Being forced to pause

(but not giving up!)

A year ago I had lofty plans to set sail around the UK and then conquer the world!

A mixture of ill health and ill fortune has created setback after setback. Then all my savings were depleted by a mixture of living costs and ongoing refurbishment and repair costs, so not only have I had to put the sailing on hold, but I’ve had to go back to work to rebuild my savings. I had managed to survive retirement for nearly 4 years without working, however the money I have been living on was supposed to last me for 10-15 years of sailing. Marina fees, and labour costs on jobs I was unable to do on my own (rigging, welding, etc) have all added up. Many of the jobs had been planned to be done whilst underway and over 2-3 years, instead they were done whilst in dock.

The good news is that most of the work is now done on Pamela C, new electronics, rewiring, new lithium batteries, gas cooker replaced with an electric induction hob and air fryer, solar panels properly mounted, a new (more capable) auto helm (the day the autopilot died) and the onset of ill health which has taken an age and a number of medical professionals to identify. Fingers crossed that the planned surgery next week will resolve these health issues, and I can get back on track with my sailing plans, all be it another year behind schedule.

When I think I was going to set off just before the “Sailing Brothers” who have already made it to the Bahamas, all I have managed to do is limp from Portland to Portsmouth in the same amount of time. (Well done Adam and Luke!)

A good friend Toni is planning on having her 30th birthday in Cape Verde (2,500nm). This was always a possible stopover point for me on my planned trip to the Bahamas (after stopping off at Porto, Gibraltar and the Canary Islands) so now I have even more motivation (and 18 months) to get there. Hopefully, all the delays and problems will be behind me, and I’ll be able to start moving forwards again!

This 2,500nm journey from Portsmouth is unlikely to be completed non-stop. If I were to do it none stop, then it would take approximately 3-weeks; however, I would be steaming past Porto, Gibraltar, Lanzarote/Canary Islands and a number of other destinations I’ve vowed to stop at en route as part of my dream of exploring the world. As such, I suspect that this trip will actually take 6-9 weeks, stopping off at A Coruña after crossing Biscay, then Porto to check out and stock up on supplies of Port, a quick sightseeing stop in Lisbon, and Faro, as well as revisiting old favourites, including Huelva, Sancti Petri, Gibraltar, Ceuta and discovering new locations including Tangier, Rabat and Casablanca to name but a few – before heading to Gran Canaria and sailing around the islands, revictualling and then heading on down to Cape Verde.

The trip may well take quite a bit longer, thinking about it!

  • Margaret Morby (Gold Patron)
  • Steve Taylor
  • Bev Freed
  • Robin and Marja Crowther
  • Sam Wright
  • Martin and Gillian Heath
  • John Bointon
  • JFDI International
  • Jack Case
  • David Clarke-Williams
  • Joanne Thompson
  • Chris & Colin Turnbull
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