It’s a delivery. A boat delivery. Every springtime a little known migration pattern repeats itself, witnessed only by the captains and crews of vessels that themselves patrol the Mediterranean Seas, and the habitants and Marina workers of places like Palau, Lipari and Pilos who may notice that certain yachts have a company logo on the mainsail cover. The logo is like a forgotten price-tag left on a designer dress, it takes away from the fine lines of the ship. It confesses the intentions of the owner, that the planned use of the boat is for money making. She will be chartered out to not-particulary-rich people who, after saving up for their holiday, may not even opt to use the sail that the logo bearing cover protects. She will anchor in safe bays after traveling for perhaps a couple of hours on the open sea at a time. She will entertain the group of pensioners from Brighton, the family from Bray, the office colleagues from Berne. She will be the location of the conception of a beautiful baby for some lucky couple, and with luck, she will sail the open seas again at the behest of the owners, the company, who for whatever reason may want her relocated to another base. Her maiden voyage may be her longest, as she is built in France and is set to head east to Turkey. For this maiden journey the yacht is home to three Irishmen: The Skipper, Dan and myself.
With his own lifetime’s experience at sea, the Captain has a crew with little to none. I’m Stuart Doyle, a musician/producer from Portmarnock, Co. Dublin. My Dad is the son of a Howth fisherman, and plenty of my cousins are mariners. But my time at sea has been limited to a few times out on my uncle’s trawler, The Kiloran, and a weekend on a sailing vessel in Broken Bay, north of Sydney, Australia. My crewmate, retired engineer Dan Doody hailing from Abbeyfeale, Co. Kerry has a little more sailing time under his belt but we are about to embrace the unknown. We are to bring a brand new yacht from the French coast near Perpignan to the port of Fethiye in Turkey. We will be away from land for days at a time. No phones, no contact, none of the usual trapping of today’s life. Having no idea of what lies in store and the effect this voyage will have on me, I’ll keep a journal. How else will I describe to my family and friends what we are about to go through?