We Bought a Boat!!!

Regardless of our initial rantings about the benefits of cats we finally decided to buy a monohull.
I spotted a Beneteau Oceanis 50 on, of all places, Ebay and have been communicating with the owner since mid January. On Tuesday I finally went out to look at her in Turkey. She is coming up to 18 months old but to my untrained eyes she looked like new and has a great specification with loads of addition features.
The owners are a fantastic couple from Lancashire who thoroughly looked after me and I had a excellent time and short sail on their pride and joy. We talked extensively about the boat, the marina and about how we could put a deal together.
After staying up half the night to consider our options, we decided to put in an offer. It was accepted!!!!    Yippee.....  One of the conditions of sale is that we change her name (the owners want to call their new boat by the same name), which fits in very nicely with our plan to call her S/Y Mirica.
Stage 2 of the plan is now complete. We have the boat and have decided on the 'home' marina in Turkey. This means that our plan to sail the seven seas has been modified ever so slightly; we are now thinking that we will spend the first year in The Med, exploring Turkey, the Greek Island, the Croatian coast, Italy, etc.
We also expect to take a few months out around Christmas time when we will fly over to Australia and New Zealand. We are all thoroughly looking forward to our next trip to Gib, where hopefully we will pass our Day Skipper theory and practical. It is scheduled for 11th April.

Comp Crew

We have complete our first week of formal training and now are officially 'Comp Crew' - woot!!!
It might not sound much to you salty old sea dogs, but to us it is a major milestone complete on 'the plan'.
We had a fantastic week of 14th Feb in Gibraltar, guests of 'Bombay Sapphire', a 40ft Jeaneau Sun Odyssey, and her skipper Peter Ormond. We didn't get out on the first day as the weather was being a bit unkind, and on the 2nd day we stayed close to port for similar reasons. However on the 3rd day we cross the straits to Ceuta - in a force 6 going on 7 - quite an introduction for the wife and kids to life on the high seas.
It is quite daunting the first couple of times that you look up at waves, but seeing how the boat handled, the apprehension soon subsided.  Wifey did fell a little queasy, but it soon passed once lunch had been consumed, kids were fine, mostly slept in the aft cabin.
Over the next several days we visited Smir in Morocco and Duquesa in Spain, before meandering back to Gib where we practiced anchoring and MOB and did a night sail. We also started extensive study on the theory, it's mostly a fairly easy however I am struggling to remember the night lights of various vessels.
We enjoyed it so much that we all unanimously concluded that the plan was still on an we booked the next phase of training for April 11th.

London Boat Show

Today The Boss and I did a little day trip to London to visit the Boat show.
Besides looking at the vast array of mind boggling toys and gadgets that are available, we visited every boat that would let us on. It is strange how in the difficult financial times how some company's go out of their way to discourage you stepping onto their pride and joys.
Anyway, the main upshot of the visit was that we rather liked the Jeaneau Sun Oddessy DS 45. We rather decided that we could comfortable live on a monohull provided that it was around 45 foot in length and had 3 cabins. We were particularly taken with the amount of light and airiness in saloon, the large side windows being a prominent feature. Up to now we had been minded towards cats, but we are having 2nd thoughts.
I guess our trip to Gib to do our Comp Crew will help to firm up if this is the right direction for us.


I've been reading up a lot recently about navigation and in particular astronavigation. I've always been a bit fascinated by the sun, moon and stars and how their orbits interact with the Earth's.  So I decided to get a sextant.


After a few weeks watching ebay and doing research I ended up with a Freiburger. It was made in 1986 and apparently has never been to sea.  To me it appears to be in fantastic condition - but then I am hardly an expert!!!

Unfortunately I had a long few nights wait until we had a cloudless night. I found it incredible difficult to find the right (any!!!) star via the sextant. There must be a technique I haven't figured out yet.



 I took my eldest out with me and I pointed out a few of the major constellations and the North Star, we also saw a couple of shooters. She was awestruck. I don't think she had every really looked at the night sky in that way before. I downloaded Stellarium and we had a great time with the speeded up timeframe, watching how the starts rotate throughout the night.

Exchange Rate Woe's

My original budget was based in $US but most of my funds are in £GBP and €EUR.   So it is with great dismay that I watch the rapid increase in value of the greenback.   Back in the summer I could get 2 to the pound, now it is close to 1.5, a 25% decrease in my purchasing power in 5 months.  Most of the boats I have been looking at are prices in dollar so maybe I will need to revisit the forecast. Ho hum.....



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