Couple To Sail Round The World

Alistair and Jill MacLean

Alistair and Jill MacLean

A man who learned to sail in Scilly is setting off on a round-the-world journey from St Mary’s on Monday.

Alistair MacLean is islander Fiona Maybrey’s brother. He first took to the water in the 1970s following sailing instruction from Peter Smith at Porthloo.

It’s been a lifetime ambition for Alistair and he and wife Jill have sold their car, home and possessions, ready to head for Spain, the Caribbean and South America. Their only deadline is to reach Islay in Scotland by October 2015, when a family-owned cask of whisky matures.

From Radio Scilly

Alistair and Jill Maclean talk about their upcoming journey

The couple got off to a worrying start on day one of the trip, after their 43ft Oyster 435 started taking on water off Ramsgate. They were towed into port by a lifeboat after the engine then packed up in a force 7 gale although Alistair says the problem was fixed quickly.

Jill doesn’t think she’ll miss anything from home although Alistair is worried how he’ll cope without supplies of marmalade and real ale.

Alistair said they’ve lived and worked together for a long time so are prepared for being in close proximity for months on end. But he said they deliberately bought a boat with two cabins, just in case!

Alistair says sailing to Scilly was one of his trip highlights and the couple say they’ll have a reminder of the islands with them at all times. They’ve bought one of Peter’s paintings of Bar Point, which will take pride of place in their saloon.

Jill meanwhile, is looking forward to Antigua and being able to sail in a bikini rather than a woolly hat.

Alistair may write down his experiences in a book and says, having never attempted a trip like this before, it’ll either last five years or will end very rapidly.