Monthly Archives: February 2014
Paul reflects on the circumnavigation!
Today I have achieved a dream that I have had since I was 11 years old!
I can now say I have sailed the world’s oceans and circumnavigated the planet!
But what does this mean? I am not the same guy that left Antigua a year ago onboard LUSH that’s for sure!
I return to Antigua with more energy, more passion, more ambition and I’m committed to achieve excellence always and hold myself to the highest standards in life!
Out in the oceans you reconnect with our world and what is truly important in life and that’s life itself, its treasuring that gift we have all been given of being on the planet right now and making sure we live fully!
It’s not how long we are here, its what we do with our lives that makes the difference! More than this though, the people in our lives are what makes the journey!
I am so grateful to my team onboard LUSH! Our story is of great times, fun times and tough times where the common bond we share is the same bond that seafarers have shared for centuries and will pull us through any storm and weather that chooses to cross our life’s course!
My gorgeous wife and fellow shipmates Audrey, Alan & Lucy are quite simply an inspiration and I know this journey that we have sailed together will be forever in our hearts! I quite simply treasure them and we stand strong together!
To all the guests and crew who have sailed with us on LUSH, it was inspiring to be able to share this journey with you and give you a taste for life on the ocean wave!
Finally to my friends & mentors Eddie and Marie Jordan who are the most inspirational, passionate and superb people to spend time with! Your story has inspired us more than you will ever know! You embody success and living fully and we are looking forward to many more journeys with you both to come!
This journey has formed bonds of friendship that like the ocean will always be!
One Life … Live it!
Paul Adamson xxx
Audrey reflects on this extraordinary Circumnavigation!
Cruising amoung the islands in Clew Bay (in Mayo,west of Ireland) on our family boat, as a child, ignited a lifelong hunger and passion in me for the sea, sailing and all that it emcompasses. For as far back as I can remember I’ve harboured this dream to sail around the world and here I am in my 33rd year, with my husband, about to realise this incredible ambition. When I applied to study dentistry in the UK, I wrote on my UCAS form that aside from my desire to become a dentist I had a seperate goal… to sail around the world some day.
Now, here I am in Antigua having fulfilled this grand vision, working for an incredible couple, Eddie and Marie Jordan, having sailed the worlds oceans with my husband and our fantastic team. I have never felt more alive, engaged, connected and fulfilled as I have on this trip. It has been so much more than I ever imagined possible. While we’ve endeavored to keep you, our loyal blog readers, up to speed on our World Voyage you’ve actually only had a taste, a small glimpse of our experience on this most rich and rewarding journey.
The overwhelming memory I’ll have of this adventure is of the beautiful people we’ve met along the way. We’ve certainly lived ‘out there’, beyond the routine of an average life, we’ve found the extraordinary in the ordinary, the miraculous in everyday situations. We’ve experienced traditions handed down through generations, witnessed island life on the edge of the world, stumbled upon countless, unforgetable, breathtaking sights. We have had the privilege to be amoung some of the worlds most tremendous creatures on sea and land. We have been at one with the universe, sailing under the starriest of nights, watching the sunrise and set on the worlds wonderous oceans, knowing that this was exactly as it was for the earliest of ocean explorers.
This circumnavigation has been an invigorating, life changing adventure that has left me with a profound sense of awe, wonder and appreciation of this magnificent world, along with her cultures, people and wildlife. I thank Eddie and Marie massively for this opportunity to Circumnavigate Planet Earth, sailing west through the tropics, all the way around on this most exquisite yacht LUSH.
One Life…. Live it, Love it, Cherish it, Sail it… and finally Circumnavigate it!!!
Lots of love,
Sign Up for Exclusive Extra Behind the Scenes Gos!
