In 2013 we joined a crew on a yacht that was sailing from Weymouth to the Canaries in time for new guests/crew to board and join the ARC. We were going to use this long trip to decide whether we wanted to buy our own yacht or not, but landed up buying one before we had started this cruising experiment, so we were committed way back then. No going back at that stage!
In Spring 2014, we went through commissioning and eventually Modjadji was ours to take ‘home’. We spent most of last summer getting to know her and discovering a snagging list that made us realise why a lot of old timers we had listened to had said that one should never take a brand new boat out on a long trip in its first season. She needed some breaking in (us too!). We had to build up some confidence sailing with just the two of us.
We sailed her from Southampton to Conwy and then sailed around the Irish Sea for most of August and part of September.
Our initial plan had been to sail her around Britain but afore-mentioned snagging list and ‘discussions’ between different warrantors delayed that a little so we enjoyed visiting parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland instead. We came home for winter as we decided that we needed to work some more to pay for extras that we needed on board, such as a generator, water maker and heating after some particularly cool night shifts (and days too!) in the Irish Sea. We also decided that seeing we were home for winter it might be a good idea to get married in Spring so Pete’s contract had to be extended a little more to accommodate this happy event and we had a wonderful day with family and friends in May and wondered why we hadn’t done this before!
In the meantime, my running story has a little background too (am trying to keep these stories short :0). I have a friend called Roz (I know her as ‘Feathers’). We met on our first day at uni (University of Cape Town) when we were just 17, a very long time ago. She is 4 days’ older than me so I have to respect my elders ;-p. She was the runner, I was the swimmer. Feathers didn’t manage to convert me to running until 2003 when she persuaded me to enter the London Marathon in 2004. I had never run any race before (except inter-house at school and that didn’t count). I entered the ballot and terrifyingly got in first time! It was nearly my first ever road race until someone suggested I try a shorter distance before I actually did the marathon, so I did, sweating my way through a Half marathon for my debut. It was wonderful but I was not very fast. Along came April and the marathon. Again I was slow but Roz got me around. She never gives up, not for herself and certainly not for her whinging friend either! I think that I am a cruiser in the running world too, as opposed to a racer, but I try.
I think that the 2004 London marathon, (then FLM) is still the wettest one on record, so my rain inducing powers may still be intact. So too are Feathers’ persuasive powers…. .She had entered the Guernsey Marathon this year and once again suggested that I enter a race with her and we could sail there to meet her and her partner Richard. Last year Roz entered a half marathon in the Isle of Man and as Pete and I were sailing around the Irish Sea, we met up with her and Richard on the island. I didn’t run with her as I was focussing on some open water swims instead of running last year so we were there as moral support and to join them on a brewery tour and explore more interesting places together.
Before the Isle of Man, Roz and I had completed a marathon distance ‘peak challenge’, called the Leaden Boot** which is a local event in our parish, 26.2 miles with about 5000ft of ups and downs across trails designed for sheep, ants and the odd human. The fell runners might love it but I have had to do parts of it on all 4’s. Roz couldn’t do it with me again this year, but seeing that I had done a bit of hiking/walking/running already as training for this ‘challenge’, Roz persuaded me to enter the Guernsey marathon with her at the end of August. Yes she did using all kinds of subliminal powers in my head….
I went through the 127 stages of marathon entry (I have only listed a few here) ... “Are you mad?”, “Never in a million years”, “..maybe it is do-able in about 10 years if I train a bit”, “Okay, maybe 8 months’ training and we can run/walk it”, “ooh we can catch up on loads of gossip as we go around the island”, “it will be so beautiful”, “it will keep us motivated to run more if we enter”.
I told you, my friend Roz/Feathers is good!! I am even looking forward to this now J.