Well, we have completed 12 months in our new life. What a year it has been! Having set sail from Bosham on 22 May, 2013 we have travelled almost 7,000 miles (all of it at an average of 5mph); crossed an ocean; been to 9 or 10 different countries, met countless wonderful people; and seen some fantastic sights.
It has not all been plain sailing, obviously. I got off the boat in Santander and decided enough was enough only to get back on later that day feeling much better having realised that getting off was an option! The weather for most of France and Spain was foul. The food in all of Spain was (disappointingly) foul! And 42’ is not enough space for 2 people to live full time!!
The things we have missed have been surprisingly few. Mainly seeing our friends and family regularly (especially little Oli, 3 year old Grandson and my 85 year old Mum) who have both changed so much in 12 months. Skype etc have not lived up to our hopes. And wifi has been our biggest frustration!!!
Foodwise there is nothing we miss, mainly because I stocked up with tea bags and shortbread biscuits (and made it a rule that any friends visiting could only board if they produced one or the other). But also in this globalised world we live in everything is readily available everywhere. We have virtually given up cooking on board now because a) It’s too hot b) meals out are/can be really cheap.
We haven’t missed TV, but have missed the radio. We have a hard drive with 320 films on that our friend Des gave us and that satisfies our ‘nights in’ but the ipod, even with 1760 songs on it, has become repititous. For downloading new songs see wifi comment above!
We do read a lot and have got through loads of books (and Kindles – 2 have died on us!!) Most marinas run a book swap scheme. I need to explain to Mike – again – what ‘swap’ means so that I can get rid of the library of paperbacks we have acquired! Our Backgammon tournament has continued throughout even though I still haven’t worked out how Mike is cheating!! (He is currently 51 points ahead!) We have played the occasional game of scrabble and Yatzee is good fun when there are others on board.
We haven’t swum as much as I expected mainly because I keep getting ear infections! Also, swimming in marinas or bays where there are a lot of boats is not good.
As far as highlights we would say:
Benedot River – anchoring outside the Chateau
Porto – we had a lovely weekend break there last July
Algarve – 1st taste of really hot weather and I passed my Yachtmaster.
Las Palmas – preparing for the Crossing was exhilarating, exhausting and very, very, sociable!
THE CROSSING! Thanks again to Kathy and Sally, who not only made it possible by coming with us, but made it more fun.
St Lucia – ditto Las Palmas plus Xmas!!!
Antigua – re-living memories
Tobago Cays – natural beauty and marine life
Last and definitely not least Grenada.
We have fallen in love with it here. Partly because the Island is beautiful, lush and has diverse landscapes from mountians, waterfalls, rainforest and beaches. Partly because the local people are so friendly and welcoming. And also because we have made so many friends here and the social life is fab! We are learning Tai Chi; Yoga; playing Mexican dominos –mmm OK; weekly hash (hikes); we have joined the University Club and have full use of facilities –beach/pool etc; dinghy concerts; then there are the evenings!!! Every night there is something going on. So that brings us to our next adventure.
We have decided that we want to live in Grenada for a while and immerse ourselves in the island way of life. But we don’t want to do it living on a boat – we want space, large bed, nice shower room, flushing toilets; kitchen where at least one cat can be swung with ease etc, so we are going to look get a long term rental (at least 12 months) and see how it goes.
As far as Blue Dolphin is concerned, we will have her taken back to the U.K in June to be sold. (We are sad but we cannot afford the luxury of having her sitting in the bay doing nothing much). We are not ‘swallowing the anchor’ completely though (sailor speak for giving up sailing). We will either buy a smaller boat for pottering around in and/or charter when we feel the need to get back out on the sea.
We will continue with the blog until no one is reading it anymore!
Love to all
Carol & Mike xx