So….here we are then, 10 years and 2 not so little boys now added to the mix we are finally off. Again. Having bought our beautiful Bella (or as she was then Bellamanda) ten years ago with dreams of sailing off into the sunset together, Tom and I were not going to be deterred by the arrival of Stan in 2011. We left the Solent when he was a mere 11 weeks old for a ‘shake down’ cruise up to the Outer Hebrides and back. Whilst this trip was great fun it was also very clear that sailing with a new born wasn’t going to be straight forward, so we decided to return to Cowes and grow our own crew. Ted arrived two years later. When we finally emerged from the fog of nappies and sleepless nights we began to plan in earnest for the day we would sail away together as a family.
We decided that the boys needed to be able to read, write and swim before we left. Now, with Tom’s job at Rolls Royce relocating to Bristol, the project I’ve been working on at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation coming to the end of its first phase and the boys, who will have just turned 8 and 6 by the time we leave, proving to be increasingly useful onboard the time feels right to head off.
The rough plan – a year in the Med followed by a season in the Caribbean. With the small matters of crossing Biscay, boat schooling, living in each other’s pockets and crossing the Atlantic to keep us on our toes.