Phil and Katrina Duncan left their home port of Townsville, Australia, on the 3rd April 2013 in their 39ft Australian built Challenger mono hull yacht Restless Spirit. Restless Spirit is a 39 foot FRG cutter rigged sloop, well fitted out for extended cruising with watermaker, HF radio, radar and wind vane steering to name a few of the extras on board. She is of heavy displacement and built with a longish keel, making her sea kindly and easy to sail, but still capable of good passage making speeds. From Townsville, they leisurely sailed the Australian coast north to Darwin, some 1,538nm, even before leaving Australia.
After final preparations, they departed Darwin Australia on 30th July 2013 and sailed due west to Cocos Keeling Island, a very small group of volcanic atolls 2000nm distant. From Cocos, their route took them via many countries, including the islands of Rodrigues, Mauritius, Reunion and then onto South Africa, where they stayed for 3 months. More islands followed, St Helena, Ascension and the Brazilian island, Fernando De Noronha, before they made landfall at Tobago, on the day of Carnival, another highlight. They then spent the next 3 months cruising the eastern Caribbean, visiting 17 of those islands, sailing as far north as the British Virgin Islands, before setting out for the Azores. This proved to be their longest passage yet at 20 days and nearly 2,500nm. After 25 days in the Azores, the next port of call was the UK – making landfall at the Scilly Isles on the 10th July 2014. Since then they have been slowly working up the UK coast on their way to The Netherlands, where they will winter the boat.
They find it difficult to pinpoint their favourite incidents, and certainly can’t define a favourite place, however some of their highlights include snorkelling with whale sharks at St Helena, walking with the lions in Zimbabwe, and sharing a traditional ‘oil down’ in the Caribbean, just to name a few. So far they have sailed 18,768nm since leaving home, with most of voyages being long downwind passages.
They are into the second year of a ten year plan to sail the world, and so far are enjoying every minute of it. Their adventures can be seen in further details on their blog at https://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Restless-Spirits/
Personal note: We had a wonderful time at Lake Yard Marina, making friends and socialising with the staff and patrons until well into the night – each night!! A big thank you to Robin and the staff who made our visit so memorable. Without a doubt it has been one of the friendliest marina we have stayed in. We will certainly recommend Lake Yard to all our friends and now….we will most certainly be back. Who knows when……..but we will be.