Meet the participants

Barbados 50: some participants profiles

You can click on the pictures or the blue names to learn more about the participants.

Back to top

Siegfried & Gudrun Reh S/V Asante

After more than 15 years sailing from Germany via the Baltic Sea, North Sea, North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, we were on our way south when we stopped in October and November in Arrecife in Lanzarote during the start of the Mini Transat, the Islands Odyssey and the Atlantic Odyssey I.

During our stay in Arrecife we participated in the Odyssey seminars which were free for all in Marina Lanzarote and were very useful to us and our plans to go south to the Cape Verdes, Senegal and Gambia. The impressions we gained during the events and the well planned organization has convinced us to participate in Barbados 50 and reach those destination together with other boats.

The skipper has been interested since his younger years in the East African language “Swahili” and chose the ship name Asante which translates as “thanks”.

Back to top

Simon & Kim Forth S/V Aura

We are both originally from the east coast of Australia but we met and lived in Perth for over 10 years. We spent a few years in Singapore before returning to Perth.

After our year long sailing adventure in 2008, we relocated to Brisbane where we have been working while dreaming about our next sailing adventure. Now that it is finally here, we are really looking forward to finishing work and looking forward to what the future holds. For us, sailing is an exciting way to travel the world, explore unique places, experience different cultures and meet interesting people.

We purchased Aura sight unseen and we are very excited to get on board and learn how she sails. Aura is located in Marmaris, Turkey and will be joining her in early April. The plan so far is to explore the Turkish Turquoise Coast then make our way west to Greece, Italy, Spain and Gibraltar. We’ll then head towards the Canary Islands to join the Barbados 50 for the transatlantic crossing.

We are excited to be part of the Barbados 50 as it will be a great way to share the transatlantic experience, meet new people and joining the Barbados 50th anniversary of independence celebrations.

Plus we get to meet Jimmy whose book World Cruising Routes is a constant on the bed side table and assisted us finding our way in 2008.

Blog :

Back to top

Jean-Marie Gravot & Gaëlle Poyade S/V Balanec

We are joining the event because we would like to start the trip with other families. Children could help our two girls to appreciate the trip.

We are also curious to know about the route of other participants. We prefer to sail in group in such countries as Cape Verde.

We’d like also to meet communities and to learn in the main domains as science and environnement.

Balanec, name of our boat, refers to a small and wild island at the end of Finistere. In breton language, it means « whin », a yellow flower that smells coconut. We are very attached to Brittany.

Back to top

Robert McConnell & Cathy Sauve S/V B’n’G

We purchased our new home in November 2013, a 1996 HR53 and renamed her B’n’G.

She was on the hard in Preveza, Greece when we took possession, and we worked on her for 9 months before launching in July 2014. She is our baby and we are proud of her!

Our plan is to continue sailing for the next 20 years give or take, health and money not withstanding. By the time we arrive in the Canaries, we will have exhausted our sailing in the Mediterranean, then look forward to a couple of years in the Caribbean and Bahamas, then we plan to spend a year or so in Florida to do some major retrofitting before we cross to the Panama and the Pacific.

We have two phrases we live by; “Our plans are carved in the sand at low tide”, and “We cannot direct the wind, we can only adjust our sails”. We look forward to wherever the wind will take us.

Robert is a successful delivery captain and has promised to take Cathy where the butter will melt all the time.

We joined the 2015 Atlantic Odyssey as crew onboard our friends IPY42 “End Game” and enjoyed the social aspect that the rally provides. We look forward to making many more cruiser friends during the Barbados50, and taking part in the celebrations after a successful crossing.

Our boat is named B’n’G after Roberts mother and father, Bob and Gayle. They are our guardian angels looking after us as we sail around the world. Every time we use the auto-helm, we say, “Bob and Gayle are steering”.

The full story of our boat and our travels can be found on our

Back to top

John Kelly S/V Escape

We chose the name Escape because I think it sums up pretty much about how free you feel once you cast those lines off. She is our first sailing boat having moved over from the dark side with power! Her first major adventure was with Sailing Rallies 2014 event from the Canaries across to Antigua which was great fun.

