Ok so it has been inexcusably long since I have last written and I have so much to catch you all up on that the task has seemed too daunting to take on. However, luckily when your long distance flight is delayed a while you get some extra time on your hands…
Firstly I am happy to report we have successfully achieved the main objective of the summer – two in a boat are now successfully married! No longer living in sin – we are happy to report that we are hitched! We had a wonderful time in Seattle with family and friends celebrating the wedding festivities. Because for so many it was a destination wedding we created a lot of events around the day in addition to the wedding itself. It felt more like a week-long wedding-palooza than just a day – and we feel lucky and honored that so many people took the time out of their busy lives to celebrate this time with us. We can’t thank them all enough!
Because this blog is supposed to be about our sailing adventures, I won’t dwell too much on the wedding, but because I know it will be in demand, I have included some info and posted some pictures of our wedding below. We have yet to get back official pictures for the photographer. As these are another few weeks away friends have generously donated their snaps, and I have picked out a few of our favorites so far to share with all of you.
As you know the big date was 16 July. We sailed until the 2nd of July when we flew to the US. From there we enjoyed an American 4th of July – took a jaunt up to Vancouver, and then settled into a manic wedding planning mode leading up to the big day. Following the event there were a few days out at hood point where my aunt and uncle have a beach cabin, and then we were off to Hawaii. We spent a week on Maui where we indulged in all local delicacies, lazed by the pool, snorkeled, and caught up on sleep. It was a much needed relaxing retreat from it all!
Prior to leaving the UK, we did get the boat repaired, and made the journey as far as Southampton which is a remarkable feat given the whether windows that were presented to us. While I hope to possibly return back to some of the adventures we had during this time, I wanted to outline the passages, and give you some highlights from one of our more memorable passages:
Eastbourne to Brighton – This was without a doubt the toughest passage we have made together on Ranger to date. The sea state was worse than predicted – which is quite rare. We were getting tossed around quite a bit and were being continuously soaked by the sea as we splashed through the waves. Neil remained a champion as Hallie learned (slower than Neil might have hoped) how to ‘fall off of a wave’ without making the boat smack violently on the water. On this passage we also learned:
· That what passes for ‘stowing everything away on the boat’ on a trip in calm waters won’t cut it in rough seas. After arriving with books and food strewn all throughout the inside of the boat we came up with more secure stowing solutions.
· Multiple granola bars and candy bar stashes really can be a viable meal replacement when desperate.
· Diet Coke really does have a place on the boat – caffeine hit without putting the kettle on can be a lifesaver. Hallie is GREATFUL that Neil conceded to this at the moment of truth – and while limited stocks may be tolerated she can be assured that Diet coke will always have a place when there is risk of troubled seas – and there is ALWAYS a risk…
· When the going gets rough team Wheeler-Meyrick can really pull together to get things done. While we started the morning quite honestly a bit snappy at one another all of that faded when we got into rough seas. We pulled together to make sure that we made the journey successfully.
· Ranger (our boat) is an absolute STUDETTE (Boats are always female)!!!
I don’t think either of us has ever been more pleased with ourselves and our sailing ability as we pulled safely into the harbor and then watched a fully crewed boat make their way toward the breakwater, get a quick peak at the state of the Sea, and turn back around to the safety of the marina.
We celebrated our success with hot showers, a nice meal out and a long nap in the afternoon – both of us too tired for much else.
Ok – the flight will be leaving shortly, and I promise to post more soon to catch you up on the rest of our journeys which I have outlined below.
The boat is currently in Southampton, but we won’t be returning to it today. Firstly we are off to Guernsey to spend a week with Andrew and Alison, Neil’s aunt and Uncle on their speed boat. Weather permitting we plan hanging out on the island and nipping over to France and some of the other Channel Islands. While their boat doesn’t have sails, it does go about 6 times faster than our top speed – so for a week – it will do!
Updates on passages to look forward to soon…
- Brighton to Shoreham (yes we realize this is only 2 miles from Brighton but it was a LONG 2 mile ride given the rough seas)
- Shoreham to Itchenor (in Chichester Harbor)
- Itchenor to Cowes
- Cowes to Newtown Creek
- Newtown Creek to Southampton
Photos before the wedding
Ariving after the ceremony
The Ceremony Itself
Notice the dark clouds in the back. Luckily the strong winds kept the rain just far enough away that we were able to complete the ceremony without getting wet!
The view from the deck of the venue
And 'the duck' makes his presence known...
Post wedding festivities at the cabin - Neil (with a little help) catches dinner for us all!