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Mike and Hugh almost circumnavigating the world.
Welcome to Greece
04/05/2011, Alimos Marina, Athens

Well we're here in Athens, we arrived Friday lunch time and after dropping 92kg of luggage into our hotel went straight to meet with the broker, Panos. Our yacht was stored on the hard (out of the water on land). It was fantastic to finally see it in person and know that it is what we paid for (despite being covered in dust)!

Conveniently we'd ordered some folding bikes online and over the weekend they've been great. It took some time getting used to the "Urban Lite", not quite the high performance kit I'm used to which led me to rename them "Urban Shite" but they've since been forgiven. We've been riding around loads, to and from the hotel, supermarkets, restaurants, the brokers office and the yacht. On Saturday we rode into Piraeus and along the coast which was great. Every few hundred meters there would be another marina full of huge yachts and interesting things to look at.

Monday the boat was launched into the water, it was a bit tense watching our boat swinging around like a toy but we were grinning from ear to ear.

Now we're happily afloat in the marina, the boat is all cleaned up and absolutely brilliant. Last night was our first sleep aboard and despite it being very cold we were thrilled. The boat is in almost perfect condition. We're most impressed with the interior right now (to cold to be on deck), it has very cool lighting and is quite luxurious. There are a multitude of systems onboard, it's quite daunting at times but we'll be on top of it all soon enough. Amazing to think this is going to be home for the next 20 months.

Despite all this excitement there is some bad news... we can't leave the marina, not even for a quick sail! Although we're busy not being able to use the boat is like torture. Basically we're waiting for a document confirming our yacht has been deleted from the Greek shipping register, without this we can't get our Australian registration and without our Australian registration we can't get a Greek transit log, no Greek transit log means no sailing. We're hoping to have the deletion document by the end of this week but who knows, as Panos said... welcome to Greece.

04/05/2011 | Fred Murray-Walker
Hi Hugh & Michael. Fantastic to have the boat in the water. Have your renamed it or is it still showing Alithia? When getting on top of the 'multitude of systems' spend good time on the electrics, you will be surprised just how complicated the wiring is at the back of the switchboard. Love Mum & Dad.
04/06/2011 | Tina
Hughie & Michael,
So glad you made it with all that luggage! Great to see the picture of the boat. I guess paperwork is always going to be frustrating - but once you have it you will forget all the hassle. So excited for you both
04/06/2011 | Alan Bell
Boys, it looks incredible - very excited for you both. Im going to back in Europe for some time in June and would be great to come out and meet you - do you have any idea where you will be near the last week of June? Have fun. Alan
04/07/2011 | Lane

It looks GREAT and you both look really happy. Can't wait to see it in real life.

Keep the updates coming. That means you too, mike :)

x L
04/08/2011 | eLIZabeth
Boys, glad to hear you arrived safely. Very exciting to see Whippersnapper in the water. I checked out your photos - they all look great and you look so relaxed and happy in the one from your first night onboard. I love it. Safe travels and keep the updates coming! x
05/21/2011 | Mike & Liz Bors
Gents, the boat looks and sounds great. I hope all the paper work is now sorted and you are enjoying the med. Very unlikely we will be able to join you at any stage as we have another baby on the way, due in October. All the best and looking forward to reading your next post.
06/01/2011 | tim lorraine nadine orrine andrew david callum
hey mike just want to wish you a very happy birthday ..hope you are really enjoying yourself... love always connollys at the leap xx
06/01/2011 | tim lorraine nadine orrine andrew david callum
hey mike just want to wish you a very happy birthday ..hope you are really enjoying yourself... love always connollys at the leap xx
1 week to go
03/23/2011, Sydney

It's amazing how a few simple words can change your life as they did for us on the 28th April 2010 at 1.14pm, when Hugh had the foresight to send an email with the subject Long term goal 3-7 years asking:

Think I'd like to take a year off and sail around the world, will you come with me?

Eleven months later we are only a week out from starting our adventure. I'd be lying if I didn't say we're a little excited. Planning for the trip has been great fun. We exhausted multiple spreadsheets, budgets and on/off moments until we knew around Christmas that the financials might actually work.

While the adventure will be priceless, for fun or for the challenge, we plan to do the trip cost neutral. Ask us in two years if that transpired.

We have been busy doing courses, selling belongings and buying equipment with parcels arriving both in Athens and Potts Point every other day. Items include folding bikes, remote controlled autopilot (uninterrupted sun baking on the foredeck while boats pass by) and even a washing machine.

