Mailbag: Catamaran took him around the globe

John Conser of Costa Mesa, a designer and builder of the Conser 47 catamaran, greeted David Pollitt, proud owner of the Conser 47, Shearwater, upon David's completion of a three-year, solo circumnavigation around the world.

"Congratulations, David, on your close loop return," he said.

David was not your usual catamaran sailor, in fact he had not sailed a cat. David is a Julliard graduate and a former symphony conductor and has a captain's license from Chapman School of Seamanship in Stuart.

John was available to help David with anything he might need because David was going on an odyssey that John had always wanted to go on himself. They became good friends over the Net, as David shared his adventures, John, his boating experience.

David's parting words were, "Hello, I am about to head across the Pacific on Shearwater, my 47-foot racing/cruising magnificent catamaran. All I need to do is learn to trust the boat. It's a temperamental boat capable of some very high speeds, and so will require careful attention and care."

"Capable" was the word, the 47 could do 25-plus knots all day, and if the wind and sea were helpful, 30-plus was not out of the question. The Kevlar wing mast was one of the lightest, strongest masts ever made by Forespar and would create its own sailing speeds.

David started out at Riviera Beach Marina, Fla., on his way to Panama Canal, Galapagos, Marquesas, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Australia.

Basically the Pacific Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope, though the south Atlantic Ocean, with the longest leg being 44 days from Ascension Island off the west coast of Africa to Riviera Beach Marina, in the good old United States.

He was greeted by Gypsy and his good friend from Chapman, his wife, Linda, and John Conser. Horns were blowing and flags flying all of Riviera Beach Marina. David's family and friends were waiting on the dock along with newspapers, magazine and TV people. The Riviera Marina people who had been there when he left were happy to greet him again, the solo sailor with the 47-foot wing mast catamaran.

"I faced an antagonistic ocean," Pollitt told his friends as he docked his 47-foot catamaran. "Even though I faced 50-foot waves, sharks and even the threat of pirates, much of my time was peaceful.

"You'd go from pretty rough seas and then suddenly it'd turn into absolute glass. The whole sea, for hundreds of miles , was totally glass. All in all it was three years of tremendous emotional extremes and I want to say thank you to my boat, Shearwater. We have shared a lot."

Shearwater looked better than when she was launched. David took excellent loving care.

"Out there is a person like me who will find Shearwater for their adventure," David said. "Maybe me," thought John Conser, "maybe me."

Geri Conser

Costa Mesa


Overhaul our schools

I believe that education should be a top priority. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Sacramento. Once again in 2012, the governor's budget proposes cutting education so that more money can go into social service programs.

This year, like years before, my Republican colleagues and I found some areas that can be cut back to help protect education.

In March, we proposed a "Roadmap to Protect Classrooms and Taxpayers" to avoid any tax increases and to protect schools. However, rather than using this roadmap to avoid cuts in education, the governor's revised budget instead takes $2 billion worth of these solutions to fund other priorities.