We’re now really looking forward to going back to the Canaries but also Cape Verde Islands and Barbados!

Back to top

Geoffrey Bowler S/V Janika Lycka

I’m looking forward to my first transatlantic crossing. After solo sailing around Scotland, including Shetland, the log from which won the Cruising Association Hanson Cup in 2014, I’m also looking forward to sailing again with company (crew) and in company (other boats).

Having sailed to Lanzarote from Madeira and Cascais ten years ago, continuing South then West is the natural progression. This Odyssey packs in so much more than the standard dash across the pond.

The boat name comes from the first owners, Nigel and Karen Curry. Janika derives from elements of the names of their four children and Lycka is Swedish for luck/happiness which they chose after visiting the Najad yard in Henån, Sweden when the boat was being built. It’s a good provenance and the name has a nice rhythm when spoken so I’m keeping it.

Back to top

Jérôme, Kelly & Mia S/V Jiyu

We are Kelly (Korean), Jérôme (French) and Mia (thereby Franco-Korean). We are now living in London, and on the starting-blocks for the ‘Grand Voyage’ in July.

Our boat Jiyu is an Outremer 51 catamaran, now based in La Grande Motte where she was born last year.

We can’t wait to meet you all, make new friends, and cruise with you to Barbados in a safe and friendly setting.

Kelly is a Sushi expert, and she is already inviting you for a Sushi-making class on our boat… provided we catch more fish than last summer (i.e. none) !

The name of our boat Jiyu is our daughter Mia’s middle name. In Korean, ‘Ji’ means ‘happiness’ and ‘Yu’ means ‘full of’…

A très bientôt !

Back to top

Pit Warnecke & Heike Trapp S/V Karina

Heike and I are happy to join this Odyssey from Lanzarote to Barbados, because after selling our Sailing Training School in Kiel at the end of 2011, we sailed in 2012 round Great Britain, 2013 in the archipelago of East Sweden, 2014 in the archipelago of West Sweden and 2015 in Norway.

During this sailing trip in Norway Heike found accidentally a short note in a yachting journal about the Barbados 50 offer!

During the winter of December 15 and January 16 in our “summer residence” in Lanzarote we discussed the sailing activities for 2016.

Result : let’s join Barbados 50 in an international rally with Cornell Sailing.

You see, sometimes it´s very simple to determine new destinations …. that’s the way we found you.

Karina? Why ? It´s only a short story. We “adopted” Karina in 1995 and a seaman’s belief says , never change the name of a boat…

Back to top

Paul & Kerstin Österberg S/V Kerpa

Last year we sold our house and got rid of most of our other belongings, bought a boat and moved aboard. A dream is becoming true, to go blue water sailing on indefinite time hopefully all  the way around the world.

Over the years we have had several different sailing boats and mainly sailed around the coast in Scandinavia, Greece and Turkey. Before we found the courage to take early retirement we have rented sailing boats in the Caribbean and in Thailand to keep the dream alive.

Paul has crewed a few times on crossings to get experience, however not as long as the Atlantic crossing, which we look forward to with both excitement and anxiety.

This winter we spend in Finike, Turkey to work on the boat, make her ready for an Atlantic crossing. April/May we will start slowly to sail out of the Med to join the Rally in Lanzarote.

We are really looking forward to the Barbados 50 “rally” not to compete but to meet other cruisers and hopefully make new friends and also the excitement to meet new people and cultures along the way.

Back to top

Steve Tull and DeAnne (Dee) Trigg S/V La Mischief

G’day everyone….We are an adventurous West Australian Boy and a Californian Girl who met in Gocek, Turkey two years ago.

After spending nine months sailing from Perth to Sydney around the remote top of Australia in my last boat, Camelot, a Seawind 1160 Catamaran, I set my sights on a new boat to tackle the Pacific.

