As this Blog is first started in April 2016, We reflect back to what we were doing 10 years earlier when we were anchored close to the entrance to the Panama Canal waiting for a slot to take our yacht Ragtime through into the Pacific.
Sailing as a family is an important aspect of our lives; although its often hard work, expensive and sometimes a little fraught, we find it hugely rewarding in terms of times spent together as a family, the ability to explore and enjoy adventures and really embrace the amazing outside world and environment which is often so beautiful and uniquely experienced from the decks of a small sailing vessel.
Alyssa and William met in the year 2000 while serving together in the Royal Navy Reserve; we were crewing a friends yacht during some local racing and hit it off straight away. We had both enjoyed sailing through our youth and had gained experience together and independently on a variety of different craft as our experience grew. Following a tragic death in the family under the realisation that life was short, precious and unpredictable was brought home to us in an awful way; so we agreed to take a career break and embark on a sailing adventure on a sailing boat of our own. We bought Ragtime in 2005 with the proceeds of a house sale and after getting married in September of that year we set off to see how far we could get.
The following 17 months were probably some of the most impressionable months of our lives. We sailed from Plymouth to New Zealand via the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Galapagos islands, French Polynesia and the Kingdom of Tonga. We experienced a myriad of amazing events including Ocean crossings, landing huge pelagic fish, calms, gales, pirates, a grounding, the death and funeral of a Tongan King and the making of some great like minded friends who in the main were seeking and experiencing similar adventures as us on their own boats. We eventually sold our boat Ragtime in NZ and returned home in 2007 to start a family as Alyssa was expecting our first child. Grace was born in May 2007 and followed by Connie in January 2010 and Nancy in March 2013.
Having returned home in 2007 we knew we wanted to continue to enjoy boating with our children, so have owned a handful of small craft over that time. The girls have all grown up with sailing, they have all crossed the English Channel under sail while still in nappies; we treat the boats we have owned as our weekend and holiday escape vehicle, really our holidays are simply beach holidays with a bit of sailing thrown in. Over the last 9 years we have sailed with the girls every season and generally from moorings held either on the River Fal or the River Tamar have cruised the South coast of Devon and Cornwall, Visited and explored the Isles of Scilly and journeyed to North and West Brittany.
Now we have Moonlighting – a Crossbow 40, we can add some limited Western Highlands and Irish Sea family experience to the log also.
We live in Calstock which is a lovely Cornish Village on the bank of the River Tamar, the girls attend school and pre school in the village; Alyssa works part time as a Physiotherapy Technician and Will works full time as a professional Skipper.