Tom Crean – An Unsung Hero

Some of you will recognise the iconic picture of Tom Crean, one of the greatest characters in the history of polar exploration. Crean may not be a household name when compared to the likes of Shackelton and Scott. However Crean is a great example of the many people who risked their lives to go to places mankind had ever dared to go before. It is incredible to read what they went through during those times. They had a completely different threshold for endurance which we do not come close to today. We only think we know about hardship. Reading this book during the Winter in Canada makes me realise that most modern people have no real complaints and I will think twice when complaining of the cold!Tom Crean hailed from County Kerry, Ireland. He was one of the hardest humans that ever lived. He managed to travel and explore the Antarctic on three occasions. If you do not know this inspiring story we highly recommend reading An Unsung Hero. Crean’s story is one of ingenuity, survival and heroism. He is one of the many people who have inspired us to keep travelling and exploring.#thelastfrontier #discovery #endurance #terranova #polar #southpole #antarctic #unsunghero #tomcrean #anasaul #exploration #anunsunghero #scott #shackleton #polarexploration #hero #survival

Dismal Swamp

Yesterday we went through the first section of the Dismal Swamp. It’s safe to say it is far from dismal! When heading north on the ICW there are two routes to reach Norfolk, Virginia and several cruisers avoid the Dismal Swamp due to debris. The army has undertaken a two year project to clear and clean up the swamp. The swamp now looks incredible and should not be avoided. Also there are loads of turtles here 🐢🐢🐢

#dismalswamp #icw #Northcarolina #virginia #intercoastalwaterway #cruising #boatlife #travel #swamp #wildlife #timelapse #sailing #yacht #turtlepower #turtle #gopro #boattimelapse

​An Gobadán: the Long Way

When we were sailing in Galicia, Spain we met up with Jasmine another Irish sailing vessel. One of the crew was intrigued by our journey and wrote this incredible poem for An Gobadán

We cannot control the sea,

but we can learn to surf the waves:

even as dead mariners

turn in their graves.

An expanse of ocean,

blue infinity;

nothing is as deep or strong

as the pull of the sea.

Where blue capped hills of foaming grey

touch the leaden endless sky;

where birds in spare solitude,

sighted, fly by.

Set the course a-southing,

wherever you must go:

a distant shore, another land,

new shore-tides’ ebb and flow.

For a sure and simple crossing,

wind it must set fair,

to take us from this starting point,

to somewhere over there.

To sail the formless water,

long-roll of the sea,

another waiting ocean;

be alive and free.

To face the seas’ pernicious forms,

in the dark of night:

roar of the water, the wind

or a silent moving light.

A test for land-worn senses,

which were seldom meant to be

alone under a bowl of stars –

captive to an endless sea.

After ship-bound days and nights,

tiller, rope in hand,

a present, moving shadow:

promise of the land.

Draws up, takes shape, calls out

a sirens’ cry of hope.

Journeys end, passage done,

arrive intact, afloat.

As silent long-dead mariners

turn in their graves,

we have not controlled the sea,

but have learned to surf the waves.

Philip Mackeown

Vlog 001 – A Sailing Adventure

Our first Vlog!!

We’ve put together a short video documenting our current progress on the boat. We hope this will be the first of many videos.

In this episode we are removing some of the rust from the hull and covering the steel with We also so some interior work – lots and lots of painting!

Enjoy the video!

Guess how many times Irial can say the word ‘hard’ in the space of 60 seconds?!

CANON 600D –
CANON LENSE 18-135mm –

INSTAGRAM –   Instagram

MUSIC: Song “Blazing Day” appearing on “Cullahnary School” by Cullah
Available at:
Under CC BY SA license


Let there be light

The lights we had on the boat were old fluorescent tubes that ran on 12v. They were properly quite efficient from their time bbut that was 2 years ago and lighting technology has come a long way since then.


I went online and ordered some 12v LED lights that looked like they  would work for our situation, like everything you buy online I was not sure of the quality of the product I was buying so I only ordered two. On arrival I was pleasantly surprised to find the lights were much brighter than I was expecting and more that adequate for our needs. Here is a link to them


We ordered the larger version with 2 LED strips in them. We are going to order more of this size to fit in the salon, galley, chart table and work shop but I think they might be too bright for the cabins. We’ll have to find some nice small ones, maybe with a pivoting head.


We also got some 12v to USB sockets for charging electronics. I’m going to go into the power system in more detail in another post but for now here is the USB sockets. I have them mounted in a case I 3D printed.


Safety First Kids!

We got some new protective gear this weekend to help with the boat maintenance. Here’s Ciara with her new gloves and mask.


And here’s Ciara working with the ankle grinder.


And about 20minutes later Ciara was on her way to the hospital. The ankle grinder slipped and Ciara ended up getting stitches along her baby finger. It can so easily happen. You should always be prepared and have a first aid kit onboard.

On the plus side Ciara now has an awesome scar!

Paddy’s Special

Saint Patrick’s weekend was a productivity weekend on An Gobadan. We both had four days off work so we made the most of the break. Rhys Walters and Sinead Crowley both helped us both over the weekend which always makes the work that bit more enjoyable.

This weekend we focused on sanding and painting much to the interior.

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Thank god for white spirits it saved many of my mistakes!

Irial and Rhys worked on the exterior of the boat. The ankle grinder was going for most of the weekend. They got most of the rust off the Wheel House. Rust is Irial’s nemesis, he cannot wait for the day that scientists come up with a cure for rust! After the rust was removed we used Jotamastic 87 2pac epoxy primer to protect the steel.

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We also got the sink fixed. They got the fittings cleaned and inserting new plumbing fixtures. Our oven has also been cleaned up and it looks like new!

Before cleaning:

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After cleaning:




All in all we are delighted with our progress and next weekend is another long weekend so not long more until she is seaworthy again!