Well, we’ve taken a whole heap of pics and videos that we still have left to share with you all. We have the story of how we became professional sailors. How I gave up dentistry and learned to cook so I could run the galley successfully on a trip like this cooking from celebs to royalty! There’s stories of our challenges, in particular mindset challenges and how we consciously control our own thoughts and guide them, pushing and bettering ourselves constantly. Stories of how to run a superyacht, a five star floating penthouse in all the wierd and wonderful locations of the world. We’ve had alot of messages asking me what sorts of things I cook in the galley when in guest mode and crew mode. Also stories of the medical side of the trip and dentistry on the high seas. We’ve had people contact Paul, wondering what it’s really like to skipper a boat like this and run such a project in superquick time. And people asking how the hell did Joe Mc Govern (my Dad) manage to get on LUSH for so many ocean legs when he was only supposed to sail from Southampton to the Canaeries?…..actually I don’t have the answer for the latter but I have an incling it has something to do with a deal made between Dad and Paul the day Paul asked for my hand in marriage!!
Paul and I have always been huge fans of Oyster. Their yachts are pure class, the craftsmanship in building them is second to none. The detail, style and luxury is what sets Oyster apart from their competitors. It’s one thing to sail around the world but it’s a whole other thing to do it on an oyster and it really can’t possibly get better than to undertake an adventure like this as part of the Oyster World Rally, the most prestigious yacht rally ever to be held!
We have done our fair share of Oyster events in the past. we actually fell in love at the Oyster Regatta in the British Virgin Islands 8 years ago on an Oyster 56′, Spellbound. Paul originally worked in Oyster Commissioning and then ran the 56′ for a few years for our great friends Paul and Lynn Armson. He continued doing bits and pieces for Oyster and I tagged along for a couple of these events. Events that stand out for me include racing at the Palma Oyster Regatta on Oyster 72′ Luskentyre and then racing at the Americas Cup base in Valencia on Oyster 62′ Great Bear. Liz Whitman worked for Oyster at the time and it was her who really set the tone of Oyster for me. The events were like prestigious, luxurious family parties and always had a friendly jovial atmosphere mixed with fine dining, a balance difficult to achieve. In fact I believe it was originally Liz’s idea to run this world rally to mark Oysters 40th birthday. It’s great that David Tydeman and the crew at Oyster went ahead with this rally, it has certainly been all that we’ve come to expect from Oyster and a whole lot more!
Shore Side Support
Well, where would we all be without our Rally support team, Eddie Scougall and Debbie Johnson (aka Ebbie)? They have been absolutely superb and always a welcome sight when we arrive at new destinations. They are normally dockside awaiting our arrival or contactable on a designated Oyster VHF channel. Even before we set off for each new location they provide us with all the necessary paperwork in advance making the customs and emigration process run smoothly and quickly.
For us as a professionally run yacht with four full-time crew one would think we don’t need them, but that’s not the case. LUSH set off on a circumnavigation straight from build and she has sailed around the world in super quick time, as with the rest of the fleet. Having this shore side support has made our jobs a lot easier, whether it’s tips on the best food markets for me, spare parts for our engineer Al or paperwork and visa info for Paul along with addresses on where to get spare parts sent to. This all helps to run a new yacht on such a quick schedule and so successfully. Obviously, they have been busier with some of the lesser-crewed yachts and we are all so grateful to them for quite simply doing an outstanding job and running a world class event.
Jackie Kotze has also played a big part in the Oyster support team. From her office at Oyster headquarters, in Ipswich, Jackie has done an terrific job of looking after the admin, and co-coordinating the rally and various events from base.
The Rally Participants
The camaraderie between the yachts on this trip and the friendships we have made and developed is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. Everyone looks out for one another, helps each other out, sharing tips and secrets along the way. The girls get together chatting about all the comings and goings on various yachts, on food markets, shopping etc.. and the lads get together and talk shop! Listen, I love talking ‘boats’ but all day, every day? Seriously lads, is there nothing else to talk about? In fairness though it’s been just one laugh after another, one party after another, one rum after another.
When offshore we all keep in touch via the SSB radio sched run by Ian Davis, from yacht Yantina. He does a mighty job of it and the boats chat twice daily on the offshore passages discussing their position, weather, boat speed and any concerns etc. The range on the radio is pretty impressive, we’ve been in touch with the fleet from over 1000nm apart! It’s hard to think it will soon all come to an end with the final rally bash in Antigua on the 5th of April. There’s already chat of a reunion and no doubt there’ll be plenty in the years ahead. We’ve all shared this most extraordinary epic adventure together and a dream for all of us has come true. To circumnavigate this globe really is some feat and it’s all the sweeter that we can share the achievement together and chat about the wonderful places, people and experiences over the coming years. Who knows where we’ll all be next year, let alone ten years from now but one thing is certain while yachts will come and go these friendships will endure and surly that is the best measure of any journey!
