Posted by: travelrat | August 1, 2011

Round the World

Dover: 17th July 2011

We’re going to have to ban Lorraine’s brothers from visiting Britain … because it usually rains when they arrive. All right, to be fair, we didn’t get the torrential downpours of yesterday when Garry and Joanne arrived on the Dawn Princess … but we still got the odd shower from time to time.

As I’ve written before, Dawn Princess is on a Round the World Cruise, and, while it’s visiting all sorts of interesting places, maybe England deserves more than a 12-hour stay? But, that’s what cruising is about. Joanne was disappointed, because she wanted to see Leeds Castle, which was, unfortunately, closed for the weekend for a music festival. And, the following day, the ship was unable to get into Amsterdam, which they were particularly looking forward to, because of the weather. So, I have an idea we’re probably going to see them again soon!

(We did see Dover Castle, though, which I’ll post about later)

Southampton: 29th July 2011.

Less than two weeks later, I heard about a different kind of sailing around the world. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race starts from Southampton on the 31st, and I was invited to the naming ceremony of the two Australian boats taking part, the Geraldton and the Australian Gold Coast.

Like all the other competitors, they’re 68-foot fibreglass-hulled boats, carrying a crew of 18. They were designed by British designer Ed Dubois, and built in Shanghai. We were taken for a short sail (under racing conditions) on Southampton Water, to give us some idea of what it was like. There were only four crew members on the boat … but the passengers made the numbers up to its normal complement … and we quickly learned that, on a racing yacht, there are no passengers. And, if you don’t have anything to do, it’s a pretty fair task to stay out of the way of those who do.

You can find out more about the race and the boats by visiting And, you can follow them on Twitter @ClipperRace. I put up a short video clip at and will embed a longer one later.




  1. Hi travelrat,
    What a shame they missed out on some things they really wanted to see, but unfortunately there is nothing you can do if the weather decides to “play up” on your trip. It’s terrible when you have looked forward to something and then at the last minuter cannot go.

  2. your in my homeland, i hope the weather has treated you well 🙂

  3. i love sailing, especially round the isle of wight, i hope you got to go there

  4. Don’t you hate it when people bring the bad weather with them? Haha. That race looks like it’ll be fun to watch. It would be quite physically demanding to race those things. The crew must be really fit!

    • If they’re not fit now, they will be by the time they reach Rio! And, I certainly wouldn’t kick sand in the face of anyone who’s done the whole thing!

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