Sailing Yacht SEA BUNNY

Christmas 2017 and New Year 2018 newsletter

Our activities since the 2016 news letter

This year we completed the final legs of our round-the-world adventure, travelling from Trinidad up the Windward Islands chain to Antigua and then across the North Atlantic to the UK via Bermuda and the Azores. Since our arrival in the UK we have been largely shore-based in our home in Henstridge, Somerset.


Click here to view a PDF version of the news letter as sent by post (fewer pictures).

As always we feel humbled and really privileged to be able to continue to travel experiencing countries as we do. There is further detail on our blogs.

From boat beautiful to home beautiful – a transition.

This year saw the final stages of our round-the world adventure as we made landfall in the UK at the end of June!

Bad weather prevented sailing so Christmas 2016 saw Sea Bunny still berthed at Powerboats in Trinidad, having recently launched after having repairs following the South African debacle. Yet another Christmas barbeque was enjoyed in the company of other yachtspeople.

Leaving Trinidad between Christmas and the New Year we made our way up the Windward Island chain. New Year was celebrated in Prickly Bay, Grenada. The outward track from 2002 was crossed just south of Union Island, in St Vincent and the Grenadines, thus officially completing our circumnavigation after 15 years and 364 days.

In the charming but crowded Tobago Cays Sea Bunny was dressed overall in celebration.

Dressed overall

We progressed northwards, visiting some of the islands missed on our outward voyage and re-visiting some, such as Bequia, enjoyed before. Since our last visit in 2002, when the French islands were expensive and the ex-British islands cheaper, the situation now seems to have been reversed!

Max snorkelling

 

Ready to dive

Catharine, Archie and Max joined us in St Lucia and Martinique for 3 weeks. Both boys became proficient snorkelers and Archie, being old enough, enjoyed his first SCUBA dive.

Mocktails

Mocktails in the resort at Marigot Bay at happy hour by the pool were a success (as were the cocktails for the adults).

Fountain

After the family left we continued northwards towards Antigua, spending a short time in Jolly Harbour, which was our original arrival point in the Caribbean so many years ago. Priority now was to get Sea Bunny ready for her third trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

Dunking

We finally set sail on 16 April, heading for St Georges, Bermuda. This is the area of the Bermuda Triangle and the Sargasso Sea, which has been the graveyard of many ships in the days of sail. We passed the area without incident, although we did see some vast mats of sargassum weed.

Our stay in Bermuda was extended as Richard required minor surgery and associated recovery time. As we were at the hospital A&E, Catharine’s partner Steve, who was to crew with us to the UK, was at Gatwick, ready to fly out the next morning! Fortunately, we were able to contact him and he could rearrange his flight.

Dolphins

A few weeks later Steve flew out and after a week or so of sightseeing and familiarisation we were able to leave for the Azores, arriving at the World Heritage town of Angra do Heroismo after 14 days.

After a few days R&R and sightseeing it was time to continue towards the UK. This trip took slightly longer than planned as we encountered 3 days of easterly winds, where there should have been favourable westerlies.

Steve sighted Bishop Rock light at 2010 on 21 June and we berthed in Portland Marina at 0420 on 23 June.

Flags

Our overall trip, starting in Sparks Marina, Chichester and ending in Portland Marina (a distance of about 65 nautical miles) took 16 years, 83 days, 13 hours and 20 minutes during which time Sea Bunny travelled over 60,000 nautical miles (nearly 3 times the circumference of the Earth). This works out at an average speed of just over 0.4 knots (nautical miles per hour). A long time but what adventures we had and memories we have.

Since arriving back in the UK we have largely been land-lubbers (or “earth dwellers”). Not having lived in our house for 16 years there have been many items that we have had to obtain – many of which are the sort of thing you acquire as newly-weds! There has been a garden to tidy up and a house to decorate. The process has not been helped by a major plumbing failure resulting in flooding of part of the downstairs. The villagers have been very welcoming.

Catharine and the boys visited shortly after we moved in and the rest of the family have visited several times. We have been sailing on Sea Bunny twice: Portland – Lulworth with Catharine, Archie and Max,– a fabulous 2 days; Nik, James, Josh and Jake joined us for a trip from Portland to Studland, Yarmouth and Poole – it was originally intended to go to France, but the weather failed to co-opeate. We have also been out for day trips on Ampere, Nik’s newly refurbished Nicholson 30, originally built in the 1930s.

This Christmas Catharine, Steve, Archie and Max will be staying. The rest of the family will be with us on Boxing Day. This will be the first time EVER that all of our children, their partners and all our grandchildrenhave been together with us in the same place at the same time!

We send our love.

Susan & Richard

Some more pictures from the year

  • Scarlet Ibis roosting, Caroni Wetlands, Trinidad
  • Health and safety? Waterwheel-powered cane crusher, rum distilery, Grenada
  • Stills, rum distillary, Grenada
  • The Pitons, St Lucia
  • Ice cream in France (Martinique)
  • Max and Cath dinghy sailing, Ste Anne, Martinique
  • Helmsman Archie
  • So thats where chocolate comes from
  • Rainbow over Anse des Pitons, St Lucia
  • Set for Pirates of the Caribbean, Indian River, Dominica
  • Americas Cup line-up, Dockyard, Bermuda
  • Training on the water, Bermuda
  • Dockyard, Bermuda
  • Outer bathing pool. Terciera, Azores
  • Sail repairs, Angra do Heroismo, Terciera, Azores
  • Calmer inner pool, Terciera, Azores
  • slider html
  • Main square, Angra do Heroismo, Terciera, Azores
Scarlet Ibis roosting, Caroni Wetlands, Trinidad1 Health and safety? Waterwheel-powered cane crusher, rum distilery, Grenada2 Stills, rum distillary, Grenada3 The Pitons, St Lucia4 Ice cream in France (Martinique)5 Max and Cath dinghy sailing, Ste Anne, Martinique6 Helmsman Archie7 So thats where chocolate comes from8 Rainbow over Anse des Pitons, St Lucia9 Set for Pirates of the Caribbean, Indian River, Dominica10 Americas Cup line-up, Dockyard, Bermuda11 Training on the water, Bermuda12 Dockyard, Bermuda13 Outer bathing pool. Terciera, Azores14 Sail repairs, Angra do Heroismo, Terciera, Azores15 Calmer inner pool, Terciera, Azores16 Bullock running, Angra do Heroismo, Terciera, Azores17 Main square, Angra do Heroismo, Terciera, Azores18
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24 December 2017, Henstridge, UK


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