Sunday, February 24, 2008

Our Story - The Beginning

This blog is going to be the story of how my dad Edgar ("Sim") Simpkins and I sailed to Australia from England on a 26 foot Stella Class yacht "Stella Mira" in 1968 /1969. For more information on Stella class yachts see and

My dad was 52 and I was 19. Now that my dad is 92, I want to put this story down while he is still around to fill out the details. When my parents announced that they were going to emigrate to Australia I was 18, still at school doing “A” levels. I felt very rebellious, I didn’t want to go, I had a boyfriend and a social life, all my friends were here in Bristol. Then my dad announced that he was only going to Australia if he could sail there in his own yacht. That put the cat in the works with my mum who wanted to emigrate to join her sister and her family in Perth.

Eventually mum accepted that dad was going to sail but decided she didn’t want to sail in a small yacht herself. Then one day a family friend Tich who was a couple of years older than me told me that he intended to ask my dad if he could go with him and we started talking about all the places dad would visit on the way and I realized what a wonderful opportunity this would be to see the world so then came the next ultimatum, from me this time, “I’m only going to Australia if I can go with dad on the boat”

No boat existed at this time, my dad still had to buy one, but there we were both sailing to Australia. I was going for the adventure and travel and wasn't focused on the sailing so much, so I mostly remember all the exciting bits, whereas dad was focused on the sailing, the boat and the challenges so he remembers a lot more of the detail than I do.
I recently discovered all the letters that my dad and I wrote to our family during our trip and will use them in this blog. I'm starting with a piece that my mother wrote many years ago. Unfortunately Mum died 2 years ago, so this is the only piece I have from her. It gives her version of how we started.


Burt Family said...

What an amazing adventure. I stumbled upon your blog site and would love to hear how the sailing went!

Penny said...

It's coming but slowly, I'm not a fast typist, check in now and then to hear about some of the amazing things that happened to us, there'll be one coming up soon about the fiasco we had trying to enter the port of Vigo

Anonymous said...

Is your boat's name Stella Myra as in the Afloat letter to Editor or Stella Mira as in this blog? Good read so far and I have read your Mum's note. I remember the late 60s, devouring PBO, and books like From White Cliffs to Coral Reefs by Bill Howell the Aussie dentist working in UK, Eric & Susan Hiscock volumes, William Albert Robinson, Marinb Marie, and and ... ASR

gypsy genie said...

charlie and jeanie from australia.
we both love maritime adventures.
cant wait to read of your journey