“Off The Line” is our first/team blog, started with Vivian and Wilhelm Botha, when we originally bought Melody at the end of 2010. It documents our journey from the day we all decided to buy a boat and sail across the Atlantic, the entire refit process, and the sailing journey from South Africa to the Caribbean. We had almost zero cash but a LOT of heart, blind determination, and a plethora of good people surrounding us, who supported us in many different, but all equally important, ways.
The posts included here are from the original offtheline.co.za blog, but only till our team went their separate ways at the end of 2012. For the rest of Viv and Wilhelm’s journey, aboard Melody, you can continue reading from here. The four of us remained equal partners/owners of Melody till the end of 2013, when Viv & Wil returned to South Africa and we (Rufus & I) bought out their shares.
After Viv & Wil left Melody, the Kleins, a family from Germany, cruised the Caribbean with her for 3 months. They documented their travels on their blog sevenklein.com. Wolfgang and Nina took the most phenomenal care of our precious floating home and we are so grateful to them. They met us in St Lucia, when we returned to the Caribbean to continue cruising, in early May 2014. They have since become friends and yet another wonderful example of why we love the cruising community and lifestyle: good people with big hearts and true community spirit.
The posts included here were written by all of us (author at the end of most of the posts) with the majority of the photos taken by Viv and myself. It was an epic journey full of many seriously hard lessons, a crash course in life, condensed into 2 short years. But there were also countless, phenomenal once-in-a-lifetime experiences that have changed each of us, irreversably, for the better.
Many people said we would never finish the work on Melody, let alone leave South Africa’s shores. We were often critisized for being immature, irresponsible and non-commital, running away from the “real world” and adult responsibilities and commitments. What most of those people did not realise is that it takes a hell of a lot of self-discipline, determination, sacrifice, ingenuity, maturity and focused commitment to make a project like this work without the conventional resources at our disposal, like retirement funds and passive incomes.
It’s easy to give up but it’s a million times harder to push through and make a plan from nothing. We made it work and we will always be proud of that. Proud of what we accomplished individually and as a team, despite the nay sayers, obstacles and our own personal doubts.
An experience like this cannot be accurately described in words. If I think back to the kids we were, when we first started this adventure, five years ago, versus who we have now become as a result, I am so proud. Proud of all of us, what we accomplished and how it has shaped and changed us for the better.
The blog starts with the last / most recent post but if you want to read from the beginning, and follow it chronologically, you can click here.
This is our story. Enjoy!