Both Nicky and I have RYA Yachtmaster Offshore qualifications with a commercial endorsement. Nicky is also a RYA Cruising Instructor. We have both completed the Yachtmaster Ocean Shorebased course and tinker with astro-navigation but so far have not completed the qualifying passage. It was very much a case of work getting in the way of sailing! But all that has now changed...
I took the bold step of resigning from work in 2012 to make preparations for our sailing adventure. It was time to stop dreaming and start doing!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
... sums up the way we were, and still are, thinking so perfectly that Nicky also resigned.
With both of us off work we were able to work together much more efficiently during the last few months of preparation to finish the ever-growing and, at times, apparently never-ending list of jobs and administrative tasks. Sometimes it was tedious and painstaking work, often seemingly barely related to a yacht but we both believe strongly that these careful preparations in all areas of our lives and responsibilities were essential to keep things running smoothly at home, allowing us to relax and enjoy life on Blue Velvet whilst we are away sailing. Not least of which, the large amount of technical work we completed on Blue Velvet allowed us to set sail knowing that she is fully seaworthy.
It's now several months since we set off. So far the only administrative oversight was missing that one bank card was about to expire. That held us up for a couple of weeks in Guernsey waiting for a replacement to be sent out. Aside from that very minor hiccup our preparations seemed to have achieved the aim of making or new lifestyle very stress-free. Living onboard full time is living up to and exceeding our dreams. Some of our friends clearly thought we were mad to give up our immediate career opportunities and the security of a more normal existence in the UK. However, our experience so far has just reinforced that there is so much of the world to discover and explore. We have barely scratched the surface of the places which we have visited but it is great fun and we are both glad that we have taken on the challenges of this alternative lifestyle on board Blue Velvet.