We had a rather stupid idea in September 2010 that we could buy a boat and sail round the world. Stupid because I had never sailed before and we aren't filthy rich. Somehow the crazy idea got talked about more and more, slowly becoming an actual plan.
In October 2011 we threw off the docklines in Falmouth, England and set out on an adventure. We left thinking that the challenge we had set was to sail around the world in roughly two and half years and then return to London having learned more about life and ourselves. Neither of us had any real reason to leave; our jobs, home and friendships were all ticking along quite contently. We were even planning on building a small extension to our house. In fact, looking back, it’s my fault really. Me and my damn wanderlust, that is.
So we rented out the house, spent the extension money on a boat and off we went, with only a little sailing experience and very limited understanding of boat maintenance but with a healthy amount of optimism. We even joked about returning having got married and had children. And we did learn. Everything was about educating ourselves: sailing better and more efficiently, interpreting the weather more capably, becoming more skilled and less flustered when it came to running repairs. We also had to adjust to a new relationship where we could take orders from one another and know when to trust in each other’s expertise. Believe me, the learning curve was more like a vertical line.
Together we managed to sail the boat from the shores of the UK to the European coast, Morocco and the Canary Islands. Then we had our first Christmas at sea, crossing the Atlantic ocean in just under three weeks. We spent a year in the Caribbean: cruising up the islands in the east, exploring Cuba for a month, then moving onwards to Mexico and down to Panama. All that was in the first eight months, we logged over eight thousand miles and felt pretty confident about what we’d achieved.
We decided that if we got pregnant then we’d put off the Pacific crossing for another year. By the time we went through the Panama Canal in January I was already at the end of my first trimester and we agreed that an ocean passage during our first pregnancy might not be wise. So, we turned right, explored Pacific Central America and fought against wind, current and all sailing common sense in order to reach Banderas Bay in Mexico where we had our daughter, Rocket, in July 2013. We set off from Mexico in March 2014 and are now sailing in the South Pacific for most of this year.