Broken dreams


This week I broke my husbands heart….. 

The day of the sea trial arrived and we spent a beautiful morning sailing around Simpson bay, we stopped to test the anchor and await the bridge back into the lagoon and decided to fill the time with a swim. Whilst the whole family were hanging/dangling/standing on the anchor rope I said out loud what no one wanted to hear, but for me was weighing on my mind. “I want to go home.” Jim knew I was serious, he had known I was scared to put every penny we had into another boat and live on minimum spends, eat fish we caught and rice. I know my family and how much they like to eat, we would never survive and if we did it would be filled with children asking for ice creams, drinks which we couldn’t give them. I was also scared that once again it could all go wrong and the thought of ringing Falmouth coastguard and saying “hi it’s me again, any chance you could help!” No.  It was like we were starting all of over again, but in a rush and without any belongings and I just couldn’t face doing it all again. Well let’s just say it didn’t go down well and a week later my husband is only just starting to talk to me, because bless him he listened and even though I was taking away everything he wanted, crushing his dream, he let me go and spend the boat money on flights home and after an incredibly long two days of zig zag queues, airports and customs we are back in the U.K. Ok admittedly not in the same place because he needed time to get over his wife’s ultimate betrayal but we are all in the same country. And it is beautiful, green, lush, sunny!! Maybe not thirty plus degrees but still sun on your face, warm. I took the children to my mums where we were welcomed by obviously my mum but the missing member of this journey, our dog! Our water loving, always comes sailing, absolute joy to be with, Migvy! And oh it was good to see him.


I want to thank you all for following our journey and for all the support we’ve received, it’s not the adventure we were quite expecting but my goodness it has been an epic one. 

I would also like to thank the wonderful people we have met along the way.

The crew of Tilly Mint, Andrew, Arwyn , Will, Kat and Dan, the legend that is Mark Andrew Grebby, John Blair (ballyhoo), Tanya and Steve (la Vie), Paul (free spirit), Royce (Brisa302), Natasha, Chad and Robin (Puffin) and everyone in between. Thank you for everything xxxxx

So with that said I just want to say “James Coombes I am sorry” x

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23 responses to “Broken dreams

  1. Aw Fran. I bet it was pure joy to see Migvy again! You are an inspiring family and you should all be proud. Life throws curve balls but it’s having the balls to deal with it is what matters. Things may not have gone to plan but your lives are forever richer for the experience. And thank you for the blog. Always made a great read! 😉😊😘

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  2. ahhhhh , it’s such a shame, but that’s life sad to say many ups and a lot of downs. BUT u r all safe, healthy and back home, what more could u ask for. U all have been wonderful, inspirational and brave. Plans never do work out the way u think they r going to. At least u all did it. Well done all of us and I bet a million dollars Migvy is as happy as can be. Love to u all xxxxxxx

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  3. You have all been through quite an adventure. More than most people will achieve in a lifetime. You children have had the sort of education you cannot get from any school. They learnt about new countries, new animals/fish, and, most importantly, the kindness of others.
    Who knows where the future my lead you. Maybe this was just a rehearsal for the big one. Thank you sharing your amazing story with us. This is just the end of a chapter with many more to come. Please drop in every now and then and let us know how you are getting on. In a wonderful way, you feel part of the family!

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  4. Fran

    I have watched your journey and epic adventure from afar comfy in our East Coast, USA home. You have exhibited tremendous courage in the face of more adversity than the vast majority of us will ever experience. Through it all you always placed your love for your husband and children above your own welfare. Don’t regret your choice to choose not to go on. James is disappointed and it will take him some to get over this but, he will. God bless you and your family.

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  5. Hello Fran and James …. I totally ahree with everything Mike Reid has written above. Out of the tatteres of this dream something entirely new will emerge …. and you and your family will take a new path all the richer and stronger for this higely challenging chapter. XXX

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am really missing Migs. There is less movement in the house. No imploring eyes saying give me just a bit of what you are eating. No shadow to follow me round the house or up the garden. No sprawl to fall over in the kitchen or coming out of the bathroom. No gentle snoring from the sofa. No one to bounce on my feet when I’m filling the dog bowl. No bounding across the fields with a grin on his face. No crabwise sideways skulk of disobedience. You know Fran, I think you should go away again.xxxxxx

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  7. I agree with the previous comments…
    Not quite the adventure planned.. But what a bloody crazy 6 months you’ve had…
    I think your all superdooper..🤗

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  8. The right decisions are sometimes not the easiest to make and you know what is best for your little family. Think about all the amazing things you have been able to experience as a family and the stories your kiddos will be able to tell later down the road. Hold on to all the good memories and amazing experiences and be proud of what you have accomplished and sit back and marvel at how well you adapted when others would have crumbled. Just because you have gone home doesn’t mean an end to the incredible journey. Chin up and enjoy being home!