It soon became evident that I would be a bit mad to set out from Australia and that I should buy my catamaran in the Americas and sail downwind. Having settled on a Lagoon 421, I just kept spinning the globe, and ended in France where I thought it would be fun to pick it up from the factory in Les Sables d’Olonne and sail it around Europe for a season or two.

Four seasons later, we are somewhat reluctantly leaving the Med after seeing some amazing places and hanging out with some great people. But new adventures await and I have promised Dee that we will definitely return to the Med after circumnavigating.

We decided to join the rally for the chance to meet new people, learn a heap of new stuff and enjoy some added safety and reassurance. It will be a major accomplishment for us, having never crossed a major ocean before and it will be nice to share this experience and celebrate the achievement with other rally participants.

Australians are known for being a bit of a larrikin race, with a good sense of mischief and I wanted a fun Australian name for my boat. British and Australians know the word “mischief” well and have a good laugh over it, but we have had a hard time explaining it to our European and Turkish friends.

The “La” in “La Mischief” is because there is another Australian boat called “Mischief” – so we decided to add a bit of class and go with “La Mischief” given her French origins. So far the name has worked out really well given the stories and shenanigans that we have accumulated during our travels.


Back to top

Ken Robertson & Jenny Thomas S/V Lady Rebel

We (Ken and Jenny) bought our yacht LADY REBEL, an Irwin 52, in 2012 with a view to living aboard and cruising.

We sold up and moved from the Midlands to Falmouth, Cornwall to live aboard Lady Rebel in March 2014.

Work has prevented any serious sailing before now, but that is now behind us and we can look forward to sailing wherever the winds may take us.

As a shake-down cruise we circumnavigated the UK in April to July 2016, and are now back in Falmouth finishing last minute jobs before we depart on 7 August.

Facebook page:

Back to top

Eric & Angela Siegel S/V Laridae

We first discovered the joys of long distance voyaging when we took a short break from work (before kids!) and sailed our 37 ft boat from Seattle to New Zealand, through Mexico and the tropical Pacific islands.

During that trip, we became friends with a lot of sailing families with young children and admired how the travels were creating amazing memories for the children and priceless experiences for the family.

Now, fifteen years, and three wonderful children, later, we are excited to share our love of sailing, the ocean, and visiting new cultures with our children.

Originally from Canada, we have been living in Scotland for the past two years. This has given us the great opportunity to explore some amazing local sailing grounds, as well as the chance to cross the Atlantic Ocean as we begin a slow migration back to Canada.

We are excited to join other sailors and families as we share the experiences with the Odyssey. The children will be aged 5, 9.5 and 11.5 years when we cross the Atlantic.

Our boat, named LARIDAE (meaning “family of Seagull’s) has already been around the world once, and crossed the Atlantic twice.

We are looking forward to keeping her legacy alive and visiting many more sunny, warm anchorages in our future!


Back to top

Duncan & Caroline Woodhead S/V Maggie Drum

We left Ballina in New South Wales, Australia in May 2013 and made our way through Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

We then shipped Maggie Drum from Phuket to Istanbul in May 2014.

We have explored Turkey, Greece, Sicily and made our way up to the Mediterranean and went through the French canals to Honfleur. We have been wintering in Dartmouth in the UK. This year we plan to explore Wales and Ireland and then head south to Spain and Portugal.

We hope to catch up with other rally participants in the Canary Islands or Cape Verde. We are looking forward to the rally to Barbados as we continue on our world circumnavigation.

Back to top

Martin Mueller-Duysing & Rita Egle S/V Maisie

We are Swiss citizens, married and since last year living on our catamaran.

The idea to join the Barbados 50 came up when we attended Jimmy Cornell’s Atlantic Odyssey seminar in November 2015. (We were kindly invited to this informative seminar without even being part of the Atlantic Odyssey).

 When we asked about next years rally Jimmy told us about the Barbados 50 – the comprehensive concept of sailing this historic route to commemorate the nautical and colonial history of Barbados, the European, African and American roots and the final independence of Barbados 50 years ago. And we liked some appealing details Jimmy told us like passing the Tower Bridge with the rally members…

We are looking forward to being part of this great adventure!

