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I'm currently reading 2 girls 2 catamarans again, James has a lot to answer for.

I've always liked a bit of a challenge, and I really want to sail the Atlantic, U.K to Caribean.

After a couple of missed opportunities to do it on other peoples boats, I keep coming back to doing it solo in a small boat. Reading about Cooking Fat hasn't helped to discourage me, in fact it just gets me more fired up.

  So the big question, what size Wharram would be a reasonable boat to do it on. I recently looked at a 28' Tannenui which looked like plenty of boat to be comfortable on.  So probably smaller would be possible.

I'm not looking at setting records less than 6' boats don't interest me, but I also don't want to spend 10 years building a boat that's more than I need. Bearing in mind this might be a one way trip for the boat, sell/burn and fly back kind of deal. Don't think I can afford to take too much time off work and away from the family etc.

thanks for looking

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Robert - I have followed your journeys with great interest. What you have done appeals to me greatly.

I myself have just returned from 3 weeks cruising on the West Coast of Ireland. For 2 weeks I stayed off the mainland on islands only. Of course in these waters I met the usual difficulties of gale and/or fog. It was a wonderful cruise.

We should though perhaps get back to the question posed by Reg. He has a hankering after a sea voyage which will not I think be satisfied by the sort of coast hopping in the last few posts.

It would help if we knew what time frame he had in mind. Many sailors do in fact end up sailing UK-Carribean and abandoning / burning /selling the boat after, it is just that they did not plan to do so.....the simple fact is that most of us want to get back to family / work etc.  

 Seeing as the time frame is quite an important factor in these type of discussions, I should put some numbers down. For me this is a difficult one as I'm a contract engineer, basically I work when there is work available which is usually all the time. I can take time off whenever I want and for how long I want depending on cash flow. Unfortunately I'm very poor at financial management, if I've got it I'll spend it, if I haven't I wont. 

  I could realistically save up for a few weeks and buy a boat, fix it up over the next few months and go for christmas however I could probably do with some more sailing experience, so next year would be a more sensible option.

Writing this out is kind of forming in to a plan, so I think I need to go off and gather my thoughts a little more before saying any more.

back soon

Ah Haa, a crucial step has been discovered, the one from "what could I possibly do" to "how do I make this happen" and doesn't it feel good?
Once the plan is created and in play the adventure will begin, each piece falling into place moving towards the time when at last the anchor is hauled and your known horizon falls away, and the new unknown horizon beckones.
I recently talked with a gentleman in his sixties, he not too long ago walked the Camino de Santiago and his advice seems quite relevant here, "day dream only for as long as it takes to make the plan, then get on with it and live the dream"!
Be careful of "sensible", if you could get your boat and your cruising kitty bag of gold by Christmas, and then get on that boat, would you not be getting the experience and living the dream? You're a contractor with plenty of work around, make the contracts and work bend to your needs not the other way around!
Get on the Journey, enjoy it for all it is worth and it will change your life!
"Daydream for as long as it takes to make the plan, then get on with it and live the dream!" - Love it!

Every think starts with a dream and the longest of the journeys starts with the first step. The thing to bear in mind is: why doing it? No one will give the answer that is right for you. My experience is, the boat keeps me young and healthy, gives me a home and a ticket to drift along where the wind goes. Crossing an ocean on my own the first time, gave me a test of sharp senses as I never experienced before. 3 days before reaching land, I started to sent the fragrance of the tropical forest. The sent increased more and more as the distance to the land diminished and it became so strong, I thought I'd faint before reaching anchorage. As the distance to the land diminished, I'd feel surges of relaxation and happiness, and unexpectedly, made me  reach a state of bliss. Sailing is healthy for the body and the sol and although is a lifestyle that keeps me poor and some time uncomfortable, I wouldn't live in any other way. I'd build a raft with 44 gallon drums and bits and pieces of any salvaged material, if I couldn't afford to buy any other boat.  

Well said Raf!

You're right about sharpened senses.  When my girlfriend and I were sailing from the Canaries to Barbados, at one point we hadn't seen any other boats for about ten days.  We were in the cabin and suddenly she said "There's a ship".  We went outside and looked, but there was nothing in sight.  We kept looking, and about five minutes later a ship appeared on the horizon!  I can only think she heard it through the water.

Smell is the sense we remember the most.  I'll never forget the perfume of herbs and spices as we approached Grenada in the dark.  The memory is still clear and makes me feel emotional even 25 years later.

Some sights make everlasting memories as well.  I'll never forget the night after leaving Aden heading for Egypt, crewing on a Pahi 52.  We were sailing west straight into a stunning sunset, like we were heading down a golden path.  At the same time the full moon was rising behind us, laying out a brilliant silver trail on the sea, and next to us to starboard were the spectacular mountains of Yemen illuminated in bright red.

Cruising on a small boat can be uncomfortable, financially insecure, and sometimes downright dangerous, but the good times more than make up for it.  It's like you feel the light and the darkness more, rather than the constant grey of ordinary life.  Family circumstances keep me here for now, but at some point the next adventure will come and I'm making sure my Tiki will be ready.  Until then it's wonderful memories and daydreams...

Fantastic Robert, your experiences are what I hope for myself.

As has already been mentioned, I need to turn my dream in to a plan.

The voyage experiences you have kindly written about are what I seek, obviously I do not seek the the same ones but my own.

  Even though I stated that I could get the funds together in fairly short order, I'm sure I cannot get my competency together in such short order. 

Therefore my outline plan is as follows.

Before Christmas

  1/ Gain the funds to purchase a boat (building will probably take too long 700+hours for Tiki 26!!!)

  2/ Find a suitable boat (never any around when you want one) must be a Wharram though.

  3/ Upgrade/ renovate vessel ready for use 

Next year  (very rough outline)

  1/ Use boat as much as possible 

  2/ Work to fund trip and not leave family completely broke while on my jolly.

  3/ Tweak and modify boat to suit after experience gained throughout year

  4/ Set sail and go

During this time I will need to do some research on routes and destinations and brush up on navigation.

At 42 I'm bemused that this is the longest term plan I've ever made, I hope I can stick to it.

Thanks again for all your contributions

p.s. Any recommended reading material I should be aware of?

 " the constant grey of ordinary life". Yes Robert, these words make me sick. I now remember, this was the first push towards seeking a change. When still I did not know what to do, I bolted and decide I'd live as Gogan did, the French painter that lived in a remote island in the Marquises. Was there, in a remote island NW of Tahiti where, I got incurably infected by the sailing bug. It was a contagious disease transmitted by other boat drifters that I happen to meet, in one of the most beautiful sailing ground in the world. 


Anyone ever read "Shrimpy- Around the world in an 18ft Yacht" by Shane Acton?

and: 500 days at sea. By Serge Testa. The smallest boat around the World. I think it was 14'  

don't read all this (fake, old books) about this or this record. there will be no naked girl on the beach waiting for you...  first landfall, you will hear a gettoblaster with loud reggae rap music and the locals will ask you for money because you drop the anchor in there bay. etc... this books will poison your mind  and you will be disappoint. the world changed to dramatical that all this old stuff is still up to date... check this page and read  the stories  on http://www.noonsite.com/

only the ocean didn't change.... still remote, beauty full and with no pitiless.

sorry guys. i read some of this books too. it is really some stuff you read in a cold winter night way before you go sailing. after you make your own experience, you will not read this stuff any more. it is like any other novel and you can not learn anything out of it...

good luck..

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