About 25 years ago, Glenys and I first went cruising when our two children (Brett and Craig) were aged 3 and 5. Our boat was an Oyster 39 and we sailed in the Mediterranean and Caribbean for 4 years before running out of money and having to start earning again. (This is all documented in The Glencora Diaries.)
For the next fifteen years, we worked hard running a small software company, buying a big house and looking after our sons while they grew up to be adults. In 2005, we sold our company to a major competitor for whom we both continued to work for the next five years.
In December 2010, we sold our house, which meant that we had the funds to buy a yacht and go cruising again. Our children were 24 and 21 years old and in stable relationships, so there was nothing holding us back.
We started to sell everything that we couldn’t fit onto a boat and looked around for a 42 foot yacht - our ideal yacht being a Hallberg Rassy 42F. We looked at six HR42s in the UK and then I came across a small web site advertising the virtues of Alba.
The specifications looked fantastic - all set up for going through Panama and best of all the boat was already in the Caribbean in Grenada (our favourite island). We had an inspection done by a local surveyor, who told us that the boat was in excellent condition - the only flaw that he noted was a stain on the teak deck next to the mast.
Despite never having seen the boat, we decided to buy Alba. This might sound a little risky, but our rational was that every Hallberg Rassy 42F is built to the same high standard and as long as the boat is in excellent condition with a high specification of equipment, then we should be okay. We agreed the price with the owner (Sergio) at the end of January 2011 and agreed to pick up Alba in April.
It was all a rush. We only had about 9 weeks to sell all our possessions on eBay and in the local papers. We hadn’t done any sailing for fifteen years - our plan had been to do some refresher sailing courses and charter a boat in the Solent, but we just ran out of time.
So, with no house, all our belongings in six holdalls, having not sailed for fifteen years and never seen the yacht we were buying, we boarded a plane bound for Grenada.