End of one chapter the beginning of the next

Well Sephina is sold. This came as a shock to my friends and also to me.

The ARC 2013 was the “Rip up the Brochure” year. We had everything from headwinds to no wind to constant 35 knots. As I wrote in my ARC reflection in 2014 there was a moment when I thought “Why am I putting my wife through this” she had not eaten for several days and had stopped drinking  because the seasickness had become so extreme. Pouring water into her mouth with a syringe knowing we were still 5 days away from land with the seas predicted to get even higher was a wake up call. Unbelievably she still did her night watch. (Video after 3 days of 25 Knots downwind atlantic here) Along with many ARC crews in 2013 we vowed not to cross another ocean. So our plans changed. Initially we booked passage back with "Peters and May" from the Caribbean but we decided to give the Caribbean a season to at least explore its charms as we had come so far. That was the best decision we made. Not only did we have some fantastic times exploring the beautiful islands and meeting some amazing people but we enjoyed living on board. The journey down to Grenada is well documented by my wife in Pink and Fluffy and we were slightly trepidatious at the prospect of 5 months in a marina waiting out the hurricane season. But fate reared its head again. Little Oyster Sephina was opposite a spanking Oyster 53 Amelie. The skipper spotted Ju on the pontoon one day and invited us over for drinks (How forward!). Little were we to know, that simple act would be the beginning of a special friendship with the owners Stephen and Debbie. We partied, worked on maintenance, dined out, hashed and partied some more and the 5 months went by in a flash. The icing on the cake was meeting 4 remarkably special people, Miles a handsome Texan from the beautiful “Lone Star”, Kiwi the constantly happy smiling fountain of all knowledge and the “Beautiful People” in the form of Peter and Wendy, the proud owners of one of the stunning properties on the South Coast of Grenada. The talk on Amelie often came to how we were going to bump Peter and Wendy off so we could take over their house. It’s a shame they were so nice . The days in Port Louis Marina were life changing. The end of the hurricane season came without even a puff and we returned to the UK for a very magical wedding of our youngest Steph and her partner Matt. On our return we set off to cruise in company with Stephen now “Stevie Boy” and Debbie now “Debs” from Amelie.  Again the journey is well documented by Ju but my simple analysis was these were some of the best days of my life, sailing Sephina with my wife and two fantastic friends and making some more great friends on the way.  Stevie Boy’s 60th birthday in Isles de Saints was a gathering of several Oysters from the Oyster World Rally. There were some truly stunning yachts and despite the obvious wealth the owners were funny, intelligent, kind, cuddly, bubbly, worldly and generous.  One even had all 7 traits! The main birthday lasted 5 days, the celebrations nearly a month.  

The cruise north continued as our plans to return to the UK took shape and I started to come to terms with parting with Sephina on our return to Southampton. Alan Mcilroy who sold the boat to me from Berthon the brokers, was so helpful I wanted him to handle the sale again. He was going to list her in May as “En Route UK”.  I worked on the boat specification for the sale and was busy drafting it when I had an email from Peter and Wendy in Grenada.  A friend of a friend was looking for a similar type of boat and would I email the spec to them.  A day later I had an email asking to view her the next day.  We were in St Kitts so not easy to get to, so I suggested Sint Maarten in 10 days time. The prospective purchaser duly arrived, asked the right questions and made an unconditional offer the next day. A bit of to and fro and we had a deal.  Sephina was under offer if we agreed to vacate her in a week!!!! Hasty plans, apartment rental, car hire and we were off!  So as I  write this we are boatless abroad. Sephina has gone to a good home under the watchful eye of Bill Martin an American Health CEO. 

And us (Cats included)… Well we have decided to stay in Sint Maarten for the time being while we plan the next journey.  

I will get my kicks from joining the various Oyster owners on legs of their future voyages and my old mate Jon on Kika.  I’m sure its not for my company that I have been invited but my systems skills!  These big Oysters are complex.

Bye, Bye, Sephina and hello family, grandson and old friends back home.  A great new chapter awaits but for now this one has drawn to a close. Thanks to all the friends we met along the way, the Sephina crews who helped us, the ARC 2013 crowd, the Kika crew and the Caribbean friends and finally thanks for reading. 

Bill has agreed to take over the site as Sephina of Beaumaris becomes Sephina of Provincetown and will continue to have her adventures.

Good luck to all who sail in her…… 

6000nM since leaving Deganwy. 63 Ports visited.