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Offshore Cruising interview: Team Aroura

East Coast Kit for me has always been about a love of sailing. The conversations we have weekly about all kinds of sailing are fascinating and one of the great things about working with Elvstrom sails is our work in ocean sailing (sometimes called blue water sailing).

Offshore and ocean sailing is more popular than ever. Be it racing (The Ocean Race, Vendee Globe) or making it a way of life with round the world cruising. The notion of crossing oceans on a sailing boat is almost universally captivating.

While the high adrenaline world of Ocean Racing archives the lion’s share of sailing press I wanted to look at the more lifestyle based round the world yacht sailing and how people are making the jump from Terrafirma to blue water (ocean) living.

Two of my very good friends are now very close to achieving their goal of sailing off around the world with their children on a recently acquired Hanse 531.

They’ve made the move to the boat and very recently set off. To say they have a lot on is a spectacular understatement, but if any two people are up to it it’s the husband-and-wife team of Oli and Fee Southgate (Oli who co-runs his family-owned white goods and electrical retailer Staines and Brights, and Fee a Paediatric Doctor).

I visited them on the boat this spring to see how preparations are going and find out a little more about the adventure that lays ahead.

· Obvious question guys, how are you finding it living onboard a boat full time?

· What made you pick the Hanse 531?

· When do you plan on heading off and is there a route you have in mind? Life at sea, how do you plan?

· What modifications have you made to the yacht for life on the oceans?

· East Coast Kit Upgrades to the yacht. Running rigging and new sails.

· Keeping everyone protected from the elements onboard is going to be essential. You recently bought a full set of Zhik gear for the boat. What choices were most important to you when looking for gear?

· I’m sure there will be a lot of people reading this that would love to follow your adventure and see your progress over the coming weeks, months and years. What will be the best way for people to check in on your progress and see what you’re getting up to?

Many thanks for the catch up today and going over the details of your incredible plans.

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