One Life.. Live and Share it!
We’re currently flying along the North Atlantic Ocean and expect to arrive in Antigua tomorrow!! Our final Circumnavigation blogs will follow albeit not immediately.. there’ll be some well earned champagne to drink first and I can’t think of a better excuse to crack a bottle open!!!
(By Audrey Adamson)
On the first of March 2013 we crossed the equator in the Pacific Ocean and entered into the wonderful Southern Hemisphere. Now, less than a year later we have returned to our home waters in the Northern Hemisphere. And as ye might have guessed we celebrated in style as always. Four of us had already crossed the equator making us ‘shellbacks’ as I explained last year. However two of our crew were crossing the equator at sea for the first time and so had to earn their rite of passage as we had all done previously. These two crew, or ‘pollywogs’ were my Dad, Joe, and our hostess, Lucy.
The challenges were as follows.
No.1: Down a shot of Tabasco
No.2: Write Neptune’s name on the deck using tongue and saliva
No.3: Walk blindfolded down the deck, from stern to bow, without touching anything, if they touched the side deck or ropes etc they had to have a spoon of my disgusting ‘galley mix’!!
No.4: Still blindfolded they had to chose three times between two different bowls, one with chocolate and the other with Alan’s horrific mix of mouthwash, orange juice and salty water!
After the four challenges they then had to bow before king Neptune and Queen Amphitrite while they got dowsed in water and then the rest of the ‘galley mix’ thrown all over them! Hilarious!!! In fairness to Dad and Lucy they were great sports and certainly earned their rite of passage.
Check out the pics for more of the gory details!!
One life. Live it
(by Audrey Adamson)
It’s hard to believe the Fernando islands were our last stopover before completing this circumnavigation. The islands waters are full of turtles, spinner dolphins and fish galore with frigate birds, tropical birds and boobies flying overhead. There were a few things to do ashore but to really get a feel for this island you’ve got to dive. It is an underwater paradise with extremely clear water and fascinating topography. The landscape itself is dramatic with the most beautiful beaches and plenty of surf.
While it’s always hard to leave a cool island like this, I for one amn’t too upset to be on our way! I have three very good reasons for saying so. 1. Baia Santo Antonio, the only anchorage there, is the most rolliest anchorage we’ve been to. After days at sea the one thing we all long for is a motionless boat but not in Fernando. The boat just rolled and rolled from beam to beam due the northerly swell. This made it difficult to get any little jobs done onboard and particularly tricky in the galley! I had the oven on gimble, as we do when sailing, and had the pan clamps in place to stop them moving while cooking. Everything slid from one side of my counter to the other while trying to prepare food. We couldn’t even eat the food from a plate on the table, as it would slide off! So we all held our own plates and ate from them. Crazy!
2. Flies!!!! Blinkin flies everywhere. throughout the boat but particularly in the galley. We opened the hatches allowing the wind to blow through but then I had bits of lettuce and onionskin etc.. (whatever I was prepping at the time) blowing around the galley! So picture it. the whole galley and it’s contents massively rocking from side to side, I was doing what looked like the funky-chicken dance trying to get the flies off me and the food, and all the while there’s a mini tornado of lettuce, skins etc. flying around me!!! The fly spray worked to a degree but it’s pretty toxic so we could only use it once prep and cooking was finished! 3. Brazilian tong bikinis!!! There appears to be a shortage of lycra material on this South American shore and the girls all saunter about in tong bikinis!!! Yes, full ass on display!!! Tanned and toned asses at that!! Needless to say the lads eyes were popping out of their heads with this sight and they were in no way discreet about it!! Now the Brazilian men also suffer from this shortage of lycra, wearing their Speedos everywhere from the beach to the bar!! Funnily enough it didn’t have the same affect on us gals!
