Tickets Booked

We've booked our tickets to Turkey - we fly July 28th, London Gatwick (I hate that airport) directly to Antalya.   We leave from North Terminal at 14.10 for those that want to wish us Bon Voyage personally.

(Re)Naming A Vessel

The current owners of our Oceanis 50 made it a condition of sale that we rename her as they wanted the name for their new boat.
After a "Name The Boat" competition the name of Mirica was agreed upon by the crew. It was formed by using the names of our 2 daughters, Miriam and Erica. They were very pleased with the judges decision.
Salty sea dogs are a superstitious bunch and it is generally considered bad luck to rename a boat. However after many hours researching the subject on behalf of The Admiral, I discovered a little known ceremony whereby it is possible to de-name a boat and have the vessel's name purged from Ledger of the Deep and Poseidon's memory.
Surprisingly it involves copious amounts of alcohol - who'd ever thought that there was a nautical ritual that involved booze! Of course once de-named there needs to be a naming ceremony whereby the new details are entered into the Ledger and gods appeased.  Surprisingly this ritual calls for copious amount of alcohol too. In fact much more bubbly as there are more gods involved and they all need to get wrecked.
I'm starting to think these ceremonies were devised by the Counts of Epernay as a clever marketing strategy for flogging even more of their overpriced fizz. The Admiral insists that we take no risk and comply under duress, however I suspect there is little duress on her part. I suspect that the Bolly or M&C people have gotten at her, I better be on my guard.

"The Plan" - Update

Since we come up with the concept of quitting work and going sailing "The Plan" has had a number of revisions so I figured it was time to update you all with The Admiral's current thinking.
As you might know we have bought a boat.  Also as previously noted, we initially thought we needed a catamaran. However after further research and closely examining the contents of our bank account we finalised on a 50ft Beneteau Oceanis.
This is decidedly NOT a multihull but a still a perfect fit for our expedition. The boat is currently based out of Kemer, Turkey, it is our intention to continue to use this as our home port. As a consequence our cruising grounds have been modified somewhat.
Now we will spend our first year exploring Turkey, Greece, Croatia and hopefully manage to fit in a trip to Cyprus. That said, we intend to follow the "Noeta" (no estimated time of arrive) philosophy and sail to wherever the winds and our mood takes us.
The Admiral has a deep desire to visit our antipodean 'cousins' for some obscure reasons. As a consequence we will probably take out a few months around Dec 09 and fly down-under for a vacation. I expect I'll need it, The Admiral is a tireless slave driver.
We have also started a detailed project plan full of tasks and milestones. There is a surprising amount of work involved in buying a boat, so many people to inform, paperwork to be done and most importantly fees to be paid. Someone once describes sailing as similar to standing, full dressed, in a darkened, cold shower whilst ripping up £50 notes. At the moment I am at the ripping up £50 notes stage (no I am not full dressed, I write this in just my underwear - I bet you wanted to know that - I hope the image stays with you all day and puts you off your lunch!!!). I can't wait for the cold shower bit.
Originally we were thinking of leaving in September or October 2009, however we are now targeting August 1st. The kids finish school on July 17th, Granny will take them away on a short vacation, whilst I sort out the legal stuff and get my teeth fixed. Only then will we fly to Antalya.

We are now officially Day Skipper (Tidal)

The gang have spent the last 7 days at our favourite sailing school in Gibraltar, and I am pleased to announce that The Admiral and I are now officially Day Skippers.
Woot - this means we can now apply for our ICC and the plan is on track.  Just need VHF, First Aid and Sea Survival.
Starting last Monday we had a pleasant sail across the straits to Ceuta, then up to Estepona, Marbella, Duquesa and finally back to Gib. We had a fair mix of weather from F6 to having to motor, from blazing sun to horizontal rain.
I also got hoisted up the mast to assist Peter, our skipper, bring down the furling gib so that some running repairs could be carried out.  It was nowhere near as scary as I thought it would be.
Once I had descended I was immediately placed on a diet of lettuce and celery by The Admiral, who proceed to expressed satisfaction that S/Y Mirica has electric winches rather than the manual ones on the training boat.

The Admiral Quits Work

Next stage of the Master Plan is complete - the Admiral has finally quit the 9-5. Today was her last day working for The Man.
For the next 3 months or so, it's emptying the house and getting rid of 15 years of junk that we have acquired.
At least I hope she is, I'm in Sweden so I have no clue what CINCNAVHOM is up to, informative dispatches are few and far between.
Apparently there were tears all round at the farewell party. Amongst the gifts there was an 'Emergency Sea Survival Pack' which included a set of water wings - a welcome addition to our waterborne safety program. I'm sure they will come in very useful when stumbling down the passerelle after an evening entertaining Mr G and Mrs T.
My contract expires the same day the kids finish school for the summer - July 17th. Three more months of brown nosing for me until I too can join the ranks of "Man of Leisure".



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