Last Night At Sea
Our final sail on LUSH was from Corsica back to the South of France and honestly it was one of our most spectacular nights at sea. Even after twenty two months looking at sunsets and then night skies you would think we’d seen it all and that maybe we’d be bored of evening and night sailing by now. However, any of you who have been to sea know there are never two days the same nor two nights. For us it’s even more of a treat to sail along a coast with the amount of ocean sailing we’ve done. All the ingredients were there that glorious evening for a most memorable and marvellous sun set as LUSH ghosted along the eastern Corsican coast in the fading breeze.
Paul and I sat on the bow seat looking out to sea and over the Corsican mountains. We reflected on what has been the most INCREDIBLE, EXTRAORDINARY, UNBELIEVABLE, AMAZING ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME!
I know you guys must be fed up of my use of these same few words throughout our blog but the reality is these are the words that describe our trip. In fact there isn’t even a word in the dictionary that encompasses our whole experience on LUSH these past two years. We sang a couple of songs to the ocean that evening and I shed a whole load of tears in my husbands arms, my captain who has taken me and this magnificent yacht safely through 38,000 miles of the worlds oceans.
The one thing that kept running through my mind, as the sun finally set was,
“Did I APPRECIATE it all enough?”
Did I appreciate this massive opportunity Eddie and Marie gave us to sail this mighty yacht around the world?
Did I appreciate my fellow crew & my loving husband & skipper enough?
Did I appreciate this wonderful super yacht and all the skilled craftsmen in Oyster Yachts Southampton who built her?
Did I appreciate my amazing galley?
Did I appreciate being part of the outstanding Oyster Rally? All the new friends and islanders we met? My trips to the market? All the sun rises and sets? All the beaches, palm trees, pristine waters and wonderful marine life?
The list goes on…
I had a massive realisation there and then, I thought, “I wonder when you’re at the stage where your life on earth is finally through, will you ask yourself that same question “did I APPRECIATE it all enough?”
Not the question of whether you did enough, had enough or even whether you were enough but just whatever life you’ve had will you wonder whether you appreciated it all?
It was after midnight when I arrived back on deck for my final night watch. With a lot less crew onboard we’d been running single-man night watches for a while now and I thoroughly enjoyed that time to myself. We’ve always been strict on LUSH about not reading or having any distractions while on watch. It’s a perfect time to sit and be still, looking out to sea and up to the stars and on this moonless night they shone brighter than ever. I honestly didn’t want my watch to end. In the morning we would be in France and this was my last time alone with LUSH, the mighty LUSH, our Santa sleigh that magically brought us across the globe over the past 22months. With tears rolling down my face I thanked God and the Universe for guiding us safely through 5 oceans around this enormous planet of ours and looking out beyond the milky way to millions and billions of galaxies I had that chat with the night sky wondering like we all do at times “What’s it all about?”
I don’t have the answer to that question but what I can say here and now is
One Life… Live it and most importantly, APPRECIATE IT!
Appreciate every little bit of it wherever you are, whatever you are doing or whomever you are with, just appreciate it. You won’t have it forever. Change is inevitable. Life moves on. Paul & I aren’t going too far, we might not be on LUSH but we will be here on this blog for a long time to come.
Lots of love,
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Next blog is on “Packing Up & Final Farewell”, stayed tuned for this next week.
My beloved Captain has a few words to share with you all too!
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Dear Audrey & Paul,
It has been the most amazing experience sailing around the world with you guys.
Now that we have returned to the UK and work. I wish we could do it all over again.! Your images and blog are making me seasick ( in a positive sense) and wishing I was there. ” Stiarna ” is now high and dry in Rosneath , Scotland, (near the sub. base) in a cosy shed. Undersides looking surprisingly good. But some minor repairs to be done over the winter. Nothing to do with me as I am back at work in the children’s hospital…stem cell transplantation!
Would love to keep in touch with you two and hear how you are doing.
Congratulations on the end of your amazing adventure.
Love and best wishes.
Lorraine & Jim
Wow Lorraine, so brilliant to hear from you. You guys, over anyone else on this rally, deserve the biggest applause for your circumnavigation on S/Y “Stiarna”! Ye must have had some homecoming in Scotland!
What’s it like back at work? Stem cell transplantation must be a fascinating area to work and so far removed from anything boat related! How is Captain getting on in his retirement? No doubt he’s already planning the next adventure on “Stiarna”!
Lots of love to you both!
Looking forward to catching up at some stage!
Paul & Audrey xxx
As the relatively new owners of ’04 Oyster 49/09, S/V Unconditional, Sara & I followed followed your circumnavigation with great interest. Your pictures were and are beautiful, and I am sorry that your Lush journey has had to come to an end.
On a BVI charter in March, we even saw Lush cruising up Sir Francis Drake Channel – very regal. I retire from GE in the US in 5-months, and plan to spend 2-seasons in the Med, and then hopefully spend 3-years circumnavigating (with Oyster) on a route that should have a few more wrinkles that yours did. In any event, I admire your zest for life and unbridled enthusiasm and I will remember your article “Did I APPRECIATE it all enough?” with respect to my family & friends, too. As you two have each other, without Sara, I would never of even dreamed of this opportunity – I APPRECIATE her.