The locals were lovely happy people speaking only Portuguese, which made it tricky to communicate. Our Charades skills came in handy when trying to communicate without the language that’s for sure! Off course we did enjoy a couple of caipirihnas when there but didn’t get any Samba dancing in much to my Dads disappointment!
Now here we are on LUSH sailing north-northwest for Antigua, where we will have fully circumnavigated the world! We all love Antigua and we’ll have one hell of a party when we arrive. Hopefully we’ll get in on time for the Ireland Vs England rugby on the 22nd of this month. With half the crew Irish and the other half English it should add to the fun of it. And if we don’t make it in for the match well Paul will just have his father-in-law to answer to who has been getting very excited with all the rugby reports from back home of late!
One Life.. Live it!
By Audrey Adamson
As the end of August drew near it was time to say our goodbyes to Australia. Our last port of call was Darwin in the Northern Terrority. Boy were we nervy anchored in the harbour there dreading an attack from the famous salt water crocadiles each time we boarded our small tender. The harbour police tried to settle my anxiety my ‘reassuring’ us that so far in 2013 they only counted 210 crocs in the harbour!!! The day we arrived a local lad had been killed by one in a nearby river!!! Full on!! The Aussies are just sooo “supercool” about such things, no more than they are about their snakes and sharks! And speaking of which we had plenty of those to keep us occupied on our next passage…..
Australia to Indonesia
Six tentonic plates meet in the SE Asia region, the Indo-Sinian plate, the Philippine Sea plate, the Pacific Sea plate, the Indo-Australian plate, the Australian plate and the Indian Ocean plate. This complex patch of water is know as the ‘shallow seas’ of the Sunda Shelf, which is made up of various seas all of which are less than 200metres deep. This is certainly the worlds largest area of continously shallow water. The Timor sea, between Australia and Indonesia is part of this shelf. Our chart looked like it had hundreds of roller coaster tracks on it with deep ocean trenches and well ploughed furrows in between. The chart itself wasn’t particularly acurate. There was all sorts of sealife on route to Indonesia, from salties (crocs) to sharks and sea snakes galore. A fasinating passage, for sure! And as with all our passages into, out-of and around Australia we had a flying visit from the Australian Border control. Unreal! You think you’re in the ocean all on your own and next thing a plane flys by low beside our yacht followed by a call on VHF channel 16 with various security questions. Impressive!
The Indonesian Archipelago has 13,677 islands (6,000 of which are inhabited) making it the largest island group in the world. It is the worlds 5th most populated country with 240 million people. Indonesians speak more than 757 languages!! This sprawling archipelago certainly has the richest and most vibrant culture we have seen so far. It is steeped in history and heritage and was certainly the most interesting country to arrive to by sea.. Sea life continues today much the same as it has for centuries, I don’t think the local boats have changed at all, sailing amoungst these beautiful traditional wooden boats certainly felt like a voyage back in time.
As usual on arrival we had to clear customs and emmigration. Normally this involves 3-4 officials boarding the yacht and going through the necessary paperwork along with sealing our alcohol supplies, and sometimes checking what fruit and veg we have onboard from a biosecurity point of view. In Kupang we didn’t have 4, not even 5,6 or 7 onbaord….. 20+ ‘officials’ boarded LUSH!!! Paul had hoped he’d be able to run through the paperwork ashore but they insisted on all coming out to LUSH!!! And when we offered them the norm soft drinks, tea or coffee they asked for beer!! At the end of the day we have to do what they want in order to get our paperwork allowing us into the country. We kept them all in the cockpit, only allowing 4 of them below deck to inspect LUSH. The rest were happy-out drinking beer and taking pics. You know as with everything on this trip you just have to embrace the moment and go with the flow, so we entertained our guests and had a good oul laugh with them all, singing songs, dancing, giving them some of our famed Red Bull tshirts etc.. etc.. till we acquired the necessary stamps!
