our guests say ...
Steve Colgate (USA)
Cape Horn/Beagle Channel
I have no hesitation recommending SEAL cruises to any of our Offshore Sailing School graduates, based on my wonderful experience cruising around Cape Horn and along the Beagle Channel in January, 2007. I know a well built boat when I see one and would feel safe in SEAL in any conditions anywhere in the world. Having sailed my own boat in the infamous 1979 Fastnet Race storm when 15 sailors lost their lives, I feel myself qualified to make that statement. Plus, I found that Hamish and I share the same commonsense approach to sailing seamanship (like the lack of value of storm trysails). Hamish and Kate have found a way to make a potentially dangerous sailing experience both safe and fun. Go for it.
2 expeditions: Antarctica and South Pacific
Hamish and Kate. Thanks so much for the trip from Tahiti to Tonga. As far as scenery and activities go, very different from the trip to Antarctica. But for the same reasons both trips were very enjoyable and educational and memorable. That is your enthusiasm for sailing and the natural environment, including your care for the environment, and your unstinting efforts (on Seal and ashore) on behalf of your guests to make the trips as enjoyable for them as you can, are very much appreciated. Having the girls along brightens up the atmosphere and they are good company in their own right. Once again thanks for a great trip.
At the back of all our minds is a trip never to be forgotten. I can't thank you enough for all the effort you all put in to making our trip so enjoyable. It was a real privilege to sail with such experienced and knowledgeable yachtsmen. And on top of that we had all experience and knowledge of Antarctica. If you ever need a reference don't hesitate to ask.
Joanna (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK)
South Georgia Island Invasive Species Survey
Thank you so much for making our trip happen, keeping us safe and very well entertained on Seal, helping us get all our specimens dry and landing us at all those sites around South Georgia. The trip was brilliant and the experience of a lifetime for me - although I'm hoping not to experience quite so much sea-sickness ever again (!) I would jump at the chance to repeat the fieldwork on South Georgia and would recommend Seal as the ideal boat for supporting another expedition.
Two words keep coming to my mind when I think about our sail to Antarctica with you on Seal: majestic and sublime. David and I keep looking at each other saying, "Do we really do that?"
Thank you for your thoughtful care, your competence, for sharing your knowledge so generously, for your humor, and, of course, for Seal, which makes the yachts around here seem like they came in a Happy Meal from MacDonald's. Both of us miss life on the boat. Hope you have a speedy and comfortable journey to Capetown. Please give our love and thanks to Helen and Anna, who did so much to make our journey magical.
Cape Horn/Tierra del Fuego
I must tell you that the trip met and exceeded my expectation! I want to thank you and Hamish for giving me so much helm time and showing confidence in my abilities to keep Seal under control. I learned so much under your watch and will be forever thankful. I'm sure I will be a better sailor because of it. Oh, thanks for letting me go swimming!
I would be happy to speak with anyone who needs a reference.
Hello Kate and Hamish
Both of us having a hard time settling back into the rush and deadlines of a north american life after our weeks on Seal. It was a fantastic trip - and our thanks to you both for making it so. We have over 1000 photos - a major culling needed methinks! We give our first slide show/talk this Wednesday so will be great to relive certain aspects of the trip.
Our best to you both,
We had a fabulous time on our trip. I am still having Antarctic dreams. We hope to do a couple of evening talks-- one to our Island community, and one to our yacht club, as people have been asking. Unfortunately, Ron has hardly been home since we got back, so editing the videos has not begun!
Thanks for all your practical and technical support in facilitating our adventure. As I said, it was truly a lifetime experience.
Cape Horn/Tierra del Fuego
Dear Kate, Hamish and the little people,
Thank you for giving me such a fantastic experience and being such good company. The trip was far beyond all my dreams and expectations and so far from the nightmare of South Coast Sailing here.
Leaving 'Seal' on 21st Jan was quite an emotional thing for me and I hope you trip is going well and the Girls are enjoying school. I think their new school friends are lucky having them present. Best wishes and I hope to sail with you again.
It's been an amazing time, and totally exceeded my expectations on so many levels. I must thank Hamish, Kate, Helen and Anna for sharing their beautiful home 'Seal' with us for 5 weeks and for being such great guides, hosts and friends. Also Kiki, Stu and KO for being fabulous crew mates - we will have memories and stories to share together for many years to come.
Cape Horn/Beagle Channel
I have dreamt of this place for a long time and am now very grateful that Hamish, Kate, S/V "Seal" and her crew have let me open my eyes in one of those dreams. The company, the food, the boat and the surroundings were perfect. Thank you.
This is just a quick note (words being inadequate anyway, in this case) to say thanks for the wonderful trip, and thanks even more for being so monumentally patient and forbearing ... You were all just great.
Thanks again, for everything.
I also enjoyed our trip and the great crew so much. I was in tears in the bus all the way from Narsarsuaq harbour to the hotel. It is always hard to leave a crew behind, but you made it specificly hard...
[Enjoy the] time to breath in the Greenlandic air, smell the
flowers and the plants, feel the softness of the
ground and hardness of the rocks under the feet...All
those memories I cherish now when Im back in [Helsinki]
Maine to Newfoundland
The experience aboard Seal was incredible. Kate and Hamish
immediately made me feel like a part of the family despite the fact that
I was new to ocean sailing.... I have a newfound respect for what a sailboat
can be. Seal is undoubtedly in an elite class of expedtion boats.
I was amazed by the way the crew's decades of combined Antarctic experience
is reflected in the meticulous layout and function of every detail of
the boat. There is an incredible art and science to how all of the
elements work together to glide across the oceans and into the many
beautiful inlets and coves that we visited in route.
South Carolina to Bahamas
Many thanks for a great trip; I got a lot out of it. I do want to say a special thank you to Kate for providing all those great meals. And thanks to you both for sharing some of what it takes to put together a boat like Seal.