Kevin & Ann Costello
That’s a very good question, to tell our story we
must go back to 1992. We have always shared the same out look in life
“work hard, play hard – never settle for the norm!”
A change of fate.
In 1992, playing against Ashington, Northumberland I sustained a back injury, an injury that would change our lives completely. I had damaged two discs in my lower back, eventually when all treatment failed, an operation was under taken to remove the more problematic disc.
It took approximately five months to return fully to work, although, not fully detached from it as I was assigned projects that would keep me busy at home. The recovery process was very slow back then, rest, rest and more rest. Today it is exercise, exercise and more exercise. Unable to play rugby, we drifted away from the sport. I tried coaching the youngsters – even considered refereeing. I needed a hobby!
Found a hobby?
During the recovery period Ann had kept my mind occupied
with books and monthly publications. I had a brain wave – “Ann,
lets get a boat!” We began looking for a motor cruiser. We needed
some thing obviously sea worthy, but, that could also sleep 4/5 people.
The experience could be shared with our children – whether they
liked it or not. We began shopping. I worked with a guy who had a motor
cruiser berthed at Amble, Northumberland. I managed to gain an invite
to go out for the day – we were excited. It was a lovely vessel,
it would certainly suit our needs I thought. Dave and Carol took her slowly
out of her berth with my help, I handed them a rope.
It was a fifty minute drive home, little was said as we
reflected on the day. I said to Ann “what did you think of those
sailboats in Alnmouth bay?” “They looked pretty – are
you considering a sailboat?” Ann said. I never really answered.
I had a great day but I was unsure if a motor cruiser would keep me occupied
– there must be more too it? I read some more.
Let’s go sailing.
We made a number of friends in the marina, some lived aboard, some, retired, and sailed to Europe. We were fascinated, that people would do such a thing – I read more and more. We fell in love with Northumberland and all it offered, we wanted to move our home to live by the sea. It was only 40 minutes to where I worked, travelling out side of the rush hours. The house went up for sale.
A dream is born.
Things moved faster than we thought, next doors mum and dad wanted to buy our house. The price was agreed and we had no where to live! We did not want to be forced into buying just any thing so we discussed renting one Sunday afternoon. Ann went quiet, then said “we are considering a bigger sailboat, why not buy one to live on?” I was definitely game for that! We discussed putting our belongings into storage to ensure we could move back into property should we not like the life style. “Waste of money storage, of coarse we will like it” was Ann’s reply. We stored with family what we thought we would need to live aboard, and disposed of the rest of our belongings. Our thoughts began to wander further, what if we were to sail off like the people we had known? Interestingly only 15 – 20% of people that plan to do it actually do!
We were now dreaming and scheming, I began to educate myself
as to what type of vessel we would need for such an adventure. Not to
hinder the house sale Ann and I lived on Verica for six months until our
ideal vessel could be found. We still recall how much we laughed during
that time, people thought we were mad. If we could live on such a small
vessel, we could certainly live on one twice the size!
In April 1996 we found a vessel, “Condor” in Cork, Ireland. We visited twice, agreed a price, and sailed her back to Northumberland via the English Channel in May. We then moved on board and sold Verica. We began to plan our adventure, reading every thing we could get our hands on, talking to people who were actually doing it. We declared our intension to our family, within 5 years we would be off, they truly did think we were weird.
Off to the USA
Mid 1998, a further change of fate – I was asked by
my employer to spend some time, in the USA, Ann was to come with me. There
was, as there always is, a risk, my current position would be filled,
therefore should any thing go wrong in the USA there may be nothing for
me in the UK to return to.
At the end of 1998, a bomb shell was dropped – we
were to return to the UK. The procurement of my company by its major competitor
was to bring about radical re-structure of the whole organisation –
Back to the UK and the birth of “Sailaway”
We now had to re-commission Condor, our daughter Amy had contrived a new name based on our dreams. We agreed to rename her “Sailaway”. We are not superstitious and therefore were not concerned with “old men’s tails” about the changing of a vessels name. Sailaway has proven her loyalty to us in all conditions over thousands of miles since.
In August 2000 we relocated Sailaway to Liverpool, the route taking us around the northern coast of Scotland and through the Caledonian Canal.
From the west coast of Scotland, we headed for the Isle of Man, then Liverpool. We continued to cruise the local coastline, including, Isle of Man, West Coast, North Wales and Ireland (east and south coast)
Relocated to Milford Haven
In July 2003 Sailaway was relocated to Milford Haven, to assist myself, as Ann was unable to take time off work, Lee and David crewed.
We cruised The Haven, Wales (West Coast), North Devon/Cornwall, Ireland and the Scilly Isles, at times sharing the experience with friends and family.
The Adventure begins
In September 2005 we relocated Sailaway to Liverpool. Due to a further twist of fate, we will leave Liverpool in March 2007, making our way south, across the Channel, and to France in April. Due to insurance restrictions we cannot cross the Bay of Biscay until May, due to the uncertain nature of that notorious section of the Atlantic.
Destination – Who knows?