Happy New Year everyone!
Gwen and Marco arrived on Boxing Day after an uneventful flight and we immediately celebrated with drinks and pizza in the marina. The following day was Gwen’s birthday, so we decided to spend the day down the beach. This involved getting everyone into the dinghy, which Nick and I were quietly trepidatious about, but it was managed without anyone ending up in the water and we scooted around to the beach. By 10am were on our first of many rum punches for the day. We had planned dinner at a nice restaurant in town, but by the time night fell it was all we could do to stagger down to the marina village.
We spent the following days showing Nick’s parents around Rodney Bay and one day we all went to Cas-en-Bas beach for another kitesurfing lesson while Gwen and Marco ate shrimp curry in a beach restaurant.
We celebrated the last day of 2015 with Gwen and Marco down the beach, swimming, eating BBQ’d fish and drinking beer, followed by an obligatory snooze, and then a night of partying at a beach restaurant called Spinnakers.
On New Years Eve we got down the beach quite early and Spinnakers was still setting up, so we took our shoes off and wandered across the sand in search of somewhere to have a drink. We came across a little stall with a tarpaulin roof, the domain of Auntie Jane and her motley crew, including a beautiful grand-daughter, a couple of nephews, and an old drunkard who claimed to be her husband, but may have just been her whipping boy. They sat us down in their little tent, out of the rain, and we drank Auntie Jane’s homemade rum punches, chatted to her and her family about anything and everything. Jane was quite a character and had all of us, including the various family members in fits of laughter. We wished we could have stayed with them the whole night, but alas, we’d already paid to go and party with the British/American middle classes a few doors down.
So, allow me to get a little reflective, since it is the end of a fairly significant year for Nick and me.
The first 4 months of 2015 were spent in Conyer living onboard, with regular trips to Nick’s parent’s house in London whenever we fancied sitting in front of a warm fire, getting some washing done, or having fast wifi- which was quite often. We also enjoyed a series of European holidays to Florence, Rome, Leipzig, Seville and Rhodes with Nick’s parents as an almost last-ditch attempt to have some quality time together before we set off. Amongst all this we were, of course, preparing our boat- and ourselves- for a life of cruising.
Finally we had our farewell party- which, to this day, Nick has very fuzzy memories of- and a week later on the 7th May we got our weather window, dropped our mooring lines, and motored out of Conyer creek for the last time in a long time.
The first month of our cruising was spent in the UK, exploring the beautiful West Country, and so it didn’t really feel like we’d actually left. It wasn’t until we crossed Biscay and arrived in Spain that we finally felt we’d taken the first step of this new adventure.
Looking back, it’s hard to choose a favourite. But, for those who care, Nick and I both agreed that the week we spent at anchor in Muros in Galicia was borderline perfection. If the water had been a few degrees warmer and thus more inviting for a swim, I think we would have found paradise. The anchorage was wonderfully secure and scenic, the town of Muros was a beautifully quaint Galician town full of Spanish holidaymakers, the food was exceptional and the weather was warm and sunny.
Since then we’ve sailed the coast of Portugal, Andalusia, Morocco and the three eastern islands of the Canaries. Crossing the Atlantic was, of course, the biggest challenge we faced this year, and we’re feeling pretty damn proud of ourselves for getting across safely and with no breakages. Turns out crossing oceans is actually fairly easy! Who would have thought?
So, as our thoughts turn to the coming year, Nick and I are excitedly planning our 6 months cruising in the Caribbean. We have to find somewhere safe to leave the boat for the hurricane season as we plan to use that time to head back to Europe and Australia for holidays. But part of the beauty of our lives right now is that we can just let life unfold however it wants to, and we cannot wait to see what the following year brings.