Back to top

Fabrice & Sylvie Texier S/V Maryna II

A project… To cross the ocean, the dream of most sailors… Today we are ready, and our companion on the sea will be Maryna II, a Lagoon 39.

After several years sailing and experience on different types of boats, the day of departure has finally arrived. We were content to be able to finally achieve our dream above all with Jimmy and his team for the fabulous rally which is Barbados 50.
Being able to leave knowing that the team is following us in real time is for us a guarantee of security. The programme of stopovers and festivities also won us over and we can’t wait to hoist the main sail.

For my own part, Fabrice, I am a former French Navy diver, I have sailed extensively in the Pacific Ocean. My partner Sylvie will be first mate, plotting taking over from the captain. She has a CFBS maritime qualification and plenty of goodwill as she takes her place in this adventure.

Our great friends and pontoon neighbours Gérard et Antonia will also join us. Here is their story:

To make the crossing – that is the dream! This childhood dream appeared one fine morning in September 2015 on a pontoon in Hendaye.

After a good morning greeting to Fabrice and a few words exchanged on the new equipment installed on Maryna II, he told me about his plan – to sail for the Caribbean – but under the aegis of Jimmy Cornell’s organization and with the objective of ‘celebrating 50 years of the independence of Barbados’. This project enchanted me and the dream became a reality when Fabrice suggested to me that I might like to be a part of his crew which I accepted happily.

With my partner Antonia we have navigated life together for 25 years and on the water for ten of those. We started out on the Bassin d’Arcachon onboard an old First 18 and for the last three years we have cruised along the Basque Coast on a Bavaria 32. Thus begins our Atlantic voyage…

We are impatient to set off for far horizons, and the Barbados 50 rally and its organization which seems so promising will, we hope, give us the chance to make some fine new acquaintances.

I would like to thank Fabrice and Sylvie for allowing me to realise this old childhood dream at the age of 65 (long live retirement… !).

 The principle of bringing together crews, to share the same project and the same passion: sailing, the oceans, the discovery of new horizons and cultures… will be, we are sure, a wonderful experience.

Fair Winds to All!

Blog (in French):

Back to top

Sébastien & Séverine Vergine S/V Maskali

We live in Toulouse and we have three daughters, who are aged 12, 9 and 3. We have been dreaming of voyaging, of sun and sea since we met 22 years ago!

After some experiences of sailing with a skipper in the Cyclades and in Spain, our desire to go sailing was confirmed and we decided to buy a boat, based in Port-Leucate in the Aude. We have sailed to Minorca and Corsica.

Then we started a family, continued to do some sailing in the Med … all the while dreaming of more distant horizons!

Two years ago we had the chance to buy a bigger boat, an Ovni 385, already equipped for bluewater sailing. The project to set off for a year’s family sabbatical began to take shape!

My father will sail part of the way with us and will also take part in the Atlantic crossing.

We decided to take part in the Barbados 50 rally for the security, the cameraderie and the sharing of experiences. It will be a chance for us to meet other sailors and families like us, and for the girls to make friends.

What motivates us in this voyage is the human adventure, to experience the world, to take some time out to live more intensely, to strengthen our family and help our children discover a new way of life, closer to nature, to see marine wildlife and the wonders of the sea…

Our boat, Maskali, bears the name of a coral island near to Djibouti, which was known to the previous owner. We liked the name a lot so we kept it!

Back to top

Peter & Jennifer Cropper S/V Modjadji

We took delivery of Modjadji in March 2014 and have spent the year and a half since then splitting our time between working and sailing, and trying to decide what sort of sailors we want to be (plus trying to equip Modjadji to match what we might want to do – which has meant more time back at work to pay for it) – we also managed to fit in getting married earlier this year.

