This is a love story. Andy had to sail around Cape Horn to find me. We both didn’t know it, of course, but I had been waiting for him. My name is Pam Wall. I have been married to Andy Wall for 28 years. We have sailed the seven seas together. Our story should interest anyone who has dreamed of sailing their own boat with their family. This love story will go on and on. I would like to share it; to inspire others to follow their dreams.
Andy was born in Sydney, Australia. His parents knew he was meant for the sea. They helped him build his own thirty foot wooden sloop. And when he was just eighteen, he sailed from home. I knew he was looking for me, I just didn’t know who he was. It was many miles and many wonderful experiences that finally brought Andy to round Cape Horn. Young and full of adventure, Andy sailed his sloop, “Carronade”, straight from Tahiti to the Cape. Now, looking back on it, we both agree it was really a quest he had undertaken, and it was me he was seeking!
The excitement and thrill of rounding Cape Horn in your own 30-foot boat, is as about as wonderful as it gets. However, for me, the route from Fort Lauderdale, was a challenging test of his desire to find me at last. We met in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Andy never sailed without me again. We have two children, Samantha and James, and as a family we have circled the world together.
I hope you will come and join me in the following months. The chapters may be out of any sequence, but the lifestyle will be honestly reflected. And I truly want to inspire anyone, who like me, wants to see the world from the deck of your own boat.
Chapter 1 – The First Passage
We had been at sea for three days. The most difficult part of the passage was the final realization that we were well and truly on our way around the world! The ten years of preparations were at last behind us. The boat was sound, the crew happy, and the stores bulging out of the lockers.
Kandarik, our Freya 39, had been lovingly built by my husband Andy. I had done a pretty good job of making the crew; Samantha our 7 year old daughter and great cockpit companion, and Jamie our 4 year old son and second in command of the foredeck. This, our first passage, was the beginning of a circumnavigation which was to last for seven years. Our first landfall was a prelude of things to come. We seemed destined to make midnight landfalls, and the pattern rarely changed. But this one was special.
It was a quiet night at sea. The wind was soft and light and we knew that San Salvador was just over the horizon. The clarity of the air was so perfect that we witnessed Venus dip below the horizon as the full moon ascended off our bow. We could just barely see the smudge of land ahead as the sky darkened and the moon crept up her velvet curtain. . The midnight watch had just changed when we all observed something extraordinary. The high silver moon, plated in the dark sky, electrified the white shallow sand bar surrounding San Salvador. The island ahead appeared to be ringed by a glowing fluorescent crescent. The closer we approached the land, the brighter the shining light became.
What we now saw was incredible! Mother Nature had turned on her magic. As we drew closer to the illuminated sand, we would have judged the depth to be only 3 inches. Cautiously we kept our course as the purple water of the Atlantic gave way to the radiant sand bar. Racing up to the bow, Andy and Jamie could not believe that the shallow water would allow our passage. As Sammy and I watched the depthsounder from the cockpit, we shouted to Andy and Jamie, “290, 275, 250, 150, 75, 50, 27, 18,” getting a little more excited now, “15, 14, 13, 11, 10, 10, 10, 10 Whew!” Honestly, it looked a mere 6 inches!
We could see every detail on the sea floor as though through a looking glass. The bright moon was reflected on each grain of silver sand. The steady ten feet continued until we were off the tiny town landing. As our anchor was paid off the bow into the glowing water, it disappeared into the shimmering sand like a baby tucked in by an enchanted blanket. The four of us stood there awed by the quietness and magic of the anchorage. It was a perfect end to the first passage of our journey around the world.