So, at this very moment we are sat at anchor in a beautiful little bay but it’s not quite the tranquil setting that your thoughts might be conjuring up at this very moment. There’s no evening drinks on deck, no peaceful moments watching the glorious sun setting after a day of swimming and relaxing. In fact, I’m writing this now because neither Chris nor I can sleep. The wind is howling and Under the Stars is swinging on her anchor, but she is holding, which, over the past month Chris and I have come to appreciate. To be honest, we are relived. There is no thunder or lightening and everything that is occurring outside at this moment had been forecast but we had no time to avoid it as we spent yesterday hiding from two pretty large storms. We have had a month of them, of dragging anchor and of sitting, much like we are now, hoping that some disaster or other doesn’t occur.
Anyway, we are having fun despite the storms. We have spent the past month with cruising friends, all of us battling the elements together. We had an amazing crossing over to Sardinia, not great sailing but fantastic ocean life, including Sperm Whales and Green Turtles. The Sperm Whale family has to be the highlight of our trip, certainly for Harry, who has been whale spotting from day one. Evidently Pilot Whales just don’t cut it. The whale was a true gentleman and cruised the length of our boat, just meters away, before diving at our stern. As we turned to leave we saw, what we assume to be a mother and calf, resting beneath the surface. It was a real treat and I am still a little starstruck.
Since our arrival we have had a wonderful time with family and friends, both of which got to experience a little of the stormy nature our our journey. Clare had a baptism of fire that might have broken a lesser lady. She outdid herself. Being rescued from our dingy on the high seas by two Frenchmen, in 30 knot winds, whilst battling swell, pounding rain and two yelling children, was not quite the ‘welcome to Sardinia’ that I had in mind. Anyway, Under the Stars has fared well over the past 5 months, not to mention Chris, who’s skippering has been tested on a daily basis.
In the next few weeks we will head back to the UK. Chris will not fly with the kids and I as he is doing a yacht delivery to Lanzarote. He will return about 10 days later. We have a place to haul her out for a year, on the North West coast here in Sardinia. We would love to sail her back to the UK but the expense would eat into our budget for our next adventures, the money we will save will hopefully, have us on our way sooner. So, we are excited for phase two of our journey; the Caribbean. We are, understandably, upset to be leaving our home. She has become much more than that, she’s almost a member of the family. To all of you who think I’ve gone completely nuts, when you have put your faith in something for so long and under some pretty terrible conditions, when that something comes through for you, you treasure it. A lot. It will be a wrench to leave her, to say the least. Yet, we are so looking forward to the adventures to follow and in order to have them, we have to return to ‘normal’ life for a short while. Chris will need to shave, the kids will need to bathe (this may come as a huge shock to them) and I will need to put on clothing more substantial than swimwear.
It has been a fantastic journey and a great start to our life at sea. We have learned more than we could have ever imagined, mostly though our mistakes as you can imagine. We have had the time of our lives and not because it has been easy, it’s been tough and there have been times when Chris and I have wanted to quit. Tonight may be one of those times but come morning, even with the wind whipping up a hooley all around me, I will feel at peace. There is only one place on earth that allows me to feel such contentment and that is on our cherished floating home.