We’re back on plan. The reason to even think about bringing the boat back – by whatever means – is at a minimum delayed – we’re off to the Baltic this year – and excited by the prospect!
We arrive in the UK on April 27th and head straight to the boat. Hopefully the boat will be in the water having had new bottom paint applied and having been scrubbed and polished! With luck we’ll be able to prepare everything else – bend on sails, a few minor boat chores, etc., and provision in just a few (3?) days and then head out, weather permitting into the Irish Sea towards Scotland.
We plan to sail around the Clyde and Argyll regions for the month of May (before the midges come out!) and then through the Caledonian Canal – to see if we can spot the Loch Ness Monster.
We’ll then cross the North Sea to Norway and plan to spend a few days in Stavanger before heading south into the Baltic.
The Ocean Cruising Club is holding a 2 month long ‘come and go’ cruise through the Baltic, right up to St. Petersburg – so we’ll end up visiting Norway, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Russia and Sweden. It’ll be nice to have other familiar boats around us as we sail this fascinating area.
On the way back we’ll either go a southerly route; back through the Baltic and the Kiel Canal in Germany to Amsterdam and then to Southern England, Channel Islands and Northern France – or – we’ll go a northerly route through the Gota Canal across Sweden and then over to the Shetlands and back through Scotland’s Hebridean islands.
The end of the year will see us park the boat somewhere in England – or possibly sail her back to the US through September and October – via the Azores and Bermuda.
It’s nice to have a plan – even knowing that it’ll never be fully followed!
Just when you think everything’s planned and the plans are stable, something crops up that throws a monkey wrench in the whole thing…
So, this particular monkey is an opportunity at work that may – I say may advisedly – be silly to pass up.
So we’ve now got 2 plans – one of which is to sail this year up to Scotland, across the North Sea and cruise the Baltic with the OCC for a couple of months. We’re nicely along with that plan – with all the (not inexpensive) charts and cruising guides purchased and Laurie and her mom having stitched together a dozen courtesy flags! The other plan is to ship the boat back to the US!
The opportunity in question is dependent upon a set of circumstances that we hope will be clarified in the next week or so. If it happens though, we’d want to bring the boat back – since I’d have to commit for a couple of years and we’d probably end up living aboard for the duration. So… how to get her back…
- We could sail her: Whitehaven – Azores – Newport. Fastest passage probably 30 days – so realistically we need to budget 45 days to commission and then allow for weather delays, etc. That 45 days would be right at the beginning of the New Opportunity! (Not exactly tactful!)
- We could ship her. How much to ship a 44ft boat from UK to Newport? This requires some road transport from Whitehaven to Southampton – so un-step mast, remove radar arch etc – All in about $45,000!!! plus a bunch of work to take stuff down – and then put it back up at the other end…
- A combination of both – sail her to Southampton to meet the freighter – means everything stays up on the boat – mast as well. But to do that in April would mean a cold blustery sail from Whitehaven to Southampton in March/April – and requires taking 2 weeks off to ensure we meet the ship in time…
Right now we’re leaning towards choice 3 – but it’s Friday – Saturday will bring another scenario – or another Monkey!
Watch this space…