The beauty of our plan was that Time Bandit was only four years old when we bought her. She was in as new condition and the sails we inherited, which were excellent, would still have a good few years in them when we came to sell.
That was before lockdown. Lockdown in over thirty degrees and eighty plus humidity and while we were walking and walking and walking, the climate was doing its worst. It's lovely here but the weather takes its toll on the complexion ......and it's not great for laminated sails, like our Code 0; our light air, reaching and upwind workhorse.
When our Indian Ocean plans were scuppered back in March, a crowd of us would be "Cape Town for Christmas" safari goers sat on the beach, in our deserted, five star resort, talking about how long the lockdown would last. "June" says Paul, and everyone said, "ooh what a pessimist". They all just laughed at me when I said September! "Stuart. Typical dour Scot".
Typically canny as well, as, back in March, while the others were thinking we'd be getting away by June at the latest, we were busy laying up the boat like it was October in Scotland. Engines flushed. Props bagged. Running rigging packed away. Sails dried, down and stored. All hunky dory for the long haul. Dour but smart!
A few weeks ago we put it all back together and went for a wee sail. Everything worked, that was, until we unfurled the Code 0. The laminated Code 0.
Laminated sails don't do well in our climate. On the other hand, mildew spores simply love it. Let's just say, if anyone wants material to make a few thousand, three-ply face masks, just let me know.
Consequently, and in a moment of what currently looks like wildly misplaced optimism, we ordered a fancy new, Dyneema reinforced, Hydranet Code 0 to whiz us across the Indian Ocean and up to the Caribbean come January. What I'm now not sure is which year that might be.
Meanwhile, we continue to walk. And walk. And walk. Did I mention nearly a thousand miles year to date? Two times farther than we've sailed. With the amount of walking we've been doing perhaps instead of a new sail I'd have been better ordering new hips.
(And Anne says that's the last you'll hear about our walking. Or me being bored. Or not appreciating how lucky we are. Etc... The list apparently goes on.)
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Our plan all along with the new Time Bandit was simply to do the second half of our circumnavigation in some style....and at a breathtaking pace. We'd have some fun over a couple of years, screaming along at twice the speed or more of Beige Bandit, get back to the Caribbean, sell the boat and head off climbing - before I'm too old and stiff to get up a hill of any consequence.