand. I will soon add a post about that first ‘shakedown’ voyage.

Since early May 2018 Spirit is on the hard (out of the water) at Port Takola and undergoing her beauty treatment under the caring hands of staff of  Popeye Marine Services Co. Ltd. This is happening right now and will be regularly updated under: “Spirit’s beauty treatment“.

These are my first, uncertain and still wobbly, steps into the world of setting up and editing a blog website. So, for at least a few weeks more, please regard this website as UNDER CONSTRUCTION  – just as Spirit is herself. My own spirits, however, are up and writing this blog appears to be more addictive than I had expected. But I am still experimenting with the layout and ‘theme’ of the website – it does not yet exactly look like how I want it.

Why I don’t write in my native Dutch? That might have been better for the grammar but I have worked long abroad and many of my friends would not be able to read it. Also, English is the lingua franca of most of the new friends I am meeting while working and traveling on the Spirit. I am quite sure my Dutch relatives and friends can read my simple English. Last but not least, ever since discovering the books of Joseph Conrad I began to love the English language.

However, while writing in English as a Dutch person, I do need to take extra caution because sometimes the English and Dutch don’t match.