Where in the world are we now?


As Julie Andrews belts out in the Sound of Music, ” let’s start at the very beginning….”

Well, actually that is complicated. Waggis, a 35-foot steel ketch, was found on a Swiss lake by Michael who was living and working there around 2000, she went via a flatbed truck to Slovenia, he sailed her to Croatia and then “home” to Malta for 7 years: travelled the Med extensively, the Greek islands, Sicily, Sardinia, Balearics, Tunisia and a whole lot of Italy. Michael got the urge to sail across an ocean in 2008 and off he went to Brazil via The Canaries and the Cape Verdes. Crossed the Atlantic ocean (twice) solo to do this. In 2010 he decided it was time to do another crossing and headed off from Cologna, Uruguay, destination Cape Town which he reached 40 days later.

He moved around a few South African marinas and eventually settled in Port Owen, about 2 hours away from Cape Town. Very pretty marina although being situated on a river there is always a problem trying to get out to sail when the tide is low.

My husband (of 18 months) and I met Michael when we came to view his other boat, Paper Moon, a 38 foot Camper Nicholson, as we were looking to buy our first boat and planned to sail around the world. Paper Moon wasn’t exactly what we wanted but we found SV Marty Alessa, coincidentally also in Port Owen, bought her and moved aboard where we lived full time for 6 months. That was hard….more on that here. We took the boat to Langebaan, Club Mykonos, in May 2016 to be hauled out, anti fouled etc. sadly, once there we also discovered my husband had stage 4 cancer and in November he passed away. There I was, a woman alone with a bloody big boat I didn’t know much about and wasn’t sure if I even liked her.

Michael, who was a firm friend of both my husband and myself, took me out for my first sail that December (2016), I howled at the moon, ranted and raved at the Universe in general and then decided to give it a bash and moved back on board in January 2017. Stayed in Langebaan for a while then we sailed her back to Port Owen where I am on a lovely private jetty, planning The Trip. I am learning to handle the boat, am terrified, exhilarated, ecstatic and shit scared simultaneously when we sail but I know I have found my passion. What a gift.


Wow, that was written in 2018 when I made a vague attempt at starting a blog. Captain Mike and I are happily living aboard the as yet, unnamed ex Marty Alessa which was my boat. He bought it from me and this turned out to be a win-win situation. He feels (rightly so) that he is Captain of his own boat and I have cash in the bank and feel very comfortable as the first mate.

Waggis has been sold.

In 2019 we flew to Brazil and attempted an ocean crossing to Cape Town, helping out friends who had a stricken vessel there. This ended with demasting in the Atlantic, a truly terrifying event.

2020 was spent under Covid restrictions and lockdown. We are hoping to be able to start our journey across the oceans as soon as borders begin opening but in the meantime, we are sailing locally and enjoying our fulltime liveaboard lifestyle.

Captain Mike and First Mate Nikki.

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