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Robinson Crusoe’s Isle (but not really)

When they pointed it out to us from the village, Selkirk’s Look-Out seemed to be not very far away. We had come ashore to do the official paperwork incumbent upon any new arrival to the Juan Fernandez islands, and we were not equipped for a hike. We had just one small bottle of water between the five of us and no food. Still, the path up the back of the valley did not appear to be very steep, and the…

Stormies and Wanderers

The human race has suddenly vanished from the streets and from the countryside and even from the ocean. All over the world, countries are in lock-down and ports are closed; all over the world, cruising yotties are being quarantined aboard their boats. And all over the world, while Homo sapiens hides from a deadly virus, wildlife is making a come-back. Or so they say.

Stay Right Where You Are!

“To cruise or not to cruise?” – that is the question of the moment. We’ve seen several social media posts recently from yotties who are holed up in one particular port and who want to move on to another where the grass seems greener; and we’ve even heard from people who want to rush out and impulse buy a boat – right now, this week – so that they can flee from the plague. With the coronavirus rampaging around the…

The End of the World is Nigh

In March of 2019, Nick and I celebrated 30 years of living the liveaboard life together - but, in fact, on the anniversary of the day that we joined forces and embarked, we were not actually living afloat; we were hanging out on a hillside in Iberia. We had left the boat and gone there in order to save the world.

Space Oddity

“For here am I floating in my tin can…” Three weeks of luxurious living aboard the RMS St Helena had rather spoiled our kids. When they first set eyes on the vessel which was to be their new home, Caesar peered into the empty, unbuilt interior of the fifty-footer and said, “She’s very small…”. Clearly, it was going to be difficult to find space for the moat which he had planned to construct around his cabin. I forget what words…

Passage to Juan Fernandez

Our passage to Juan Fernandez was expected to take a week, but in fact we covered the distance in under three days! When we set out from the Rio Valdivia, on the morning of the 2nd, there was no wind – and nor was there forecast to be anything more than a force two in that vicinity for the foreseeable future. Outside the rivermouth, at about midday, we shut down the engine and waited to see which way the current…

For the Sake of Auld Lang Syne

Nick gathered up the paperwork, and prepared to set off to do our clearance. Finally, after weeks and months of talking about leaving, we ready to go – more or less. Leaving with us aboard Mollymawk would be two Chilean friends: Manu, a hippy from Concepcion, and Yona, a fisherman and lost soul from the fiords. It just so happened that it was Manu’s birthday, and she suddenly realised that this meant that her ID card was due for renewal.…

Farewell and Adieu

The tide was expected to turn at 17.00 – and so that was the hour at which we planned to cast off our lines and begin our journey away from Valdivia. To be exact, we would flow down the river on a current swollen by the moon’s additional influence. But in the river’s entrance we would pause for a moment or three; because, to be frank, we were still not ready to set off across the ocean. After a year…

Lena

I knew, as soon as I got the message from Mikael, that something bad had happened. “Look at our website” – that was all he said. Thinking back, there seems no reason why I should have suspected a calamity. Thinking back, I wonder why I didn’t assume that Mikael wanted to share some happy news or some information about a favourite island. But, as I say, I knew. “They’ve lost the boat,” I thought to myself as I opened the…

It’s Been a Funny Year

It’s been six months since we posted a new article on the website, and people are beginning to wonder: “Have they given up cruising?” “Maybe they sank…” The answer is, no. Mollymawk is fine. Four-fifths of the family are still passionate about travelling under sail; and three-fifths of us still have the boat as our Primary Residence. The fourth fifth is on the point of investing in her own boat. But, despite this, the past year has been spent Not…