From Kupang, (East Timor), we sailed onto Labuanbajo on the island of Flores to reprovision and prep before Eddie and Marie rejoined LUSH. This place was a noisy hive of activity with people, scooters and cars and dust everywhere. It was a far cry from the tranquility of the Pacific islands thats for sure. I had great fun stocking up on my fruit and veg at the market where I had to barter for everything. I traded with sun hats, caps and the Red Bull tshrits, along with a few packets of seeds for differnt herbs from back home. The latter fetched me some quality groceries in fairness! They take cash too but rathered exchange for tangible goods. What an experience!
Komodo, Rinca (Flores)
My Aunt and Uncle, Eleanor and Kevin Moran, joined us for a week cruising the Komodo National Park. They are both good friends of Eddie and Marie’s and they were actualy the ones who had recommended EJ to employ us back in 2011. At that point Paul and I were back in Ireland, Paul running his sailing centre Sailing West along with motivational speaking and high performance coaching, and I was working as a dentist. My Aunt never knew I harboured the ambition to sail around the World she just knew we were passionate sailors and that Paul had done alot of work for Oyster before setting up his own business. So Eddie did his research on us and next thing we get a call of him offering us the job, which we hadn’t even applied for!! He wasn’t to know this was an ambition we both had since we were kids but in fairness there’s not many people who would turn down a job like this!
Komodo is famous for it’s Komodo dragons, the largest recorded was 3metres in length and weighing over 150 kilos. The islands have around 3,000-4,000 dragons and you need a guide with you when you go ashore to see them. We went for a decent hike though one of the islands with a guide and on stopping for a snack a dragon came out of nowhere, charging at us for some of my famed flapjacks. They have killed humans so we were pretty nervy and glad to see the back of him after our guide scared him off witha rather large stick!
From Komodo we cruised up to Sumbawa, anchored off a luxury resort had a stunning 5 star BBQ on the resort beach, chilled out for a couple of days before sailing onto Lombok. We had plenty of wind during our time in Indonesia with a lovely seabreeze building by 11am each day and calm anchorages when the breeze droped in the evening. Lombok is another hidden jewel of Indonesia, with pristine white beaches on a mountanious backdrop and fishermen everywhere whether standing in the water with their nets and rods or sailing solo on little sail-fishing boats along with literally thousands of other boats. Out of everything I’ve ever seen on the water my whole entire life the sight of these boats was truly extraordinary. I am not exagerating when I say there were thousands of them off the coast of Lombok, all dugout cannoes with stablising arms and the most colourful sails with one fisherman in each. They go out to sea on the last bit of evening breeze, staying offshore fishing throughout the night and then returning with the seabreeze by mid morning.
Lombok isn’t the easiest place for anchorages and we first tried to anchor off the Gilli islands, beside it, but with wind against tide this was untenable and so we followed a local cruising boat into the most perfect of anchorages (which hadn’t been mentioned in our pilot book due to the amount of reef around it). It was surrounded by a semi circle beach know as Sire beach with two of the best resorts in Lombok either end of it. We must have been in this anchorage for 10 nights, and while we ventured off to the Gillies etc during the day we couldn’t help but return at night. Each morning the sun rose over the top of Mount Rinjani and the morning mist would burn off. The fishermen were in the water chest deep fishing and smiling, always smiling! We ventured ashore for organic spa treatmants like no other and spicy local cuisine in the hotels.
Bali fully lived up to it’s reputation as a rich, vibrant and spirtual country. From a sailing point of view though there’s not much you can do as there are no safe anchorages and only one marina on the island. Somewhere that’s famous for surfing is unlikely to be suitable for anchoring a yacht safely, you can imagine why. We parked LUSH up for a few days and ventured inland to sample it’s world famous culture and as with everywhere else in Indonesia it didn’t dissapoint. We prepped LUSH for our next offshore passage acrose the Indian Ocean and set our sails for the Coco islands.
One Life… absolutely lived and breathed it in Indonesia and it’s top of my list for somewhere to return to in future. Even after 6 weeks there I felt we only got a small taste of what it and its people have to offer!
We thought you would love to get a feel for what it was like swimming & diving with some of the most fascinating and stunning marine life in our oceans!
