Position: 50:49:70N 00:56:70W
When we came into Haslar, it was
only about 0830 but even so, we celebrated with a couple of glasses of the nasty
red wine from the Azores. Guaranteed to set you up for the
day. David packed up his stuff and
we said our goodbyes, then I turned the boat upside down, cleaning and tidying
from 6 weeks at sea. She is in
remarkably good state, but everything looks tired – the varnish is shocking, the
general debris and dust which collects when everything is salty is just foul.
But plentiful fresh water (what a
luxury!) and she is looking OK. I
found it odd how nobody from other boats says hello to one another like they did
in the Caribbean and Azores.
On Friday evening, Sarah and the
girls came down by train and I met them in Portsmouth. It was so lovely to see my girls
again. We had a lovely meal in
Pizza Express, and then caught the ferry back to Gosport. When
we reached Nutmeg, Sarah was in tears – the emotion of seeing our boat, and all
the happy memories we have in her, was a bit overwhelming I think. I know how she
The girls come
I had managed to restore Nutmeg to
her family trim, with all the toys and dolls and teddy bears lined up on their
beds, so the kids were very happy.
They snuggled down in their bunks and slept soundly all night.
In the morning, Sarah and I got up
early and we were underway at 0615, with the intention of heading East to
Shoreham. However, the wind was not
cooperative and as we beat out to the Nab tower, it was up to a solid F6 and
Nutmeg was falling off waves a bit.
I rang Dad (and woke him up – sorry Dad), to see what it was like in
Shoreham, then as it seemed set in for the day, we decided to bail out, and we
bore off and crossed Chichester Bar, dropped the sails once in the calm of the
harbour and motored up the Emsworth channel.
We weren’t too precious about
“completing” the trip by returning to Shoreham – definitely not if it meant 6
hours beating into a F6 – and besides, we’ve paid for a mooring in Chi harbour
so it made sense to use it. So we
found our mooring and after a rounding up a few things, pumped the dinghy up and
motored up to Emsworth. It all felt
a bit odd.
Dad picked us up in his car and we
drive back to Shoreham, where we then had a lovely barbeque at Dad’s with all
the family – Will and the kids, Mum, and Dad & Margaret. It was great to catch up with everyone
and really nice to be home.
That was on Saturday. On Sunday, we
got our keys back to our house, and fortunately it the house is in good nick
after a years’ rental. On Monday,
the removals men came round and delivered all our possessions back. I felt quite disgusted at how many
possessions we have. I could quite
easily go and live back on the boat.
It becomes very clear to you, after living with relatively few
possessions, that material acquisitiveness is actually bad for your
happiness. You think you need to
buy stuff – and it definitely gives you a buzz to buy something new – but the
ongoing ownership of so many possessions just complicates your life. How much time have I spent since being
back, sorting out issues with stuff that we own – fixing stuff in the house,
stressing over technology that doesn’t work properly, none of which is critical
but ownership of which is supposed to improve your life! It is a clear fact to me right now – a
simpler life brings far more happiness.
Easy to say, more difficult to act on when living in SE England.
So. We are not ready to eschew all aspects
of “normal” UK life – we’re too moderate for
that. So we are transitioning back
to “normality” – me rather more reluctantly than Sarah I suspect – and we will
see how we warm to it. It certainly
feels like a big wrench at the moment.
Dad and I went to find the Landy,
which has been stored outside for a year.
It’s battery was flat as a pancake but when we put a new one in, it
started first turn! We drove it
straight to the garage for it’s MOT (which it passed first time) and left it for
On Wednesday, I started back to
work. I have to admit to feeling a
little anxious about it beforehand but with no real justification. It was very much as it was before,
except a lot of people had been made redundant, and career prospects generally
seem to be worse than ever. But it
is a job which pays the bills – for now.
I have found it hard to flick all those little switches deep inside me,
around trust, respect, companionship, back into the corporate world where every
action seems to have a self-interested motive and respect is based on some
historical hierarchy. It is amazing
how much time passes without anything of real interest happening – much slower
than at sea!
Sarah is loving being at home,
especially in the garden. Each day
I come home, she has transformed a new area and it is already looking
stunning. I know she gains a great
deal of energy and happiness from the garden. The girls are in their school routine,
and are doing well although Millie is finding it exhausting and we all miss each
other badly during the day.
We went down to Nutmeg at the
weekend, and sailed to her in Maisie the Mirror – really good fun and a bit of
“Swallows and Amazons” adventure for the kids. It was lovely being back aboard, for me
it feels more like home than our house.
On the way, we had to go and collect… … a chicken house, for the chickens
that Sarah has ordered… Well, I can’t really argue, she did allow me to achieve
one of my goals so why shouldn’t she achieve one of hers? So we are picking up a couple of hens at
the weekend, apparently. The foxes
that live two gardens down are licking their lips…
So I suppose this is the last blog
of this trip. I’ve really enjoyed
writing it. I’ve always written
diaries from all our trips, but previously they’ve been hand-written, so no-one
else has been able to read them, so it has been great to share our adventures on
this one. In case I haven’t said it
before, thankyou to everyone who has helped us on this trip, especially our
families who have been ever-supportive, and our friends old and new who have
kept in touch with us over the past year.
It has been one incredible year.
I wonder what we could do
PS Now I’ve got broadband, here are
some photos from the Azores – UK leg.
Leaving the Azores
Friends come to
Ocean sailing at its
Dusk in the Atlantic
Lizard – home
Land! Falmouth at dusk. The pub
Last dawn at sea, English Channel
Portsmouth on the