What is this trip about? Honesty dictates that I confess this is a long cherished dream. At age four I began sailing dinghies with my father on the Swedish lake Mullsjon and sailing has remained a passion ever since. I started to dream of my own long distance sailing boat when I was about ten and I had just bought my first own Optimist dinghy named "Quick". Shortly afterwards, I bought a copy of Naomi Jones just published book of her epic single handed circumnavigation; "At One With The Sea". This introduced me to both (some of the) difficult realities and fantastic experiences that sailors encounter on the oceans. Single and shorthanded voyages inspired me in particular.
To me crossing the Atlantic has always stood out as a dream. After twenty years of working hard as an investment banker, it feels like a good thing to have a break and live a dream. However, it had to be organised in a way compatible with family life and not quitting my job. Therefore making an Atlantic crossing in stages seems like a good plan. First during the Summer holidays I will take her down the Atlantic seaboard to Southern Portugal calling at places of great interest, then across to the Canary Islands over the Autumn break and finally across the trade wind belt to the Caribbean during late November or early December. The destination is Sonoma Bay in the Dominican Republic. Why? More about this is set out below.
The second reason for the voyage is to have a family project that will provide great learning opportunities for our three children as well as a project that will bring us closer to ourselves, family and friends. Quinn, Elliott and Brendan will join the adventure in their school holidays. Friends and family will join at different stages of the journey.
The third reason is to support a cause that Imelda, my wife, and I feel strongly about. We have chosen whales as a species that is threatened not only by whaling but also by the way we treat the environment. They need protection and therefore also publicity of its plight. The whale is an animal that speaks to the imagination of our children and their friends; not to mention to our own imagination as two city dwellers! Imelda has expressed these reasons in i different way (i.e. she has written the story as a modern fairy tale) on a webpage titled the "Song of the whale" on her web site press on link.... The charity we have chosen to support is about to be revealed.
As mentioned our destination is Sonoma Bay on the North coast of the Dominican Republic. This is the place where some 12,000 humpback whales to congregate for mating every year, only to return a year later to give birth and feed their babies; having spent their Summers in their Arctic or Antarctic feeding grounds.