It was a total privilege to spend time in the water with these guys in Saint Helena! We are now in the Fernando De Noronha and will be diving first thing tomorrow to get more footage with….well we will have to wait and see!!!
One Life….Be Committed to Living it!
Paul 🙂 xx
While we’re not cruising the coast of Brazil from Rio upwards as originally planned we couldn’t resist a quick stop-off before continuing north to the Caribbean. The Fernando de Noronha islands lie off the northeastern coast of Brazil and we figured it would be a shame to sail past them especially as they are a National Park full of sealife, clear waters and magnificent beaches. I can’t image how they could be any more beautiful than anywhere else we’ve been but who knows what’s in store for us? This is my favorite part of the trip, seeing new land on the horizon, dropping anchor, meeting the locals for the first time and finding out what’s cool to do ashore. New land, new people, new culture, new language and hopefully lots of new food, especially new fruit and veg at the market! We should arrive there this afternoon. Bring it on!
Thank to everyone who has posted on our blog and/or sent us messages. We really love hearing from you and we also appreciate your suggestions on what you want us to blog about. We’ve had a fair few messages asking us what a day offshore is like. I’ve written a bit below to give ye an idea.
A Day in the Life.
Everyone starts the day at different times depending on what morning watch we have. We run watches continually, as you would expect. We’ve tried various systems since we joined the yacht and the best is one where we run two hours on and six hours off, doing the same hours every day which gives us a great routine.
Those on the first watch up in daylight tend to wash and scrub the deck. I always start the day with exercise and recently I’ve found skipping pretty handy to do on the aft deck! I take whatever food we need for the day out of the freezer.. It doesn’t take long to defrost in this heat! Paul normally connects to the internet through the satphone and downloads boat emails majority of which tend to be from Oyster with either Rally news and information on the next stopover or emails from Oyster aftersales with details on any boat parts Paul may have requested to get sent to our next destination. Paul would normally also be in contact with someone from our next port of call organizing various paperwork and also booking fuel if poss. He’ll download the latest weather information at this point too. He doesn’t go online and search the net as that would coast a fortune so he just connects quickly and does a send-receive in his inbox and that brings in all the relevant info. This blog is sent out through his email too and uploads the other end on our blogsite along with a notification on facebook and emails sent to those on the email list. The Oyster fleet run a radio sched twice a day where everyone gives their position and wind along with any other concerns.
When Alan gets up he does his regular engine and generator checks and carries out any maintenance needed. He’s also hoping to get the qualification of Ocean Yachtmaster after this trip and since we left Ascension he’s been plotting our course through Astronavigation using Paul’s sextant.
At lunch and dinner times all crew must be on deck to eat together which is important team bonding time. Off course there’s prep involved for both these meals but it’s normally straight forward. We tend to have a salad for lunch which I’ll do up and then Lucy and Als wife, kizzy, heat up one of my defrosted meals for dinner. I prepare these meals and freeze them when at anchor. On a lot of superyachts the chef does all the cooking offshore and doesn’t partake in the watch keeping. I love sailing and running a watch and as first mate it would be crazy be involved, even the night time watch so it just means I need to have the food prepared in advance. The wash up is pretty straight forward after each meal and my Dad, Joe, has become particularly useful in the galley much to my surprise!
Everyday before dinner we do our daily dance-off, which is a 30-40min workout with the music up and everyone giving it loads on the aft deck!! The dance-off is the best thing for team morale on the boat. No matter how big the yacht everyone can get a bit of cabin-fever and so a bop about really helps to clear the mind and put us in an empowering state! Lets not forget we normally have something happening on the fishing front too which can keep us busy. Mind ya, so far the South Atlantic hasn’t proved as fruitful as other oceans with only one pelagic caught since we left Cape Town, however we have caught some fish at anchor both in St Helena and Ascension Island and I’m allowing them on the scoreboard for this trip due to crew pressure!!
And now for the score.. Fish: 5 Vs LUSH: 9
Hopefully this will give ye all a bit of an idea of life onboard. There’s a whole lot more but I’ll save all that for the ‘Extras’ section we’ll put together after this trip.
One Life. Live it!