As you can imagine our preparation is work in progress and has been for a long time. Sorin is a qualified Yachtmaster Offsore with commercial endorsement and I am a qualified Day Skipper; but, no qualification, reading or research fully equips one for such an endeavour. A risk taking mindset and the readiness to learn on the go are a must.
There is however a lot of learning to be done. About one’s limitations, the boat and equipment, seasons, winds, currents. About the entry and clearance requirements in each visited country (www.noonsite.com). About the Panama crossing. About the best spot to anchor to see the fireworks in Sydney, etc.
Equipping oneself with the mindset and skills required to be as self sufficient as possible is critical. Luckily Sorin has a hands on nature and his learning journey about boats and fixing them started when we bought Music Maker, our first yacht. Everything on boats needs attention. From big jobs like replacing the engine to learning about anti-fouling, for example. A boat owner needs to become electrician, plumber, rigger, carpenter, mechanic, chef, astronavigator, tailor and the list goes on.
Fully enjoying this voyage is our goal. All our resources have been directed for a long time towards this goal.
My 2017 Christmas present was a First Aid at Sea course which I attended in March. In summer 2017 I also completed the VHF course.
On our return from Holland on the tail of the hurricane Bertha we took part in the RNLI Sea Survival Course in the Solent. It was a great practical day where we learned about the 3 Ps of sea survival – Preparation, Protection, Position.
Another important learning was related to setting up the blog. It can be quite an endeavour when one doesn’t know anything about websites and writing! But with the support and encouragement of a couple of people (and thereafter your continued engagement!) to whom we are duly grateful, we made it happen. We can now share our experience and hopefully inspire others to realise their dreams.
Since we plan to drop anchor in a few Spanish speaking countries (and perhaps after completing the circumnavigation we will be spending some time around the west coast of Spain) leaning Spanish was part of the plan and currently it is work in progress. Duolingo is not the most engaging language learning app, but it is good enough and it is free.
Sadly weather forecasts are not always accurate (e.g. Fast Net 1979). Building a routine of regularly monitoring the barometer and the knowledge to read the signs is of great importance. To this end we bought ‘A guide to weather’ on Amazon. We are also reading ‘Heavy weather sailing’ (scary!) which is a comprehensive guide to risks caused by bad weather and how others have copped successfully.
It will be interesting to see how the learning journey evolves whilst on the go…By the time we will be writing the next blog we will be out at sea. We are taking advantage of the good weather spell and we are setting off tomorrow from Ipswich to Falmouth with a stop-over in Dover tomorrow night.