As I recalled in our first blog The Crew: How I met the captain, I stated ‘….and still is the best few months and then we bought a boat ….A boat which you are all familiar with …..ZORA’. Well let us just back-track a few months before our big purchase , and inevitably became ‘a crew’.
During our first few months of our relationship we both actively talked about our desire to travel and see the world. Rhys had thoughts of perhaps buying a van and converting it into a camper in which we could travel through Europe. An influx of following fellow van life bloggers and Instagram users followed and the idea became a possible venture for us both. However, it never quite felt like the definite answer for Rhys and it became apparent the means in which we travelled and explored the world would be on a boat, Rhys’ first love. Sailing. Yes the vanlife idea now transpired into boatlife. Some would say both ideas are insane, we would say life is too short and we aren’t here for an easy ride (or would that be sail) and so the idea of sailing the world became our goal. I will openly admit right here that I cannot sail (I know madness). Which is ironic as my dad is an avid sailor and past sailing commodore. I grew up living by the sea and around boats, but needless to say it wasn’t to be a pastime of mine in my past life but sure as hell is now and I am eager to learn.
Moving swiftly on, in December 2017 Rhys left me for a whole 6 weeks (early on in a relationship this felt like months) and set sail with his two best friends on board ‘An Gobadan’ heading across the Atlantic ocean , ( end destination Canada) towards the Caribbean Island of Martinique. I flew over to meet them upon their arrival and then spent the next week and half on board ‘An Gobadan’. This was my first-hand experience of boatlife and it was either make-it or break-it I guess in terms of me buying into the idea of travelling the world on a boat.
And guess what I LOVED IT…….I guess being surrounded by crystal clear waters under the Caribbean sun helped also.
Once we both returned to the emerald isle (Ireland) the hunt was on to find the perfect boat. Again due to my lack of sailing knowledge Rhys led this mission and I was more of a second pair of eyes in the boat hunt. After countless pictures of certain boats, reviews and messages to owners Rhys stumbled upon a past interest (Rhys had contacted the owner (a very good friend now) a few years back in regards to this particular boat). We took a trip out to the infamous yard (as seen in our early YouTube videos and photos) to take a look at this particular boat.
It was a cold wet, dark January afternoon and with Rhys’ Dad in tow we set our eyes upon what would become ‘Zora’. For me it was a very surreal moment, one, not having a clue about boats, and two setting foot on our possible new venture. It was in that moment on a cold January day and with the assurance of Rhys’ dad, that we made the decision that we were meant to become the new crew.
For some, this great mass of grey (her original colour upon purchase), was an eye sore. The neglect of years of sitting idle in a yard had taken its toll on her and yet the enormity of the job ahead was masked by our excitement that we could be sailing this mighty vessel one day across blue waters.
However, it was not in that moment that we purchased Zora. We do have a bit of practical thinking (hard to believe at times) but was after numerous call , emails and lengthy chats with close friends and family that the decision was made.
A week later, Rhys became ……The captain, and two became A CREW.