This summer we sailed south from North Wales across Biscay and along the coast of Spain & Portugal, and had the time to relax, sail, and think. We decided that we definitely want to cross the Atlantic, but as part of a 3 year circumnavigation

For our first major ocean crossing we liked the idea of being part of an organised rally, but a smaller less party-focused rally than the other obvious option – we’d also attended a talk Jimmy gave at the Cruising Association last year which we liked. For us, the Barbados 50 is as much about the time cruising in the Canaries (we’ll join there) and the Cape Verde’s rather than just ticking off an Atlantic crossing. The chance to cruise in company to the African coast was also a big appeal (so we’re disappointed that isn’t happening but completely understand the reasons).

December 2016 is also Pete’s 50th birthday, so that has a nice symmetry to it.

Modjadji is currently in Lagos, Portugal and we’re heading back there in April for a lift out and some repair work (plus getting an SSB fitted by Nautigamma). After that, we’ll do some easy cruising in the Med before heading to the Canaries for September. We haven’t yet done much detailed planning for beyond the Caribbean, we’ll give that some focus in the New Year.

Modjadji is the hereditary Rain Queen of the Balobedu people, who live in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Succession is matrilineal, and she is believed to have special powers, including the ability to control clouds and rainfall. Jenny grew up in South Africa, and Pete also spent a lot of time in Southern Africa over the last 15 – 20 years. The name has definitely been an interesting talking point on our travels so far.


Back to top

Holger & Karin Binz S/V Oysterbar


One day we were sitting on the beach of Virgin Gorda and we were watching the anchoring yachts. We asked ourselves how amazing is must feel to swim back to our own yacht, right in the Caribbean waters were its warm and sunny (happens rarely in Luxembourg).

Today we feel the time is perfect to challenge a real, a physical adventure out passing the business life we had for such a long time.

It was Karin’s idea to do the real stuff by crossing the Atlantic for our very first time.

And it’s a great fit: 50 will be the number of our year. Holger will have his 50th birthday on the trip as well as our 25th anniversary (50 years married), our Oysterbar has 50 ft.

The Barbados 50 was obviously perfect. Hopefully it will not take 50 days to cross the Atlantic.

Why Odyssey?

We expect the Odyssey to be our perfect choice because it is not our piece of cake to share St. Lucia with 250 other yachties. A more private network is great for us both.

Why Oysterbar?

As we are from Luxembourg we love delicious food. So we have always named our boats after preferred restaurants.

I confess that it’s strange to choose an NY City restaurant with the French cuisine around the corner. But nobody understands French names. (Sorry dear French fellows). We are looking forward to swim back to the Oysterbar after sitting on the beach of Virgin Gorda.

Back to top

Roland & Astrid Kunert S/V Sameera

The Kunerts are Astrid and Roland with our sons Lorenz, Gabriel, and Severin. When we will start our trip this summer, they will be 13, 12 and 5 years old. Living in Munich we are close to the mountains, but far away from the sea…

We started sailing as a family about 5 years ago and quickly realised that sailing gives us peace of mind every time we are on a boat. The first trips were on charter boats in the Med, and we have always enjoyed to travel together with friends or relatives. This for the good company but also to have some more hands and experience on board. Despite Roland gathered his first miles on monos, we tried sailing a catamaran in 2012. We found this to cause less sea-sickness and offering a lot more space for us and our boys.

Soon the idea came up to do this for a longer time, see a bit more of the world and get in touch with different cultures and to share all this as a family. In 2014 we found and bought SAMEERA, already with the subtle idea in our minds to once start for a greater journey. Since then we have spent most of our holidays around the Balearic Islands, and enjoyed every moment of it.

Joining an Odyssey gives us the chance to meet like-minded sailors, as well to have some advise in our first blue water experience. As our intention is to see many different countries along our way, the Barbados 50 is just right for us. Also we are very much looking forward to join the school and scientific program.

All of us are really excited to start this journey. Every day we have to count for Severin: how often do we have to sleep, before we go to Sameera?

Our boat’s name originates from Sanskrit and still exists in Indian and Arabic. It’s meaning is “good friend” or literally “night conversation companion”: someone who stays up long into the night speaking with friends. As we think this is a perfect name for what we are approaching to do, we kept it after purchasing her from a German boat-builder in Mallorca.

