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Welcome, Isten hozott, Dobrodosli

I have been fascinated by sailing ever since watching the Kiwis lose the right to challenge the yanks for America's Cup to the Italians during missed uni lectures in...about '92.

No, don't take me wrong, I don't enjoy watching the Kiwis lose in anything (although I certainly had to get used to it-fast!), but the idea of a brand new frontier, especially one as beautiful and challenging as the ocean, proved impossible to resist.

After trying sailing on other people's crafts, my fascination didn't subside. I've also had enough of pleading for a place on friends (or anybody's) vessel, so I've set out to buy...

New Zealand is a good place if you're in the market for used sailing boats. In 96, basic but seaworthy 21 footer fixed keel boats went for between $3500 and $7000 New Zealand dollars. However, that year we found ourselves in Australia and sailing took a back seat.

A couple of years later, I had a steady job and a quick impulse buy later our family had an open deck, two person Rainbow in our possesion.

We had many great times with it: kids building the sand castle, mum being cooled under the shady trees by the seabreeze that dad is struggling with, zipping around the non-descript course a few hundred metres out, his heroism going unnoticed. The good friends would occasionally come and help this hard working dad, but not the fairweather ones, oh no!

Soon on the ionternet I noticed bareboat chartering and its epicentre in Australia, the Whitsunday Islands. The more I read, the more obvious it became: This is it! When Beata reluctantly agreed, we took on a search for travel company among the circle of unsuspecting friends and spun a web from which Jonathan and Mandy have not escaped :)

And so towards the end of 2001 the planning and preparations have begun. Girls to the gym once per week, boys running twice a week. We aimed to go out with little boat to sail at least 5 times before the trip. Endless hours of browsing websites of the boat-charter companies and just general daydreaming. Memorise passages from the book "100 Magic miles" at the expense of Bible reading. Jonathan to learn 5 knots. Beata to learn the sea rules. Prepare the CD compilations. What, still 9 months to go?

Well, when the big day came, we were totally worn out by planning and expectations. Funny, 'cause we didn't know what to expect...

The following pages will tell the story exactly as it happened :)

This is the map of the whole trip, the overnight places circled and numbered.