Apparently more people attempt to climb Everest than sail around the world.
This impressive sounding factoid is of little comfort to us right now. Since leaving a grey and drizzly Gosport Marina early on Thursday 9 August we’ve had biblical rain, a gale force eight while anchored in Studland Bay and been sailing in a force 4-5.
On the first day we sailed 35 nautical miles (just 1000th of the planned total voyage) to Studland; carefully wove our way through Cowes Week Regatta, nearly caught a mackerel and then had two nights at anchor to avoid the worse of the bad weather. Many thanks to whoever organised the Red Arrows fly over and firework display in Bournemouth! Not so amusing was having to wake the people in the boat next to us who were dragging their anchor and getting far too close for comfort … and then watch them nervously move the boat in their dressing gowns!
The next leg of our journey was a frisky 24.5 nautical miles to Portland sailing past the stunning Jurassic coast. This time Paul did (eventually!) catch a mackerel – our first fish of the journey TA DA! – and we shared him for lunch with some ratatouille and bulgar wheat tabbouleh. It was the best fishy dinner ever, followed by a few well earnt pints in The Cove Inn by Chesil Beach and a bit of dancing around the boat to our favourite old disco tunes 😉
We’re staying one more night in Portland Marina and planning to make the long sail (around 50 nautical miles) across Lyme Bay tomorrow (Monday 13 August). No pints and dancing tonight .. !
A bit about the planning …
Paul started it. Several years ago we were walking around a Tall Ships Races port looking at the ships and Paul absent mindedly said out loud, “I’ve always wanted to sail around the world” …. cue images of palm trees, white sand, sunshine, living in flip flops … without hesitation I said “I’d go with you”. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “You really mean that don’t you”, so I looked straight back and said “Yes” … and that was it, we started planning!
Planning for the trip was BRILLIANT. We both love beer, and pubs, so all planning meetings were held in a local Southsea hostelry. Paul is highly skilled at sniffing out obscure watering holes and we scoured all public houses within walking distance of the house, before selecting our favourites according to the following criteria 1) good beer selections that we both liked 2) always able to find somewhere to sit 4) not too loud …we’re getting on a bit 😉
Lord Palmerston was a particular favourite haunt (as was The Hole in the Wall, Apsley House, Shenanigans, Belle Isle, Huis, The Vaults, The Marmion). We each had a ‘Baggy Book’ for meeting notes (see above!) and we’d very frequently be seen heading off down Palmerston Road, books, diary sheets, phones and pens in hand for mission critical after work meetings!
Agenda items were:
- Diary updates. Working full-time and travelling abroad a lot for work meant making the most of every single morning, evening and weekend and we certainly crammed a lot in.
- Boat maintenance. This was, and still is, a long, never-ending list and we will forever be working on it – more of this in future blogs.
- Progress update. What we had achieved since the last meeting – things we’d researched, bought, thought about, were worried about, disasters and successes.
- Project plan updates. We each had our own list of projects. Paul looked after all things boat, route planning and training. I (Sally) was in charge of medical kit, provisioning, country research, diving, interiors refit etc.
- Budget review. We had a detailed budget plan for all aspects of the trip, but by this stage of the meeting it was more about whether we should have another pint or be sensible and go home and have dinner.
- Any other business. We often had that extra pint ….
The pub meeting system worked really well. We were both always very keen to have meetings!
Now we’ve set sail the meeting system continues but right now we’re hunkered down in the saloon with warm clothes, hot coffees and flapjack while a full gale rages outside and horizontal rain lashes against the wash boards. It’s Paul’s fault – he started it.
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