Week 18 /19 - The final run - bitter sweet to be back at Haderslev Monday 23rd September to Thursday 3rd October 

Im writing this blog in the air - whilst on transit - it really has been a full on two weeks of boat preparation and travel on planes trains and automobiles and not till now have we been able to slow down enough to be able to reflect on what has been truly an amazing sailing year. Never in my life - perhaps Andrew had an inkling - would I believe that we would be spending a season sailing up the Irish Sea, having a helicopter decide to do an emergency drill on us, drink Whisky in Ireland, sit in a hot tub in Norway, dodge rocks in Sweden and sail with 17 people in Denmark.

092713 1 Bruce contemplating where to fit

Our run back from Sonderborg to Haderslev was mother nature letting us know it was time - winds blew to 30knots - on the nose of course - and the sea state was complete contrast to what we had glided over just days before. 

We arrived into Haderslev on Monday afternoon and spent the next three days rationalising what we really had used over the last 18 months - the local Red Cross benefited greatly for although we have lots of space onboard the policy is, if we don't use it lose it - which makes life somewhat more simplified. The new Kayak had Andrew rearranging and reconfiguring the garage - we have taken off our folding bikes which we hope will find a home before we return as we now intend to purchase and have on board two full sized bikes. No excuse next year for not covering some miles with pedal power! 

We did our best to scrub. polish vacuum pack everything onboard in the hope that everything will stay safe and dry for our return next April. The biggest comfort is that Katherine will be housed inside for the winter in the factory so we know she is in good hands. 

It has been an amazing summer - as we have lived onboard Katherine for the majority of the time since her launch in April 2012 - wintering for us signifies a definite departure. The choice was simple - winter or do another Atlantic but with plans afoot to sail to Lofiten (north west Norway) next summer, mother nature permitting, then wintering became the sensible option. 

The Year in Reflection 

It has been an amazing year of travel with too many highlights to possibly recall without putting anyone trying to read this blog to sleep but if we had to select a top ten for 2013 then this is our best shot in no particular order

- Having Scott our youngest son sail with us in St Lucia in January 

- Sailing to The Scilly Isles and for Lee seeing more Puffins then ever expected

- Sailing to Ireland and the Sailing Manager at the Royal Irish Yacht Club buying us a Guinness on arrival in Dun Laoghaire.

- Arriving in Islay Scotland using radar in the thick fog just to share a whisky with the family on the yacht Islay whom we had become great friends with.

- Being invited to wander through the rooms full of history in  Lunga House in Croabe Scotland 

- The Isle of Lewis and world class dining in a small cafe at The Digby Chick on Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides

- The Orkneys - Wild, Untouched, Ancient and Historic are just a few words that come to mind. 

- Sailing with Islay through the Bohuslian Coastline for the first time and hoping that Berend really did know where he was going amongst all those rocks

- The Gold Cup Copenhagen - 17 people onboard Katherine - 9 Dutch 1 Danish and 7 Aussies what an amazing combination of characters and skill

- Personal guided tour of Floro and surviving Peters version of the Shot over through Gluppo Rocks. 

- Hot tubs and Saunas in the Norwegan mountains at Valdres - thanks Kirsten Lars 

We have met so many amazing people travelling from the UK across the north sea southern Norway, Sweden's west coast to Denmark. We have been granted so much hospitality by travellers on yachts, passer by's in towns. We have had meals carefully prepared for us to ensure we get a taste of the "Norwegian", "Swedish" or "Danish" flavour, people have driven miles to pick us up, lent us cars even had one fly overhead just to take a photo!

We have been blessed by the weather but perhaps too our tolerance has grown with a second season and perhaps also we know to sail in such an amazing place their has to be a little effort otherwise everyone would be here.

To those who have joined us onboard this year thank you for your company we hope you enjoyed the travel as much as we did. For those who have followed the blog thank you for letting us know you are enjoying the news as it is a hard balance to know what we find interesting is in fact interesting for you to read from the comfort of your computer.

Till next season…..

PS For my wonderful sister who is forever concerned about the welfare of Bruce - he has his passport and is enroute to Australia!

(Click for more photos)

© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain