With friends who are experienced sailors, Trevor sailed around Poole harbour, to
Swanage, the Isle of Wight, and all around that area off the coast of southern England and
he asked his friends to show him what 'TaKiLi' could do, while he observed and learned as much from them as he
Trevor moved to Portsmouth and began to acquire more sailing experience as the boat was now only 60 miles away from his workplace, instead of much further afield, as it had been before.
Things were steadily improving and, after six months of keeping 'TaKiLi' in Portsmouth harbour, Trevor decided to move the boat to Brighton Marina, further east along the
Unfortunately, the day he had chosen, to accommodate a friend who was joining him on the trip, was Saturday 5th November 1995 , the day on which the British annually celebrate the attempt,
by a gentleman called Guy Fawkes, to blow up the Houses of Parliament in the mid-seventeenth century. This they do by lighting huge bonfires in every community and setting
off as many fireworks as resources will allow. In some neighbourhoods this
makes for a massive spectacle. Coming down from Portsmouth harbour to Brighton, one normally navigates by the south coast navigation marks, at night
these are in the form of lights. On 'bonfire night' as November 5th is generally
called, the whole coast is a blaze of lights!
Nonetheless, the pair managed to get the best advantage of the tides and to avoid
a storm, arriving two hours ahead of it, and it took them a total of nine and a half hours to go the 45 miles.
The boat was hauled out and put on the hard (propped upright on flat ground in a boatyard) a week later.
Trevor moved on board at the end of November to start work on the osmosis treatment, a general refit, wiring and engine work. He took a job programming with the Sun Alliance insurance company, in Horsham, but was longing to leave the country.
Crossing the Atlantic was the focus of his life, and
Trevor made sure of it by putting up photographs of islands and boats and by pasting statements of his intent and positive messages where he would see them
frequently, to remind him of his purpose. He put up a list of things to be done and began working through
it, managing to stick with his job and his schedule of works to the boat for a
year, even living in a car park during the osmosis treatment!
Trevor had contracted the services of a company to peel the hull but they failed
to appear and he set out every night after work with a hot air blower, getting home at 5am every
morning. It took four months to complete the job, the peeling having to be done inch by inch at a rate of about one square foot per
hour. The hull had to be dried out and then faired (made smooth) before being
Whilst waiting for the hull to dry out, Trevor learnt to dive, first with the British Sub-Aqua Club and then he took the Padi Advanced open water course. In the late summer of 1996, around the end of September, he went on a trip to Malta for a couple of weeks diving. That was fun. The osmosis treatment completed, he put 'TaKiLi' back in the water towards the end of October 1996 and was living aboard in a typical British winter. All was not well:
" I used to get home from work, light the cabin heater, which was fuelled by
kerosene, and put on my thermal diving under-suit, over thermal
underwear, on top of which I would put on a woollen cardigan, thick socks and sometimes even more clothing to keep me warm while I waited for the boat to heat up.
Over time, everything started to stink of kerosene. I used to go into the local chandlery quite
often, for materials, and when I was in there one day, someone commented on the strong smell of kerosene and wondered what was causing
it. I said ' I think it's me'.
The next day, the weather starts off grim but, later, the sun is coming out and I see a mist hanging across the
cabin. The heater has been on most of the day and I'm a bit alarmed. I think maybe I'm gassing
myself. By judicious movement of mirror and flashlight, I manage to spot vapour leaking into the flame of the
heater... there's a fracture in the burner, and I've been in danger of carbon monoxide
Having decided to become an independent contract
programmer, Trevor found out how resentful permanent employees can be towards
contractors, perhaps feeling their own job security threatened by the
concept. Nonetheless, he was determined to stay self-employed.
Gratefully accepting the offer of a contract from a firm in Scotland, Trevor headed north but had only been there two months
when, in the middle of 1996 his sister, Beverley, fell ill and was told she needed a heart
transplant. Trevor returned south immediately to be with her and the surgeons decided that a quadruple bypass might work for
By October, Beverley was recovering well and Trevor found work with Sphere
Drake, an insurance company in Brighton.
"It seems ironic that my last job was the sort of job I'd always
wanted. They were really nice people to work for and I was happy there, but it was time to be going and fulfill my plan.
They seemed to like my work and wanted me to stay on, so I stayed just one more
month, then just another fortnight, then just one more week and I really felt I had to get on with my
future, so I left in April 1997 even though I was giving up a potential 100,000 pounds a
Trevor had been saving money up to travel with, spending money on the boat, working hard and now he was ready to
"have a life". He has the feeling the local chandlery must have been sorry to see his wallet
go! The idea, in the coming months before the onset of winter, was to finish off the work on the
The year before, the osmosis treatment had been finished and the hull thickened with epoxy, now it was time to fit out the interior and install the rest of the boats' equipment. There was plenty to do above and below decks, fitting doors, new cabinets, the toilet was completely rebuilt, new locker doors were fitted, radar and GPS (global positioning system) were installed. The Petter engine (pre-Lister) was overhauled, roller furling gear for the headsail installed, the list seemed endless.
There was an unusual amount of rainfall in 1997. Trevor would work above decks while the going was good and then have to stop work for a day after rain while everything dried out, doing whatever there was time to fit in between rain
At last 'TaKiLi' was almost ready, and Trevor began to tell friends he would soon be
Towards the middle of September, friends said they were planning to sail to the Channel
Islands, why not start his voyage by sailing out in company with them.
It seemed a good idea to get going and Trevor agreed to leave when they
The story continues...