The day before we purchase our 56′ Oyster
The best way to describe my life right now is by calling it a whirlwind. Today is Saturday. On Wednesday loads of our possessions went into long-term storage. On Thursday the moving truck was packed up and we moved our leftover stuff from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK to Gosport (not sure what county I’m in now). On Friday I spent the day unpacking with a brief visit to my daughter’s new pre-school and the local high street for milk and bread. Today we have a list a mile long of imperative things ‘to-do’ before we leave for Palma, Mallorca, to buy our dream boat, our 56′ Oyster, which we’re doing tomorrow!
Everything all happening at once – we couldn’t have planned it to happen this way
During the course of one week, we’ve sold our 6-bed house and our Moody 35′ sailboat and we’ve purchased (and taken possession of) a new 2-bed flat on the South coast and we’re just about to buy our 56′ Oyster Yacht and sail it from Palma to Gibraltar (3 – 4 days non-stop sail). We couldn’t have planned for all of this to happen at the same time, but it has!
After we purchase and move the boat, we then fly back to the UK and celebrate Christmas and New Years. We then fly out to North Carolina on the 2nd of January to see my brother, his family, and the latest addition to our family – Emma Isabella Harkola, born November 2013.
Thereafter, hubby and I have a variety of courses to take (engine maintenance and repair, first aid, first aid advanced) in addition to selling anything else we own (the car, a sailboat sail, and odds and sods). Around the 24th of March we’ll then fly back to Gibraltar having to make our first port of call at Malta.
Originally, our plan was to sail from Palma, Mallorca to Barcelona, Spain. The Spanish government agreed that our tax bill for the boat would come to X euros a month ago and then changed their mind and explained they were after 2X now. That extra money due is the money we need to use to actually pay for our sailing adventure! We can pay the tax but then we’d have to look at the boat rather than sail it around.
Luckily our broker found a solution using a Maltese Leasing Scheme. When all is said and done, we’ll pay less than the original amount that the Spanish government was originally after. All I can think is that the ‘adventure has begun!’
Our very first voyage is going to be a 3 – 4 days non-stop sail
When I first discovered that we’d need to sail 3 – 4 days rather than 17 hours non-stop on our first voyage, I freaked out a bit. What if our skipper couldn’t extend his help for the extra days? What if we (meaning me and hubby) had to sail the boat by ourselves? What if we couldn’t find another skipper? For insurance purposes we needed a certified skipper! OMG, OMG, OMG.
I then told myself to chill out and stop thinking about it. Fortunately, I had other things to hold my attention. The move alone took up much of my mental capacity. And looking after my 3 ½-year-old daughter also distracted my focus. Furthermore, I decided that I must just go with the flow.
I must just go with the flow!
To my delight, our skipper came back to us within 2 days letting us know that he could get us to Gibraltar. ‘Phew’ were the words I screamed out. Hubbie punched the air and yelled, ‘Yeeeeesssss’. Trying to find another skipper at such short notice would be seriously difficult!
Now, my worries have turned to ‘provisioning’ the boat. It will be my job to get to Palma, find a grocery store, and buy enough food for 3-4 days. It probably sounds like a small task, and in light of other things, it is. I suppose I’m just scared because I don’t know what we’ll want, I’m not sure if we’ll be able to actually prepare food or it’s more of heat up beans type of thing? I suppose I’ll get lots of fruit, can stuff (soups, baked beans, tuna fish, etc) and some ready meals that we can throw into the oven. I hope our water maker works? Hmm, I’ll need to get some water too just in case.
So, there goes my gluten-free, non-processed food diet! Hehehe. In actuality, it’s been impossible to follow it later anyway. But I know we’ll get back to our healthy eating as soon our lives slow down a little bit! Most of our meals have been at restaurants or from takeaways but whenever possible, we are choosing the best of a bad bunch.
The only other thing I’m freaking out about is how I handle the first voyage
I get seasick quite easily so I’m frightened that I’ll spend the trip puking while hubby has to not only sail the boat but look after me and our daughter. What a disaster that would be.
“Kim – you’ve got to stop thinking this way! You get what you focus on so let’s focus on what we want to happen!”
Okay. As a routine, I always write about my trips/adventures before I take them. It’s a way for me to get my mind/body to focus on what I want to happen, so here goes…
Pre-trip preparation visualization for one of our most monumental trips to date
Our flights from Stanstead to Palma are fantastic. Sienna and I have a great time making crafts, coloring and enjoying the flight. Meeting our skipper, Richard, face-to-face for the first time is great. I know instantly that I’ll easily get on with him. Sim is like a kid who had all his Christmas’s come at once – he’s buzzing with excitement.
We go straight to the boat after our arrival in Palma. Everyone is excited and eager to unpack and get situated. Due to the limited time we have with our skipper, we’ll be eager to get going as soon as possible. Sienna and I will easily find a grocery store in Palma and get all the stuff we need for the trip.
After all the paperwork, checks, and hand-over essentials are taking care of, we need to sail for 12 miles off the coast, instigate the sale transaction and then sail on until we hit Gibraltar.
The actual journey from Palma to Gibraltar is amazing. Absolutely amazing. Sienna is a perfect angel helping out where she can and playing on her own when needed. We quickly get into a routine and we all enjoy each other’s company. The sail is comfortable and easy-going. We’re flying – over 9 knots yet it’s a smooth sail. Furthermore, the food I purchased is perfect – it’s healthy, tastes great, and is a joy to prepare. I actually feel GREAT the whole way.
We get to Gibraltar in record time and when I see the port I’m so excited to get moored up and check of the next milestone on the list of our ‘sell up and sail’ adventure. We did it! We purchased our dream boat and we successfully sailed it on her first journey. And she’s perfect…she’s in excellent condition and we know that we found the perfect boat to sail around the world. Wooooooo hooooooo. I’m so happy, proud, excited and in love with life.
Next Chapter: 23. My first trip on our new yacht – Dolphins included!
Or…if you’d like to carry on reading all about our journey from selling up and sailing away, you can purchase my book, ‘Changing Lifestyles – Trading the Rat Race in For A Sail Around The World,’