After a week of sailing along the English south coast in pretty rubbish weather with the wind constantly in the wrong direction, we picked up Uncle Adam in Falmouth, filled the cupboards with baked beans and Angel Delight and we were off!  We slipped the lines at 6am as the sun rose over the Cornish coastline.  We were excited, apprehensive, relieved, happy, and just a little bit terrified of what lay ahead of us in the Bay of Biscay.  Read More

On Monday 13th August 2018, we sailed out of Port Solent Marina in Portsmouth, UK, on our biggest adventure yet.  An adventure to explore the world using a sailing boat as our base and home.   Read More

“Of course you don’t need a new mast.  Nobody has ever replaced a mast on an Oyster!”

That’s what we were told over and over again, by rigger after rigger and surveyor after surveyor.  But here we are, many months later, with our brand new mast gleaming in the sunlight.  Over in Sweden, a slab of corrosion-free aluminium was lovingly moulded into an 18m long tube, almost exactly the same as the one we already had, and lowered into the deck of our 1990 Oyster 435 sailing boat.   Read More

Renaming a boat is something that seems to strike fear into the hearts of superstitious sailors everywhere. Apparently it’s really bad luck to change the name of a boat, even if the current name is a bit rubbish. If you are brave enough to anger the gods by changing a boat name, then there are boat renaming ceremonies that have to be performed, rules that have to followed, and alcohol that has to be drunk (ok, so it’s not all bad) before any changes can take place. Neptune or Poseidon or some other god of the seas or the winds has to be stroked, caressed and plied with alcohol. Luckily, I’m not even slightly superstitious. Read More

After travelling around the world, we’re pretty good at knowing what travel gear works in our backpacks, and what doesn’t.  We have our favourite travel accessories that are invaluable to us while on the road.  Some of them save space, some of them protect stuff, some of them organise stuff and some of them stop the kids getting bored and therefore annoying.  Can our favourite backpacking travel gear really turn into must have boat gadgets for our sailing trip around the world?   Read More

I’d been looking forward to “hauling out day” for about a month. It marked the official end of our first sailing season and would be the start of a new chapter in the book that I’m going to write about all of this when I get around to it (although I said that about the ‘Backpacking Around the World with Kids’ book too). I was full of optimism about all the jobs we’d be able to get done, but also slightly fearful about what we’d find lurking below the waterline when the boat was taken out of the water for the winter.  I was also completely naive about the reality of working on a boat over the winter in the UK.  The steep learning curve and the unforeseen boat projects continue! Read More

The learning curve of an inexperienced, new boat owner has been a lot steeper than I expected.  Owning and fixing up an older sailing boat for cruising the world has been much more of an emotional roller coaster ride that I was prepared for.  During the first five months, we have had many boat maintenance wins and fails and I’m sure there are many more to come.  I’m hoping we’ve found most of the broken bits, but I fear we haven’t even scratched the surface.  Read on for a quick summary of our wins and fails so far. Read More

The RYA Diesel Engine Course doesn’t sound like the most exciting way to spend a Sunday, does it?  Well, it isn’t.  But if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to learn all about that diesel engine on your boat and save loads of money in the long term, this is it!  Read this review to find out all about it… Read More