Katie McCabe: ‘How I circumnavigated Britain, aged 14’

A dream to sail solo transatlantic is all well and good, but if you’re 14-years-old and your mum says no, it’s time to look for options closer to home.

I had lived on a boat since I was two weeks old aboard Ros Ailither, a 50ft fishing trawler my parents had spent five years converting and restoring. I spent my first year and a bit sailing around the Caribbean and western Atlantic with my parents, hitting my first storm at five weeks old, on the way to Bermuda. Our 50ft trawler was almost completely underwater, and mum was thrown onto the deckhead, from the floor, while trying to change my nappy.

I’d already sailed across the Atlantic by 16 months old, not that I remember it, of course! At 12, I bought my first boat, Falanda, which was practically love at first sight. I saw beyond the mouldy bilge water which rose over the berths, and almost up to the cockpit floor. She had been out of the water for almost 10 years, full of fresh water, so needed ‘a bit of TLC’ as dad commented.

Dad was the one who understood how much I wanted this boat, so after a brief inspection of the hull, I offered the owners £800. I then spent what felt like forever bailing out the disgusting bilge water, before she was launched, and towed 90 miles back to the River Exe.

For the full story, see: https://www.pbo.co.uk/all-latest-posts/katie-mccabe-how-i-sailed-solo-around-britain-aged-14-69773?utm_medium=social&utm_content=pbo&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=socialflow&fbclid=IwAR2Lx4YIbxw5dTThwgqNrYHbOlIDtgGaPF8VTG-yW36_fj5xKxiOUzYM1BY

By Katie McCabe

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