This party`s over I`m going Home.

Tue 5 Aug 2008 07:43

It is very strange to have been back home for a week and open up the computer to write up the final web diary, the two worlds are so

Completely different from each other. I feel as if the sailing experience is all a very long time past, but I am in no way sad to be home in

Fact it is great to be here and I am full of energy  Jacky on the other hand has been working hard keeping everything together  and is in

Need of some chill out time so lets hope that we can achieve Synchronisation soon. I also need to be able to get in the right mind set for

Me to remember this part of the Penguin diary.


We arrived in Cork on Sunday evening the tide was just turning as we entered the river leading up to Crosshaven and the Royal Cork

Yacht Club. Our little Johnson outboard pushing us merrily up to the pontoons, an easy to access berth was located  it also had two guys

Standing on the pontoon perfect for catching lines, Penguin`s Luck was once again with us. We then went ashore to sign in with club manager

This was the first time Niamh had set foot on her native Irish soil for 18months, the last time being after we had arrived in New Zealand and she

Had come home with a broken wrist. The excitement of having her daughter home was obviously getting to Niamh`s Mum and whilst on the phone

She decided that she would drive down to meet us the following day and take Niamh back home the day after. I was  looking forward to Jo, Nick

And Jacky arriving and Ed was looking forward to his Mum and Dad coming all on Wednesday, this was to be a real meeting of the Clans.

  Sunday night was our first chance to enjoy the local brews and with the Town full of Traditional boat`s  and their crew at the close of the local

Regatta a pleasant evening was spent at the pub, drinking in the atmosphere, beer, and friendship of the place.


The View up the River to the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

 On Monday at midday Niamh`s mum Deidre arrived and we all went of to visit Kinsale for the afternoon, Tuesday saw Niamh and her Mum set off with one car load

Of gear for Athlone, they where also going to try and get a few things sorted out for Niamhs future work and life back in Ireland. Eddy and I hitched a lift to the Airport

To get a hire car so that we would be ready for the Hannifan, York  mass family arrival on Wednesday. Eddy then spent the rest of the day in Cork trying to trace his family

Roots, all very deeply buried in the dark depths of  Irish  history.   Wednesday morning arrived and I meet Jacky, Jo and Nick, with a big bunch of flowers, this time I managed

To get to the airport and hand them to Jacky on my last attempt to achieve this I had only managed to get the flowers onto the Bus in Tahiti and in my excitement had left them on

The seat beside me when I got off at the airport stop.  But with my minder Eddy at hand the flowers where successfully delivered to Jacky as she came out of the arrivals doors.

  It was as if we were going back ten years and the two families where meeting up for a summer holiday but this time Jo, Nick , and Ed were in their twenties. That evening Jane

And Peter arrived , leaving only Ollie back in UK. The follow few days was spent enjoying the local sights and the evenings aloud all the families to get together in the Pubs chatting

Away and putting faces to the names that  we had all heard so much about.  The highlight being Friday the 20th Niamh birthday and the reason for Penguins visit to the Emerald Isle.


By the end of the weekend the whole Collins family had assembled including the young nieces and nephews and Shane, Niamh`s youngest brother had also flown over from the UK,

 He had volunteered himself to be our final victim on the sail back onto the South Coast of England. On Sunday the real World begain to encroach and people had to disperse back from

Where they had come from, Niamh`s Mum and Dad leaving around lunchtime with the second car filled to the brim with two and a half years of accumulated treasures. Jacky Jo and Nick

Had caught an early flight back to the UK, the Hannifan clan had also left, it was time to get back out to sea and get ourselves to Lymington and Finish the tour. Our intention had been

To sail out of Cork on Sunday but with the wind blowing at between 25and 35 Knots we decided to take the easy option and leave on Monday when things would be a little better.

