When it came to picking my boat to sail across the Atlantic, there were many choices. I wanted to make sure I chose the best for this endeavor is both time and money intensive, and because of that, this would be my only opportunity. The trans Atlantic for me would be a one-time only event. Plus, there are so many peaks to climb upon our big, blue marble. I have other plans in the bucket that I still need to pursue.
Last year I attended the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, a showcase of some of the most beautiful sailboats in the world. Even in this nautical beauty show of 100 classic yachts, Coral of Cowes had caught my eye. I would pass her every morning as I walked the dock to my ship for the week, Grayhound. Two months later, I was looking at Coral’s website and discovered that she was slated to cross the pond in 2015. That is when I contacted the captain, Richard Oswald, about the ride.
But the right boat is only one part of the puzzle. The captain is the other and during various conversations with Oswald, I felt that he was competent, experienced and safe. He had graduated from university in economics back in the 70s. And while his student buddies pursued life long careers that involved debt, mortgages and suburban bliss, Richard took another path. He tried working at an investment company for two months, but that nearly drove him mad.
Soon he fled south to the Spanish island of Ibiza in the Mediterranean. There, Oswald crafted a catamaran from plywood and became a charter boat captain. He would hustle tourists on the beach for sunset cruises. This launched a lifelong career at sea sailing to ports in Europe and the Caribbean.
So with captain and boat in order I made an appointment to fly to the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten to do my dream voyage, 2200 nautical miles to Portugal’s Azore Islands.