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20Isea&iIWINTER 2011[on boardGreg Butler DavisPanthalassa]

WINTER 2011I sea&iI23captain'sviewHaving taken to the ocean on awhim as a teenager, Greg Butler Davis has since devoted more than20 years to the seas, helming many a yacht and currently settled aboardPerini Navi's Panthalassa BUTLER DAVIS ON. HIS BACKGROUNDI started crewing by chance when I was 18 years old. I set out with a pretty half-hearted approach but by the time I was 25 I realised sailing was the only jobthat really motivated me. The penny-drop moment was in Manchester in theUK, in December 1995. I was a couple of days into a new job as a recruitmentconsultant and the future looked bleak. When I got home one night therewas a message from a Mr Rodney Aird-Marsh. I was so happy. Rodney was acrew agent from Kent who had previously placed me on a yacht. He had apotential position aboard Adela, a large schooner being rebuilt at PendennisShipyard in Cornwall. I chased up the opportunity the next day and spentfour years on Adela, eventually becoming mate, completing a circumnavigationand many ocean crossings, and taking part in numerous major regattas. Therelief at getting a fresh opportunity made me realise how important the seawas to me, and it changed the way I viewed the job. I have since worked onGemini Dreamer, Tatasu, Salem, Aquarius W, Cyclos II and IIIand Nirvana.BUTLER DAVIS ON. TRAVELI love the Pacific islands and there is something particularly magical about Fiji.New England is beautiful, and this summer I enjoyed exploring Croatia's ElafitiIslands, just north of Dubrovnik. I also like cruising around Ibiza, and the southof France has an enduring appeal - it is chic, cosmopolitan and convenient. Another favourite port of call is Santa Margherita Ligure, which is a greatlittle town along Italy's Golfo del Tigullo. However, nothing can beat Palmaas it is my home. Future regions I'd like to explore include the Philippines,Costa Rica and Scandinavia. BUTLER DAVIS ON. BEING A CAPTAINI am grateful that I earn a living doing what I love, but it has its tough moments.Weather and crew are the greatest challenges and I've experienced my fairshare of both at their worst. My advice to any aspiring skippers is to stay ona boat for a few years, it says a lot about your character. Also, try not to putyour own agenda to the fore. I see some skippers who attempt to mould theboat and the owner to a programme that suits their own needs. As soon asyacht owners feel manipulated they get disillusioned and find something elseto do with their time and money. BUTLER DAVIS ON. PANTHALASSA Panthalassa is a superb yacht to be aboard. She is versatile, stylish, not toobig, not too small, modern, innovative, traditional, simply engineered,functional,reliable and super cool. She also has SeaBobs that everybodyloves, and we just bought two Laser sailing dinghies. If I had to pick my all-timefavourite yacht, it would probably be a circa 1960-70 Feadship of 25 to 30m(82 to 98'). Something I could live on comfortably with my wife and threechildren, with just a couple of crew to help us keep the boat in order.nSPECIFICATIONSLENGTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56m (183')BEAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11.5m (37'7)DRAFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.95m (12'9)BUILDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Perini Navi YEAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2010GUESTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12CREW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10CRUISING AREA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Caribbean (winter)PRICES FROM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .US$200,000 per weekPhotography: Hayley Parker