Sailing Adventures Aboard the Mighty Zircon explores Lizzy Bolan's journey from novice sailor to liveaboard cruiser. A good read for those just starting to sail
Sailing Adventures Aboard the Mighty Zircon
When Lizzy Bolan met her future husband Rob she met his boat as well.
Rob owned a Gibsea 92, appropriately named Cloud Nine which he kept near Portsmouth.
The couple moved in together, Cloud Nine moved to Fareham to be near them. They joined the Fareham Sailing and Motor Boat Club.
The following spring, they found the confidence to make their first channel crossing.
Sailing Adventures aboard the Mighty Zircon details the step-by-step process by which they build their sailing confidence, encouraging each other to explore a little further on every summer holiday and making the most of the friendship of other club members.
Lizzy is clearly a good organiser as well as innately positive personality and volunteers to become club cruiser captain.
Most of this book describes their excursions to the Channel Islands and Brittany, venturing as far as the Gulf of Morbihan.
From buying a suitable yacht to negotiating 371 locks, three tunnels and travelling 1,400 miles from Fareham, Lizzy Bolan shares…
Julia Jones reviews Old Man Sailing, John Passmore's account of his 3,639 mile solo voyage to escape the COVID-19 lockdown
Julia Jones, Yachting Monthly's literary reviewer discusses A Pensioner’s Folly by Chris Ayres
The best sailing books of 2021? Julia Jones reviews the latest maritime reading
Quite early in their relationship, Lizzy and Rob became inspired by the dream of sailing to the Mediterranean and living aboard their boat.
They replaced Cloud Nine with a centre cockpit Beneteau Oceanis 36CC which they renamed Zircon.
They made steady progress towards the moment when they had drawn up their budget, rented out their homes, sold or stored their possessions and resigned their jobs.
The book ends as they say their goodbyes and move on board.
In some ways it’s an everyday story as there will be other couples who take up sailing in middle age and develop similar pre-retirement dreams.
Many, however, will never finally turn the dream into reality.
One of the strengths of this book is its steadiness of purpose and positivity – favourite adverbs are ‘enthusiastically’, ‘excitedly’, ‘eagerly’, ‘happily’.
Lizzy Bolan may not be a natural writer but she’s clearly determined and well-organised.
If she says she intends to carry on enjoying and writing about their sailing adventures, I have no doubt that she will.
Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence.
Enjoyed reading Sailing Adventures Aboard the Mighty Zircon: book review?
A subscription to Yachting Monthly magazine costs around 40% less than the cover price.
Print and digital editions are available through Magazines Direct – where you can also find the latest deals.
YM is packed with information to help you get the most from your time on the water.
- Take your seamanship to the next level with tips, advice and skills from our experts
- Impartial in-depth reviews of the latest yachts and equipment
- Cruising guides to help you reach those dream destinations