|And the Winner Is...|
Part 2: “Respect is the key. Once you establish that, everything else falls right into line.”
By Capt. Ken Kreisler — February 2003
"We've been up to the Arctic for the last three summers (she's a non-ice-classed vessel, by the way), with other ports of call being Papua New Guinea, Alaska, Russia, and Japan. Last year we traveled the Northwest Passage between Alaska and Canada," he adds. Turmoil's feat was notable, as she was the first yacht to do this trip in one season.
"The voyages are interesting, and all the people we have onboard are marine biologists, ornithologists, geologists, and the like," Walsh continues. "We try not to make any mistakes, especially with the weather, and leave the nervous laughter for another time."
During our conversation, he related hitting some rough weather coming across from Russia to Nome, Alaska, with 40-knot winds and steep 25-foot seas. After last year's Northwest Passage, they had to wait for the ice to clear while in protected Point Barrow. "We had about 60 polar bears around the boat at various times," he says.
"The secret of my success, if there is one, is to maintain my sense of humor," says Walsh. And what is his formula for running a successful boat? "Respect is the key. Once you establish that, everything else falls right into line." Walsh's wife Beverly is Turmoil's purser and has been traveling with her husband for the past 23 years.
He sees the world becoming smaller and these days gets a lot of calls from owners who want information, guidance, and advice on how to do what he does: cruise around the world. "I think it's great. You didn't see that kind of thing even five years ago. Many yacht owners never thought of global programs before but now, with the ability to get private as well as commercial air travel in and out of remote places like Micronesia, these far-flung ports become manageable."
Walsh enjoys the adventure and excitement of remote cruising, and while Turmoil is presently in the Caribbean, she will be heading over to Europe for the summer. Then it's on to Scotland, Ireland, the Shetland Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador, and then finally back to the United States.
As Turmoil leaves port after port in her wake, it's good to know that, largely because she will be in the hands of a capable skipper, she will be able to continue her important mission. Our hats are off to Capt. Phil Walsh.
The Superyacht Society Phone: (954) 525-6625. www.superyachtsociety.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.