Alba Voyager under sail prior to her refit circa June 2002 .
THE BOAT : Alba Voyager is a GRP Bruce Roberts 44ft ketch built in Australia in 1975. She gained a bit of notoriety when she was capsized twice off the Falkland Islands loosing both her masts. The crew decided to abandoned the yacht and were airlifted to safety by the RAF. The incident was reported in graphic detail in the November 1997 issue of Yachting World. The yacht was later recovered and shipped back to the UK where she was repaired and in 1998 she headed for the Mediterranean where she was subsequently sold. The new owners intended to use her for a proposed expedition In the Wake of Paramore, which aimed to circumnavigate the North and South Atlantic to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Edmond Halley's (Halley's Comet fame) pioneering voyages of scientific discovery. Unfortunately the expedition were unable to raise sufficient funds and the venture had to be called off.
This is the point where our story starts, we purchased Alba Voyager in Port Edgar Marina, Edinburgh in 2000 and set about a four year refit in preparation for our retirement and subsequent adventure.
Skipper and Crew toasting in New Year 2005 in true Scottish style. The toast 'Our Forthcoming Adventure'
(the white dots in the photograph are snowflakes, this is Scotland)
THE CREW : We expect to be two in number for most of the time with family and friends joining us to assist with some of the longer passages or just to enjoy a holiday.
Skipper, that's me Tom, I've been sailing since my teens with many thousands of sailing miles under my keel, Alba Voyager is the third keelboat I have owned and although much bigger than the previous two she is rigged as a cutter ketch and is therefore quite manageable by two.
Crew, that will be Anne, most people tell me I am very lucky in having a partner that not only sails but enjoys it. Anne has limited experience but during the time we have been together has more than proved herself as competent crew and on our trip back from St Kilda in 2003 managed to cook and serve dinner while beating into an Atlantic F7.