Summer 2017 – colder and tougher than ever. I, Anna, started the summer by breaking a rib and when it had just healed, I fell right down on my nose and felt very miserable for a number of weeks to come. We dreamed of sun and bath but had to retreat to a safe harbor at Listed/Bornholm and lick (mine) wounds. How it was, we enjoyed being on the boat and getting extra time to talk to each other. An idea began to grow there. An idea of taking a sabbatical year in 4-5 years and sailing down to the Canary Islands. Visit my friend who arranges dolphin and whaletrips at La Gomera. It would be nice to get there on our own keel.
After Listed we went to Skillinge at the Swedish mainland – a full day in fog – and had to lie outside the Dutch boat Balder. Nan, the woman on board, understood exactly when I shared my thoughts about more time on board. She showed me all the essentials – how the food was stored, how the laundry was taken care of, their library and work opportunities on board. She even had a bathtub! And space for her hats she made herself. In addition, she had at least as high a nautical competence as her husband.
The seed grew and well at home it went fast. At our homeharbour, Hundudden, we met a couple that just had return home after many years in The West Indies. They told us that we needed a boat with water maker, freezer and a washing machine – maybe an Amel, quite common over there. I started to take notes. We realized that we needed a new ocean-going boat and too afford it we needed to sell our apartment. Our big nice apartment in the middle of Södermalm/Stockholm where we have lived for over twenty years. Suddenly we felt completely ready with living inside a house. We wanted to try out how it would be to live on board and sail on new waters without time limits. Why wait? We choosed to go for it there and then.
To make a long story short, it took a year, just before the next summer, before a new family dared to buy our apartment in times of price fall on the housing market. We realized that it was just as good to sell everything – all furniture, paintings and books, yes everything. We didn’t want to leave a store with lots of unsorted memories.
At the last minute we found our new boat, s / y Vista, a 53 foot ketch – an Amel supermaramu 2000 redline, built on the Amel shipyard in La Rochelle. This model was the last one that Henri Amel drew before he died and donated the shipyard to his employees. It is built to be safely sailed by a couple over the seas. Vista has had two owners before us, both of whom have sailed her in the Mediterranean. We used our holiday (2018) to transport home Vista from Toulon on the French Riviera.
It took just over six weeks – from the Mediterranean, through Gibraltar, up the Portuguese coast to La Coruna where we waited for the right weather conditions to take us across Biscaya to beautiful Falmouth on the English south coast. Up through the English Channel, past the Isle of White to the Dutch coast, Helgoland and then Kiel Channel. Everything was new! We went day and night, three days as the most. Everything went well! We got a great start!
In October, we moved in with a fraction of our belongings. By the end of May 2019, we will carry off on the seas again.