Category Archives: UK

Preparations all done…

We are due to join our first boat tomorrow morning after the enforced 2 week delay (see Gone Sailing! …… well nearly :O)) … and as it turns out the extra time was a good thing as we seemed to have spent the majority of it finishing off ‘last minute’ preparations that we hadn’t got done!!

So, many thanks to Mum & Dad; Evans & Dave; Rob, Jules, Pips, Ben & Tom for housing/feeding/generally getting us sorted out over the last couple weeks.

Hopefully our next post will be from a boat … if it hasn’t been arrested!!??

And we thought we’d never get there before we left, oh what a time we had :0)

A wee last minute jaunt to Reading to try and cram a few more bits & pieces into our storage unit and low and behold we had an hour spare to go and try out the newly opened Reading Climbing Centre.

It’s awesome. Get down there, anyone who’s in the area and NOT going off travelling.

We didn’t think we’d get a chance to visit before we left, and even better I (bernice) got to extend my “20 free passes” (won in the open day raffle) till next year :0).  Sorry Evans, double :0) :0) lol …

reading climbing centre
Go Dave go!

A day at Stourhead and some experimenting with my new camera lens

As we were intending to spend one of our original three weeks laid up in Portugal at a holiday cottage with Ann & Jan, we think it’s only fair that we all now spend some quality time together over the next couple of weeks as that option has been canned!  The 1st excursion has been to Stourhead, a National trust house in Wiltshire.  It was a great day out and it meant I (Bernice) was able to experiment with my new camera lens.  It took lots of deliberating around whether or not to take my digi-SLR with us or not, decided in the end it was a no-brainer if I am to seriously develop my art practice on route.  So the next decision was on a new lens, and I think it’s official – its GRRRRRREAT!!!

...after half a dozen attempts, and various settings later, I was finally happy with the colour/detail in the sky

Being vetted…!

We took an early morning trip in the mist to Farnham this morning – like commuting but with no work at the end of it 😉 – to meet Tim. He is a friend of the owners of the Batmobile, the yacht we hope to help crew across the Pacific and he’s been tasked with making sure we would be suitable shipmates for 3 months at sea!!

Hopefully we made a good impression…??  He seemed really genuine, so fingers crossed he puts a good word in for us.

Gone Sailing! …… well nearly :O)

gone sailing
.... well nearly :O)

Well this is it folks, our last day at home, no longer can we claim we ‘live close to Reading’, all packed up and ready to set sail.  That is at least what the plan was.  Yes we did have a plan, albeit a short lived one!

seas the day
carpe diem!

For those of you not aware, three days before vacating the house, six days before setting sail, we got some bad and yet very bizarre news.  The boat was no longer going, not allowed to leave the UK, arrested no less! We were, as you can imagine, Gutted with a capital g!  Shortly to be homeless and no boat to get on. OUCH!

Once the shock had subsided and we pulled ourselves together we got right back in there and started a new search, what was the point in hurrying to finish packing if we had no place to hurry to.  However fate is a funny thing and luck was on our side it seems.  A few posts on the relevant websites and a phone call or two later and by the following day we had found a new boat to sail on.

Apart from some admin issues around furniture deliveries for our rental tenants, the rest of the week went smoothly.

We moved out Friday as planned and into the P’s house, it being Huw’s mum’s birthday we couldn’t delay.  What we were able to do though was go back and finish cleaning the next day and source an alternative bed – the furniture issue!!!

Sunday through to Thursday has been filled with admin, admin and more admin. Goodness only knows how we thought we would ever have been ready to get on a boat Saturday morning!  I guess we thought that we could do some of it during the three week proposed lay-up in Portugal (Lagos) but hey, ho, thats not happening now.  So a blessing maybe to have the extra time before we go. First major slip-up from us though – we’ve been lucky enough to be able to stay at said P’s house (Ann & Jan) till we now leave, but that said, here, under their roof, we forgot, overlooked their wedding anniversary, ouch!!! Sorry guys, hope the lovely evening made up for us working on our ‘stuff’ all day and ignoring you!

So, what IS the plan now I here you all ask? Well, we are now on a new delivery yacht, still headed for The Canaries as was the original one, but directly this time, leaving on the 9th October, expecting to arrive around the 25th October – all route plans and timescales weather dependent!  What this has meant is that we have also been able to commit to a further leg on a 93ft Catamaran, joining her in The Canaries on the 1st November – something we would have been unable to do previously as the original trip was leaving UK on 27th Sept, stopping at Lagos for three weeks while the skipper took part in the Mid-Sea race in Malta, and the onto The Canaries but not arriving till the 14th November. We should then get to St Martin’s in the Caribbean by mid-late November. Birthday in the Caribbean, bring it on! O:)

When we first started this venture, one of the 1st boats we contacted was in the Caribbean already, looking for extra crew to assist her across the Pacific.  We’ve knick-named her the Batmobile, but thats a story for much later on. We are still in contact and are hoping it comes to fruition, not least because it means a sail in the Pacific, but also because since it entered the equation, we have been joking about reaching NZ for the Rugby World Cup – this has now become an unwritten mission :O) So wish us luck, we’ll keep you posted obviously!!!