We’ve been back in the UK for exactly a week- down to the hour- and we’ve just been so run off our feet that I genuinely haven’t had time to update this blog. But there’s actually not too much to report because the last few days of sailing were boring at best. We had long days in average weather, but we saw no reason to dilly-dally once we were on the home run. After all, The X-Factor had just started back in the UK and Nick was desperate not to miss the preliminary auditions where all the freaks come out to play. Plus Simon’s back!
After leaving Cherbourg we sailed to Fecamp, an uninspiring French town on the Normandy coast, arriving late in the evening and departing before the break of dawn the next morning. From there, we sailed north until we reached Dover, and once again left first thing the following day. The sun finally came out as we were sailing down the Swale and as we made our familiar way down the creek to Conyer marina, we were able to enjoy some decent weather at last. Our friends were kind enough to ensure there was a drink waiting for us at the pub, so we paused only to secure the lines before joining them for a celebratory pint.
We have quite a few things to sort out before we leave the country again- this time by plane rather than boat. We’re not going to return to the UK until just before Christmas, so we need to ensure the boat can be left safely which basically means we need to stow everything properly. We also have the boatshow next weekend which we attend every year whether we need to buy anything or not (we usually do!). The list for this year is a self steering hydrovane, which will allow us to turn the autopilot off on long passages, an outboard crane so that Nick no longer has to precariously lower the outboard engine into the dinghy himself, a stern shower, pilot books, and probably a load of other things that Nick hasn’t bothered to tell me about. Or, more likely, he has told me but because they involve electronics or something, my eyes just glaze over and I start daydreaming of my next meal.
We’re then travelling to Malaysia, Thailand and Australia for 3 months before returning to the UK for Christmas and the winter. Because I consider this blog to be a sailing blog, rather than just a chronicle of our every-day life, I won’t be updating regularly over the off-season. Our plan is to depart for our circumnavigation (eeeeeeeeeeeiiiiii!!!) (that was my squeal of excitement) around Easter next year. Firm plans are a thing of the past, and so our exact itinerary is unknown, but we plan to register with the 2015 ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) next week at the boatshow, so we’re definitely crossing the Atlantic next November. During the season, we plan to sail the Western Mediterranean in the hope that we’ll experience an actual summer, something I don’t believe I’ve encountered since leaving Australia five years ago. Then again, from now on Nick and I will be chasing the sun from season to season, so short rainy summers will soon be a distant memory.