Welcome to this blog of Lilly Bolero – an account of her journey from the Cleddau estuary in Wales, out over the Bristol channel, the English Channel, southward and Westward over the seas and oceans beyond, to revisit some faraway places and discover new. Our primary objective and destination being New Zealand from where we will plan our next move.

I, Kieran, first found Lilly B in New Zealand over 12 years ago and have since then sailed, some in the South Pacific, before the 4-year sail back to Wales. The route was over the top of Australia, up through Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, The Andamans, back down the West coast of Sumatra before crossing the Indian ocean to Madagascar, round South Africa, over to the Caribbean where I spent 2 years and met Nono. After returning across the Atlantic we had our 6 year ‘Welsh interlude’ – doing extensive work on Lilly, learning the art of parenting and the art of existing within, and growing a community.

So why are we headed back to sea?

What do we hope to achieve?

What’s new about this journey?

It wasn’t an easy decision! Leaving family, taking grandchildren away from grandparents, adoring aunties, uncles and cousins. Leaving friends and community, a supportive web that takes years to build, and of course the stronger that community got the more value we saw in it, and the results of what a community can achieve offer a great antidote to so many of the world’s ills, a topic we will endeavour to embrace in the future!

So why leave all this? Life on the water offers a number of attractions – it is considerably simpler than the life we managed on land: no vehicles, no rent, very low living costs, so no work, no social obligations – our world is this boat and the weather that rocks it; so long as we keep her in good order and food on the table, life is good! After that we have time – time to read, write, discuss, to explore our surroundings, to share time and learn from the cultures and people we encounter, to create and maybe most importantly for Nono and I at this stage to spend time with Seren and Morla who we feel will benefit massively from this lifestyle, its closeness to nature, and the diversity travelling offers.

Sun, sea, sand and exotic countries will certainly be fine lubricants for these aims.

With all this time to discuss, reflect, analyse and discuss again, and with a certain degree of detachment from the bustle and buzz of our life ashore, I find it fertile ground to ponder our roles and objectives within society as a whole and how I hope to integrate and play a positive role in the future. So this journey is of a physical and psychological nature, points that I believe complement each other greatly.

There are other characteristics of this voyage that differ from previous voyages. It is now a family boat, Seren and Morla being largely the life and soul of daily life. But we also have Nick who has been closely involved with Lilly’s preparations, even built his own bunk! He might as well be called family! Rowena has changed tack from life ashore to embrace this totally new life with gusto and determination. And Jean-Marc, old friend, pro sailor, always with fuel for discussion and great at washing up! With this more permanent core crew instead of the more fluid crew Lilly has previously hosted we will have different challenges and rewards. We are keen to keep spare bunk space too for fresh bods and visitors to pass through!

We are feeling our way with the blog and I hope various crew will contribute. Hope you enjoy it!

(For more about Lilly and her story, the places and people she has has known, have a look at our website: www.lillybolero.co.uk)

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