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Don Street is "Sailor of the Month (International)" for December

1st January 2021
The Caribbean Don Street, at the helm of his beloved vintage yawl Iolaire in idyllic Trade Wind sailing conditions The Caribbean Don Street, at the helm of his beloved vintage yawl Iolaire in idyllic Trade Wind sailing conditions

Don Street of Glandore and the Caribbean is the Afloat.ie "Sailor of the Month (International)" for December in celebration of his continuing and inspirational joy in sailing at the age of 90, and in honour of the remarkable contribution he has made to our sport, both in the many areas of his active and successful involvement afloat and in his writing of many books – cruising guides and technical manuals alike - which have been a source of encouragement for his international legions of followers.

Don Street in Glandore mode – you wouldn't see him in a tweed jacket in Antigua…Don Street in Glandore mode – you wouldn't see him in a tweed jacket in Antigua…

While his passion for sailing is a virtually lifelong enthusiasm, his nautical writing life has stemmed from a chance meeting with a Nobel Laureate in Literature. Many years ago, at a convivial supper while Caribbean cruising, one of those at the table was novelist John Steinbeck, who was also sailing down the isles. With Don's salty tales flowing ever more entertainingly as the evening progressed, somebody inevitably said he really should put together a book of sea writing.

"But I know nothing about grammar" said Don, "and my spelling's terrible".

Upon which the great Steinbeck rumbled into life: "It's the job of the Editors and the Proof Readers to get that right. Just you go ahead and write the stories. Those are the uncut diamonds that any real publisher's people should be happy to work with".

Don on the big day in Glandore at the helm of his vintage Dragon Gypsy, which is only a couple of years younger than he isDon on the big day in Glandore at the helm of his vintage Dragon Gypsy, which is only a couple of years younger than he is

Don's sailing is such a mixture of experiences that anyone can find something of interest in it, and for a connoisseur, it's all pure gold. In much of 2020, the lockdowns meant he was restricted to Glandore and the Dragons, but even with the latest Level 5 closure, there's still a gleam in his eye as he contemplates the remote possibility of the RORC Caribbean 600 at the end of February.

This 1985 vid trailer gives an introductory idea of Don and Iolaire, and the special impression they have made on several generations of sailors:

Published in Sailor of the Month
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