Ep1- Leaving a life on land and setting sail as a liveaboard.
The adventure begins!
This is the very first episode of ‘Sailing Fair Isle’, having sold our house and most of our possessions we are embarking on a trip around the world. Join us as we sail along the South coast of the UK to Plymouth to join ARC Portugal. A rally organised by the World Cruising Club to sail from Plymouth to Lagos in the Algarve.
In this episode we sail the whole Southern coast of England spending time in the Solent, the mecca of British sailing. Play with seals in a fantastic anchorage on the Isle of Wight, Newtown Creek. We visit some of our favorite UK ports such as Dartmouth, Salcombe and Torbay. This is a shake down cruise to prepare to take on the Bay of Biscay sailing from Plymouth direct to Bayona in Spain.
What we don’t know is that the whole fleet will be scattered by a force 10 storm in Southern Biscay and we will be faced with very difficult sea conditions in the notorious Bay of Biscay.
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We are sailing slowly around the world in our classic cutter rigged sailboat ‘Fair Isle’. With the children leaving home we decided to sell our house in the UK and buy a boat in Holland. After two years refitting our Hans Christian 48T we have now set off a world voyage.
We are retiring early because we want to attempt this voyage in good health and while we’re fit and strong enough to really enjoy it. We will have to work a bit as we go until we can draw our pensions and we honestly don’t know how well that will work. In our real lives we are journalists and filmmakers so it was only natural for use to document our travels by filming the journey. We aim to produce a professional standard vlog of the whole trip and try to give the viewer a real insight into what it’s like to live and travel on a 48 foot sailboat.
Our first aim is to sail South. After a winter getting iced in on the Markermeer in the Netherlands Judy insisted on warmer weather! So if you start from Episode 1 you will see us setting off from Eastbourne in the UK and travelling along the South Coast to Plymouth to enter a rally called ARC Portugal.
Our first goal is to reach the Mediterranean and that means sailing across the infamous Bay of Biscay. This was a very good test for our boat as the bay lived up to it’s fearsome reputation and split the whole fleet with a force 10 storm. Storm Miguel cut through our path and meant we had to run to mainland Spain to escape the massive seas and fearsome winds. Six boats couldn’t make it in time and spent several very uncomfortable days at sea. The fleet had several broken boats, but thankfully no injured people. And this was just Episode 2!
The excitement continued for the rest of our trip to the Med. Dolphins played in our bow wave, we sampled fantastic local foods and wines, great port in Porto! We found some beautiful anchorages and visit some wonderful historic places like Lisbon in Portugal, Cadiz in Spain and the fascinating port of Gibraltar.
We will show you what it’s like to winter in the Mediterranean, how much it all costs and give hints and tips on where to go how to save money with your boat and the places you stay. We are also talking to other sailors. After years of broadcasting journalism we know how to get peoples stories and we regularly film other sailors to show their boats and lifestyle as well as ours. We can always learn from others.
Our long term plan is to spend a few years in the Mediterranean, on our list of place we want to visit are; Mallorca, Malta, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Italy, Tunisia, to name but a few!
When we feel we’ve seen the best of what the Med has to offer we will cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean, and on to the Pacific.
We have no timescale for our circumnavigation, we will just keep going until we’re to old to pull the sails up!