It is almost the end of January and I am sitting on the easy jet flight to Gatwick – moving away from 20 degrees and sunny towards wet, cold, snow, grey and windy. I have time to do a little writing. I am on my way to work with one of my favorite clients – Morgan Sindall, so that is good but I am already missing being on the sea!
(yes yes I know it is now the 2 of Feb – but I wrote this across several days and then I left my laptop on the plane and only got it back today – numpty)
I love our new life with its quirky new challenges, amazing vistas and incredible people.
During the past week I have had an adventure stuffed full of ‘ings’ –
- Planning our voyage by running a workshop where I encouraged people to become living pilot book. To tell their stories of where they had been and what they liked and didn’t like.
- Drawing I joined in an extraordinary drawing class and to my huge surprise producing something quite good – even if it was a bit of a surprise that is was a life drawing class and a rather beautiful naked man was in front of me at 9 in the morning.
- Rehearsing We now have a cool little gathering on a Tony and Clare’s classic boat on a Tuesday morning at 11am to work on the singing we are developing for Friday night’s music sessions
- Performing in our music evenings. I am loving singing am becoming more confident – I am even developing my own set of jazz numbers
- Rigging with a team of our new friends who helped us run all sorts of mouse lines and sorted out the reefing system on our main. How generous and warm they all were.
- Nursing mark (who I had to take to hospital in the end with ear and lung infections) Poor Mark its horrid to be ill
- Hosting is a constant and wonderful thing on the boat with people coming and going all the time – tea, coffee, wine, beer and food – always. On Friday night we offered a bed for David an extraordinary guitar player who specializes in Rag Time came to sleep over
- Listening to an incredible man called David who looks like Jesus and is a Cannabis expert. He turned up at the music evening and was a mesmerising guitarist – We took him in and gave him a bed for the night.
- Driving all over the place as we have hired a car for a while and it is great fun to see more of the area than we can reach on foot.
- Grooming May as she fell in the water attempting a leap from our steps to our deck and of course
- Skyping (is that a word?) I have been in touch with the kids and work colleagues – its fun to Skype
- Pampering – As I had the car and Mark was healing by sleeping all day for days on end, I escaped to Portimao and had my nails done and my hair – lovely treats
- Writing – I am hoping to ensure the blog stays vital even when we are nestled in one spot.
- Teaching – it was great to work with a team from Morgan on the psychology of Impact, Influence and Persuasion one of my favorite topics
- Healing – following the training – I totally lost my voice (a first for me) it’s a shame as I was really looking forward to singing – but that will have to wait.
- Winning – we joined in a race with Magic – it was a fun day with perfect weather and it was our first race. We were lucky to have an ace crew with Melwin at the Helm – she was Aaaamazing and we won – by 14 minutes – despite having a handicap applied ( and yes for you purists we should not have had our ensign up whilst racing – but then it was a fun day race and also as you know we are still learning!)
It is amazing how busy we are!
We love living in Lagos (for the moment!) with all the cool new friends we are making. It was fun doing some passage planning and we now have an outline plan in place. All of our children have now confirmed their travel plans to come and visit and we are delighted that we will be able to share our new way of life and living with them. I know that they cannot imagine what it is like to live aboard so it will be great to show them.
There are a few things that have been going on with regard to the boat repairs such as some carpentry – repairs to chips and ugly bits, the VHF is now winging its way from the UK – (Pip Johnson at Force 4 has been incredible and has helped us since the beginning of our adventure. He has even located the broken ‘thingy’ from our toilets)
Toilets are a hugely interesting topic for sailors – other live aboards have commented how they love our toilets! It is intriguing to learn the new social norms of the live aboard community. If visiting other boats always bring something yummy and also your slippers. Also go to the loo before your visit and if at all possible do not use their heads. However as two of our three heads have fantastic flush toilets we can encourage our guests to relax and stay a while – as our ‘facilities’ are on hand.
I may have mentioned our relationship with the forums on the Cruising Association – on there we were critised for most of our decisions (some of the comments have been annoying some actually upsetting) – we have been criticised for lots of things including the purchase of Magic as she is not the ‘right’ boat
- A Hanse and not an Oyster
- 54 and not 45 ft
- Black and not White
- Wide and not Slim
- Packed with ‘gizmos’ and not stripped back
But we love Magic all the live aboard luxury we have – lots of space, clean modern lines, TV, DVD player, Music and Internet and of course silent electric fresh water flushing toilets!!
and of course she is a sound boat and sails like a dream – as our racing results now show
We love Magic and she is the right decision for us.
Some of the members of the CA have been in touch directly to say they do not agree with all our decisions but they respect our individual choices. But some seem to continue to enjoy continually poking holes in every move we take. The most recent one accusing Mark in writing of culpable homicide – not nice !
But we are not rising to any of that – we are learning and happy doing it.
We are taking Magic out and sailing around the bays along the Algarve coast from Lagos. This is enabling us not only to work on the finer details of handling her under sail but also to check the rigging and all the electronic systems carefully.
We are booked in Lagos Marina until 9th of March and plan to leave then – weather permitting, of course.
What a good decision this was – every day brings new challenges and new reasons why this was one of the best decisions we have ever made.
If you live aboard or are thinking of living aboard please feel free to get in touch with any thoughts – observations or advice –