We left Bridlington
on the East Yorkshire coast on 15 June 2004 to begin our circumnavigation. We had the time of our lives; met some wonderful
people and have seen the most fantastic sights. Now there only the memories of ten glorious years and a catalogue of photos
to remind us of our adventures. I can't pretend that I don't have mixed feelings and on occasion it feels as though
a part of me has gone, never to return. However, I also recognise that there has to be a time to change tack and it was the
right time to do so.
We completed our circumnavigation on 21 August 2012 at 0530 GMT when
we crossed our wake a few miles East of Cartagena. I would like to say that it was an emotional event but since we have known
it was going to happen for a long time there was no immediate sense of achievement. However, over the following days whilst
we celebrated in Cartagena we did come to feel that we had achieved something. Nicolette was told that more people had climbed
Everest than had circumnavigated. I don't know if that's true or not but I suppose we have joined a select group.
Needless to say we both feel very privileged to have been able to see so many
places and meet some wonderful people. Ie have been excited, thrilled, awed and humbled. We've experienced all types of
weather and sea but remember, in the main, the best times and allow our selective short tern memory to erase the rest.
I've also been asked many times if Katanne, a Nauticat 331, is a suitable boat in which to undertake a circumnavigation.
I think she has been the perfect boat and what's more many of our circumnavigating friends think so too. She's not
built for speed but for comfort and strength. That said we crossed the 3100nms of the Pacific from The Galapagos to Fatu Hiva
in French Polynesia in 24 days at an average speed of 5.38kts. Katanne held her own against bigger, supposedly faster boats
and we did so in comfort; I read 21 books on that trip. Moreover, Nicolette claims she has never had a drop of sea water fall
on her throughout the 8 years we have been on the boat. A testament, surely, to her high and dry cockpit and the ability to
control the boat from within the pilot house. "The biggest little ship" is how the Nauticat 331 has been described
and certainly most visitors are amazed at the room we have below decks. Her wide beam and heavy displacement ensure that she
has a high comfort level in bad seas and with a decent wind she goes very well. It's fair to say that she doesn't
do well going upwind but behaves wonderfully when off the wind and going downwind. We know life is good when we set the pole
for the genoa or spinnaker. She has a new owner now and I hope he gets as much pleasure from her that we did.
To all our sailing friends spread far and wide across all the oceans, we hope to meet up with you again and
" Stay Safe". I hope this website has been useful and of interest. If it has nurtured a love of sailing or a desire
to do so then that's all to the good.
Tom Sampson and Nicolette Knoop