What a different a year makes……(with apologies to Stanley Adams and Maria Grever, songwriters!)

Today, Grace has been in our ownership for exactly one year. In that time she has left her home berth of 7 years in Chichester Marina for possibly the first time, sailed about 1000 nm east to spend this winter in Augustenborg in Denmark……and she is still only a third of the way through her cruise! Looking back, it is difficult to believe what a profound change 32 feet of GRP has made on our lives!! Everything is different; our jobs, where we live and what we do in the future. But for the Grace we not have had 12 months of adventures, with the promise of plenty more to come!

Grace of Chichester

I still have a sharp intake of breath in surprise when I think of the speed of what we have done, from the first phone call I made to the yacht broker in Chichester that fateful Sunday morning in late October in 2016, to seeing Grace, the very same afternoon, tucked snugly in her berth and then making an offer for her a few days later! Still more, the surprise of having our offer accepted.

We have learnt so much, especially new ways of spending money! We have discovered Chichester, the Solent and tidal navigation and of course my number one obsession, getting over Chichester Bar. We have made our first channel crossing, sailed in some of the busiest waters in the world. We’ve traversed Holland from end to end, explored the ‘Riddle of the Sands’ country and fought our way through the German Bight! We and our little 6 tonne Gracie have shared the Kiel Canal with massive 30000 tonne container ships that towered above us as we bobbed about in their Tsunami sized wakes. We have seen the causes of the first and second world wars at Sonderborg, been underwhelmed by the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen and awestruck by 1500 years of Viking history at Roskilde.

Getting used to boat ownership!

Getting used to tidal navigation!

Crossing the Bar at Chichester

Crossing the Channel for the first time!

The canals of Holland

Riddle of the Sands country!

German Bight

The Kiel Canal!

Real Danish Pastries!

Dybbol Mill, 1864 and the possibly the origins of WW1 and WW2

They are right to call her the Little Mermaid!

1500 years of Viking heritage at Roskilde

With Grace now overwintering in Denmark, it feels strange not to be able to go to sail her and of course to check she is not lonely!! But I am sure she is happy, warm and dry in a nice shed in Augustenborg. But can I wait until May before I can see Grace again and start our odyssey again……only time will tell!

Grace safely in the dry and warm at Austenborg!

Mmmm, not quite like Grace!

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