Why wait 3-7 years when we can have much more fun now. Goodbye friends, family and Australia - we will miss you.

03/23/2011 | Rhian Marshall
Hi Hugh and Mike

We are also doing the ARC this year on Beyzano and look forward to meeting you in Las Palmas.

Have a safe trip! Will keep track of your adventure on your website.


Rob and Rhian
03/23/2011 | Kiah
I am SO unbelievably jealous! We will miss you so much, but I am very very excited for you and cannot wait to follow your adventures. xxx
03/27/2011 | John Rainbow
Bon Voyage Mike and Hugh.

I'll watch your progress keenly. Wh knows, may see you 1/2 way on the Manly Ferry. Unlikely but a nice thought.
03/29/2011 | adam bryant
good luck boys!!!
05/02/2011 | Paul & Olivia Connolly
Hi Mike & Hugh, Have a safe trip, delighted to be able to follow your adventure on line. Boy's say hello.
The big purchase
02/10/2011, Sydney

After looking at what feels like hundreds of yachts online and some examples here in Sydney over the last six months... we've done it.

Meet "Alithia" a 2009 Beneteau Oceanis 46!
Click on the link to our gallery to see some photos in the album "Alithia".

The contracts are exchanged, a deposit paid and a settlement date estimated to be mid March.

We had a fairly good idea of what we wanted and when we came across this yacht online it seamed too good to be true, all the ducks aligned. We'd found a very young boat with loads of kit and an owner willing to negotiate. Our currency was strong and the timing perfect.

We had it surveyed more just because we couldn't be there in person but the results show it's in excellent condition - understandably as it's less than two years old.

We choose an Oceanis 46 because it is a very popular boat and established cruiser, we'll have loads of room onboard and it should be a very comfortable passage-maker.

We plan to rename Alithia, Whippersnapper.

Now the fun task of the fit out begins. Alithia already has a great inventory including some big ticket items like, teak decks, a diesel generator and air-con. We plan to add a few extras including a water-maker, an SSB radio, sat phone, more sails, and numerous bits of safety equipment. We've spreadsheets of all the extra equipment we'll need and I'm having a field day finding all the best prices online.

02/23/2011 | eLIZabeth
Boys, what an adventure! I am insanely jealous but extremely excited for you. Looking forward to reading all about your travels. I will live vicariously until we meet up ... booking sailing lessons as we speak! x
Welcome to our new blog
02/09/2011, Sydney

Well it's really going to happen! After months and months of research, numerous courses, and long distance negotiations we've bought a yacht in Athens and we are planning to fly out early April.

The full plan in case we haven't told you already...

Starting in the Eastern Med we're going to sail all the way home to Sydney in a continuous westerly direction (the trade routes), it will take us approximately 20 months all up. It's a little like a circumnavigation without the Indian Ocean.
It's going to be a huge adventure and a massive lifestyle change, we can't wait.

The basic itinerary (almost certain to change) is;

April 2011 Greece > Turkey
May 2011 Turkey
June 2011 Turkey > Greece > Croatia
July 2011 Croatia
August 2011 Italy > Sardinia, Corsica
September 2011 Balearic Islands (Spain)
October 2011 Costa del Sol (Spain) > Gibraltar,
November 2011 Canary Islands > Atlantic Crossing
December 2011 Atlantic Crossing > St Lucia
January 2012 Caribbean Windward Islands
February 2012 Caribbean Leeward Islands
March 2012 Caribbean Sea, Columbia, Panama
April 2012 Panama Canal transit > Galapagos Islands
May 2012 Pacific Crossing
June 2012 French Polynesia
July 2012 Society Islands > Tahiti
August 2012 Cook Islands > Tonga
September 2012 Fiji > Vanuatu
October 2012 New Caledonia
November 2012 Sydney

For the Atlantic crossing we'll be taking part in the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) which is organised by the World Cruising Club (

We hope to make this blog a place where you can come to catch up on our adventures and check out some photos. There will also be maps on which you can follow our progress.

Below are two blogs of yachts who have just completed a similar journey. We've been emailing the crew of both for some time now. Brad and Kat on Ghost and the Dransfield family on Nika have all helped enormously in the inspiration and planning of our trip.

02/23/2011 | eLIZabeth
The itinerary looks fantastic.

... and yes, I can see myself catching up with you in one of those exotic locations. Thanks for asking.
04/12/2011 | michele
Hi Michael & Hugh boat looks fab. great being able to share this adventure with ye, its exciting. Best of luck, we are with ye all the way. XXXXXXXXXX

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