Liverpool again!

Finally after 11 months, 12 stopovers, 13 races, 5 countries and 5 ocean crossings, we made it back to England and Liverpool on Saturday.

The fourteenth race was a sprint up the river Mersey to Liverpool, which we managed to win! Strong wind sailing and upwind is one thing we are reasonably good at, having won a few of the ocean sprint bonus points over the last few races. Even if we did come rather too close to a cruise liner at one point – this pic taken from the cruise liner in question by a passenger that came to see us at Canning Half-Tide dock.

It seems like only yesterday that I was here in Albert Dock for the grand departure of the fleet; now we’re back nearly a year later, well-travelled across oceans and continents. A very strange feeling.

More strange still, yet exciting is my new nephew Jamie, and first of the next generation in my family. Born whilst I was in Punta Del Este in Uruguay and now 9 months old, I met him for the first time yesterday, and my brother Patrick and sister-in-law Emma for the first time in 11 months! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Also down at the Liverpool docks – and in the pub later! – were my parents, many other members of my family, my best friend Hazel and former work colleague Becky; so happy to see everyone after so many months away. Even got a little emotional.

Now we’re off again today to take our home for the last 11 months back to Gosport on the south coast, where the boats live between races. There’s only 8 of us on this trip instead of the usual 16 to 22 crew; sailing whilst not racing should be somewhat relaxing! (Weather dependant, terms & conditions apply.)

As to what happens next: firstly I’m going to need a week or so off! Then maybe a Yachtmaster Offshore qualification, then who knows?

Dull grey skies of the UK

After nearly 11 months away, it’s almost reassuring to sail back into UK waters accompanied by cold drizzle and low cloud in mid-summer. Feels like nothing has changed!

We made excellent time across the Atlantic (15 days), passing the Grand Banks in some dense fog and then some fast downwind sailing up northwards to Ireland. We won a point on the scoring gate, two points on the ocean sprint, then came in third place into Derry – so a generally successful voyage all round.

Being back in the UK is rather weird after 11 months away. (Even if it is Northern Ireland on the Twelfth.) Used to boat living interspersed by various foreign countries, it’s strange being surrounded by Tesco and Sainsbury’s and British road signs and driving on the left.

Anyway, we have quite a long time here for boat maintenance and tourist stuff, leaving again on the last race of the circumnavigation on Sunday 22nd July. We are due to arrive into Liverpool about 11m-midday on Saturday 28th July, so if you’re free or in the area come down to Albert Dock!

Finally I’m still a little way short of my UNICEF fundraising goal, so if you haven’t yet please consider donating.