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For Ian, the seed of a dream to live aboard a yacht and sail from place to place had been sown in Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, when he was in transit to his new ship HMS Hydra, which had it's temporary base in Honiara, the capital.  It was his last posting before discharge, having spent the last 10 or 11 years visiting many different countries.  On completion of his service with the Navy, he had spent almost 10 years in either the Far East or the Mediterranean, and a further 2 years in the Arctic Circle on Fishery Protection Duties.

Struggling to come to terms with life in civvy street, and feeling his feet were 'nailed to the ground', he took to the road again on both domestic and international haulage before switching to passenger coaches and holiday tours abroad.  The work involved long hours.......but he was on the move again, travelling to different places.

Complaints of "you're never at home" led to Ian giving up driving, joining the public sector workforce and 21 years of life with the Civil Service as a driving test examiner before divorce brought back the dream of life afloat again.

Ian started to search for a suitable boat, taking over 3 years to find "Iolair II", during which time he met Dee in Ramsgate marina and a friendship was formed.    Dee caught the sailing 'bug' too, despite suffering chronic sea-sickness, being unable to swim -  and knowing nothing whatsoever about sailing.  However, she warmed to the idea of travelling the world in a boat and announced her intention to join Ian as 'mate', enrolled at a sailing school and gained her RYA Competent Crew Certificate.  She also enrolled for swimming lessons at the local pool.   Unfortunately, there were no courses in how to combat sea-sickness!

The venture was always going to be done on a shoe-string, the cost of the boat coming from the sale of Ian's house and the remainder keeping both he and the boat going until reaching pension age, when he would then get a pittance from the government for the service given.   Dee planned to 'let' her house and live on the income, thereby keeping a base to which she could return should things go horribly wrong!

Ian's house was sold in February 2006 and the buyer's started to push him to vacate by the 21st April, so all the furniture was sold, personal belongings packed into boxes in readiness to be transferred to "Iolair" and the deposit paid for the boat.   

Then a setback............on the 21st April, instead of moving, time wasting questions about the house started to arrive from the buyer's solicitor, designed to give the buyers more time - as the buyers of their house hadn't managed to get a mortgage.

This was a major problem, because responsibility for "Iolair" had shifted to Ian on the 1st April, so all mooring fees, insurance, etc had to be found, and naturally, the owner would not release the boat from Southsea marina until the balance of selling price was paid.  This meant "Iolair" could not be sailed to Gillingham marina for fitting out and storing............and time was running out as departure from Gillingham had been planned for June - July.


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