Tuesday, 9 September 2008

The next challenge.

TBH has a BIG birthday coming up next month... That has focused our thoughts on the next stage of our sailing careers.

We moved onboard some seven years ago and after a couple of years in Europe we came over to the Caribbean, where we have been ever since.

It's been a fascinating place to see, wide diversity of places and cultures. Some good some really bad but the sailing has always satisfied us. The time though has come to move on. There are so many places in the world that we would like to experience.

So, as these things usually happen, slowly a plan has been brewing in our minds. TBH loves passage making. I like remote locations. Then we read an article about the Aleutian Islands in the North West Pacific. These are the string of volcanic outcroppings that form a link from Japan/Russia across to Alaska. Remote, relatively rarely visited, and not in the Tropics! Seems like a good place to aim for.

As if directed by the Gods, a Dutch boat we met in Cuba earlier this year gave us a bundle of charts for exactly that part of the world, was somebody trying to tell us something?

So although we do not plan to embark until 2010/11 there is one whole load of research and preperation to begin if we are to have any real chance of getting there.

When we start to formulate a new stage in our lives it begins with the occasional question,'What do you know about..." I have learnt to prick my ears when TBH starts one of these chats and vice versa.

We have started to read whatever we can lay our hands on about the route we would possibly take. I have a large folder that is already beginng to sprout a strange chart of exotic names with notes on visa requirements, weather patterns etc.

Pointers from a couple of sailing forums led me to websites that brim with information and first hand accounts of passages undertaken.

This one, www.illywhacker.com has stimulated us enormously. I await delivery of the book that Peter wrote of their trip to Japan with great excitment.

I now sit surrounded by a pile of pilot guides, world sailing routes and chart planners as I begin the long task of deciding whether we really can attempt this voyage. It appears daunting in many respects. Cold weather for a start, although thats pretty attractive right now as the temperatures here hover in the mid 90's day in and day out! Will we take crew with us? How long will it take to obtain Russian Visas,that's if we can get them at all. What updates do we need to plan on? Where will we refit? And so on.

It's just what I need at the moment a new challenge. As TBH comes to the end of the project he has beeen working on for the past 8 years we have the freedom to do whatever we want! That can be pretty scary! Especially after the very comfortable couple of years we have spent here in the Western Caribbean. But hey! Nothing ventured, nothing gained right?

I think the time is right and I never could resist a challenge. Especially an outrageous one!

No comments: