PBO's resident YouTube aficionado Kass Schmitt begs a YouTuber she's never met to help a friend with wonderful results
This month’s video features an encounter I facilitated between two guys who retired to sail off into the sunset in style, although their styles are very different.
In 2015, inspired by the examples of Delos, La Vagabonde and White Spot Pirates, the then 55 year-old Swiss/American Alexandre Guidetti quit his job in advertising, bought a 40ft Jeanneau Sun Fizz of early 1980s vintage in the south of France and started a YouTube channel to document the process of preparing for and becoming a full time sailing adventurer.
He already had some experience in both sailing and YouTubing, having produced a very engaging 10 video series about his circumnavigation of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) on his 1974 Sansonnet 21ft pocket cruiser.
By the time I started following his channel in late 2019 he’d been enjoying life on the hook in Mindelo, Cape Verde for over a year, and when he was compelled to stay even longer due to the pandemic travel restrictions his social bonds deepened.
Aside from occasional cruises to other islands in the archipelago or to Senegal he doesn’t seem in any great hurry to leave. Having visited both places under sail, I can’t say that I blame him.
In 2021, my friend and compatriot Major Peter Gibbons-Neff retired from active service in the U.S. Marine Corps after 10 years, including several tours of duty in Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle-East.
To celebrate, he bought a 2012 RG650 Mini 6.50, re-christened it Terminal Leave (in the US military, this refers to one’s remaining paid time off after leaving service), and set his sights on competing in the Mini Transat Eurochef 2021, from Les Sables d’Olonne to Guadeloupe, via Santa Cruz de La Palma in the Canary Islands.
Peter’s two year project became a four year project when he failed to qualify for the 2021 race, so when I heard he was in danger of having to abandon the 2023 La Boulangère Mini Transat due to a broken rudder, I did what I could to help, which in this case meant begging a YouTuber I’d never met to lend a hand.
No spoilers from me, but as I’d hoped, it made for a fun episode. I hope you’ll agree.