We did it!
A year after leaving our land based life behind us, and two years
after Island Wanderer left UK waters, we completed our journey and returned to
The channel crossing was short, fast, and extremely enjoyable. We had
forgotten how much fun local waters are to sail in. This went a short way to
counteracting our sadness at ending our time afloat. It is hard to believe
that two years ago, a channel crossing was the longest journey we had ever
attempted. Now it is the shortest journey we have done since leaving the
Caribbean two months ago, and it seemed an almost trivial distance to
After an overnight stop in Studland Bay, we entered the Solent in some of
the wettest weather we have seen in all our time away. The rain, thunder and
lightening were almost theatrical in their appearance. Our foul weather gear was
tested to the limit, with only Avril’s standing up the the torrential rain.
David was even lured out of the warmth and dry below to experience the drama
unfolding around us as black skies lit by thunder bolts welcomed us home and
confirmed that we were indeed back in England in the height of summer.
The thin sheet on our berth was replaced by a summer weight duvet somewhere
in Bermuda. This has now been replaced by the winter weight one combined with
the electric blanket. Perhaps we should replace the air-conditioning with a
heating system too. We are now sewn into our fleeces and thermals for the
season, although Avril refuses to wear socks on principle, her toes now a
delicate shade of blue.
We look back wistfully at our photos and wonder if water was ever
such a translucent shade of blue, if ever the sky was cloudless and turtles swam
by our bow. Did we really cool off in crystal clear seas or feel the softest of
sand as we walked ashore? We read the blogs of those who went on through the
Panama canal and are now in the Pacific exploring the South Sea islands. Or
possibly the east coast of America and the Intra coastal waterways?
The possibilities are endless........
35 - counting Grenadines and BVIs as one each.
friendly place visited
Pete – Dominica
Island Wanderer and Grainne in
on the foredeck
dodging AIS’s at night
fishing gear! (In Avril’s hands!)
Reaching the Caribbean
Cleaning mould off everything in the Azores!
24 hour run
197 nmiles (never broke the 200nm mark )
Doug, Mandy, Derek, Becca, David, Helen
missed from home
than friends and family)
amazing home based support
Derek, who relentlessly and tirelessly found and sent out spare parts,
information, weather reports, encouragement (the list goes on) without which our
journey would have been very much harder
we do it
Without a doubt!!
Note on blogging; We started to keep a blog as a simple way of keeping
family informed of our whereabouts on a regular basis. We never anticipated it
would be read by others and have no way of telling how many readers we have had.
However we first suspected it was more than a handful when we were approached in
a cafe by an couple whom we had never met, but who had been following the blog
regularly. In addition we have had several emails from readers who have had
questions or who are about to commence a similar journey. This has been a real
encouragement to us and we appreciate the support and enthusiasm of those who
have contacted us. Many thanks and best wishes to those who are about to set off
on their own voyage.
Peter and Avril