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Date: 01 May 2010 03:54:37
Title: just to say...

…. No, we are not giving up!  We have had many emails since our last blog asking “why are you giving up?”, “are you ok healthwise?”, “be honest!”  …. So a little apprehensively, we write to try and explain where we are and why we are doing what we are doing!

 

We have covered well over 6000 miles (with another 3500 to go) since we bought Talulah in October 2008, and have had an incredible and wonderful journey so far.  Some of it has been really tough where we’ve just wanted to throw ourselves to the ground and weep with frustration and rage and exhaustion, but these time are short lived and are easily outweighed the many wonderful and fascinating experiences we’ve enjoyed.  We have visited around 17 countries, witnessed many different cultures, and met the most amazing people along the way.  The learning curve has been steep and interesting, from boat maintenance and sailing, marine life and nature (fishing and snorkelling) to dealing with people from all walks of life.  We have learnt a lot about ourselves, and each other (in a very positive way!), our strengths and weaknesses, and how good we are as a team.  We’ve also realised how much we love swimming in warm clear water, and how much we hate the hot afternoon sun when it beats down into the cockpit and fries the flesh from our bones.  We have made some truly great friends, many cruisers who have been doing this for 20 years or more, some for a little less, and some who began at the same time as us. Some have circumnavigated, others have spent years in the Caribbean.  All different ages and nationalities.  It is a very different life, and it is one that we love.

 

We have had our share of knocks and scrapes, as you would expect from any cruiser, but no big “dramas” (to answer a few of you) … but its all relative, and at the time we chose not to write about a few minor hitches.  On our Atlantic crossing over, we both had a few days of absolute lethargy, bad headaches, nausea and watery eyes.  Luckily, Shane managed to diagnose our symptoms and the reason behind it, by reading Nigel Calder’s “bible” (Boat Owner’s Mechanical & Electrical Manual):  through no fault of Talulah’s, it transpired whilst we were running one engine at a time during the “big calm”, we were causing back draft with airflow from the engine exhaust by opening and closing the wrong hatches / companionway, which was causing carbon monoxide poisoning.  We were very lucky to discover this in time and easily rectify the problem.  Lesson learned.  On another occasion, we both suffered a mild case of ciguatera from our delicious bonito caught on passage near Redonda.  Symptoms were vomiting, tingling fingers, muscle cramps …. Again, we were lucky, and so far no more symptoms.   We have since discovered this is warned about with “bonito” in this area, but it wasn’t mentioned in our fishing guides.  We have had a few broken toes, aching backs and bones, bruises and gashes, and Shane’s skin and blood poisoning in Grenada.  He is fully recovered, and these aside, we are happy, really well and healthy (though I have to admit, very tired!), and in a year, have incurred no more injuries than we would expect at home.  (On the whole, with our occupational hazards, I’d say a lot less!!)

 

Hurricane season starts end of May.  From here we would have to either head north (USA, we have no visa for cruising), or back south to Grenada or Trinidad to be out of the hurricane belt.  Although we have had a wonderful 5 months here, we have decided one season in the Caribbean is enough for us. Next Caribbean season begins again around November, and so we would have headed west during hurricane season along the coast of Venezuela, Colombia and Panama, eventually through the Panama Canal and through the South Pacific heading to Australia.  Once you have started westing from Venezuela to Panama, and certainly once through the canal, there is really no turning back.  This is where/ why we have made our decision – we would choose to do that passage, but in another boat.  Not because Talulah is not capable, it’s simply a personal preference for the two of us.  We also have other destinations in mind, but I hesitate to write about them until we’re clearer!

 

Now is the time of year, with hopefully favourable winds, to make the crossing back across the AtlanticEurope is a better place to take Talulah to sell her (still so reluctantly) now. 

 

We hope to live aboard Talulah in the UK, and with families in Sussex, until such a time we are able to set off again on the water.  Starting again from where?  We’re unsure at the moment.

 

We hope to set off across the Atlantic from Antigua or Barbuda sometime after 10th May – obviously all weather/ wind dependant.  It will be very approx a 3 week passage to the Azores, where we will fill up with fuel, water and food, and rest up for a few days, and then another 10 days – 2 weeks back to UK (or Spain first if winds dictate!). 

 

Thank you for all your lovely emails – and please keep them coming, its wonderful hearing from home and friends on a long sea passage, (and this will be a long one!) and it really makes our day!  We will be receiving emails again through our satellite phone, so please NO attachments, forward jokes, photos etc etc ….simple text type email only (and if you reply to us, delete our original email sent to you at the bottom of the page!) It blocks our system, and we rely on it daily to receive grib files and weather reports!

 


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