So Long and Thanks

Saturday 6th July 2019

We have thought long and hard about when we should write the last sailraya blog, closing this amazing chapter of our lives. We are still feeling tired and rather disoriented but we are starting to integrate back into normal life, I actually have a working phone for the first time in nearly four years, yesterday we bought a car and the hunt for a new home has begun, our minds are slowly turning to life ashore, now, feels like the right time.

This evening I booted up my long ignored laptop and while it charges the screen saver is scrolling our photo collection, a fabulous summary of our trip. How we will manage without all the wonderful sights and experiences, the continual challenges and the satisfaction of achieving each stage of something so special, is hard to know, but one thing is for sure my Instagram page will be taking a turn for the worst.

Did the highs outshine the lows,? On that there is no doubt, every minute of those cold and tiring night watches was worth the five we spent absorbing the song of a humpback whale just 10m below us. Every uncomfortable roll of the boat was worth it to glide along side a manta ray or a whale shark. The exhaustion of a night in a rolly anchorage was easily washed away the moment we put our heads below crystal clear water above a magnificent coral reef and the pressure from the ceaseless demands of keeping Raya and ourselves safe was made manageable with the assistance of so many friends afloat and at home.

It’s difficult to know where to start thanking these people for their support, so many have helped us in so many ways, from those who accompanied us across oceans, Ian, Eric, Hartmut, Jonathan, Sheridan, Penny, Stephen, Richard and Tony, to everybody that sent newsy emails to raise our spirits during those long passages.

Andy who got us through the boat preparations, Peter and Joanna who spent hours putting together our medical kit, the numerous friends who joined us in Southampton to wish us well and Chris who has been there for us from the start to the finish.

Our fellow cruisers whose easy friendship was one of the trips highlights, their generosity and support was nothing less than life affirming. Nina, Toothless, Yolata, Pawpaw, Britican, Into the Blue, Randivag, Alexandra, Crazy Daisy, Knockando, Moonshadow, Il Sogno, Influencer, Vela and so many more, it was a pleasure to sail with you.

Thanks to the folks at Oyster especially Eddie and Regina, Harry at the rig shop for a faultless rig, Chris and Stokey for their weather help through the tricky bits, mailasail for keeping us in touch with the world and Navionics and Google maps for their help keeping us in the blue.

Thank you to all the blog readers whose continued loyalty and encouragement kept me writing, to everyone who opened their homes to us when we returned to the UK that kept us warm and fed and everyone who responded to our bizarre requests to secure boat bits that kept us afloat.

And a huge thanks to our families especially Nana who tracked and encouraged us every step of the way, Penny who, uncomplaining, worked as our unpaid PA throughout and Rachael and Matt who, despite their mad parents selling the family home and running off into the sunset, have yet to disown us.

Finally thank you Raya, our home for the past four years, her speed won us awards at the ARC and has kept the long passages as short as possible, her toughness has shrugged off high winds and large waves keeping us safe and her simplicity of handling has made things relatively easygoing for these two amateur sailors. Her spacious design has meant we have circumnavigated in style, her elegant lines still catch our eye.

Raya, our cruising community and all our family and friends who have joined us, what wonderful times we have shared.

22 thoughts on “So Long and Thanks

  1. Sad to read your final blog, they have been fascinating & a real joy to read. What an amazing journey you have been on. Many congratulations. I’m sure it will take a while to settle back into life on land but when you are settled Peter & I would love to meet up with you. Keep in touch xx

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  2. I don’t know about anyone else but this bought a little tear to my eye. Not quite sure how to start the day without tracking your whereabouts on Yellow Brick. What a blast!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A very big landmark, a very touching final blog – and a big thank you for opening your luxury home afloat to a landlubber like me, and for adventures on the Med, Pacific, Fiji and Indonesia legs. Welcome back, too!

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  4. Very sad to be reading the last blog and hoping the book is now in production. We shall miss following your progress and we’ll done for doing what we all dream of. We would love to have you round for a meal before you leave Plymouth and it was lovely to see Rick at the marina last weekend. Lots of love . Sally & Pete

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  5. You have done something wonderful and made it all look so easy. Well done. Ive followed you all the way and have enjoyed reading everything. You both are stars and now we get to see you. Not sure what will take the place of spending time watching your every move. See you soon x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Roz and Rick,

    I have followed all your blogs with amazement and awe – an absolutely feat. All the places you visited sounded and looked fantastic and your blogs were interesting, amusing and very well written Roz – I shall miss them!!

    Looking forward to hearing about your future plans and wishing you well with your house hunting. Where are you thinking of buying? When you’ve settled pleased let me know your contact details, mobile no. etc. Hopefully we’ll be able to meet up with you again in the not too distant future.

    All good wishes,

    Jennifer

    >

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  7. We will be joining all the other guys wondering what we will do now your home and nothing of Raya to track 😢.
    What a geography lesson we have had thanks to you, just like reading a book. “Book” now there’s a thought!!!. One signed copy plz.
    So once again we’ll done for Circumnavigating the World, so brave & clever. Most of all you “Stayed Safe”.
    Finally good luck for the future wherever you settle and do. Hope we get see you when your around visiting Julia & Phil.
    Bless you both.
    Diane & Len XX

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  8. A wonderful final post, will miss the regular read, but glad to see you both back in Blighty. When you miss the sea you are welcome to join us on Raya’s sister-ship Postremo – sadly can’t promise the coral reefs and such wonderful experiences though.

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  9. Rick, Rox: a fitting last blog. It was a privilege to sail the Indian Ocean with you and contribute in a very small way to your adventure.

    Having just come back from exploring British Columbia my advice is don’t stop being curious, being adventurous. You are a long time dead so start dreaming about the next chapter of travel book. 😎

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  10. We are in tears at the poetry of your last blog! A great summing up of a wonderful set of years. Today started gloomy (after nearly 2 weeks of wall to wall sun) and as I finished reading it to Rick, the sun came out. A good omen. Xx

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