The day has finally come and it is with mixed feeling that we cast the lines off Island Harbour marina early this morning. There is a certain sadness to leave newly made and long friends behind, the isle of Wight has become our home turf for the 7 months. The refit took way longer than expected as it often does with boats. We’re leaving with a feeling of unfinished business – the works on Seabelle has taken every day of our time here and very little was spent touring the island. I did enjoy my yoga routine at the local gym and our weekly 5k parkruns on Saturday mornings. We will miss the warm sense of community that we have encountered on the island.
There is also a bout of stress and anxiety as despite our best efforts, we could not finish our yard projects entirely and we will have to continue along the way. Amongst them, our brand new watermaker. It failed its first test and the new part hasn’t arrived yet. We can no longer wait. It is time to go if we want to stop along the way and not miss the ice opening in August. It will have to be forwarded to us.
But mostly, there is an overwhelming sense of excitement about what we’re about to begin. We dreamt about this day when we bought the boat 7 years ago and here we are: we are setting out to Greenland onto Alaska via the North West Passage. It feels surreal, like we are still in the dream, in a virtual reality that I got accustomed to. I have to pinch myself to realise that our dream is becoming reality and the wildest adventure of my life is about to begin. Right here, right now.
After a detour via Gosport near Portsmouth to install our new Dyneema back stays, and another one back to Cowes to pick up the engine oil that arrived late, we are off and away into a beautiful sunset. The power of the universe has aligned everything for us, the breeze is light from the north, allowing us to sail gently on a calm sea, a perfect way to get back into it after the long break on land. And as the light declines over the horizon and paints a palette of pinks and orange, I am filled with bliss and gratitude.