The official end.

I am writing from the top floor of a pretty terrace house in inner-city Melbourne, staying with the friend of a friend, truly homeless. As I look out of the window, writing upon someone else’s desk, the sky is grey, there is the sound of birds and traffic (rather unlike the sea), and it is three hours after arriving at Melbourne airport from Sydney.

This morning I packed the old windvane paddle from Windy the Windpilot, and a set of charts for Palmyra Atoll into my backpack, started up a borrwoed two stroke outboard for the last time, and buzzed onto the dock at Cammera Marina, in Sydney. It was humid and rainy, and the last filmic moment of this whole crazy voyage, was Constellation fading away into the background as I motored ashore. She sits on a mooring in Sydney, the keys are hung up in the office, and a fresh owner has taken over with new dreams and impending oceanic madness…

The last month has been spent moving Constellation from Coffs Harbour to Sydney… Originally I thought I would have the gumption and technical resources to sail her to Melbourne, however as things ended up happening (always by the cusp), we sailed no farther than Sydney harbour.

In some respects it is a very sad day. But in others, as one door shuts, new ones open… As they already have… I may not have Constellation the physical object, but what memories! And those memories can never be taken away, or even sold.

I plan to write an exhaustive post on the statistics of this voyage, and thank all those that have helped me come this far… But for now, just a farewell and a few small images from the last month…


Me and Chris, the new owner.


Flying from Newcastle to Coffs with Chris


Downwind to Sydney


Catching a tuna the first night out


On the public dock at Port Stephens (thanks Brad!)


Great friends and amazing supporters of my trip, Paul, Duane & Marty


Moving all my personal stuff off of Constellation

Thank you everyone,

Nick.

19 Comments

  1. tom

    Nick,
    Thanks for sharing the trip and for introducing me to Laura Vires.
    Heading into the low grey skies of a Melbourne winter is Ok cause it will throw into stark relief the images behind your eyes.
    The best writing has begun and we await seeing the what emerges.
    tom

  2. Markus

    Nick,
    Came about your website first when we were getting for a year’s sailing sabbatical in early 2007 (all easy stuff compared to what you did). Have tremendously enjoyed following your journey while we were underway and even more since we’ve been back on dry land – almost a bit sad to see it come to an end… Admire you for your persistence (hope that’s the right word) in finishing what you set out to do. Thanks for sharing it and fair winds for whatever will come next in your life!
    Markus

  3. Justin

    I loved your trip, I hope to have half the adventure you’ve had. Take care in everything you do.

  4. William

    Well done, Nick. Looks like you had a great adventure. Thanks for sharing. A friend and I are in the process of refurbishing an O’day 28. You have been an inspiration to us, although our travel goals are a lot more modest than yours. I’m planning on doing some island hopping and a little of the Mexican coast next year, but the following year I want to go transatlantic and hit Portugal, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, & Greece.

  5. Lee

    Thanks for taking us along on a wonderful ride Nick. I know the sharing of your experience helped more than just myself stay motivated and find the courage to cut loose on our own crazy adventures at sea. Today I depart Colon, Panama for the first Panama Canal Lock at Gutan and tomorrow will be on the opposite side of the Pacific from you. Get the beer cold. Cheers Nick.

    Lee

  6. One thing about the Internet and a blog and story such as yours is that you really have no idea of the impact you have on others. It is exponentially expanded by this venue. You are a role model to many young people who aspire to adventure, and a comfort to older sailors who see the torch of great passages in small simple boats carried forward. Good luck and fair winds at your back.

    David

  7. Nick,
    I’ve been following your adventure since the Canaries. I’ve loved reading about your adventure and seeing all the great sights you’ve photographed throughout the trip. I’m planning a much smaller trip myself, around the Great Lakes this summer in an O’day 25 that’s I’m refurbishing. Some day I hope to something as grand and inspiring to others as what you’ve done here. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. It means a lot.
    -Brian

  8. Rusty Nelson

    Nick,
    I only recently heard of your adventure. It was a great one. Your story is somewhat like mine only I did mine over 30 years ago right after Robin Graham got back. I finished college like you did and then took my adventure at sea. It was just Hawaii and back but it set in motion a life style that I never got over. I lived on and sailed a sailboat for the next 25 years before I finally married and moved ashore.
    Congratulations on your success. Whats next??

    Rusty

  9. BJ

    Nick,

    Now that you have more ftime and you can be flexible with travel, i hope to see you into the Gulf of Mexico. I know that you are just arriving home, ending this voyage, but my season is about to start. I lived a lifetime of memories, reading your blog, then getting my own boat. You are always welcome to come to little Orange Beach, to visit with me, fish, sail and have a beer. Daedalus would be proud to have you aboard, she’s got plenty of room and the never ending list of “needs to be done” ! Good luck my friend AND STAY IN TOUCH !

  10. Sad to see Constellation go….it has been great following your trip. My great great grandfather was shipwrecked on Palmyra. I was sort of happy that you visited, that I got to see the photos and that you took the chart.

    Fair winds.

  11. Rita

    Wow Nick, you (and Constellation) made it!
    Well done. It’s been very cool following you around the world. I have cited your trip at numerous dinner parties and it has increased my street cred enormously.
    See you soon!
    Rita

  12. Hi Nick
    Don’t you think the blue water bug got you, and that soon enough you’ll be out there again? It’s been great having a red sister Contessa 26 crossing oceans. We’re going back to our Bika in just two weeks, and can’t wait – these 8 months on land has been a true endurance test. See you one day.

  13. Congratulations, Nick. Sad to see Constellation go but day-sailing in her would not be an option. “Experience is not what you’ve done but what you do with what you’ve done” (Aldous Huxley) You’ll be back. Thanks for sharing your journey so far.
    Bill

  14. Dear Nick,

    I always see my own boat as one of my best friends, although she is made of cold wood,plastic and metal, she brings you where you want to go and takes good care of you…. if you take good care of her. She also represents freedom which is most important I think. Anyway, because she represents so many more then just a boat, I can imagine it must have been hard to leave her in the hands of a new owner although he will take care of her. Its sad but you can always buy a new boat in the future 😉 !!!
    To be short, I have enjoyed your stories a lot and they are very helpfull in planning my own around the world trip starting next year. If you like, step onboard sometime…..
    I hope you will find your rhythm on land and live probably has a lot more adventures in stock for you !!! Take good care and thanks a lot for sharing your adventures !!!!

    Cheers,

    Bjorn

  15. crusty

    that was quite an adventure..can’t wait to see the movie!
    thanks for taking us all along on your voyage, nick!
    good luck with your next chapter, we’re all expecting great things of you. 😉

  16. Nick
    You’re a star in the sky. I take out my sextant and there you are, always there and leading me in the right direction. We project our dreams on these stars, and perhaps the explorers were wrong when they brought Faith and disease to the natives, but you are the explorer of today and I have to think that something better is out there and possible today. Something shared throughout history. With and without prejudice there is a simple longing for new skies every night. Thank you for being reliable and responsive like a star. History won’t forget your journey. I hope you carry the proud waves like trophies on your neck and accomplish more progressive feats that inspire the imagination.

    Cheers
    Justin Davey

  17. John Gayford

    Nick,
    Well done pal a huge effort.
    Falcon GT is in Whangarei NZ and I want to talk to you about some plans. Can you email me asap.
    Cheers

    John

  18. I think the story of having a little boat with very little budget and yet being able to sail across oceans is just mesmerizing. Such condition created a constant drama illustrated by the almost daily struggles with both physical and spiritual conditions in the story of the little boat and its captain, as they kept the hope to keep going.

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