On my recent 8 day trip to America, I decided to watch the movie ADRIFT on my flight home. Now this is not normally recommended viewing for sailors, but I am an "armchair sailor" nowadays, so I couldn't see any harm in watching it. WOW ok we didn't have anything that bad happen to us, but I don't think any ocean crossing is without some sort of DRAMA. The movie sure did bring back some memories ! Here is the TINY little boat we crossed the Atlantic Ocean on.
How did I end up sailing across an ocean.... from Fashion School in Australia to an ocean sailor ... how does that happen? Well, I was just another adventurous Aussie, traveling the world, and trying to work as I went, to FUND my travel-bug. I managed to keep getting jobs in the Fashion Industry along the way.... I worked for a computer pattern making & grading company in London which was doing all the computerized patterns for many London designers. Here I am at the top of St.Paul's Cathedral in London.
Then I worked in Egypt doing computerized patterns and grading for a MASSIVE manufacturer who was supplying clothing to British High Street stores like TopShop. Here is a photo of me on the top of the smallest of the Great Pyramids of Giza....back then you could pay a "baksheesh" (tip) and the security guard would look the other way while you climbed.
I would work for a year or so and SAVE every penny, then quit that job and go backpacking again. Here I am with all of my belongings on my back in Greece....so young and wild and FREEEEE.
Here I am writing notes outside a Surf Shop in Huntington Beach CA, USA, when I was there snooping around for retail display ideas.
And here I am visiting factories in China, when we were just starting to look at starting to manufacture in China.
Not only did I love that job enough to stay longer in South Africa, I also found my life partner. He was working right there in the print room at Billabong. A quiet introvert long haired surfer boy, who took 6 months to speak to me, but turned out to want as much adventure in his life as I wanted. Here we are in those early days....
Together we were looking for our next adventure, when we came up with the dream to buy a boat, learn to sail and eventually sail away into the sunset together. We had no idea how to sail, so we bought this cheap little Hobie cat to teach ourselves on. How we never killed ourselves learning the difference between a tack and gybe is quite beyond me.
We saved all our money, bought a boat, took lessons in navigation and sailing. We knew nothing, but we lived and breathed our dream. We did deliveries on other people's boats to try to get ocean experience. Here is a photo of me seeing Justin off, when he sailed to Cape Town (4 day sail down the treacherous coast of Africa) with some friends.
It took us 2 years to save up, buy the boat, and prepare for the biggest adventure of our lives. Here is a photo of us not long after we bought out tiny boat.
When we finally left Cape Town in South Africa, the first leg of our journey was 16 days from Cape Town to St.Helena (the tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic, where the British exiled Napoleon to keep him out of trouble). St.Helena must be the island furtherest from ANYWHERE. Here is a photo of Justin when we first spotted LAND after 16 LONG days at sea.
St.Helena is an incredible island. It is so far away from anywhere, and until late 2017 there was no airport... the only access to the island was by boat. The ship from UK would come twice a year. 4500 residents live on the island, and for us visiting St.Helena, it was like stepping back in time. The island is SO REMOTE that the people don't just get something NEW when something breaks.... no they fix it. So the cars were all perfectly maintained relics from the 60's! There is no other island like St.Helena. Click here to scroll through some photos. The island is harsh and desert-like on the outside, but the inside of the island is lush and green. This photo reminds me of the hike Justin took me on, where perched up on one of these peaks, looking out across the Atlantic we had sailed across, he said "how about we get married?" ....yes I said, but not until we get back.