It had been a long drawn out purchasing process which had only been made bearable by the cheerfulness and determination of John Rodriguez but after a tearful farewell to the Dufour we finally had our new baby. She had been brought back from the Solent in terrible weather and put into her new berth by our expert skipper.
Then a few hours later, Maria and I were on holiday.
We had to wait impatiently for two weeks until we could return to the boat. We decided that since she was quite a different boat to our Dufour that we would have a little help the first weekend we took her out by a man partially responsible for our choice – Martin Hubbard. Martin had taken us from virtual novices to confident skippers of our Dufour and has become a good friend. We recommend him to anyone and he is particularly good with couples where sometimes one of the people is a little more confident than the other – he makes sure everyone gets an appropriate amount of attention. So we told him our plans to have him on board for some “own boat tuition” on the new Mariadz and he told us to stop being ridiculous, we would be fine. So we insisted that he came out with us for a weekend. He agreed to come for a sail with us on the Saturday but expected that we would be fine by the Sunday.
Nervously we took Mariadz out for the first time. She handles completely different to the much lighter Dufour, with which we had grown confident. The Dufour was a little filly eager to change direction and show what she could do. The Moody was a young lady who was quite happy going in her current direction and needed to be asked politely if you would like her to go somewhere else. She felt purposeful and incredibly safe.
With Martin’s watchful eye over us, we took Mariadz into Ipswich lock and started to head down the River Orwell. A little manoeuvering practice gave us an idea of what we could expect. It was a glorious day on a beautiful yacht. The wind was blowing about 20 knots. We decided to be safe, we would get the main and staysail up but not the Yankee because it was a little breezy and we wanted a pleasant experience on our first time. Mariadz loved it. She was itching to show what she could do and even with limited sail we were sailing beautifully balanced at nearly 9 knots. At this point I should mention that the speed limit on this part of the river is 6 knots….under power 🙂 happy days. We passed Viking blue, from our pontoon who were out having been chartered. They saw us and took some photos, including the one above.
You couldn’t have found two happier people. We popped our nose out into the North Sea and decided to return to our home berth that night. Not least of all because Martin was confirming he was right and that we did not need him for a second day to show us the ropes.
The first steps in our dream to sail the world had been taken