Best of Luck,
Tom (& Sara)
Thanks for your message and great to hear you enjoyed our blog over the circumnavigation! You will love the Oyster Rally and the next one will be fantastic and to have the extra year will be amazing! The one thing we both agreed after the trip that there is so much of the world that more time would have been great! Best of luck with preparing the boat and getting ready for the trip and hope to catch you somewhere along the way!
One Life…Live It!
Hi Paul & Audrey
I have followed your amazing trip since I was first aware of the big adventure when you were about to go through the Panama Canal. I received the
link via Richard Smith on Sotto Vento and each chapter of your journey has always been eagerly awaited. I was therefore devastated to realise that your last message sent two days ago that included the all-important blogs, photos and videos has vanished from my Inbox! I was looking forward to sitting down during the winter to catch up on your adventures but without your assistance to re-send the link all is lost. That being the case can you please help?
I did send a previous message to you a month or so ago when you announced that your trip was coming to an end but upon reading Audrey’s’ account of her last watch made me fully appreciate the deep emotions attached to your epic voyage. They have made films about far less interesting and important things that happen in life but the depth of feeling that poured out of her blog was quite spine tingling and worthy of far greater publicity.
I’m sure that your future life will capture other epic moments and adventures but your motivation and enthusiasm rubs off in a huge way to help people who can only dream. I’ve had a full life but nothing that could encompass what you have squeezed into the last two years.
West Sussex, UK
Thank you so much for your lovely words, it means a lot to me to hear my last blog moved you so.
I’m glad Richard Smith sent you on the link, they had a wonderful circumnavigation on S/Y Sotto Vento too!
It has been a real added bonus for us to have shared this world adventure with you all. If we hadn’t documented it the way we have I guess I would feel a massive void right now. Thanks to this blog the story and adventure lives on and the lessons we’ve learnt along the way can somehow have a greater impact beyond the trip itself. Now we really have time to reflect on the trip I expect the best blogs are yet to come.
Thanks for letting us know about the changing server issue, I hope we haven’t lost anyone through the confusion. We just want to make this blog more user friendly and enjoyable.
One Life… Live it… and Blog it!
Hi Audrey & Paul
Wow … What a journey you people have had . Always looked forward to the up dates / photos / general goings on’s especially when the Mayo contingent joined you on board Lush .
Health & Happiness to you both .
Thanks a mills Cathy!
Delighted you’ve enjoyed our blog!
Yes ’twas great to have a bit of Mayo onboard and to fly the green & red across the globe!
Up Mayo indeed and I can say with some authority now that the West of Ireland coast is one of the most breathtaking and rugged on earth! Clew Bay and her islands is the worlds best kept secret! Along with Clare Island, Inishturk and Inishboffin, the west is an absolutely cracking place to cruise, explore and more importantly party!! All ya need is decent oilskins and your away!
One Life… Live it
Hi Paul & Audrey,
What a fantastic trip, thanks for the blog – I could have been there!
Great photos and tales of your adventure.
Hope to catch up when you return.
Great to hear from you! We are stoked you enjoyed the blog! It was some trip for sure!
Would love to catch up when we are next in North Wales!
Hope all is well with you and all the family!
Paul & Audrey! 🙂
Many thanks for your blog, Audrey & Paul,
I was hoping to join Yantina for a leg of the Rally, but when the chance came I couldn’t leave my family.
However following along with you, and several others who wrote blogs on the rally, has been a wonderful inspiration.
Good luck in your new projects and I’ll keep following your reports.
Thanks for your post! Thrilled to hear you have enjoyed our blog and there is always the next rally in 2017 coming up for you!
Best Wishes & of Course….One Life…Live It!
Hi, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your blog, I am typing this from the cockpit of Oyster Blew sitting in the Canaries waiting to head to St. lucia. I have loved reading about your adventures and looking at the photos, it is a shame it had to end. Best of luck to you both for the future and never forget, even when you are old and grey, your saying, ONE LIFE…..LIVE IT…..
Thanks a mills for your message! Thrilled to hear you loved reading our blogs and pictures! There is plenty more to come!
Have a great crossing on Oyster Blew and have a blast in the Caribbean!
Fair Winds & 15 knots behind the beam!!
One Life…Live It
Been so amazing following all of your adventures! Felt like I was living it through you as I kept up to date on everything you did over the past two or so years.
I really loved Audrey’s last post and reading about the last night on deck and the last watch and appreciating every little bit. The kind of stuff that makes you sit up and think…
Looking forward to seeing what’s coming up for you both next!
Great to hear from you and we are thrilled you have following the trip! It has just been an outstanding journey over the past years! It is so true what Audrey was saying about appreciation, its so easy to see all the big pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of life and to forget the small pieces that play such a crucial role also! As you say, something to think about!
Hope everything is going great with you?
Keep in touch and looking forward to sharing our next exciting project that is now on the horizon! One Life…Live It! Paul 🙂