No engines no bother

With the passing of Don Street at home in Glandore, Ireland, at the age of 93, Dan Houston recalls the remarkable life of a peerless master mariner both on and off the ocean wave…

The first time I tried to go sailing with Don Street was in the 1990s. We’d had a beer at the London Boat Show and I’d told him how, about 15 years earlier, his Caribbean pilot guide saved us from hitting a reef on the north coast of Antigua. Our chart – probably from a survey made more than 100 years before – didn’t show it; one of the local guys aboard mentioned it and skipper Dennis Ord had checked the ‘Street Map’, as he called Don’s guide. As we slewed off to the west, thanking our lucky stars – we’d been making 12kt – we gave thanks for Don’s great knowledge.

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