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So you want to sail around the world

I’ve always wanted to sail around the world. My dad taught me to sail in a tropical storm in an Opti (mind you we were both in the Opti – a boat built for one eight-year-old, not an eight-year-old and 6’2” late 30-something). It didn’t quite instill the passion for sailing, but it did plant a seed. Fast forward a decade plus and I was working on deck on private motor superyachts around the world. I helped move someone else’s pride and joy around tropical locations, knowing someday I wanted to on the other side of the equation.

However, it always seemed like a far-off dream. I think there are few times in life where the stars align and you have the financial security, lack of responsibilities and health to pull off a multi-year complex adventure. Most people wait until they retire pick up their sailing dreams. I didn’t want to wait until life’s responsibilities anchored me.

To compound matters, 2020-2022 changed things for me. Not just covid, my then 24-year-old little sister had a stroke. There were no warning signs, she was a picture of health. While she has made a full recovery and regained her independence, it instilled how short and unfair life can be. In all cheesiness if you have a big dream, go do it, as you never know how long you really have.

I had gotten comfortable in a corporate climate change job and my more adventuresome past seemed like a distant memory. In early 2022, I asked Craig if wanted to sail around the world with me. Somewhat surprisingly, he agreed!

So then began the preparation….First off, we had to learn to sail. Craig for the first time and I had to learn to sail boats bigger than dingy’s.  Every weekend for the next 6 months we were out on Sydney Harbor. After our corporate day jobs, nights were spent studying for long range radio license, in marine engineering courses, chart work, the list went on. I took weeks off work for extensive medical courses in Fort Lauderdale with commercial cargo captains and celestial navigation to learn to use a sextant and sight reduction tables to determine our location.

In December 2022, I flew to Newport to start looking at boats. The market in Australia was limited to say the least. By March 2023, I thought we found our boat.  After a failed attempt to buy a 56’ Oyster in Spain resulting in Seller default and legal battle, we felt defeated. While an expensive mistake, we learned a lot.

Our new parameters for the boat included geographic proximity. Travelling outside of Australia is typically at least a 17+ hour mission. The new boat would have to be in Australia, the South Pacific or Asia. But golly, the pickings were slim. So we waited.

Early September 2023 a 52’ 2001 Tayana listing in Perth, Western Australia came on the market. After a survey, sea trial and paperwork, the boat was ours!

The only problem was, it was perhaps in the most undesirable location (no offense Perth).  There is no gentle sailing ground remotely close – the Southern Ocean and Antarctica is to the South and an equally exciting mix of cyclones, crocodiles, sharks and deadly jelly fish to the North. Not to mention it is a remarkably remote city to fly in and out of, coined “the most isolated big city in the world”.

Nonetheless, S/V Offshore became ours!


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