Condesa’s Voyage

Clark March 17th, 2007

To give the blow-by-blow, here is the whole voyage:

Condesa left Balboa Island, California, on January 10, 1999, amid great fanfare and tears. It was raining.

Over the first four months we cruised down the Mexican coast, with frequent side trips to Mexico City, where I used to live. After that, a few weeks in Guatemala, four months in Costa Rica, a few months in Panama, then off to Ecuador. At this point I had decided I wasn’t coming home and was going to sail across the Pacific.

In 2000, Condesa crossed the Pacific via the Milk Run: Galapagos, Marquesas, Tuamotus, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, and finally Australia.

I fell in love with Sydney, made some dear friends, and stayed until the authorities kicked me out, a year and a half in total.

From Sydney I sailed to New Zealand across the Tasman Sea (see SAIL Magazine, August 2002, My Worst Passage Ever). Spent about a year in New Zealand, during which I did a major refit on the boat including a complete blister job on the bottom (over 1200 blisters, damned old fiberglass boat). I had a lot of help from friends Ian and Attila. The three of us rewarded ourselves by sailing to Vanuatu, where Condesa spent three months. This was the middle of 2003.

Back to the Land Down Under, but the Top End, to Darwin. Condesa then sailed through Indonesia to Singapore, then to Thailand, arriving just before Christmas 2003. A year went by in a flash going back and forth between Thailand and Malaysia, as Thailand only gives a 30-day visa. On December 26, 2004 the tsunami hit, and we were right in the middle of it. You can read about this in On Being in the December 2004 Tsunami on this website.

In March 2005 we set sail from Malaysia to India, where I got very sick with my ankylosing spondylitis, then got dysentery, and lost 40 pounds. This delayed things for months, and I was too late to sail up the Red Sea.

Instead we sailed to the Maldives, then to Chagos, where we spent two months, Seychelles, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa.

In early 2006 Condesa left Capetown, stopping at St. Helena and Trinidade, then made a glorious landfall in Rio. Around this time I got the notion to sail someplace cold with glaciers.

Down the Brazilian coast, got run over by a container ship, yada yada, on to Buenos Aires, where I lived in an apartment in the heart of a throbbing city for five months during repairs. God I love that city.

From Buenos Aires, down the Patagonian coast to Tierra del Fuego, around Cape Horn, to Antarctica and back, and up the Chilean coast via the Patagonian channels to Peru and Ecuador. On January 10, 2008, exactly nine years to the day after leaving Balboa Island, Condesa crossed her path at Isla de la Plata, Ecuador, thus completing her circumnavigation.

From Ecuador I sailed to Colombia, then retraced my steps through Panama and Costa Rica. I visited Nicaragua for the first time, then through Mexico and back to the US. On May 14, 2008 Condesa cleared customs in San Diego and on May 15 she returned to her starting point on Balboa Island, and tied up in front of the Beek house.

Condesa and I now live in San Francisco.

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24 Comments »

2007-03-20 06:36:32

Hi Clark

Good to hear from you. We spent 3 months in Thailand/Malaysia on Tao and now back in SA since yesterday.

Wanted to go to Andaman Islands, but Tao objected to being abandoned for 9 months on the hard at Rebak and many things needed repair – you know the score.

If you want to plot/display your course on google earth and add a blog to each position as an add-on to your website, you can do this by via sailmail if you register with geojoey.com.

Go look see. It is a development by our son but even so we think it is the perfect way to blog globe hopping or cruising.

Fair winds down there!

 
Comment by amanda holmes
2007-03-20 07:47:07

ARE YOU EVER CONING HOME!

I imagine you mother saying.

love you loads
Amanda

 
Comment by bart
2007-03-20 09:46:52

In your “Condesa’s Voyage” summary you don’t mention the tsunami. I know you cover it elsewhere but I think such a world-renowned event ought to go in your main narrative.

Glad you’ve made a website for your envious friends and hope you will keep it up. Power to you !

