With inspiring comments and anecdotes from Captain Scott Whittaker, the story of Gayle Force continues to bbe one of adventure and intrigue, as well as epitomising Vripack’s design philosophy; to create safe, durable yachts with light, elegant and comfortable interiors that make you feel at home, at sea.
The Laufers typify the ambitious and visionary clients that Vripack’s creative, holistic and collaborative approach attracts, and so despite being in their 70s, the rough conditions only added to excitement. “Wayne is an old adventurer, and it wasn’t that cold,” says Captain Scott, the Captain of the invincible Gayle Force.
Captain Scott continues; “The coldest we saw was around -26, although with wind it was probably chillier. I think we saw colder in Patagonia!”
Wildlife abounded, with humpback, fin and blue whales aplenty. Penguins were in their thousands, and every type of seal was sighted. The highlight for Captain Scott, however, were the two nights spent drifting with the ice in the Gerlache Straits. “We had amazing evenings there, it was truly beautiful. It felt like something out of Space Odyssey, semi-light out, just watching the ice, silently drifting together.”
The next phase of the year-long voyage will see Gayle Force heading to Robinson Crusoe Island, before moving on to Galapagos, and Cocos Islands. For both the Laufers and Captain Scott, a key element of the enjoyment is “to tie the history of the boat back” and to see Gayle Force do “what she was built for”.
“In 2003 Gayle Force was the most technologically advanced vessel in under 30m, so it’s interesting to see what she’s doing now,” he enthuses. Since 1961, Vripack has been involved in more than 7,400 projects, from the smallest of boats to the largest of vessels, delivering interior design and external styling that is underpinned by pioneering naval architecture.
“Vripack were instrumental in bridging Patriot’s history to present day Gayle Force,” says Captain Scott. “The ability to access history of build and actually work with some of the Vripack team that were on the build, throughout our yard time and chosen modifications, was priceless."