  We left first thing Monday and had a good couple of days sailing finally choosing Dartmouth as the best option for our Land fall. It is so fantastic to sail along the south coast of

England and know that what is within easy sailing range is amongst the most stunning sailing areas that you could wish to sail in. What a little gem Dartmouth harbour is shame that

Everyone is keen to take money from you but I suppose that was not the first or last time we would get asked for cash to Anchor Penguin, At least in the UK they have a certain charm about taking your cash from you. We arrived at midday on Wednesday, Shane had to be back at Durham University on Thursday as he was moving flat on Friday. On Thursday morning

At 7 o clock we set Shane ashore in Dartmouth, he was setting out to travel half way up the country by coach and train a distance of 350miles, Penguin would also be sailing the 70 miles

From Dartmouth to Studland bay near Poole, and both Niamh and I just can`t resist a race.  To finish Penguin had to be at anchor with the first G&T poured and Shane would have to have been drinking his first cup of tea in his flat the train timetable was such that he was expecting to be home around 3.30pm.  Penguin made Her exit and with a gentile SW wind started

Off across Lyme Bay, it was not long before the spinnaker was brought out after all the cruising life is all good and well but we had a race to win.  For the following 6hours we had the

Pleasure of sailing in just superb conditions, the wind building until  we finally reached Durlston head and we were sailing with 25 knots of breeze directly behind us. With just two of us

To take the spinnaker down, it goes without saying that it was not the most prettiest manoeuvre but we did finally succeed in taming the beast although Niamh did have to donate some

Skin for the cause, She also has it logged as the 6th and final time that I had tried to finish her off. By the time we had rounded Swanage and then Old Harry entered Studland and anchored it was 4 o clock, we had covered the 70 miles in 9hrs, and for a good deal of the time had been covering the round at over 10 knots but would it be enough, Shane was due

To get home just after 3.30. He finally rang through to us at 4.15 his train had been delayed and was late he had just got in through the door. So nothing had changed at home, The

Railways still did not always run to time.  The Flying Penguin had done it again. But more importantly Penguin was parked in Studland  25miles from Lymington it was Thursday the

26th of june and we were expected to be sailing up the Lymington River on Friday the 27th  and parked at the Yacht Haven  at 17.30hrs. We had sailed a distance of 10000 miles since

leaving Cape Town on the 15 of Febuary, and it should be a pleasant days sail to the finish.

  Friday the 27th of  June dawned grey and windy but the sheer pleasure of showing Niamh around my home patch was enough to keep things bright and cheerful. We picked up

The anchor and sailed along Bournemouth beach and around Hengistbury head and into Christchurch Bay. As we sailed along Jacky and I kept in touch using text messaging,

I had been given strict instructions not to be  early  and defiantly don’t be late. So we made another stop at Highcliffe beach for lunch, this allowed Jacky and her Brother Chris to

Come down to the beach to wave at us and get their wobbly emotions out of their system. As we were picking up the anchor we got a phone call to say that Conor and Marion

Where bringing their boat out from Christchurch and had one or two extra crew with them, Jo and Pete Allam had also launched their RIB from Poole and were on there way across

The bay to escort us into Lymington, and so the final sail around Hurst and into Lymington was filled with emotion and it was lovely to have friends around us to share it with.



Connor and Marion Boat Tou Can and Crew.

So at exactly 17.30, not to early and not to late and after spending the last 2 years and 10 months wandering around theWorld Penguin arrived at Lymington Yacht Haven.

A gathering of friends and family had assembled to see us home and it was great to be back amongst them and share such a special moment. Pretty soon we were all enjoying

A glass of bubbly and then it was down to the nearest pub, because the weather was crap and it had started raining. The pleasure of an English Summer!  

 As is the way whilst chatting with Jay we managed to get Niamh sorted with a spot on White Mischief sailing in the Round The Island Race , The oppertunity being just

To good to miss out on. So her plan for a lie in and a relaxing day for Saturday went out the window.

 So that was it Job done obsession dealt with, back to dreaming up new ventures.  We had sailed over 40000 thousand miles and  enjoyed the most amazing experience.

 And if you have been thanks for reading and all the encouragement. Cheers Rob  PS this is now week five of the reintegration process and I’m still smiling.