Hugh has been sailing since he was 11 and was a keen dinghy sailor, inflicting his passion on his three sons as they grew up. Surprisingly the eldest, Nick, is now also a very enthusiastic and accomplished sailor and even went as far as joining the Navy. Will and Olly also enjoy sailing as does granddaughter Isla.
Annie came late to sailing after meeting Hugh (see Prologue), although I recall a cold day out on a yacht in the Solent many, many years before and a rather warmer holiday in Turkey when Alex and I won the Pico race in about 5 knots of wind. Hugh later skippered us on a Sunsail holiday in the Greek Islands and Alex has also joined us on a trip in Vega to the Isles of Scilly whilst Charlotte spent part of her gap year in Mexico renovating a sailing boat.
Vega is a Swedish built 37 foot yacht made by Malo, a small shipbuilding company on the west coast of Sweden, north of Gothenburg. She is built to cope with most conditions you would find on a circumnavigation. She is actually quite small by today’s standards, most of the yachts doings such trips tend to be 40 to 50+ feet. But we think she’s ideal for two, with room for visitors.
We hope that friends and family will come and join us for parts of our trip, although it will be hard to predict a long way ahead where we will be and when, as we will have to go where the winds take us to some extent.
But the winds can be predicted to generally blow in certain directions at particular times of the year. So our voyage will be roughly as follows:
Bristol Channel, then across the Bay of Biscay to North West Spain, Portugal, Morocco and the Canary Islands. We expect to return for a month or so in October (Easyjet) then continue the voyage to Cape Verde, perhaps to Gambia and Senegal, before crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean. We should be going through the Panama Canal late in 2016, then planning to visit the Galápagos Islands, Easter Island and the Pitcairn Islands before we get to French Polynesia. After that plans are a little vaguer, with Captain and crew not always seeing eye to eye. But generally we may visit New Zealand, the Gilbert and Ellis islands, Indonesia, then the Indian Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope (via Mauritius and Madagascar?), diagonally across the Southern Atlantic via St Helena and Ascension Island to Brazil. Hopefully we will be able to travel up the Amazon, then back to the Caribbean and home via Bermuda and the Azores.
Timescale? Up to 5 or 6 years depending on how many trips home we make. Or maybe 5 or 6 days for me after we’ve crossed the Bay of Biscay.