We are Phillip Smith and Sara Xavier. We have owned Lochmarin since 2006 and in 2012 we made her our full time home, setting off for our adventure of a lifetime. We left from Weymouth, England, and crossed Biscay to Spain, working our way down to Portugal and exploring the Rias as we went. Next came the chance to experience the volcanic Canaries Islands, looking like a spaghetti western set, then the vibrant Cape Verde Islands before we crossed the Atlantic.
We made land fall in Barbados and spent a year ‘liming’ in the Caribbean before passing through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean. We crossed the Pacific in 2014, seeing the fascinating wildlife on the Galapagos Islands, the majesty of the Marquesas, the incredibly clear waters of the Tuamotus, the glamorous tourism of the Society Islands, the uniqueness of Niue, and the friendliness of the Kingdom of Tonga. Big Mama’s is still our favourite Yacht Club of all time.
From Tonga we dropped down to New Zealand to visit family, wait out the Cyclone season, do plenty of work on Lochmarin and get married! The next season we headed back up to the tropics and visited Fiji before heading to Vanuatu with its active volcanos and clear blue natural swimming pools a dinghy ride up the rivers.
The following cyclone season was spent in Australia, such a change in culture, before we headed back to the tropics, exploring some of the seldom visited islands of Papua New Guinea, where folk still use shell money to buy tinned fish and rice, and entering Indonesia via the North East so we could spend time in Raja Ampat, with the best snorkelling and diving in the world.
During our final months of sailing on Lochmarin we crossed Indonesia, making a stop to see the Orangutangs in Kalimantan, and treated ourselves to a stay in Singapore’s Raffles before going up the West coast of Malaysia to Pangkor, where Lochmarin is currently on the hard. It was a special place to go for us because Sara’s Grandfather had been District Officer there back in the 50’s and her Mother, Aunt and Uncles had gone to school there.
During a planned visit this summer back to the UK to see family (when we left we had no Grandchildren, we now have three!) we had a bit of a health scare and what with one thing and another we decided it was time. Cruising over 35,000 miles, going nearly 3/4 of the way around the world, spending 5 1/2 years has been unbelievably wonderful but the time has come for us to stop crossing oceans and living full time on board.
Time for us to stop, but not for Lochmarin. A beautiful, well designed, spacious, easy to handle blue water cruiser like her has many more adventures waiting for her. She just needs to find a change of crew.
You can see our route and read all the details of our adventures here.