 
Comment by Monique
2007-03-20 10:18:15

Thank you for the website! I think of you often, and glad to hear you are surviving and still at it!

 
Comment by robi and bella
2007-03-21 05:22:50

ciao clarky
drinking mate day and night running around like there is no tomorrow…. this stuff rocks,,,,will have to move to Buenos aires cos you cant find the good stuff over here.
good to see you with a website and all the photos , loved them
hope you are having a good sail see you soon
the newly weds

 
Comment by robi and bella
2007-03-21 05:24:03

by the way dont get to balboa too soon we wolud like another ride one of these days.
ciao le bob and la bella

 
2007-03-21 12:05:54

Hey Clark;
This is great! We finally know where you are. Love the website. Can’t believe it’s been 5 years already since we met you in the Marquesas!
Sure do miss surfing Tahiti. We’ll never forget Haapiti! Keep on cruising,
we’ll be out there again as soon as we’re finished building up our crew.
The news about you going around the horn brought tears to our eyes-we are so envious and proud!
The Riddle Crew

 
2007-03-21 12:09:49

It’s been SEVEN years since we met you in the Marqesas! Egads. Where does the time go?
Kristianne

 
Comment by Hugh Herrera
2007-03-22 10:08:27

Um, yeah, people tell ME they live vicariously though MY travels. Ain’t nothing compared to yours, dude.

Keep on, Clark. The juice you give us is nutrient rich and feeds us spiritually!

Ahoy,
h

 
Comment by Anki & Dieter
2007-03-22 23:10:26

Hi Clark
Thank you for setting up this website.
Got a bit worried when Sandy your mum told me that you got hit by a freighter.
Looking forward to meet up one day. We are selling our house, so our only home will be Anki II.
Take care Clark.
Looking forward to follow you and have a safe sail.
Cheers Anki & Dieter
Yacht Anki II

 
Comment by Clarkeee
2007-03-23 17:49:22

Well Clark, as you said when we last spoke, life certainly is full of contrasts, and none as simple as your website and it’s chronicle of planet earth… LOVE the photos.

It’s been a long time since we spent 18 months having great fun “doing nothing” in Sydney, and now you’re in the most beautiful place on earth, on your long and never ending journey, and I’m married to the most beautiful woman on earth, with a 9 month old son starting his great journey.

I can only hope he takes after you mate, you’re an inspiration to us all, and you live the maxim that “life’s a journey, so enjoy the ride” to the full… and when we win the lottery, and Ethan’s a little older, I can only hope we get to share part of your travels again.

Take it easy big man, keep sharing, and thanks for reminding us all that life has so much more to offer than planning for retirement!

Big Love, Clarkee, Ruth & Little E.

 
Comment by Cousin J
2007-03-25 19:15:20

Hello Clark,

The new website looks great! Nothing much to report from MidAmerica; the Redbirds won the World Series and their manager recently got a DUI, see how much you have missed? Take care of yourself and I will say hello to your Mom and Aunt this week when I see them.

JC

PS-The boys say “hey” and would like to crew the boat…

 
Comment by NORMA FLORES
2007-04-17 13:29:33

Hola Clark, me dió gusto saber que tu proyecto Hoy sea una realidad y saber que tu estas bién,
SINCERAMENTE

 
Comment by Chris
2007-05-04 04:37:28

Read your article in SAIL. Enjoyed it and your web site very much. I am a weekend sailor on a 27′ sloop and would love to switch places with you but am to old with to many obligations. I guess being 64 with a 41 year old wife and 5 kids is an adventure in itself. Oh well, sail on brother and keep us posted. You da bomb.
Cris

Comment by Clark
2007-05-04 10:22:48

Chris,

It sounds like you’ve got it made…and never too old. I’ve seen lots of cruising families with kids scrambling all over the place. A catamaran helps.

