Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bitter Sweet - the end of a dream - The Best Odyssey comes to an end - GREY GOOSE underway in 2012 - All Aboard!

We all have dreams... not many of us make them come true.... Captain Gavin McClurg is one who has succeeded - KUDOS! - my hat goes off to you!


Looks something like this: As "Discovery" sails around the world you fly in to meet up with her. There you are sailing through crystal blue seas with a group of great friends, exploring remote tropical islands and discovering pristine anchorages. The day begins with a lazy cup of coffee while you focus on the perfect waves you have all to yourself, yet again. The first decision of the day is what board to ride. After an epic early surf session it's time to think about breakfast, maybe a quick freedive to get the blood pumping. Maybe it's the adrenaline, or the coffee, or a combination of both; but the conversation is animated and smiles abound. Slowly the glass outside picks up small wrinkles as the morning breeze strokes the surface of the water. Like clockwork our private bay is slowly transformed into a festival of action and color as first one kite and then another is launched into the sky...


The yacht you wanted and the one you could afford meant a few compromises. She's not exactly luxury, a bit rough around the edges, but hey, she's yours! It's not really big enough for all your friends and their gear but that's okay, a small crew is better anyway. With the demands of your job, family and other responsibilities it's difficult to get the time to go sailing but if you stay close to home you might get out most weekends and then there's holidays. So the round the world thing is a bit unrealistic but hey, there's probably lots of undiscovered places right where you live. So it's not tropical where you live. You can stay warm in just about any weather, and don't get me started on the benefits of layering! Besides, the sun does irreparable damage to your skin anyway. Your friends really seem to enjoy those early surfs but someone has to stay onboard and get breakfast going.

It really is surprising how much maintenance boats require. More to fit into those weekends and holidays. But you love your little yacht and enjoy working on her.


People who have owned a yacht know this- without unlimited time and very deep pockets sailing beyond the home marina can rarely be realized. Today it is becoming more and more difficult to justify sole ownership of a yacht when you compare the cost to actual use. A more economical but equally limiting alternative is to charter a boat- in places where hundreds of others can do the same, on boats that can't compare to the luxury and itinerary of The Best Odyssey.


As a corporate body the substantial risks involved in such an endeavor are minimized and distributed between all the owners while the rewards are maximized for each individual. Our owners consistently tell us they are thrilled to own a yacht many times over what can be offered by a charter company, with an experienced, proven professional crew and professional chef, which operates in a new remote paradise year after year. Offshore Odysseys is not a charter company. The Best Odyssey is being offered to serious explorers who are willing to make an investment to participate in a world sailing expedition that has never been done. We'll sail to wild places, kitesurf where no one has, spearfish and freedive pristine coral gardens, paraglide over mindblowing lagoons, surf breaks Kelly Slater hasn't even found. But we won't cater to stiff upper lips and won't baby whiners. Take a look at all we have to offer and if what you find is exactly what you've been looking for, contact us. An incredible Odyssey began in February 2007 and ends in 2012- time is running out!


The Best Odyssey Yacht Share, Dream to Reality:
By: Gavin McClurg, CEO and Captain

The blueprint for Offshore Odysseys started in 1998 when we went offshore for the first time. Over the next 7 years we sailed half way around the world, over 45,000 blue water miles. Our clients loved our trips, we learned what works and what doesn't at sea, and we had some amazing life changing adventures. I haven't drafted a balance sheet since business school, but I've learned to hold my breath to hunt for fish and lobster, sail a boat safely in violent weather, use the stars for navigation and the sun to gauge the time. Though I didn't realize it at the time, those past voyages were more than an education, they were the foundation for an extraordinary future journey.

That journey is The Best Odyssey. We've taken what works, thrown out what doesn't, added everything we would want to make for an expedition that is as close to perfect as we can create for our owner's, for our sponsors, and our crew. Kitesurfing expeditions to the last frontiers on earth; spearfishing and surfing adventures that no magazine has ever published; sailing itineraries the cruising guides could never envision.


My goal in life is to live from one series of moments to another. To stay out of the future and stay out of the past, and concentrate on the NOW. The Best Odyssey allows us to spend time and create trips with people who are as passionate about exploration and enjoying life as we are.

Other than sailing, my hobbies and passions include spearfishing, kiteboarding, surfing, paragliding, cooking, reading, writing and planning incredible trips. I'm passionate about protecting the environment and always seek ways of contributing positively to the places we visit. I grew up in Lake Tahoe, Nevada and spent my youth ski racing before getting an international business degree at the University of Colorado.

I have the following licenses and training's: USCG 100 tonne Master Captain's License. New Zealand Launch Master. Wilderness First Aid Responder, Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Celestial Navigation, CPR, First Aid. Alpine Intensive, River Intensive, Alpine Site Management, and River Site Management training's for Outward Bound, who I instructed for for three seasons.


Jody MacDonald grew up in Saudi Arabia to Canadian parents, the youngest of four children. She's traveled the world and excels in any sport she's ever tried (tame sports like paragliding, snowboarding, kiteboarding, skateboarding...). Jody is the co-founder of the expedition and it is her vision and drive for excellence that has made the Best Odyssey a reality. Her images adorn the pages of our web site and are viewed regularly around the world in dozens and dozens of sport and documentary publications. She's recently been published in Outside, Forbes, Outside Go, National Geographic, Kiteboarding, Stance, Cruising World, Kiteworld, Cross Country, Hang Gliding and Paragliding and many others; and was recently awarded on the National Geographic web site.

What does it look like to take a look back after five (5) years of circumnavigating the world on a 2002 Lagoon 570 catamaran while sharing the road-less-traveled with some 20 other adventuring shareholders?

