Articles by Jill Dickin Schinas

About Jill Dickin Schinas

Jill started sailing at the age of three weeks and spent her formative years messing about in racing dinghies in Chichester Harbour. She made her first blue-water passage at the age of 18 but it was to be a further ten years before she was shanghaied by the skipper and started her career as an ocean-going hobo.
Jill has written a handful of books and has many more in the pipeline, but her true vocation is as an artist.

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Barracuda 200ZW v. Sailrite LSZ1

For the past 25 years and more I’ve dreamt of owning a Sailrite. This is the sewing machine that everybody in the cruising community talks about, because, they say, it can romp through eight layers of heavy-duty terylene cloth. For independent-minded liveaboards who want to be able to mend their sails mid-ocean or make dodgers and awnings, such prowess is invaluable. Having waited for almost three decades to encounter a second-hand machine, I finally gave up. I finally decided that…

The Roof of the Americas

Part Seven of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile This tale seems to be dragging on – whereas the journey itself did not – so I’ve decided to wrap up the last three days of the adventure in one post.

Flamingoes

Part Six of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile It’s all Lewis Carroll’s fault. Other people watching flamingoes marvel at the bird’s grace. They remark upon the fabulous plumage; they see elegance and beauty. But I see croquet mallets.

A Visit to the Moon

Part Five of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile Orange mountains; a clear blue sky; and pinned to the blue sky, ahead of the mountains, two colourful hot-air balloons. This was the sight which greeted me when I peeped my head out of our roof-top tent after our night on the salt-pan.

Altitude Sickness

Part Four of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile “Anyone going higher than 3,000m needs to be aware of the risks of altitude sickness.” So reads the health section in our old and very ‘pre-loved’ edition of the Rough Guide to Chile. The author goes on to explain how the reduced atmospheric pressure at high altitude leads to a corresponding reduction in oxygen. “Don’t be tempted to whizz straight up to the altiplano from sea level,” he explains…

Conquering Armies

Part Three of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile Although we had zipped up the door in order to stay warm, the next morning when we awoke there was no condensation on the nylon walls of our roof-top tent. So arid is the air flowing over the Atacama Desert that the damp breath from four bodies was easily absorbed. We wriggled into our clothes, squirmed our way out of the door, and dropped down the ladder, one by…

Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea

Part Two of the tale of an Overland Journey through Chile Chile is a crazy country. Just look at the shape of it! If Britain is roughly triangular and France is a hexagon, Chile is a long thin squiggly thing. It clings to the western edge of the Andes, and sometimes it even tumbles into the sea, so that much of the lower half of the squiggle is only accessible by boat. Chile occupies an area no greater than France…

Amazing Grace – An Overland Adventure

One of the fundamental ideas behind our cruising lifestyle is that it’s environmentally sustainable – which is why, when Nick first mooted the idea of travelling overland in a campervan I was in two minds. On the one hand, having spent so many years hugging the coastline of this great continent of South America I was very eager to take a look at what goes on inland; but at the same time, I don’t like to do anything which pollutes…

A Cautionary Tale – and a rallying call to the Cruising Community

They left from Natal – three young Brazilians and a French delivery skipper, aboard a British-flagged schooner. The yacht was 72ft long and had once been beautiful, but she was no longer in tip-top condition. Throughout the previous week as they sailed north from Salvador the crew had experienced many problems with her – but what of that? For years the three Brazilian men had dreamed of making a passage across the Atlantic to Europe, and a few problems with…

What’s Happening?

People have been asking, “What’s happened?” It turns out that it’s been nine weeks since we posted anything new on the website and even longer since we said what-ho on our facebook page. Have we given up cruising? Have we swallowed the anchor and bought a small-holding in Portugal? The answer is, no; not yet. The answer is that a lot has been happening – so much that we haven’t had time to write about it.