I want to call this honesty hour. Because I’ve got a few things to share with you.
Edouard has left the boat and is not coming back. I have been away from Papageno for a week in France to see him face to face. We love each other very much, but we’ve decided to take a break and go back to our own countries to repair.
Wow. There. It’s out.
Edouard has followed me on this journey for the past six months. He is the kindest and most wonderful person I have ever met. I have not loved someone as deeply as him, and I pray in the future, the Universe brings him back to me, if it’s the thing that we are both destined for. I hope there is a reason for all of this. I hope there is a meaning to all of this. I have to continue having faith in myself to see me through.
And so, I am here with Papageno and my future.
My world revolves around expectations, fear and stubbornness. I do not want to fail my boat. I do not want to fail you guys.
But I’ve made a decision.
I will be selling Papageno.
We have come so far with her. But I need to go home back to England to repair my heart.
I am utterly spent and fractured.
So what does this mean now?
Surely you didn’t think the adventure was over?
I haven’t gone through this evolution of myself over the past two years for nothing. I haven’t been through all of this to break now.
I will be getting another boat within the new year- in Europe, may I add. For safety, comfort and my spirit, I want to be close to home. I also want to be close to France so Edouard and I can see each other.
I want to think on my happiness, and England is calling me to give me a huge hug. And so, the next project beckons. I have my to-do list with Papageno and I am going to do my best to do the repairs I can so I can say that she has been “restored”. Maybe- minus a rig! She will be sold with her beautiful repaired and fortified masts, her engine improved, cleaned and sporting that beautiful new head gasket, the interior repainted and made beautiful.
I do not want to fail her.
But I do not want to fail myself.
So what does this mean now? It means you will all be plunged into a world of us repairing Papageno in Martinique, it means you will follow me as I am honest about doing this solo (as I have not wished to share the details since Edouard and I have been trying to fix things,) it also means that you will be with me on another hunt for a boat- probably on a journey that you actually didn’t expect. I will be showing you a Britain that I love. I will be showing you how Leela takes to her new life. And even if Edouard and I come back together again. Or not.
I am sharing this with you all now, because you have been so loyal to me.
I am sharing this with you all now because I want to.
I need to.
I will be working on forwards as a writer and an artist. The very things that make me happy but I’ve had nearly no time for. I’ve always wanted to start up my own business, selling my illustrations, using my art to create homeware, clothing and ceramics. I’ve wanted to learn how to make pottery, to sew properly, to create with oil paintings. I wanted to learn how to work with glass, to make jewellery, to work with wood and metal. I’ve wanted to create more children’s books, spending time to illustrate with watercolour and ink. I’ve wanted to continue with my series of books, The Contract of Maddox Black and The Girl with Nine Lives. And I want to continue to film, showing you the Britain I love, discovering the places that history, mystery and intrigue wraps around like smoke. I also want to share with you as I get back to my homeland and pretty much just let my hair down. Because face it, after the past six months, a girl needs to blow off some steam, doesn’t she?
I have no idea where my future lies. I had thought my future was bound for the unexplored islands and crystal blue waters with the French Vagabond by my side. I didn’t foresee that I would be going home with a dog instead. But for now, the rolling green fields of Britain with her ancient forests and crumbling castles are calling me.
Home is calling me.
Currently, it’s raining in France. Edouard is helping me type up the announcement in French to various boat sales websites. There’s a strange sort of peace about it.
He leaves to his new job in Marseille in a few days. We’re spending what time we have left together, although I feel sick each time I think about saying goodbye.
I’ve struggled the past few months thinking that it has been because of me. Because of the boat, Because of my choices. But the truth is, Edouard wants to follow his own path for a while. And I respect that. He has been travelling for nearly seven years now and needs to find his own direction. His own purpose. He cannot simply follow me. My turtle saving partner who I found on a tiny island in the middle of the South Atlantic deserves everything that can make him happy and more. I thank my stars every day for meeting him. I thank Neptune for Delos for bringing me to that island. And I give myself a pat on the back for making the first move.
It was all worth it.
Edouard wants to do his diving qualifications and wants to get back to helping the homeless associations and ocean preservation efforts. He’s a better person than I and he inspires me every day.
I sit here with a bittersweet feeling in my stomach. Is this what the Universe wants? Is it guiding me in a different direction? Where am I supposed to go?
We got so far with Papageno. But I don’t think I am doing her justice any more. She needs someone with a renewed fire in their belly who has the expertise to see this through.
My skills are restricted. And yes I could learn. But at this moment in time, I do not have the heart to stay in the Caribbean and work on her whilst everyone I love is in Europe. I have to go back.
Because at the end of the day, there are thousands of boats in the world. The people you love are one of a kind.
I intend on using the money from Papageno’s sale, and from the money I make through the remainder of the year, to buy a boat in January/February in the UK, taking everything I have learned about boats to see me through safely this time. Maybe I should mention that it will be a narrowboat. The risk of me dying on a canal with no one to help me seems rather small in comparison to drifting out at sea.
We are selling Papageno with everything inside, her fixed masts and her dingy for 13,000 euros- open to offers.
This boat is a special boat. She was one of the first fiberglass boats built by Henri Amel. She is nearly fifty years old with a unique spirit and an incredible amount of potential. There is a rigger ready to get going on her in Martinique, the masts are getting fixed next week, and there’s a quote for $1700 to get her safety rail on portside completely replaced. If you’re good with electricity, and don’t mind doing a spot of fiberglass on the deck (or finding someone who will) Papageno is a brilliant opportunity to take her to the next level.
Because, she’s a good boat.
And she deserves a better Captain.
I share this with you because you are here on this journey. I share this because I’ve been so scared to speak about what has been going on. I’ve been terrified. Of what people will think, of what they will say, of me, of Edouard, about everything.
And that’s not how I want to make the decisions in my life that will make me happy.
I want to make these choices to follow my heart without being afraid.
And so, this is a message to you, to tell you that our journey has taken a swift kick sideways in a direction that we never anticipated. This is also a message to you to say that I hope you will still be a part of my family and follow me on this new and terrifying adventure of returning to England and taking everything I have learned from Papageno and getting a boat on the river.
I send you all of mine and Edouard’s love. And our thanks.
Leela and I are looking forward to our next adventure.