The Journey So Far…

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Preparing to leave Plymouth with Bonny and Buzz

When Martin and I first embarked on this sailing adventure in September he set up a shared blog all about our new boat, Dawn Chorus, and our efforts to sail from England to the Canaries so that we could join the ARC, a rally of 200+ boats crossing the Atlantic in mid-december. It was strange to find myself behaving a bit like an only child who doesn’t want to share their toy. I loved writing about our previous trip aboard Alice in Red, but even the name of this new blog irritated me, because for many years, ‘Dawn Chorus’ had been an identity I associated with my singing life and as a ‘user name’ on various websites, so I balked at the idea of Martin suddenly using it as a blog and email address. In the way of cutting off noses to spite one’s face, I wrote hardly anything about the trip, and Martin eventually deleted the site. So, here’s a potted history of our travels together with some photos, a sort of brief ‘story so far’…

After an uneventful but busy (see chart above!) channel crossing to pretty Camaret in France, we then crossed the fearsome Bay of Biscay to La Coruna in Spain – a bit rolly, but nothing we couldn’t handle. It was the dogs’ longest passage at three days, but they coped well (although Buzz did bark at the boat in frustration).

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Are we nearly there yet???

La Coruna is a stunning city but our stay was marred by heavy rain. The next few weeks were a blur as we pressed on down the coast of Spain stopping in Muros and beautiful Baiona, then on into Portugal and historic Viano di Castillo. The rain followed us all the way down…

Porto is a sprawling, mesmerising city linked by a set of bridges across a fast flowing river. Unfortunately for me, it’s also where I got my leg trapped and badly injured – see a previous blog for the detailed account.

We limped on to Lagos where the lovely Martino from Italy took over from me and helped Martin sail on to the Canaries via Madeira. Meanwhile, battered and bruised, I headed home to the UK for a few weeks to recuperate. I rejoined in Las Palmas along with two new crew, Debbie from America and Stephen from the UK, and then it was time to set sail across the Atlantic for St Lucia in the Caribbean. Well, we were pretty slow, twenty two days, but we got there! And, taking it in turns, we managed a cooked meal every single day 🙂

A heartbreaking event occurred half way across the ocean – I heard that my mother had died at her home in Ireland. The helplessness and frustration I experienced when I realised I would miss her wake and funeral are indescribable. All I could do was weep, write something for her funeral and weep some more. IMG_0868Crew mates Stephen and Debbie joined me in making origami birds and floating them off into the sea as tributes to our lost ones. When we arrived in Rodney bay, St Lucia, my sense of pride at our achievement was tinged with sadness, so imagine my shock – and joy – to find my daughter, Eve, standing on the dock! I cried like a baby. How Martin and Eve kept that secret for weeks I will never know.

Well, we’ve been excited, exhausted, happy, sad – just like life, really. Martin and I have reached “ferrets in a sack” status and had to withdraw our claws before we did serious damage to one another. The islands are sailing by – Martinique, Guadeloupe, Antigua… we head north in another day or two (now that I’m definitely not packing my bags and flying home!!!). The journey continues…

11 thoughts on “The Journey So Far…

      1. Hi Dawn, look forward to that, perhaps we could arrange something for a little later in year, Rach, Becca & Tone are all coming down to stay for my birthday, Becca is then off to Rimini on the first 6 week leg of her Italian working tour on 1 June. That’s if she ever gets her passport !!

  1. So sorry to hear about your Mum Dawn;hope the beauty of life and love surround you.great to know you are both safe.Will send ‘light and love ‘ for the safe return.Is’nt the sea wonderful?!

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