Having set off from Gibraltar's Ocean Village back on 26 October 2009, nearly two years and 35,000 nautical miles later intrepid duo Pete Callis and John Hazell made a triumphant return to the marina at the end of August on their 43ft Bruce Roberts
Having set off from Gibraltar's Ocean Village back on 26 October 2009, nearly two years and 35,000 nautical miles later intrepid duo Pete Callis and John Hazell made a triumphant return to the marina at the end of August on their 43ft Bruce Roberts Norfolk sailing boat. Participants in the 2009 - 2011 Blue Water Rally, Pete and John were rewarded with a full Irish breakfast at O'Reilly's accompanied by a chilled bottle of MoÃ«t & Chandon courtesy of Ocean Village.
Pete describes their epic adventure, "Both John and I had always dreamt of circumnavigating the world but as novice sailors who'd never done an ocean passage we decided to sign-up with Blue Water Rallies to achieve that dream. We left our wives at home and took what was now our new residence, our steel-hulled yacht FaÃ¯ Tira, and embarked on a journey that took us from Gibraltar's Ocean Village to Lanzarote, Antigua, Panama, Galapagos, Marquesas, Tuamotus, Society Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and Oman where unfortunately we ran into a few pirate problems."
Pete continues, "We had some incredible high- and low-lights. We will never forget the beauty of swimming with sea lions in the Galapagos or admiring the whales at the Great Barrier Reef and neither will we lose touch with the many different kinds of people we met along the way. The strangest element was probably being all alone in this massive ocean. Our longest passage was 24 days and we did not see another boat or another soul for the duration. It's been pretty life changing."
The Blue Water Rally was established in 1997 following the success of the RAF Yacht Club's 1995 round the world Tradewinds Rally when 38 boats left Gibraltar. Since its formation, Blue Water Rallies has organised eight world rallies and enabled over 200 owners and hundreds of crew members to realise their dream of a circumnavigation.
Sadly the 2009 - 2011 Rally goes down in history as the last as the organizers had to cancel the current event due to the economic downturn and a dramatic rise in piracy in the Indian Ocean which shows little prospect of resolution.
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