For the better part of this year so far the plan has been to complete our circumnavigation in 2016, by crossing both the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The Pacific crossing was a peaceful time of reflection with little distraction – 5 weeks of thinking, dreaming and talking at length about what we want out of life, both together and individually, as well as our immediate and long term plans.
One afternoon in the cockpit, during one of these discussions, I asked Rufus “What would you do if, when we arrive in Marquises, we get an email with our dream job offer? Would you take it?” His immediate response was “No. We are committed to completing this circumnavigation this year. Absolutely not.” I then replied “Good, because that was a test and you passed with flying colours!”
To give you a bit of background, it was more my idea to complete the circumnavigation this year and it took months of convincing to get Rufus on board (excuse the pun). As a sailor and master of your own small, older, basic vessel with limited funds it is a daunting task facing a long crossing like the one we just did and then the trans-Indian which is known as the worst, most uncomfortable, leg for 99% of circumnavigators. During the Pacific crossing this changed and Rufus finally came round and started getting really excited about my plan.
Rufus and I had made sure that we had enough in our kitty to complete the trip this year and also time each leg it so that we would be in the right places in the right seasons for the right winds to get us where we need to be.
If you know us at all you will know that there seems to always be a big difference between what we plan and what we end up doing. In the big scheme of things though, we keep going in the same general direction even though there are quite a few detours and, to be honest, we enjoy the surprise turns in the road because it keeps things interesting and we enjoy change.
So to cut a long story short, when we arrived in Marquises we opened our mail boxes to find the email we never thought we would receive at this stage of our journey: our dream job offer. And to our surprise and delight we accepted! We learned a lot from our last working experience on a super yacht and so we would not go lightly into a decision like this. Thankfully this literally ticked pretty much all our boxes for the perfect job:
– Great owner(s) who we know, have mutual respect and get on well with. Working for and with good people is probably the biggest factor for us.
– A boat that we can run just the two of us, no other crew dynamics to deal with.
– An active international itinerary.
– A brand new build sailboat, and a design we know and love.
– And the list goes on!
So with great excitement we accepted the new positions and within a week we had put Melody on the hard in Hiva-Oa, winterised her and booked our tickets back to SA (we wanted to see family and had to get new passports as we had run out of space for visas and literally could not travel anymore!). After a month, mostly with family and doing admin for our next adventure, we flew to Ft Lauderdale and joined our new boat at the start of July, a 2016 58ft Leopard catamaran!
kayaking on our last sailing weekend with Melody view from the deserted little beach we anchored off Rufus putting his gymnastic training to good use coconut water goodness! our FAVOURITE fruit – pamplemousse (grapefruit) which grows everywhere on the islands driving to the farm on a winter’s weekend, one of our first destinations during our SA trip the family farm on the West Coast view from our stoep packing up all our personal belongings stored in our tiny farm cottage, where we fell in love and where Rufus proposed more than 8yrs ago family dinner with Rufus’ dad, Boris, and Cherie at Myoga Restaurant our unfaltering ever supportive dream team: Shawn and Karien coffee break at Tribe, in Woodstock reunited with our old Melody crew 🙂 Photo credit Vivian Botha Betty’s Bay with our dear friends Sonet & Arnold one of the views from the beautiful new home of our talented friends Evi & Jochem Evi’s outdoor artwork Rufus and Jochem relaxing in front of the fire, overlooking Yzerfontein beach our gorgeous room in the guest wing of the house reunited with our baby boy Jack for the first time since Zambia!! delicious traditional Peruvian dishes at Charango Grill and Bar in Cape Town my best friend Diana’s BEAUTIFUL healthy baby boy, Axel. Vivian’s article on our team’s journey with Melody in the first edition of Ambassadeur Joernaal (more info in a future post) family farewell at the airport with Cherie brand new MAXI-passport for all the many countries we are yet to travel! Hamad Int Airport in Qatar – kids paradise flying over the ice lakes of Southern Greenland testing the massive new sails finally at our destination: Ft Lauderdale, Florida and our shiny new catamaran! Rufus and the owner enjoying the view from the flybridge on our first sea trial