Global Voyageur

Be a virtual voyager - join the tartan navy to follow the Mackays on their return to Scotland

21 June 2012 | Clyde Marina, Ardrossan
20 June 2012 | North Channel, Irish Sea
17 June 2012 | Bay of Biscay
15 June 2012 | Coruna Marina, La Coruna
14 June 2012 | Marina Coruna, La Coruna
13 June 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
12 June 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
09 June 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
07 June 2012 | Ponta Delgaga
06 June 2012 | Ponta Delgada
04 June 2012 | Angra
02 June 2012 | Horta, Faial
01 June 2012 | Horta , Faial
28 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
25 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
24 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
23 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
22 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
21 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean
20 May 2012 | North Atlantic Ocean

Last of the Caribbean Wine......

04 May 2012 | Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola
Susan Mackay
The final rally dinner for all the two fleets, nine on the Atlantic Cup and 25 for ARC Europe, was held in Peg Legs Restaurant. At midday the following day we watched the Atlantic Cup fleet leaving for Bermuda, final destination Hampton, Virginia. I couldn't help wishing that it was us but I was soon to change my mind. Two and half hours later a belter of a storm passed overhead. I sure hope they got their spinnakers down in time. Oh, we had the works, torrential tropical rain, thunder, lightning, violent squalls. Perhaps it will clear the air. We have been sweltering in humidity running at 95% for the last two days.

We had a surprise visit from Maggie and Bob Daigle. They have just completed a highly successful season on board the charter catamaran, Silver Moon. It was nice to see them looking so happy and relaxed. They gave us the gossip of how our WARC family are getting on. In the evening we were invited aboard A Lady for a delicious dinner. I really don't want to make too much of this but this trip is a big thing for us. We have lived, breathed, dreamed this our return to Scotland for so many months now and it is all about to happen. Today is the final day in the BVI's, our last swim, our last fish supper in Peg Legs. We are more than ready to go.

P.S. And a big thank you to all of you who have emailed us with "Bon Voyage" messages.

Refresher course

02 May 2012 | Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola
Susan Mackay
Yesterday it was back into the classroom. At 7am I was in the swimming pool for an hour. 8 o'clock we were sitting down to breakfast. By nine we were having an interesting talk on Emergencies at Sea given by Andrew Bishop, MD of World Cruising Club. Following on from that there was a dress rehearsal for firing flares, finally, inflation of the life raft in the swimming pool. It does not matter how many talks we attend on these issues we always pick up new tips. This time it was to tie our emergency water container onto the life raft which we have now done and to wear safety goggles when firing off flares. We have added these to the canister of flares along with the heavy duty garden gloves. The strongest person should get into the life raft first. I had never really thought about this but having had it explained it made good sense. That person can help the weaker members get aboard for there is surely nothing harder than someone of the weaker sex, in body only not kind! Like myself trying to get up and over. I cannot even get into our tender from the water unaided. What chance have I got getting into the high freeboard of a life raft in full oilies in a heaving sea without a strong man to haul me aboard. The worst thing is thinking you know it all and we still go on learning.

It is unbelievable really. Here we are having spent the last five months thrashing our way north into headwinds with the exception of one or two weeks at most, and now we are faced with a forecast of very light winds for the ARC Europe start with a prospect of motoring! David looked at me, "better get practising with the ear plugs". I am a poor sleeper at the best of times but the constant drone of the engine is almost as bad as the piercing screech of a howling gale. I'll opt for the former, bed down in the cockpit and make the most of being out upon the ocean, far from land, far from crowds, close to nature and cooking up some culinary comfort food.

Last night we received the disappointing news that due to a health problem Barrie will not be joining us for the crossing after all. We were so looking forward to having him aboard. Yes, it will mean that we will be slower, missing his racing expertise, but at the end of the day safety not speed has always been our number one priority. The majority of the boats are multi crewed. Ninfea, the other Amel has a crew of five, no match for us two. People looked at us and said "what will you do"? We shrugged our shoulders. "Just get on with it" was our answer.

A courtesy bus was organized to take us all to the cash and carry in Road Town for some serious shopping. We were able to buy everything bar lamb chops a favourite of David's, so pork will have to suffice. "A Lady" finally arrived mid afternoon and came aboard for a sun downer, along with their Kinsale friends, Vera and Denis. They have sailed to all corners of the globe. Greenland and Iceland, Nova Scotia, and Antarctica and they don't have a boat. What are we doing wrong!

Back to base

30 April 2012 | Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola
Susan Mackay
We fairly romped over the waves to Nanny Cay in a brisk easterly force five. Under reefed genoa we were averaging over seven knots. Brendan was there to take our lines. The first thing I heard was the Scottish accent and although he has lived here for eleven years it was unmistakeable. Even better we learned that he hailed from Glasgow. I love this place, it is my favourite marina in the whole of the Carib. The fact that is has a generously sized swimming pool might have something to do with it! It was the official start of ARC Europe and our first get together with other crews began with the welcome drinks party followed by a barbeque on the beach. "A Lady" have still to arrive. We have really missed them these past few weeks. They are due in on the 2nd. Now that we are in the final week of our preparations we are at the stage of ticking off the last of the jobs to do list. Voyageur was washed form bow to stern, she was completely covered in salt. David topped up the fuel tanks, (it looks as if we might be going to need it) and filled the water tanks. The pattern has been to get up early in the mornings and take the afternoon off. So far it has worked but then we have had the last five months to get ready! We were introduced to a nice American couple who are thinking about doing World Arc with their young family. Of course, the answer is always the same. "You must do it, do it while you can".
Vessel Name: VOYAGEUR
Vessel Make/Model: Amel Super Maramu 2000
Hailing Port: Rhu, Scotland
Crew: Susan and David Mackay
David first learned to sail on a Loch Fyne day boat out of Helensburgh Sailing Club on the River Clyde in his mid twenties. With the arrival of a family he did not do any more, until in 1984 we bought our first boat, “The Golden Soak”, a Matilda 20. [...]

Our motto:Carpe Diem

Who: Susan and David Mackay
Port: Rhu, Scotland