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  9. Have followed your story since hearing of it from Will & Kat’s youTube..

    You’ve made a parallel journey – one across an ocean – and the other – perhaps more difficult – was one more through spirit than geography…

    I was thrown by your final title – “Broken Dreams” – your intended journey was to bring your family closer and discover new horizons. I feel your mission has been a resounding success. Not only is your family stronger – it has grown.

    You took a strike from mother nature but were saved by the good nature of those you met along the way.

    Great writing, great story, thanks for sharing.

    Beast wishes to you all – Mark

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  10. I’ve followed this for a while and can’t help but ask what the outcome of the insurance is/was. I’m surprised that 4 months on you still haven’t had a payout. May I be so bold as to ask what happened there?

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  11. You are brave in all you do! Everyone is safe and the dog is happy, that is a good starting point! Enjoyed your posts, take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So many things zooming around my mind! But first, if I were there with you and even though I don’t know you, I’d hope you’d receive a hug. You guys have done such an awesome job making a go of living out a dream. The thing is with dreams that once you step out and try living them, they’re not all silver lined. And yours even though it hasn’t turned out how you thought – it has coloured your lives in so many ways. Sometimes you do have to draw the line and walk away. Sometimes you just need time to regroup, take stock, be ‘normal’ for a while. There will be many other dreams and adventures to be had. And oh the seeds you have sown in your children! You have shown them that there are different ways to live and adventures to be had that are REAL. You guys, regardless of stepping away, are inspiring. XX

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  13. Just sobbed reading this. Such a difficult and brave decision. Your family is awesome and you will have new adventures. Your kids already have an incredible global education that will stay with them for life. Don’t give up. Stay strong and stick together. Coming home and trying to slot back into your old life won’t be easy. X

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  14. Hi Fran! You did amazing girl. You gave it a fair chance and what can only be described as a true adventure, gave us all the chance to remember that there are a lot of good people out there and that we should be kind to one another. Your children will always remember this as a great adventure. They probably grew more during these few months than most children will in what we overrate as “the normal life”. So carry on! And please Keep writing, you have a talent for it. Best wishes to you and your beautiful family. Martha & Jeremiah / SV MAYA

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great story, told in great detail and writing style. I would love to hear how you all are doing. Like so many others I found you from the Tilly Mint YouTube video featuring the rescue. Watching the footage of you’re children being transferred from boat to life raft brought me to tears. It also got me hooked on your story. You all have did a great job making good of a possibly terrible situation. Glad you got to enjoy your time in the Caribbean, there are still a lot of great people in this world! Hope you all are doing well and are back on your feet. Best wishes from Iowa, USA. -Josh

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  16. To the Coombes, thank you for sharing your very personal story with us. I am sorry your adventure on the high seas is over but I am happy for your family that the second part of your trip was even more incredible. You can always plan and execute another adventure but there is no way to plan and then experience the spontaneous love, compassion and generosity you all received during your 3-1/2 months of island life in the Caribbean. I realize that for Jim, this may be little consolation if his dream of sailing the world with his family is now over or at least delayed. Fortunately you guys are young enough to recover financially and maybe give it another try in 20 years. And maybe then it’s a different kind of trip, where Fran sails with you on the segments of the route she is comfortable joining, then leaving and rejoining you again where she feels safe. Without the responsibility of young children on board, Fran’s level of anxiety during heavy weather may be more manageable.
    If you still need an extended family adventure that eliminates the possibility of your children drowning, consider a long trip on a “land-yacht” or Recreational Vehicle through Europe or the U.S. The concept is the same, living and traveling in a small confined space with new destinations to look forward to, learning about the sites you see, the history, the geology as you chart your course through oceans of sand and then mountains of granite and smooth still plains of farmland. If surfing is your primary interest, traveling the west coast of the U.S. and then joining the gringo trail south to Mexico and then through Central America will expose you to a multitude of surf locations on the Pacific Ocean. Many couples do this living out of a Van, families do it living out of a bus or RV of some sort. It can be done on a small budget. Wishing you the best in the next chapter of your exceptional life.

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  17. An amazing and inspiring story. I agree with the comment that though the trip didn’t work out the way you originally imagined, I hope you’ll all see it as a huge success. I fear my children will have too constrained a perspective of life – and would love to have shared this experience with them – sans mid-Atlantic adventure, of course. Your children, on the other hand, have seen wonders, beauty and the very best that people can be – heroes and Samaritans. They’ll have a meter stick with which to judge the world and their lives that I only hope my children will know. Thanks for sharing your story and all the best.

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