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Dressed overall using the flags of countries we have visited after completing our circumnavigation.
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Sailing up the Red Sea

Joanne, Kathryn and Dad 2013

7 April 2016

Hi Everyone,

We left Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast on 15 June 2004 to  begin our circumnavigation. We had the time of our lives; met some wonderful people and have seen the most fantastic sights. Now there only the memories of ten glorious years and a catalogue of photos to remind us of our adventures. I can't pretend that I don't have mixed feelings and on occasion it feels as though a part of me has gone, never to return. However, I also recognise that there has to be a time to change tack and it was the right time to do so.

We completed our circumnavigation on 21 August 2012 at 0530 GMT when we crossed our wake a few miles East of Cartagena. I would like to say that it was an emotional event but since we have known it was going to happen for a long time there was no immediate sense of achievement. However, over the following days whilst we celebrated in Cartagena we did come to feel that we had achieved something. Nicolette was told that more people had climbed Everest than had circumnavigated. I don't know if that's true or not but I suppose we have joined a select group.

Needless to say we both feel very privileged to have been able to see so many places and meet some wonderful people. Ie have been excited, thrilled, awed and humbled. We've experienced all types of weather and sea but remember, in the main, the best times and allow our selective short tern memory to erase the rest.

I've also been asked many times if Katanne, a Nauticat 331, is a suitable boat in which to undertake a circumnavigation. I think she has been the perfect boat and what's more many of our circumnavigating friends think so too. She's not built for speed but for comfort and strength. That said we crossed the 3100nms of the Pacific from The Galapagos to Fatu Hiva in French Polynesia in 24 days at an average speed of 5.38kts. Katanne held her own against bigger, supposedly faster boats and we did so in comfort; I read 21 books on that trip. Moreover, Nicolette claims she has never had a drop of sea water fall on her throughout the 8 years we have been on the boat. A testament, surely, to her high and dry cockpit and the ability to control the boat from within the pilot house.  "The biggest little ship" is how the Nauticat 331 has been described and certainly most visitors are amazed at the room we have below decks. Her wide beam and heavy displacement ensure that she has a high comfort level in bad seas and with a decent wind she goes very well. It's fair to say that she doesn't do well going upwind but behaves wonderfully when off the wind and going downwind. We know life is good when we set the pole for the genoa or spinnaker.  She has a new owner now and I hope he gets as much pleasure from her that we did.

To all our sailing friends spread far and wide across all the oceans, we hope to meet up with you again and " Stay Safe". I hope this website has been useful and of interest. If it has nurtured a love of sailing or a desire to do so then that's all to the good.


Tom Sampson and Nicolette Knoop








Looking good - Oct 2016

Click on the photos to see them full size

Leaving Darwin for Kupang, Indonesia
At anchor in the Andaman Islands
"Over the top" Cape York to Darwin
Sunset in the Indian Ocean