Guest Posts

Bizarre honeymoon thanks to the most unusual gate crasher

I am delighted to have Lexi Rees guest posting today to tell us all about her nautical adventures. Over to you Lexi:

Hi Mai, Thanks so much for having me on your blog! Obviously, you know about my new book, but I’m not always writing. I spend a lot of time sailing, as you might guess when you read Eternal Seas.

Until I met my husband, the only time I had set foot on a boat was a car ferry to Mull, and a school cruise (on a converted car ferry) when I was about 15. But he is a keen sailor, so I gave it a go. We started off doing the Spring racing series from the Isle of Wight. It was cold and wet, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. “Better a happy boat, than a winning boat,” the skipper used to say. Although I did notice that he only invited my hubby to the join the very competitive team which he won a different series with every year.

Before we even thought about getting a house together, we bought an old boat in Italy and spent a few years doing it up. We then sailed it from Italy, all the way through the Greek islands, and into Turkey.

I haven’t seen many kids’ books where the sailing described in it is realistic so I wanted to bring my experience into Eternal Seas.

I purposely avoided putting Finn and Aria onto a large galleon style boat as it would be impossible for a family to crew it. Even in Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow steals a ship ready prepared for sailing. The Alcina is based on a live-aboard family that we met in the Greek islands and their boat, Indianna.

All the terminology in Eternal Seas is nautically accurate – gybe, galley, windlass etc. I didn’t want to lose the impact by saying “change direction”, “kitchen”, and “anchor lifting machine”.

6
Stunning early morning departure

Over the years, we’ve been joined by many friends, and the arrival of my son which involved adding a lot of netting to the boat and some changes to the routine: “prepare to tack” became “move the baby to the low side, prepare to tack”. The boat is a bit like a giant jungle gym. Kids do tend to pop up through hatches like a jack-in-the-box so supervising is hard work!

7
Never too young to learn how to use a winch

It’s hard to pick favourite sailing moments, but being joined by dolphins on the bow is always amazing – the dolphins feature in Eternal Seas. I haven’t seen any dolphins for a few years now which is worrying. We did get joined by turtles last summer though which was a first for me.

If I had to pick a single landmark, sailing through the Corinth canal was spectacular, and we had my dad and uncle on board too so it was a great family trip.

For me, it’s not just about the physical sailing, it’s about the family memories. The sunset drinks, the lazy days where there is not a breath of wind and you spend the whole day swimming and reading …

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A perfect end to a day’s sailing

3 thoughts on “Bizarre honeymoon thanks to the most unusual gate crasher”

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