The Final Countdown

A lot has been going on since my last Blog and that’s probably the root cause of why there hasn’t actually been a Blog in a such a while. The most obvious thing to the casual reader is that the website has moved. The previous site was hosted by SiteBuilder but for a number of reasons I’m never using them again – full details on request but I suggest you avoid them too. So a site rebuild is underway as a matter of priority; beyond that the really big news is that I’ve bought a yacht and the planning for the trip continues apace. All that whilst striving to manage the last bits of the house refurb’ and holding down the 9-5 job.

My planned date for leaving the UK is 16 Sep 2017; there is nothing special about this date but it should allow me a reasonable amount of time to work for the charity Turn to Starboard after leaving the City in May, while still giving me a fair weather passage to the Canary Islands, where I’ll sit out the end of the North Atlantic hurricane season before heading to the Caribbean for Christmas. With that date in mind I’ve less than a year to go and the enormity of the undertaking is beginning to dawn on me. Today I thought about delaying by a year in order to do more on the yacht, save more money, and generally give me more planning time… but I also read somewhere that those that delay and over plan often never leave, so I fully intend to stick to that date.

The yacht (read more about her on her own page on this site) was bought in mid September and after agreeing some refit costs she was moved to the Hayling Yacht Company last weekend. After our maiden voyage, I de-rigged her with the help of some family and friends (many thanks to them for all their help), packed all the sails into the shed and all the lines into the car so I could bring them home for cleaning and re-whipping where required. This not small task is what I’ll spend the next few weeks doing but it is worthwhile and Coralee and I will appreciate it afterwards.

So what is left to do? Well I still haven’t finished the sextant – that’s is in need of a few custom made bits and three seemingly very-hard-to-source BA threaded bolts that hold the Index Arm onto the bearing. I’m continuing to read everything I can on the subject with cruising guides and books on fishing still in the ‘to read’ pile. Then there is of course all the work on the yacht itself; the list of things I’d like to do is long and will take time to get through; so weekends for the next six months are looking pretty full.

I’ve also started to research other single handed sailors and the lack of a consolidated list is upsetting to me as I love to see a well organised spreadsheet on just this sort of thing. I’ve pulled together a lot of the sources of information that I’ve found online about the topic but I think a page on those who’ve ventured before me is in order and I’ll endeavour to publish a page on this [soon to be] revamped website in due course. A busy time ahead of me and lots to do, so do keep up to speed with it all on my Twitter, Instagram, and other social media feeds.

Fair winds,
John and Coralee