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Search engines seem to track our entire lives. Some also trawl the web for images. Here are some that Google found on 11th March 2013. Click the mosaic for today's update - there are lots to explore.
Formed in 1979 at the Southampton Boat Show by a group of junk rig enthusiasts, the JRA (Junk Rig Association) is for its members and about their boats and their rigs. We aim to: promote the use of the junk rig by encouraging members to organise 'rallies' and 'junkets' (see About Us) and via our tri-annual Magazine and this site; encourage the development of junk and related rigs, the building or conversion of boats to the junk rig, and the use of vessels with the rig or its derivatives; create an international community of people who've already 'junked' their boat, are thinking of doing so, or are just interested in learning what it's all about.
Summing that up, our main job is to get the rig talked about. Former Chairman David Tyler certainly helped there: the Ocean Cruising Club recently awarded him their Rose Medal "for the most meritorious short-handed ...and exceptional voyage on board Tystie [from the UK to New Zealand]. You will have inspired many others, some of whom may well adopt a junk rig." David's follow-up voyage to and around Alaska was tracked here. Tystie and David are now in Canada.
We were formed in the UK, and although our 'office' address and banking remains in the UK we are run by an increasingly international Committee via the internet. A number of posts become vacant every year, at the AGM, so if you choose to join you could also put your name forward to help run the 'club'. It doesn't run itself. Our membership is now more than 50% outside the UK. Click the chart for detail.
A childhood spent playing on and sailing in Junks, a quiet longing to own my own Junk, an inheritance of £2000 (thanks Grandma), a broker called Robin and an astrophysicist called Vincent, a husband who gets on and makes things happen, a great friend with a 4x4, a little boat called Shui Jen. And the French Alps in between.
I'm 42, married to a ski instructor and we have two children, seven and five years old. We live in Serre Chevalier, southern French Alps, and run a ski school and a small tour operator. We're surrounded by magnificent mountains, and we have a boat.
In May 2011, I received the most exciting email ever. Vincent Reddish (Reddish Rig) was happy to sell his boat to us, a Kingfisher 22' – with a Junk rig. The exact model of boat my mum and dad had owned when I was... much younger.
Our trailer-sailer then succumbed to an 1800km journey, from Glasgow to Cambridgeshire, then onto Windsor (with a nine month stopover), and finally a 15 hour drive in April 2011. Final destination: Lac Serre Ponçon (Chorges). When she arrived, along with some April snow, the kids were not more excited than me, but they were ecstatic. The driver on the other hand was exhausted, having negotiated the snake-like climbs towards, and descents into, the southern French Alps for well over a few hours. Thanks Hans!
Five weeks later, after much guess-work mixed with a large dose of common-sense, photo-sharing emails, phone calls and a mind of knowledge from my dad, we had 'Shui Jen' rigged and ready to sail. Why did it take so long? Frustratingly for water lovers, our nearest sailing lake - Lac Serre Ponçon - is a reservoir, one of the largest man-made lakes in western Europe, and it empties annually to supply the French Riviera with electricity and feed their fields with fresh water. “Is the lake deep enough yet?” we start asking ourselves every year in May. “Wonder if she's hit the bottom yet?” we ask each other every October.
Day trips with friends and family. Weekend breaks together with a tent. Week-long holidays in the incredible Ubaye valley just a couple of hour's sailing south from our mooring at the Base Nautique. Shui Jen gives our summers a new purpose, away from the mountains yet cradled within them. The High Alps watch over us... and the catamarans, sailing school kids, swimmers, wind- and kite-surfers, sea-planes and para-gliders.
What a fabulous place. Who needs the Mediterranean Sea, even if it is just a few hour's drive from us? (Oh go on then, we'll get there one day. But our local lake will do just fine for now).
Our Boat of the Month Archive is here.