Sameera contributes a lot of sailing experience to our crew: Built in England 1974, she is known to have been to at least in North America as well as Sri Lanka before finding her place in the Mediterranean.

Back to top

Stéphane & Yamna Grimault S/V Sir Henri 4

We are very happy to join the adventure for different reasons.

Our goal is to sail with nice people who share the same spirit. We are willing to discover new islands, share good time with new friends for Sarah (6 years old), Yamna and myself.

Sailing with your organization is a real proof of serenity. I already sailed twice the ARC in 2001 and 2006.

My father Henri when he was alive, was pleased to share drinks with sailors at the pub in Jersey. He was called by his friend “Sir Henri” in the Channel Islands.

I am sure that he would be very pleased to discover the world by sailing this way.  I am happy having Sir Henri on board every day.

See you soon.

Back to top

Peter & Sarah Shaw S/V Stormbreaker

Sarah, Peter and Stormbreaker came together in January 2015 and have been learning about each other ever since. Based in Falmouth Marina, they visited South West harbours during the summer with a couple of trips to Jersey, Sarah’s birthplace.

They purchased Stormbreaker with a plan to circumnavigate. Autumn and winter months have been occupied with ongoing maintenance and upgrades to Stormbreaker to ensure she is “blue water “ready.

In November Sarah decided to organise a week away to give them a break, Lanzarote beckoned and as is normal on any of their holidays, a trip to the local Marina was a must. Fate intervened as they noticed the Atlantic Odyssey flags on a number of boats – they made some enquiries and spent the next couple of days attending the really useful seminars hosted by Jimmy and the team.

The warmth and camaraderie displayed by the 2015 Atlantic Odyssey participants and Jimmy’s team convinced them that to join in 2016 would be a really good idea- they signed Stormbreaker up for the Barbados 50.

Peter is not without Rally experience, in a former life with two up in the Moody Yacht “Tomodachi“, he participated in the 2002 Blue Water Round the World Rally. A fantastic experience which sadly ended in New Zealand when his wife became ill.

Sarah, took up sailing when she met Peter in 2010, and has already clocked up much sea time – some in warm Aegean waters and many in chilly channel chop!

Two sets of families get to tell their friends that they have adventurous parents – Sarah has three daughters and a son, all mad keen surfers and all North Cornwall dwellers. 7 grandchildren require a selection of small sized lifejackets on Stormbreaker in case of visits.

Peter has a daughter and three grandchildren-2 boys and a girl – all able to wear “grown up” lifejackets. The extended family are only occasional visitors on board Stormbreaker with only one as a possible crew for part of the Barbados 50!

Noteworthy sailing experiences: during a return trip from Jersey last summer at 03.00 mid channel Stormbreaker experienced a close encounter with a huge Tug towing and enormous drilling rig – the complex array of lights providing a welcome respite during the dark night.

Stormbreaker will be joining the Barbados 50 from Falmouth and once in the Caribbean the plan is to join the World ARC 2017/18 for her circumnavigation.

Sarah, Peter and Stormbreaker look forward to meeting you in Falmouth in August.

Back to top

Susan & Howard Chambers S/V Sundowner

We bought our current boat, Sundowner, in summer 2009 after deciding that we wanted to sail further than the trips to France and Belgium undertaken in our GibSea.

We were looking for a boat that would be capable of covering more distance, comfortably and found Sundowner in Belfast, an Oyster 39 Ketch named by her previous owner. We saw no reason to change the name.

We left Belfast, headed up the west coast, through the Caledonian Canal and down the East Coast to Ipswich, our home port, where we began a refit.

In 2013 we took a 3 month sabbatical from work and sailed south to explore the Spanish Rias and then back up across Biscay and around the French Coast. The trip confirmed our suspicions, we wanted to do more and go further. The Barbados 50 itinerary, including West Africa interested us and we promptly signed up. Unfortunately the Africa segment is no longer practical however the trip overall, sailing with a like minded group of people was very appealing.

