I've been reading the forums
for sometime and thought it would only be rude not to introduce myself.
I'm Marco, 27, half Italian and half Slovak, currently living in the UK.
Ten years ago i said i would sail around the world. I still remember the day and circumstances... i was a guest on a friends boat circumnavigating sardinia in the med... since then, more or less i have taken every step in my life according to this idea.
I'm italian, grew up in italy
but figured i would graduate earlier and get a better paid job in the uk. and that's what i did, chose economics and finance in the uk, graduated, got a job within a month in milano, worked there for 3 years in consulting (riding the degree abroad factor) till i hit a bit of a dead end... luck and circumstances took me back to the uk in 2004. switched to a banking job in the city where the pay is decent for a dreamer.
I manage my dream/project cold bloodedly: budget
required to set off, budget
for boat, for fitting out, for yearly living for first few years etc... When i moved to the uk I had already sailed since i was a kid but had never owned a boat so i thought i needed to know about the responsibilities of being an owner and not just a dreamer...
In 2004 i bought a battered 1978 J24 with osmosis
for a few thousand pounds, sailed it in the solent, raced a bit, had fun then sold it last july. I had accumulated enough cash for part two of the project
I bought a tiny tiny flat in central london and rented it out... appreciation and rental income
will go towards financing
- at the moment it's not much income
given the mortgage but rents are due to go up and in the uk you can quite easily cash in capital gain by remortgaging periodically. As for me, i still live in shared rented accomodation to save money
In November i finally bought the boat for the trip, a sigma 36, fin keel
1983 cruiser racer
projects. I dont want to discuss whether she is the ideal boat or not (not even a skeg?!). I will quote the eternal sentence, every boat is a compromise and she is my compromise. She is very strongly built and has a good reputation for offshore
races, even challenging races as the fastnet (see also the sigma 33 and sigma 38, they take part every time) and i will learn to accept her draw backs. I considered many other boats but this is what the budget managed. The boat was purchased with a 2/3 loan that i will repay in 5 years. I should be able to repay it earlier but more or less that brings me to my target departure date, 5 years from now...
I will try to make it by 21 april 2010. my 32nd birthday, planning a 3 to 4 years trip. Apart from the fitting out part (e.g. just ordered the windvane) i still have to find out who will join me (friend, girlfriend?), and what will happen with my life afterwards. but i'm sure i'll anwer these questions in the next few years or during the trip.
This project keeps me going, by now I cant even think of not doing it as an alternative. I always joke with friends and say that only a woman could stop me from going so, for the time being, i'll try to steer well clear of bricks and kids
. A partner to this project would be great but not essential and I'm sure that if i wont look it'll just happen.
So, 5 years to go, actually just over 4. Someone in some post mentioned One Flew Over the Cookoos Nest, I'll mention Shawshank Redemtion, but it's meant to feel something like that.
I'm also getting some formal qualifications, they could come in handy to find jobs during the trip, doing deliveries and things like that. I'm completing the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore
and will upgrade it to Yachtmaster Ocean next year and go for the commercial
endorsment (involves a medical
qualification). Might try to pick up other skills, perhaps diesel engine maintenance
, welding, fiberglass
... i have to see what evening courses i can find.
Sailing around the UK is a lot of fun and quite testing, i hope it'll prepare me well for the big trip. The week before i did the delivery
of the boat I had just bought, from the east cost to the south coast, it was blowing a force 9 gusting 10, no joke. Some areas had a forecast
for force 11, it just looked surreal on the met office map. Luckily we only had a 5 to 6 on our 200 mile trip and it was a beautiful first sail although it was a cold mid-december job.
I'm debating with my mad friend Rob (the most likely candidate/victim of this project) whether to do Panama
or go the Slocum way... your thoughts welcome on this subject.
I'll keep you posted on my progress. I'm planninng to do Biscay twice this summer, going from the Isle of Wight to Portugal
and back to shake the boat a little and find out its weaknesess. The other trip could be a sail to the Fastnet rock in Ireland