Sailing Away - Sailing Back
Aug 2012 Nicola Rodriguez
It is ten years ago that we sailed from Torquay full of chutzpah and hope on our circumnavigation. The engine failed. Our crewman jumped ship. The Blue Water Biscay Triangle fleet sailed on. And we were still on the dock in Dartmouth.
More repairs later we set off, again. In Cameret sur Mer, we met the Triangle fleet returning home. We sailed on, to Gibraltar and Antigua and another twenty five thousand miles of explorations on all levels.
After eight years we took a break from cruising.
During our time of adjustment we have often found ourselves slipping back through the looking glass of our cruising days: the speed of the tide in Yarmouth past the buoy takes us to the speed of the current at 79th Street Yacht Basin, moored off the New York’s Upper West Side for $30 a night with Central Park and the museums a walk away. The marina is also featured in “You Got Mail”. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan walk through the Riverside Park where our two boys played and where a lightning storm struck, as we cowered in the boat below. I still cannot view the footage on Youtube. Often films and documentaries in beautiful places remind us of other stops – Lord Sugar in his home in Boca Ratan, Florida took us back to wintering on the New River, Fort Lauderdale where we met up with OCC parents Gary Naigle and Greta Gustavson who were visiting for the Winterfest Boat Parade, from their home in Norfolk. And that sets off other happy memories of our stays on their dock in Virginia.
Seraphim, our Moody 38 has changed from overloaded full time cruising boat to Solent yacht. Gradually the cruising guides, canoe, rusty bikes, spare outboard, charts, clothes, books and “bounty” were unloaded. My T shirt of the “Dark and Stormy Race” from Tortolla to Anegada in 2003, which had been worn from best T shirt to its last threads, is now a favourite memento of our visits to the BVIs.
Recently the J Class were sailing in the Solent. Awed by the magnificent craft in flight, John and I were reminded of another start line off Mahon, Menorca in August 2007 during the Panerai Classics.
Our return to life ashore was difficult. The first two years home have been quite a stretch. John started his brokerage, www.jryachts.com, I was commissioned by Miles Kendall at Wiley Nautical to write “Sail Away, How to Escape the Rat Race”, and we’ve moved three times. Despite the domestic turbulence Jack (7) and James (5) have excelled at school and made many new friends, as have we. Entering our third year we are finding a contented equilibrium in our cottage in the New Forest with our boat in the Solent.
However, there is always the call to go down to the sea.
“Sail Away, How to Escape the Rat Race and Live the Dream”. Published by Wiley Nautical.