With us both taking retirement from work this year we are now busy preparing the boat and packing up the contents of our house to enable letting. We join in London and are very much looking forward to new adventures in the coming months and years.

Where we will end up ….we don’t know however we do know we will enjoy meeting new people and seeing different places.

Back to top

Gary & Louise Leisfield S/V Takamoana

Takamoana is a Tongan word and means ‘to wander the ocean’ and this is what we have been doing since taking delivery of our Fontaine Pajot Lipari in 2010.

After spending the last 6 years visiting many countries in Europe and around the Mediterranean, meeting interesting people and making friendships along the way it is now time to move on and cross over to the Caribbean.

Barbados 50 was of great interest to us when reading about the sailing to West Africa, but understandably cancelled. The social aspect of the rally, meeting new people and the opportunity to participate in the celebrations in Barbados should make great wandering

Back to top

Hermann Wessels & Ute Lott S/V Thetis

We, Ute and Hermann, are looking forward to leaving Germany in June this year. We long for a warmer climate, favorable winds, new and far off destinations and no more time pressure.

We can look back on 40 years of sailing experience and cannot get enough of it. We just love the moments when the engines are turned off, we enjoy the company of dolphins or birds on the way. And we enjoy getting to know other countries, cultures and people.

Our trips have mostly been limited to the holidays so far and thus to the Baltic, the North Sea, North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. But after Ute’s retirement early this year we are free at last to fulfil our dream of going further south and west, hopefully with the trade winds.

We have decided to join the Odyssey to go to Barbados in company with like-minded people and also to use the expertise of Jimmy Cornell and his team concerning the crossing and also the islands on the way. Once in the Caribbean we will decide what to do next. Stay in that region for a while? Continue westwards? Time will show.

Our boat Thetis was built by a small boatyard in La Rochelle more than twenty years ago. She is a light-weight catamaran with slender hulls, one in a very small series. For the next two months we will be busy to make sure she is in good condition as a seaworthy bluewater ship when we take her from our home to the North Sea.

Priorities change when you equip a boat for long-distances. In the last decade our aim was to keep Thetis the light-weight boat she had been built to be. Any addition had to pass the weight-test. But whenever we cross off an item on our ‘to do’-list now Thetis has become a little heavier. Let’s hope she does not cross the Atlantic as a lame duck.

Her name? Well, Hermann does not really remember why he chose ‘Thetis‘. It must have been his humanistic education that led the way to Greek mythology and to clever sea godess Thetis, mother of Achill.

Anyway, we are looking forward to meeting you in Lanzarote.

Back to top

Ian & Ann Clarke S/V Tourterelle

We are joining the Barbados 50 and we will be sailing aboard our new home Tourterelle an Allures 45, we have spent much of 2015 reorganising our lives selling our house and getting rid of all the “stuff” that ties us down so we can move aboard and change our lifestyle.

We are just at the beginning of our plans to sail slowly around the world and joining the Barbados 50 rally has given us a real focus and objective for our 2016-17 cruising. We will be starting in Turkey in March and sail the length of the Med to get to the start rendezvous in September. It would be all too easy to linger in the Med, so joining the Barbados 50 rally now confirms our commitment to follow our dreams and travel further afield.

We sail mainly to explore the destination and meet interesting people, rather than just for the passage itself. We liked the Island Odyssey concept, cruising islands and coastlines combined with the Atlantic crossing in company with other yachts. For us, it’s a rally that recaptures the original ARC concept and we look forward to much fun and happiness along the way. The opportunity to be involved in a small way in the Barbados celebrations and to be taken outside our comfort zone with a visit across to the African coast is a real bonus for us.

Over the years Jimmy and more recently Doina have been an inspiration when we have heard them speaking at the Cruising Association, its helped us keep our dream alive during those long years of working life – taking part in one of the Odyssey rallies seemed the natural choice.

Our journey so far has already been full of new life-experiences (and we haven’t even made it to our yacht full time yet) especially the unexpected press attention our imminent adventure attracted earlier this year.

Back to Top