Friday, September 24, 2010

Pioneer 9 'Aziz'

The Pioneer 9 that reminds me of 'Aziz,

'Aziz' at Calstock

'Aziz' at St. Helier

'Aziz' at Ramsgate

I spent the months of June and July cruising ‘Ladybird’ from the River Crouch to Falmouth and back. On the way, I visited a friend who lives at Calstock. This is a pretty village that nestles beside the River Tamar. There I picked up a mooring belonging to the local boatyard. Less than 50 yards away, chocked up on the hard, I noticed my old Pioneer 9, ‘Aziz’.

A close inspection revealed that she had been neglected for a year or two. I was saddened to see her like that, not just because of happy memories of ownership, but because she has a history worth preserving. She was sailed across the Atlantic non-stop in 1971 by Nicolette Milnes-Walker, who was the first solo women sailor to accomplish the feat without putting into port. Nicolette gave an account of her voyage in her book, ‘When I Put Out to Sea’. Anne Davison was the first woman to sail alone across the Atlantic, but she put into Brittany, Portugal and the Canary Islands.

When I take a walk beside the River Crouch at South Fambridge, I am reminded of ‘Aziz’, because I cannot fail to notice an almost identical Pioneer 9 moored among the other yachts. I took a photo of this lovely vessel, only a few days ago, and I’ve posted it here for you see. If my financial circumstances were such that I could afford to run another Pioneer 9, I would go for it. There are several on the market just now; see the links section below.


Nicolette Milnes-Walker - Wikipedia

Book – When I Put Out to Sea –

Previous article about ‘Aziz’

Pioneer 9 for Sale, Sandwich, Kent £13,225

Pioneer 9 for Sale, Pwllheli £12,500

Pioneer 9 for Sale, Maidstone, Kent £9,995

Pioneer 9 for Sale, Plymouth £6,995

Calstock Boatyard



Bursledon Blogger said...


great shame that she's being neglected - I too have a soft spot for Aziz - not that I ever sailed her, but we saw you in La Coruna at the start of our Atlantic crossing one of life's memorable moments - plus Blue Clipper was a Van de Stadt so I'm guessing Aziz sailed nicely


William Serjeant said...

She was impeccable - responsive and very light on the helm - really efficient to windward - lovely boat to sail.