Susan and husband Dominic, Luke (16) and Charlie-May (13) will be sailing Oyster 625 Makara in the next Oyster World Rally, but Susan hasn’t stepped on board their yacht yet.
“The pandemic changed everything, it was the final push we needed to make our dream a reality now,” Susan explains. The family had always wanted to sail around the world, but planned to wait until their children had finished their GCSE exams in two years’ time.
“We wanted to find a sensible, safe and adventurous way to make this dream come true,” says Susan. They heard about the Oyster World Rally, joined some of the destination webinars and met some friendly Oyster owners.
“The Oyster World Rally ticked all the boxes. As soon as we decided, we took action and immediately put down the deposit for the next event, even though we hadn’t got a boat or were even close to having enough sailing experience,” says Susan.
As relatively inexperienced sailors, they wanted professional experienced crew with them, so needed space for six people on board. “We weren’t really sure exactly what we were looking for, but started to build quite a long wish list,” explains Susan. “We showed Jamie, Director of Brokerage at Oyster our wish list and he said, you need a 625, that gives you everything you want.”
Makara was bought in October 2020 and is currently being refitted at the Oyster Service Centre in Palma. “We’re putting a lot of tender loving care into her with the help of the service team at Oyster,” says Susan.
Along with the MCA (Medical First Aid at Sea course), Dominic will have his RYA Yachtmaster Ocean theory with Susan qualified as RYA Day Skipper. All the family are doing the basic safety and survival at sea courses, with Luke and Charlie-May taking PADI junior certification. Scuba diving is something the whole family are looking forward to doing on the trip.
Luke has sold his much-loved gaming computer to buy a highquality professional drone, and will complete a professional drone operator’s course so he can film during the Oyster World Rally, while Charlie-May will be vlogging using her new Go-Pro.
Professional crew were arranged through the Oyster Crew Service. “Charlie Durham has been amazing,” says Susan. “She really worked to understand our requirements, values and our needs as a family. We all want to be seasoned sailors by the end of the circumnavigation, and we need a skipper and crew who will be really safe and responsible, but who will also help teach us and improve our skills. We need people who have the same mindset
as ours, so we can create a strong happy team on board, and who will make it safe and enjoyable along the way.”
“Being part of the ‘Oyster family’ is an incredible experience,” says Susan. “They share a lot of our personal values and have a ‘can do’ attitude. As a company they all hold themselves to very high standards and I can’t fault any of them. In fact, we’ve really become close friends with many of them.”
By bringing forward their circumnavigation, the family have put themselves under pressure, but are confident that by sailing with professional crew on board, this circumnavigation will prove to be a really special experience.
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