I read with interest the story on Duffy Drum and the Clipper Race. I was born and raised in Southold and graduated 1982. I’ve lived in Australia for the past 30 years, but own a house in Southold and return every year with my wife, Penelope, and our five children. Several of our children have had the great fortune to attend Southold High School for a term and have developed lifelong friendships on the North Fork from this great experience. My brother Tom owns McCarthy Real Estate; my mother-in-law, Arlene Marvin, ran Cookery Dock in Greenport for nearly half a century; and my brother-in-law is Gary Buckner, a well revered Mattituck High School teacher.
It’s coincidental that I happened to read The Suffolk Times online this week and saw that story. I also have done the same training at the same time in the U.K. as Mr. Drum. I finished six months of training and sailing in December, having been a crew member on the Clipper Yacht Dare To Lead. I sailed the legs from Liverpool, U.K., across the Atlantic to Uruguay (35 days), from there on to Capetown, South Africa (15 days), then through the Southern Ocean and the Roaring Forties over to Fremantle, Australia (24 days).
All up I spent 74 days at sea and sailed about 15,000 nautical miles, which is half the way around the world. I got to know Mr. Drum’s skipper Nikki during the trip. And although I didn’t meet her, I sailed the same first three legs with Shannon Dean, who grew up in Mattituck, and recognized her face from your story. Unreal that we were berthed next to each other in some ports and didn’t meet to draw the connection.
It’s intriguing how a small story in The Suffolk Times has drawn together these connections from all corners of the globe, and stirred so many deep feelings!
Without a doubt, this is one of the most difficult physical endeavors one can undertake in one’s lifetime, and I’m excited to understand that there is a local Southold Town connection.
Photo caption: Patrick McCarthy. (Credit: Clipper Round the World)
The author is managing director of Cedar Point Holdings based in Australia, where he’s lived full-time since 1989 with his wife, Penelope Marvin, who’s from New Suffolk.