What’s it like to sail around Great Britain in a 28-foot boat?

So my fiance Mark only went and self-published an e-book on our experience sailing around the coast of Great Britain earlier this year.

It’s titled – A Voyage Around Britain in a small Yacht: A true and honest log of two everyday people sailing around the UK.

I’m incredibly excited and proud!

Of course I’m biased but even with my former magazine editor hat on I can say it’s a great little read (even if there is the odd typo).

When we first announced we were going to sail around Great Britain, I was surprised that quite a few people said to me they, or someone they knew, had always dreamed of doing that but they didn’t know how to approach it or they were worried about certain aspects, like sailing around Cape Wrath.

Continue reading

Self-doubt doesn’t have to hold you back

“If only I didn’t doubt myself then I’d be able to walk the length of New Zealand.”

That’s what I told myself over and over again when I was “trying to find” the courage to take on the adventure.

I thought my self-doubt was holding me back, stopping me in my tracks, and pointing to a belief that I just wasn’t good enough.

I finally got to the point where this thinking was driving me crazy and somewhere inside me wanted to prove it was all wrong. I’d put off doing the walk for three years, too consumed with self-doubt.

Enough was enough!

But my self-doubt didn’t vanish.

Continue reading

We are all brave

I don’t consider myself especially brave.

Yet I’ve been called that a lot recently.

It all started with my solo trek down the length of New Zealand.

But I definitely didn’t feel brave when I stood at the northern tip of New Zealand about take the first step.

In fact, I was a total bundle of nerves and riddled with self-doubt and fear. I’d never done anything like this before. Who was I to think I could walk 3,000km (1,864 miles)?

Continue reading

Life lessons I learnt sailing around Great Britain

Almost four months on a cosy 28-foot boat with the love of your life, dealing with temperamental weather and an ocean as changeable as a teenager’s mood swings is one of those experiences that make you look at life and your place in it.

I don’t know if I’d go as far to say I’m stronger or that it was a transformational experience – during the sail I often compared to my 3,000km (1,864 miles) walk down the length of New Zealand, which really did change me as a person – but the sailing challenge made me sit up.

These are some of the things I learnt.

Continue reading

Adventure alert: I’m going to sail around Great Britain

I’ve spent no more than a handful of days in a sailing boat. I don’t know if I will get seasick. I forget my port from my starboard. And the toilet is a bucket with a toilet seat.

Yet from May 1st 2022, this will be my life for four months onboard a 28 foot (8.5m) long yacht named Speedwell as my partner Mark and I sail an estimated 2,000 miles (3,218km) around the coast of Great Britain.

Mark has been sailing for more than 20 years so is a dab hand at this floating thing but I’m coming at it new and green – and just a little bit nervous.

Continue reading

Learning to sail – the baptism-by-fire way

I can count on one hand the number of times I have been on a sailboat – and that’s with chopping two of my fingers off.

I know nothing about boats. I can’t remember port from starboard, stern from bow, gybe from tact (opps I mean tack).

I have no idea if I get seasick.

The toilet is a bucket with a toilet seat, the contents of which I have to chuck over the side of the boat.

There is currently nowhere to decently wash my hands and I don’t do dirty hands.

And dirty hands are part and parcel of sailing – disgusting, wet, dirty, muddy, mouldy ropes wherever you look. As well as large, copious amounts of gluggy bird poo. Yuck!

So, when my partner Mark, who has been sailing for 20 years, bought a new boat recently, I was suddenly introduced to a whole new and scary world.

Continue reading

Days 66-70 of #WalkNZ part 2 – The Motatapu Track

20200311_155740

Calves screamed.

Lightening strips of pain burned up the back of my legs.

My lungs were in meltdown trying to support my muscles that sucked up the scant oxygen in my blood, while my heart seemed to be in its death throes as it attempted to keep up with the relentless uphill movement of my legs as I inched slowly closer to yet another mountain saddle.

Five mountains over 1000m high in three days. Classic Te Araroa.

And oh man, it hurt.

To say I underestimated the Motatapu Track is an understatement. Continue reading