We first met Kate and Graham at Southampton Boat Show in 2012. With no sailing experience and a dogged determination to follow their hearts, they were aboard their new 440 and crossing the Med early the following spring. Good on them we say, and it is one of the great pleasures of our job to play a small part in adventures such as these. Kate's modest words follow and we hope to see more as the new season approaches.
Our new adventure in life began with a trip to Southampton Boat Show in 2012 where we looked around and were interested in the catamarans that Ancaster had on show. Graham Laver from Ancasta helped us through the daunting specs of the various Lagoon catamarans and took us out for a test sail in a lagoon 450. After much deliberation with Graham Laver we decided to go for a Lagoon Cat as our first boat!! We saw on the Ancasta website a Lagoon 440 moored in Tunisia. We made the decision to go and see her with a highly recommended boat surveyor Tim Barker from Godalming, Surrey and a representative from Ancasta France. Signed on the dotted line and are now the happy owners of "Mustang", a Lagoon 440 2008.
A few months later, after completing a VHF Radio course and our theory Day skipper course in Southampton, we flew out to Tunisia to meet up with the previous French owners Bernard and Betty who helped us sail her through our first night passage to Blue Lagoon at Gozo where we caught up on some sleep! Then we continued onto Malta Manoel Island Marina after practising some anchor techniques in a lovely sandy bay. A few days later we then said au revoir to Bernard and Betty. Next step was my son Luke joining us who had been with us for the theory day skipper course, we then finished our practical RYA day skipper course off with Michael Gauchi from the RYA Malta sailing academy who was very very helpful. After spending a couple of weeks in Malta famialirising ourselves with Mustang we hired a skipper Derek through Michael Gauchi and set sail for Sicily, after leaving Malta at 6.30am we arrived in Siracussa at 6pm. Went to the fish market in the morning..highly recommend! We then left Siracussa at 9am to destination Corfu, Gouvia Marina, after sailing through the night and catching a nice Tuna for dinner enroute! Interesting night passage big thunderstorms in the distance, slight swell to the sea, managed a steady 8 to 9 knots most of the way and we arrived in Corfu at 6am moored up and got some sleep. After a couple of days said another goodbye this time to Derek the skipper and we were now on our own!!!
With trepidation we set sail for exploring North East Corfu and then headed further south to Lefkas Marina for 2 nights and onto the southern Ionian where we spent a lovely summer having family and friends visit us,exploring various small islands and trying local cuisine before returning to Corfu Marina where we wintered Mustang 2013.The whole adventure has not been without its trials and tribulations, learning all the way and still learning! Experiencing 50 knot winds, blown off anchors, other boat users who maybe not as courteous as others, but we have been told this is sailing, we have met some lovely supportive people and we have had a great summer, and looking forward to summer 2014 and ending up in Turkey!
A big thank you to Graham Laver for his technical help and his friendly voice of encouragement at the end of the phone!
Kate and Graham