A shared dream

Sun 30 Oct 2022 19:30

Hello, we are Ben and Katie. 2 anaesthetists from the SW of England, we’re lucky enough to work for the NHS that has provision for a career break in out contracts. 27 months off! 

Plan; buy a boat, sail to New Zealand, live and work there for a year, sell boat, fly home.

Here we are

We’ve brought a boat and are in the final stages of preparation for the trip. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster…….

The boat;
A Bowman 45, 1977, cutter rigged fin keel Bermudian sloop. About 17 tons empty. Brought from guernsey from a lovely chap called Dick who had extensively cruised her around the globe. She was clearly capable, we’re yet to be proved. 

We sailed her back from guersey last February, dick accompanied us back to ensure the boat was sold in the uk and make the paperwork easier.

That’s where the drama began, a lovely crossing, cold, bumpy to begin but then a stiff 25 knots off our port aft quarter blew us swiftly across the channel.  That was until the engine decided to give up and we requested a tow from port pendenis into their marina

A couple of pics of the crossing from Guernsey

Naively (with hindsight) we thought we’d brought a turn key, ready to go off shore cruiser that was going to enable us to sail or summer, get to know her and each other on the boat and then set off November the first. We were wrong!

All of the jokes, BOAT - bring out another thousand, a hole in the money you throw money into etc etc came out. 

So whilst it’s been a challenging summer, we haven’t don’t much sailing and spent a lot of money we do now have an amazing boat that is going to carry us on a grand adventure.

A magic taste of what’s to come heading E up into St Austell bay

Katie on the foil while I’m playing up the mast. Yes, thats Cornish water!

The works.

New standing and running rigging
Multiple engine rebuilds and angst culminating in a brand new engine.
A comprehensive electrical upgrade consisting of, new batteries, new wind/solar. Power management, plotter/radar upgrade and a decent hi-Fi with cockpit speakers.
An additional fridge/freezer
Much cosmetic work in saloon
New mainsail
And much much more.
Sent from my iPad

The heroes.

Without a doubt the biggest hero of the summer has been Steve, Katie’s dad. The engine as plagued us, to cut a long story short, top done in the boat - no joy. Engine lifted out and complete rebuild - no joy. Replacement engine.
Steve has spent 100’s of hours working on the original MD21a, it’s incredibly galling that we just didn’t have time to get it right. He lived in a shed in st Agnes in 35 degree heat while while we were away on holiday.  We can’t say thank you enough.

The fore pack when we bought her was storage/workshop. We’ve now converted back into cabin.

Brian is a friend who has helped me out with just about everything during my time in Cornwall. He’s a magician with steel. Quad bike rack, kitchen, staircases, barns name but a few of the projects he helped me with. He’s done some amazing work fitting the solar, wind genny, board racks and building a barn to keep all our stuff in while we’re away. 

Rupert from Waters marine. Lovely chap, who with his side kick Mike has done all of the electrical work and fitted the new engine! Can’t recommend him enough.

Riggers UK, Ben and especially Jake who re-rigged us and put up with eternal questions from me ever since.  

So here we are, October 30th. I’ve finished work Katie does on Tuesday and we still have a lot to do! We’re along side in Mylor  next week week with both sets of parents, hopefully by a week Tuesday we’ll have a boat ready to go. All we need to do then is sail enough to convince ourselves we’re ready to go as well.

Couldn’t not put this pic in. It was 30 degrees this day. Katie was a little warm! Moonshine came with an amazing amount of equipment inc these survival suits. 

The send off party was amazing, thanks to all who made a huge effort to trek down to Cornwall. 

Not sure whether this was v early or v late. The memories are a bit fuzzy. Think we fed about 60 people with this chap we cooked in the ground. 

And a grand Sunday dinner in the driftwood with sore heads the following day.

Think that’ll do for the first post. The last 8 months in a nutshell. Fingers crossed next week goes well.