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Week-long cruise turns into 16-year round-the-world voyage

by Claire Duffin on 15 Aug 2014
Clive and Jane had intended to travel to Spain, via Ireland, to see how they coped together before tackling an ocean crossing Wales News
When Clive and Jane Green set sail from Wales, their intended destination was Spain, a relatively short hop over the Atlantic.

Sixteen years later however, and they have only just returned home, having turned their experimental seven-day getaway into a 58,000-mile round-the-world voyage.

Their journey has seen them visit 56 countries, swim with sting rays in Tahiti, navigate through pirate-infested waters off the East African coast and survive 23 days at sea without fresh water, desalinating seawater to stay alive.

'We have been very lucky so see our planet in such an amazing way - we didn't ever plan to sail around the world it just happened,' said Mrs Green, 60.

'We would sail to a place and then through word-of-mouth from other sailors hear about somewhere else to go on to.

'That has been our life for the last 16 years - it's been an amazing experience.'

The couple, keen sailors all their lives, bought their 1981 Trident Challenger yacht in 1997 for £16,500. They then spent several months, and £20,000, doing it up.

On July 11, 1998, having taking early retirement, they set sail from Pembrokeshire destined for Spain, via Ireland.

They had rented out their home in Wales but wanted to see how they coped together before tackling an ocean crossing. They were also unsure if they had enough money, and wanted to see how much they would need to live on the yacht.

But their maiden voyage was a success and the couple decided to carry on.

From Spain they sailed to the Cape Verde islands and across the Atlantic to Barbados before island-hopping through the Caribbean.

They then sailed up the east coast of America, stopping in New York for a three-day shopping and sight-seeing trip.

After four years at sea, they sold their home meaning there was no turning back. They invested the money into two smaller properties, and used the rental income to help fund the trip.

But it meant Mr Green, 60, who worked for a utility company, and Mrs Green, a hospital microbiology technician, had to survive on £130 a week, bartering their few belongings for supplies, even swapping one of Mrs Green’s Marks and Spencer bras for a sack of fresh fruit and vegetables on a small island off Fiji.

From America, they headed north to Canada before journeying down to the Panama Canal, crossing the Pacific to Australasia, then up through Indonesia to South East Asia, over to India and through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean where they have spent the last couple of years. Click here to read the full story.

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