3 November 2013 Nearly in Rio – James in reflective mood (you won’t need the music).

We are at 21’52S and 40’11W and 200 miles from Rio.

As we approach the end of one of our milestones on this journey i thought
I’d have a wee reminisce about our adventure up to this point from my

After half a season with OYT Scotland (where i started sailing on the 18th
of February – there’s Antarctic practice!) i finished work on the 4th of
August, packed up my life and with Clare we drove north to Stornoway with
one very overloaded Volvo.  In it we had our stuff for 9 months – an amazing
collection of suncream and crampons, spare anchor hooks and windscoops and
pants and books and sextants and thermals and kilt, and of course the

For 3 weeks in Stornoway and another 3 in the Clyde we explored Elinca’s
lockers and floor spaces and bottom and mast, cleaning and painting and
rustbusting and inspecting and servicing with our army of friends and
relatives until Dennis, like the man from Delmonte, said “yes”, we could
leave.  Amongst all that time we ordered spares and tested storm food and
did our accounts and stole a watermaker (thanks Kerry!) and corrected charts
and filled the last remaining spaces and went to weddings, and by the time
we slipped out of Greenock i was knackered.

We left Greenock with friends saying goodbye from Spirit and waved cheerio
to the generosity of OYT Scotland and their workshops and office and pontoon
and guidance and headed south on our own, particularly poignant for me as my
brother is emigrating and he also left that day.  I can imagine my mum was
feeling a bit lost 😦

This whole thing could never have been achieved without the huge collection
of friends and family who have grafted to make it happen, and the delivery
to Falmouth and leaving party at the Royal Cornwall was no exception.  I was
a bit overwhelmed, and to steal a phrase, i was really honoured that so many
of you came to see us off, to guide us on the way and to look after us
whilst we are away by being Shore Contacts.

The sailing has been sailing.  In lots of ways it’s not about the sailing
but the shared tasks, the difficulty and the people you share those
difficulties with.  We’ve had wind on the nose, bumps and bruises,  rain,
thunderstorms and hardships, suntans and workouts, showers in the rain in
the dark, a delightful 10 days of tradewinds sailing, arguments and
laughter, music and cats choir.  We’ve learned the boat, and each other, and
been sad when friends have left and happy to see new folk arrive.

From a personal point of view, I’m not in a watch (a team) and i get to
sleep when i like(which is lovely) and be around when i like, but this does
come at a price.  I see groups bonding in their watches, i don’t often get
free time with Clare (as i tailor my on time around her off), and often the
times when i am around are the challenging bits or the times when the
toilets have broken. But that’s me and i don’t think I’d change it at all.

Now we’re approaching Rio and a few days off in prep and rest before we
start heading towards much more challenging seas, and I’m looking forward to
sitting on the beach at Copacabana and relaxing.  Thanks for reading,


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6 Responses to 3 November 2013 Nearly in Rio – James in reflective mood (you won’t need the music).

  1. Charlotte Sullivan says:

    Thank you James (and everybody else!) for letting me, and all the other people back home, share your adventure with you! It’s lovely to hear the updates each day 🙂

  2. Suzanne Boyce says:

    James– you must have read my mind as i said the other day ” james has not done a blog in a while” anyway..glad your all well and enjoy your few days rest in rio! Love suzanne,jonny and liam xxx

  3. Sheila says:

    Thank you James for keeping us up to date each day, that has been my first morning job to switch on the computer and see how you are all getting on You have had an amazing time I am sure. We are looking forward to seeing our granddaughter Andrea after she she has finished wandering about Brazil. Enjoy the rest of the journey. Sheila

  4. Emma Layfield says:

    Hello all

    I love the blogs and am glad you are safe across the Atlantic. I feel part of the team already by following all your shared thoughts and am really excited that one day I will be writing a blog from Elinca too! I hope you have a great time in Rio. Love Em x

  5. Brian Boyce says:

    James, glad your “cruise” is going well, seems like you are getting it easy, living in 5 star luxury, enjoy Rio, take care.

  6. Hi James and crew, it has been an honour to have taken part in the build up to this marvelous epic journey that you and all your friends were so excited to do. It seemed to have come around so fast to the leaving date that I can’t quite believe that you are about to arrive in Rio del Janeiro. It was not only you and colin that left me, you sailed off with dad too, sending me home on my own.
    It has been wonderful to see all the support you all had before leaving and now the support still with you all through the comments on the blog and Facebook.
    The stories from elinca have been amazing in keeping us up to date with what you are all doing, photos and videos great, you all seem to be enjoying the experience keep up the good work.

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