Looking back (and not in anger)

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All good things come to an end and after 35 months of good things, we have traded in our boat uniform for unemployedwear and have finished on sailing yacht Chimera. We started on the boat in West Palm Beach, Florida and have finished in Auckland, New Zealand and definitely did not take the most direct route here.

So here’s a quick summary of our 3 (ish) long year journey, in 3 easy paragraphs…

We left the alligators in Florida behind and crossed over to the Bahamas. From here we sailed up to Bermuda, luckily avoiding that pesky triangle, we had a week here exploring and then (back then) spent my first longest time at sea ever, stopping mid-Atlantic in the Azores. We finished our first Atlantic crossing in that small British enclave where Morrisons is gold and monkeys are dangerous, Gibraltar. Onto some much needed culture we cruised up the Guadalquivir river to the pretty city of Seville. Rich in Spanish culture to one of the more exotic destinations we traveled to, Hartlepool in the UK. With the boat re-stocked of Marmite and sausages we headed for Sweden to start the 2015 summer itinerary. With a quick stop in Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, we left to cruise up to Bergen in Norway. From here we cruised the stunning and rugged West coast of Norway, in and out of fjords up to the amazing Lofoten Islands, tucked up in the Arctic Circle. From the mountainous and dramatic landscape of the Lofoten’s we spent time cruising back down past Norway, with some last minute marshmallows on fires and kayaking until we reached Oban, in Scotland. Scotland saw more pretty and lush landscapes, with a side trip to the very remote island of Lismore. Making our way back down the east coast of the UK, with a wake boarding stop in the not so warm Welsh coast. We then reached Falmouth and stayed for a couple of weeks, where we tried multiple Cornish pasties (not so impressed) and cream teas (always impressed). A few pounds heavier we beat some seriously scary weather over to Lanzarote. With an incredible side trip (taken by plane) to road trip Iceland we were then back in the barren volcanic landscape ready to cross the Atlantic for the second time, this time to the Caribbean. Avoiding pirates, but not the rum, we spent time cruising St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and onto Antigua. A quick trip to the UK with a French ski trip thrown in here to celebrate the start of 2016.

A new year, long lunching and scuba diving in the Caribbean later we headed back up to Florida. A month was more than enough time to spend there, it was time to cross the Atlantic for the 3rd time, just incase we were feeling too settled. This time missing out Bermuda and heading straight for the volcanic Azores, a 30th birthday celebration in a volcano later it was time to skip Gibraltar and head straight for Mallorca. Here the boat had a quick 6 week yard period, so a foodie side trip to Madrid was in order. Ready for the summer we headed over to Menorca, did some epic cave diving and then onto Montenegro and Croatia. Wandering old towns and finding off the beaten track anchorages we were ready for Venice. Too many gelato’s, a trip to Venice’s islands and sightseeing later we were ready to head back across ready to cross the Atlantic – again. On our way to mainland Spain we broke down and got side tracked (or towed) into Menorca. All fixed, we arrived in Valencia with a quick stop again in Mallorca. For a re charge after the summer we took a slight detour out of Europe and headed to Chicago for a city weekend. Back in Spain, Tapas’d and cycled out we were ready to cross the ocean again. With another brief stop off in Lanzarote we made it across to Grenada where we waited out some weather, hiked in waterfalls and tested out the sundowners. Then we made the final leg to Panama. After cruising around Panama’s island; San Blas and Bocas del Toro, we finished up the year exploring chocolate farms, cave hiking and surfing.

We welcomed 2017 in with a new ocean. Through the Panama Canal we went, impressed is an understatement, we made it to the Pacific thanks to that brilliant engineering feat. Pacific side we cruised Las Perlas, witnessing an incredible whale experience and then headed down the coast of Panama to Costa Rica. In an unfinished marina, with friendly locals and rainforest adventures we were residents of southern Costa Rica for about 3 months, with an epic trip to Nicaragua thrown in the mix. A few days crossing later saw us arrive into the world of unique landscape and wildlife viewing, the Galapagos Islands. Turtles, sea lions, humpbacks, blue footed boobies (they are birds…) and lots more later it was time for our longest crossing yet, the South Pacific Ocean. Just 14 days later we arrived in the Marquesas Islands. Their rugged beauty jutting out from the middle of nowhere is a sight to be rivalled. Cruising around these islands, with days off hiking and seeing some amazing local culture we then headed through onto the completely contrasting low lying atolls of the Tuamotus. From here our paradise tour ended in Tahiti and Moorea, with lots of time to explore and soak up island living. Then a 10 (or 11) days crossing later…I’m still confused with crossing the date line…we made it to New Zealand, on our last trip sailing on Chimera, sailing into the city of sails and finishing our epic adventure…

Here’s to a new chapter. Watch this space… (I’ll be watching too as I’m not too sure whats coming either) ๐Ÿ™‚

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