Oyster Moon - final update from oyster moon

Day 15:  Thursday 5th December – Not long now

There was a bit of excitement in the early hours of this morning as Joe watched a fast catamaran come zooming past us at a rate of over 20 knots.  We can only assume it was one of the front runners of the main ARC race.

Everybody was feeling very hot and tired today and we had a quiet morning. A quick satellite phone call with the Halls in the afternoon and bangers, mash and baked beans for tea cheered us up no end.


Day 16:  Friday 6th December – A day for reflection

I am writing this entry at 1 a.m. as I come off my last night watch of our Atlantic passage.  We have approximately 75 miles to go until the finish line.  I should really be crawling into my bed but am conscious that there will be much excitement on board in the morning as St. Lucia starts to appear on the horizon in the morning and I I wanted to pen down all of the thoughts that have been going through my head over the past couple of hours.

To say that this journey has been a challenge is an understatement.  It didn’t start for us in Las Palmas, but around the time Pete broached the idea of a family sailing adventure around his 40th Birthday last Summer.  I agreed in principal on two main conditions 1) no fish gutting and 2) no oceans.  I imagined a long Summer in the Greek islands, Italy and the Balearics – how wrong was I!

In just 6 months we had sold my old house in Northampton and renovated our current house ready for renting as a holiday let.  After a failed yacht purchase in Greece, we found a lovely Oyster 47 yacht called Oyster Moon in need of lots of TLC, located on the river Hamble and purchased it back in February (bang goes the no oceans bit).

Pete continued to work full time until the end of March, and whilst I finalised house matters, the children moved on board at the start of the Easter holidays; to my horror, whilst Pete was mid-way through changing the entire toilet system.  Since then, Pete has worked like a trojan and we have endured living in a confined space that is regularly turned upside down. I don’t think there is a piece of boat or it’s equipment that hasn’t been reconditioned, replaced, fixed or fettled at some point along the way.

Whilst Pete had lots of sea going experience being ex-navy, he hadn’t sailed a yacht at all since obtaining his Day Skipper qualifications some 15 years ago.  The children and had no sailing experience at all and poor Jess is sick if she even gets in a car for more than 15 minutes.  Luckily, Pete has a fantastic friend called Al who is a highly experienced yacht master instructor.  He came and lived on board for a week to give us all an intensive training in Southampton and then met us in Falmouth to skipper us as far South down the Bay of Biscay as possible.  We got as far as La Rochelle.

From then on in, we’ve been lucky enough to have a number of fabulous friends and family crew with us.  We’ve also travelled big chunks of the journey down to the Canaries in convoy with a couple of amazing ARC families with whom I have no doubt we’ll remain good friends with for life.

The children have been amazing through it all.  The resilience, grit and determination that they’ve displayed has made me proud beyond belief.  Most adults would find the seas we’ve sailed through challenging and they’ve dealt with sea sickness admirably. We were so conscious that leaving their amazing friends, school and life back in the UK for a whole year was such a big thing.  They were so homesick the first couple of months it was painful to watch. But they both stuck with it.  Watching them both grow in confidence, grown closer and experience so many new things has been a joy.

What we’ve achieved since leaving Southampton at the end of May is mind blowing.  Getting to the start line of the ARC race was in itself epic.  And now as we reach the finish line and approach St Lucia the enormity of it all is mind blowing, even a little bonkers!  In think 2019 will definitely go down in the history of the Rucinski family as one of the most challenging and rewarding.  

So tomorrow, as we go back to land-based life and all that it brings and start the next phase of our adventure in the Caribbean.  And I for one will relish every second of it whilst it lasts. 

Our next updates will be back on facebook.  So for our worldcruising blog, OUT.