Cheers,
Clark

 
 
Comment by Tony
2007-06-09 21:30:48

Clark, Great to see the site and hear that your Okay. Good on ya’. I googled your name and bam, the world opened up! I managed to spend the entire morning sipping coffee and checking out nearly the entire site. Great pix and experiences! Dwarfed by your experiences but I can never forget the few times I spent on Condesa – all were quite fun, even though one 24 hr period I chipped my front tooth, lost my spectacles, sprained my neck, lost my new tuna rod, and spent nearly 10 hours eating crackers to calm my seasickness and monster hangover, and that was just San Diego to Catalina. I’m winding down my work in Singapore. Family flew back to Cal last week. I plan on a few malaysia trips yet. Work has taken me to Australia, India, China, Cambodia, and Malaysia – great to see it, brought the family on most of these trips. I’ll stay tuned for more of your updates. Ciao.

Comment by Clark
2007-06-16 07:50:42

Hey Tones,

I haven’t checked your blog in a while, so I’ll have to catch up. Sounds like you’re getting a great taste of SE Asia…a terrific part of the world in my book. Cheap, safe, scenic, friendly people. Yes, that was a memorable first step onto Condesa when you broke your tooth, smashed the glasses, and bashed your head it. In fact, that’s probably the worst injury to ever happen aboard Condesa (touch wood) and it was literally the first step aboard.

Cheers,
Clark

 
 
Comment by Harry and Jane
2008-06-06 23:39:13

Hi, Clark, and welcome home. What a wonderful adventure you have had. We will fly back to USA in September and perhaps will get a chance to visit. All the best, Harry and Jane

 
Comment by Clark
2008-06-17 12:47:12

Thanks H&J. Hope to meet up in September. I hope you’re enjoying Langkawi…don’t buy too much duty free booze.

 
Comment by sigmund Baardsen
2009-04-27 14:27:09

Attn Clark Beek

re; s/v PRINCESS TAIPING

“A collision at sea can spoil your whole day”

Dear Clark:

Your talk and photos were one of the best things at the Oakland boat show. We enjoyed meeting you, immensely.

We just received word that our friends in PRINCESS TAIPING, a replica of a 17th century war junk, were rundown and sunk, off Taiwan. There were injuries but not loss of life. The freighter who hit them, ran off but has been identified. They were in VHF contact prior to the collision.

It is ironic that they were saved by a hand-held VHF given them by a mutual friend here in San Francisco.

Google: princess taiping.

They will need help. would you be willing to share your experience with them?

Sigmund and Carol Baardsen
s/y MARY T Cheoy Lee offshore-40
(707) 567 5999

Comment by Clark
2009-04-27 15:36:08

Hi, Just read up on them. What a tragedy. I’ll email you separately to see what I can do. Cheers, Clark

 
 
Comment by Glenn Sperry
2012-01-10 08:14:42

I just ran across your articles and web site and love it and am very envious. Live in Ft. Worth, Tx and sail my small sailboats often and dream of doing what you’ve done. Spent 8 summers ‘68-’81sailing with my Dad on his 43′ Corinthian trimaran GYPSY IV from Mexico to Baltimore and Bahamas Is. Wish I could have inherited it. Please know that I hope you continue to cruise and tell the rest of us about it so we can continue to dream and maybe have it encourage us to follow suite.

Thanks again
Glenn

 
Comment by Clark
2012-01-20 12:28:06

Hi Glen, Thanks for the note. Most of my cruising has been closer to home lately, but I am going on this expedition to Clipperton Island in March (www.clippertonproject.com) but on a stinkpot. I raced on Lake Ray Hubbard once, which is in your neck of the woods. Cheers, Clark

 
Comment by Claudia
2014-08-23 19:26:05

Hi there!

My BF and I are looking for a boat exactly like yours. It was a very nice surprise to find your blog.

I was wondering if you are going to write more about your trip and your boat or if you have a youtube channel to watch some videos of your Condesa.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Cheers!

Claudia

 
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