The Great Southern Route : 2010 - 2011
CIRCUMNAVIGATION - A SHORT HISTORY 018 | GSR of necessities ranging from provisions and spares to cruising guides and courtesy flags and an introduction to the agent at the next planned stop. Go to Australia, or New Zealand, for example, and you might get by on your own, depending perhaps upon whether your first language is English but bear in mind that the reason you made all that money and bought the boat in the first place was to have some fun and enjoy the South Sea Islands on your way around the world. Furthermore, a good agent should be able to steer you through the worst of the time- consuming bureaucracy you will sometimes encounter in smaller places while being a reliable source of information about where to relax and is advertised as being extraordinarily seaworthy, but this one had been through all kinds of seas and all kinds of work, so the seaworthiness and safety was therefore an attraction. And that we had the opportunity to take what was already a magnificent conversion and upgrade it even more was an exciting prospect." Needless to say, Jack Setton had learned from his own experiences aboard the large converted tug and his next project, a 59.00 metre motor yacht named Senses, built at Schweers near Bremen in Germany combined room for several large tenders (some of which could be dispatched and recovered while the mother ship was on the move) along with two helicopter decks and an ice-protected bow. He described her as follows: "Senses was a child of Belle France and Simson actually. It's got the luxury of a yacht, more so than Belle France, huge windows, but it has the kind of utility of Simson. You can also launch the Nelson while under way. When you launch with a crane it's OK for people who use a boat normally but I like to be able to launch and retrieve while under way so I can get out of the big boat, which is very boring for me, and navigate with the smaller one! That was the whole idea of Senses and a big improvement over Simson. It was while I was cruising with Simson that I started thinking about which direction I would like to go. You take a rib from one, and from the other and you create it. That's why, in the beginning, nobody really understood Senses and I think it was rather new and unconventional to have a yacht, with the finish of a yacht, that was also a discovery machine, you know." But while you may need the ingenuity and capital of a Jack Setton or a Peter Lewis to establish expedition yachting as we know it today, you don't have to find the US$ 500,000 per month that it took to run Lone Ranger in order to enjoy the Indian and Pacific Oceans on more modest vessels. A sailing yacht has some advantages inasmuch as it has a more flexible range of operation and is arguably less likely to attract unwelcome attention in remote destinations although it may be equally prone to piracy. A motor yacht may enjoy the benefits of shallower draft and might be able to field larger, self-sufficient tenders that can scout likely anchorages before the mother ship commits itself. Smaller vessels of either kind benefit from a wider choice of moorings or marina berths and are probably easier to haul and service in the event of a problem. But if you want the same sort of reception that the bigger boats enjoy then you will have to pay for an agent to help you with everything from Customs clearance to cruising permits, the arrival and departure of owners, guests and crew, and the procurement tenders, including a sailing yacht. Acting as his proxy on that day was Johnny Pigozzi, an old friend whose family had owned the Simca car company and whose yacht, the 66.75 metre converted trawler Amazon Express, was also in New Zealand at that time. The sale did not eventuate for various reasons and Margaret Z subsequently rejoined the hunt for Pacific tuna although a Campbell sister ship was eventually modified and named Golden Shadow and she acted as a seagoing companion to the Blohm + Voss built, 80.47 metre Golden Odyssey. By this time, Jack Setton had enlisted the help of Claus Kusch, whose previous projects included Leander, and together they decided to look for a tug that was for sale and suitable for conversion. The Bugsier Company in Hamburg was disposing of some of its deep-sea tugs in the mid-1990's, so Claus Kusch went to have a look. Jack Setton commented as follows: "The problem was to find a tug that had the aesthetic, because many tugs are very square. Bugsier had been building tugs since the nineteenth century, and they had a kind of elegance, so I started to look and I asked Claus Kusch to check whether there were any in Germany and there were. We flew to see Simson and we loved the ship and decided to do something with it, so we bought it and took it back to Malta, where we did the refit." And so began the transformation which resulted in the world's most accomplished expedition yacht. Jack Setton sold Simson S, as he had named her, to Peter Lewis who, in turn, re- christened her Lone Ranger and for 11 years, and at not inconsiderable expense to her owner, she travelled the world with her captain Marc Grise from the Arctic to Antarctica and from Western Russia all the way across the planet to Eastern China. Peter Lewis knew exactly what he wanted, which was 'the best boat in the world to go around the world in' and the big Bugsier tug with her twin, 4,400 bhp Deutz V12 diesels never disappointed him. Jack Setton outlined the sale of Simson S in the following terms: "Peter Lewis was very brilliant, I think. He had never had a big boat before and he goes and buys a tug, which is not the sort you would normally get if you've never had a boat before." And Peter Lewis recalled the transaction like this: "The things that appealed to me about Simson S were, first, that it did not look like a yacht. It was a working boat and that was important because there are many places in the world that you go where big white boats somehow generate a feeling of resentment. Number two : it seemed to me that the likelihood of its being more seaworthy was very high. Certainly, every boat The expedition yacht Lone Ranger breaking through icebergs in Antartica.
2008 - 2009
2013 - 2014