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TRAVEL Anchors aweigh from Newport to Antigua

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Audrey and her husband, Paul, rounding the famous Cape of Good Hope aboard the Lush.
HOPE SPRINGS
?Audrey and her husband, Paul, rounding the famous Cape of Good Hope aboard the Lush.

Anchors aweigh from Newport to Antigua


Áine Ryan


IT’S Sunday, December 15, the day Nelson Mandela was buried in the rolling hills near his home village of Qunu, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. For the days since his death people of all colours and creeds have reflected on his massive contribution as both a symbolic and inspiring political leader of his beloved country and the world.    
For the 95 year old it was time to come home to his final resting place. Speaking in Xhosa, his granddaughter, Nandi Mandela encapsulated this at his burial service: “Go well Madiba. Go well to the land of your ancestors. You have run your race.”
Around the same time that day, a super yacht, called Lush, owned by Formula One racing driver Eddie Jordan, is anchored off Robben Island, a place that Nelson Mandela would call home for 18 of the 27 years he spent in prison. Aboard the boat is Newport native Audrey (McGovern) Adamson and her husband, Paul Adamson, the skipper of this luxury 90ft craft, which is the flagship of the first Oyster World Rally.
They too are marking the passing of Madiba and during the simple service Eddie Jordan read from a favourite Mandela  poem, ‘Invictus’ before Paul lowered a wreath of flowers over the side and into the tranquil, sunny seas that lap up against the scenic island, used first by Dutch settlers to isolate political prisoners in the late 17th century.

From Newport to Antigua and back
IT is over a year since dentist, Audrey Adamson set off on the odyssey of a lifetime as First Mate and chief cook on the luxury super yacht, Lush. Talking  to The Mayo News just weeks before she set off to fulfil her dream of circumnavigating the world, she said: “When I applied to do dentistry, I said I had two ambitions – one was to be a dentist and the other was to sail around the world. Well, I have worked as a dentist now for several years, the last six of which have been at a general practise in Blackrock, Co Dublin. Regarding the sailing around the world dream, I had various options: hitch-hike on a boat that was doing a trip; become a crew member on a racing boat; or work as a professional on a super-yacht.”
Well, the fact that she married a professional sailor, who was subsequently asked to skipper this state-of-the-art yacht, helped narrow down her options.
Coincidentally the couple first met while on a sailing trip to Antigua, the same Caribbean port from which they set sail a year ago. Fast-forward 12 months and they have just embarked on the final-leg of  their global voyage that includes stopovers at Panama, Tahiti, Bali, Richards Bay and Salvador.
In an update from Audrey last week, she confirmed the flotilla was on course and about to set off from Capetown to the Carribean, and Antigua once again, on the last leg of its voyage on Friday (January 10).
“Our circumnavigation will be complete then. As is often the case this trip has been more about ‘the Journey’ than ‘the Destination’ and while it’ll be great to get back to the Caribbean it’ll be hard to hop off the boat and settle on dry land for a while,” she said.
For Audrey and Paul the mantra that underpins this once-in-a-lifetime trip has been: ‘One Life – Live it’. So when they dropped anchor at the many exotic places they visited, they always ensured they indulge in the culture and craic offered.
And, naturally, for their recent fifth wedding anniversary, Paul ensured it was an extra-special experience, with a surprise trip by helicopter to Londolozi, Africa’s most exclusive private game reserve, situated on the border of the Kruger National Park.
“As we flew over the mountain ranges towards Londolozi, I had secretely arranged for the [helicopter] to land at the top of a mountain where I cracked open a bottle of bubbles and raised a glass to our awesome adventure,” writes Paul in their blog.
“Looking out through ‘God’s Window’ as the viewpoint is called, we pondered on our journey thus far and how grateful we are to have sailed 24,000 miles together around the planet this year and to have done it in the style and with the route we’ve taken!”
He adds: “It is amazing what can be packed into a year if you really go for it.”
But, of course it’s not over yet. So tight lines and fair sailing Audrey, Paul and crew, and bon voyage Lush from the wild west coast of Ireland.

To follow Audrey and Paul’s blog, visit sailingwest.com.