This book is a memoir of events that occurred 26 years ago. It is a tale of ferocious seas and wild winds, powerful currents and profound experiences. The reader will come to know the skipper, his boat and his crew. Instances of paranoia, addiction and malfunction exist alongside the mystery of the elements, the beauty of the universe, camaraderie, joy, freedom, adventure and love.
When casualty staff nurse Rosie fell in love with an old two-masted schooner in Whitby harbour little did she know how this would lead her into the adventure of a life time. With virtually no experience of sailing she nevertheless embarked in 1992 upon a six-month voyage aboard the Helga Maria as a deckhand and medic. Throughout the voyage the fury of the elements was a constant reminder of the dangers faced by those at sea, but there were kinder times, too, of sun-warmed decks, bare feet, laughter and the revelation of the disparate personalities with whom she rubbed shoulders.
The homeward stretch of re-crossing the Atlantic from Newfoundland was blighted by total engine failure, thus exposing the boat to drifting helplessly at the mercy of severe northerly gales and monstrous seas threatening to overwhelm them. Electrical failure rendered them incommunicado with the outside world, candle power was all there was to illumine the compass at night. Supplies ran low, hunger weakened them. Could they make it home safely?
Rosemary Redway lives in Kelso, Scottish Borders. She grew up in the West Riding of Yorkshire and trained as a staff nurse at Leeds General Infirmary, later becoming a theatre nurse after qualifying four years later. After marrying in 1957 and having four children, Rosemary and her husband separated and she moved to Whitby on the Yorkshire coast in 1797. It was here that she began her seafaring adventure.