Congratulations to Tom and Vicky Jackson, Sunstone, who have just been awarded the 2015 Cruising Club of America Blue Water Medal! Well known to many BCA members, Tom and Vicky became our cruising mentors in 2003, shortly after they first arrived in Sidney. They took Campbell Good of Camdeboo aboard as crew, when they sailed from Victoria to California in August 2003. And Vicky was there to welcome me at St Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco a few months later, when I arrived from Honolulu with an all-women crew, aboard Alaska Eagle in mid-October, my very first offshore passage.
They played a very definite role in helping us prepare for our own offshore adventures aboard Camdeboo in 2006-2011; one of our cruising highlights was a totally unexpected meeting with them in Noumea, New Caledonia in 2009. We arrived after the passage from Brisbane, looking forward to baguettes, French cheese and wine, and discovered Tom and Vicky were in the next slip and ready to take our lines! It was a great reunion, complete with a welcome opportunity to catch up and seek their advice for our next passage to Vanuatu and on to Fiji.
Tom and Vicky also have a relationship with BCA that has developed over the years since their first visit to BC in 2002/03, and most recent one in 2014/15. They have spoken at Club Nights; attended the Oct 2014 Thanksgiving Rendezvous, when they also gave us a slide presentation of their recent travels exploring the BC central coast, and they have been welcomed into the homes of many BCA and Ocean Cruising Club members.
The Jacksons have lived aboard, cruised, and raced Sunstone, their beautiful and immaculately varnished 40′ Sparkman & Steven’s yacht, since 1981. While working full-time in the UK, they raced successfully on the offshore racing circuit, including eight Fastnet Races (winning four in their class), and represented England twice in the Commodore’s Cup. In 1997, they departed the UK for an extended world cruise, and completed a circumnavigation via the Southern Capes in 2007. They then completed a circuit of the Pacific Ocean, from New Zealand to Japan and the Aleutians, followed by a two-handed race around New Zealand, and most recently completed a third cruise to Alaska and BC in 2014/15.
Kirk Patterson, who was just awarded BCA’s Doug Mitchell Memorial Single Hander’s Award for his circumnavigation of Japan, comments: “Their excellent, detailed blog of their voyage through Japan, although now somewhat dated, is still one of the main sources of information for foreign cruisers… including me!”
Needless to say, with over 200,000 nm under their keel, Tom and Vicky are most deserving of the Blue Water Medal, which was established in 1923, to recognize “a meritorious example of seamanship.” Details about the award and Tom and Vicky’s accomplishments can be found here.