Just the numbers please:
Total miles sailed: 54,000 (the distance of nearly two circumnavigations)
Circumnavigation completed: December 10th, 2010 (near Cape Verde)
Countries visited: 50
Total trips operated: 90
Days with guests on board: 986
Documented virgin kite locations: 148
Dinghies destroyed: 2
Trips cancelled or delayed: 0
Money spent on food: $123,321.00 USD
Approximate bottles of beer consumed: 4,320
Cumulative Staph infections suffered by Jody and me: 23
Pros on board: 37
Reefs I’ve planted us on: 3
Times hitting the reefs caused an emergency haul-out: 2
Number of times rebuilding a toilet has caused me to swear profusely: 24 (the exact number of rebuilds I’ve done)
Number of people I kicked off the boat: 1

So sit back and watch a fantastic video put together by Jody - enjoy.... dream..

'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from
the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.'
- Mark Twain 

So here it is, a slideshow that takes us back to the beginning and all the way to the end. From the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, across the South Pacific, Micronesia, Indonesia, across the Indian Ocean to Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, Namibia, Cape Verdes, Azores, Scotland and Spain:

Slideshow: http://animoto.com/play/0m0w0qHVkVYkQXSUZUaPxQ

People keep asking Jody and I what’s next? To be honest neither of us knows. I’m not sure I want to know, at least for the time being. For these five years and eight years before that I have been charged with keeping a lot of people safe in some seriously tight situations at sea. At times the stress of it was as suffocating as drowning, but to witness the smiles and hear what the expedition meant to those who joined was more payback than I could ever get from a paycheck. Even in the very dark times I knew my office was something I should never take for granted, and hopefully I never did. Neither Jody nor I consider ourselves planners, but somehow we planned what is certainly one of the most complex expeditions that has ever happened. If someone died, or got hurt, or got sick the show had to carry on. No calling in sick, no taking a day off. At times I felt like I was living inside a pressure cooker that had no relief valve. More than once Jody and I had long, tearful, serious talks about pulling the plug. But always these times would pass and be replaced with some of the most precious and happiest moments I’ve ever lived. I’m humbly proud of what we’ve achieved and at the same time scared that what we’ve achieved is only human, which succumbs like everything…to history.

We owe much of our success and all of our most incredible moments to our owners and sponsors, who dedicated much of their own lives (and no small amount of their hard-earned money!) to The Best Odyssey.  Each of you took a huge gamble on us, two people you had never met before and to you we say THANK YOU. Thank you for making this absurd, crazy, impossible dream come true. We hope it has also been a dream realized for you.

Because it certainly was for us.

Many thanks to each and every one of you, all those thousands of people who I’ve never even met who have followed our trials and tribulations in the form of the Captain’s Logs for these past five years. As most of you know, writing these logs is always hard for me and without your continued support I would have given it up long ago. But again and again you have reached out to me with your own stories, sorrows, joys, hopes, and fears and blessedly- your encouragement, which always makes penning the next story possible.

I hope we’ve kept you entertained.

But now we have reached a point that five years ago I couldn’t even imagine, and I still can’t believe has come. This is the final log of The Best Odyssey. An era has come to an end.

But really, somehow I think it’s just the beginning.

As always, I leave you with a quote. It’s one I’ve used before but it remains my favorite. Someday I hope to be as cranky, profound and important as Edward Abbey, who fought his entire life to preserve wild places. Unfortunately it’s a fight that will continue to be lost to the Corporations unless we get seriously pissed off and do something about it. Seems like now is a pretty good time.

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.“ — Edward Abbey



If you're tired of the rat race, been dreaming of sailing around the world and have been waiting for the right opportunity this is IT! Discovery is a spectacular 2002 Lagoon 570, which has proven an awesome luxury catamaran for our expedition. She's just taken us around the world- over 50,000 blue water miles to the most remote corners of the globe. She has been METICULOUSLY maintained and is absolutely show-ready. All new rigging, sails, teak decks, loads of upgrades, newly painted, all newly varnished interior. Ready to leave tomorrow? Discovery is kitted out with everything you need. Thousands of dollars of spares, tools, and of course all the required toys and a LOT more.

She has 4 beautifully appointed private guest cabins and two crew cabins which sleep 11. Flat screens/DVD in each and a generous interior layout. Huge main salon and cockpit, brilliant galley, 2 fridges, 2 freezers, ice maker, beer fridge topside, tons of storage everywhere, laundry machine, A/C and heat, dive compressor, new tender with new 50hp 4 stroke outboard, and a tow winch for paragliding. Of course all system electronics (GPS, radar, SSB, sat phone, broadband internet, etc.).

Maybe you're interesting in funding your dream sail around the world by running a kitesurfing expedition like we did? We'll sell you the boat, and ALL the IP of our company (this website, contracts, financials data, itinerary advice, sponsor contacts, etc.) as well to help get you going! We started from scratch, now we have a proven, working blueprint. Go on, get out there! She's listed at 490,000 Euros- a heartbreaking (for us!) steal!

Send us an email if you are interested.

It's sad to think no more living vicariously through Best Odyssey emails filled with Jody's wonderful pictures and videos... but a new opportunity has unfolded - the 55' steel expedition trawler Motor Vessel (M/V) GREY GOOSE will be underway in 2012 - looking for a slice of your dream to fulfill?  Come join us and capture memories, pictures, videos and friendships that last a lifetime aboard M/V GREY GOOSE ... details are available online at:

Wishing you smooth seas and red sunsets!

VIDEOS - http://www.offshoreodysseys.com/owners/videos.php

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