Charlotte has written a blog for us letting us know what her plans are for the year.
The trip starts on the 29th April 2018 in Poole at Cobbs Quay Marina where we leave heading for the West Country using that as a stepping-stone for France. We will then port hop through the French coast of Biscay down to Spain where we will visit some family friends. From there we will continue on down to Portugal, Gibraltar and Madeira. Our final port of call is the Canary Islands where we will join a rally called the ARC+ (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) this will take us from the Canary Islands to the Cape Verde which should take roughly around six days and we will stay there for approximately four days and then we will depart for Rodney Bay St Lucia which will take approximately 14 days. We depart from the Canary Islands on the 11th November and should arrive in Rodney Bay between the 3rd-8th December 2018.
Type Of Boat
The boat is a Beneteau Oceanis 473 Clipper (commodore edition); 3 king-size births, 1 day head, 1 shower room, Kitchen, Saloon, Twin steering, Auto pilot, Deck recovery system. The boat holds 650liters of water and 450liters of fuel (diesel)
Who Is On The Trip
On the trip there will be myself, my mum Caroline and my dad Ian. To do the Atlantic crossing there will also be some good friends of ours who have been sailing for nearly 40 years.
My History With Rockley
I started the BTEC in September 2015 and I was supposed to finish in June 2017 however I finished early in the end of March 2017 as I had all of the coursework done as I had a job that started abroad early April. Since joining the course I have gained my RYA Dinghy Instructor, RYA Windsurfing Instructor, RYA Powerboat Level 2, RYA Safety Boat and my RYA First Aid qualifications.
A significant highlight was our first week as a group. We took an activity holiday to one of the Rockley centers out in France and got to try all of the activities we would be learning, in an amazing environment, with the most enthusiastic staff members - it really was a place where friendships were made! Another highlight of the course would be the work experience opportunity you get. I was lucky enough to be able to go back out to the center where it all started in France for two months to teach watersports as an assistant instructor to school groups and it was the most challenging and fun experience I could have asked for! And to top it all off we got paid for it too!
I found that the coursework can be quite intense, however it became easier as I was able to relate what we were learning practically in activities to the coursework. The staff were also extremely helpful which made my time here so much easier!
Since Leaving The BTEC
Since leaving the BTEC I’ve worked out in Greece with Neilson for a couple of months however had to come back on medical grounds, worked on rib tours on Poole Quay along the Jurassic Coast and sailed roughly 500NM on the boat (not much but my health has been against me). We also moved onto the boat in August in preparation for the trip to get any teething issues out of the way.
What Inspired Me?
Honestly? At first I did not want to do it! But when I think about it, it is such an amazing opportunity who wouldn’t want to do it! I don’t want to pin things down on my medical condition but I do have Epilepsy and because of that I’m unable to do my job working seasons so it came at a perfect time and I thought why not do it rather than fly over and meet my dad there.
What Am I Looking Forward To The Most?
I think I’m looking forward to all of the adventures I’m going to have and all of the different towns, villages and local tourist sites I get to visit. And who wouldn’t love the heat and the glistening blue water!
What Challenges Do You Envisage?
Three weeks at sea without sight of land what could go wrong!? I think my biggest challenge is heeling over as being a dinghy instructor I like a flat boat as that makes a fast boat but the rule on a yacht is the complete opposite! So heeling over is a big thing I need to work on. And living in a confined space for three weeks with five people on board as well. Me and confined spaces don’t mix well.
When we leave to do the Atlantic Crossing we will have a yellow brick tracker onboard which means you can track the boat itself and see how fast we are going at what point of sail. You can download the app on IOS or Android or you can go onto the world cruising club website and type in our boat name and you will find out where we are www.worldcruising.com