We are Pauline and Mike Nixon.

Both originally from Birmingham, when we married in 1961 we moved to Malvern, Worcestershire, where Mike was employed by the MoD as a scientist in their Radar Research Establishment.

Mike has a degree in Applied Physics and Pauline one in Economics, Politics and Social Science.

After our two children were of school age Pauline took up a career in Social Work.

Living almost as far from the sea as it is possible to get in Britain we were basically land lubbers and our sailing started on the river Avon when, in 1970, Mike built our first boat, 'Freya', a Yachting Monthly 'Senior'.

The YM Senior is a 16 foot plywood bilge keeled sloop of hard chine construction and 'Freya' was built inside our garage at Malvern. It is interesting that the costs, carefully recorded throughout the construction, totalled some £270. This barely paid for 1 sheet of plywood when later we were fitting out 'Sundancer'.

'Freya' provided us with many years of fun while the children were growing up, purely day sailing on the Avon from Eckington, where we had riparian moorings at the old mill, either upstream to Nafford lock or downstream to Bredon and Tewkesbury.

During the '80s we took several flotilla sailing holidays in Greece and Turkey which then led on to bare-boat chartering in the Inner Hebrides on the west coast of Scotland.

Having now got the cruising bug, in 1985, a small legacy enabled us to purchase the hull and deck mouldings of a Colvic 'Countess 33', this being the largest boat we felt we could crane from the road, over our garage and into our garden.

The Boat section (this section is incomplete and under development at present) describes the building of 'Sundancer' over the following seven years.

'Sundancer' was launched at 'Queen Anne's Battery' marina, Plymouth, in May 1992 and was then kept on a marina berth at 'Clovelly Bay'(later 'Plymouth Yacht Haven') from where we spent the next ten years week-end cruising the local coastal waters with annual holiday cruises to North and West Brittany.

In 2002, both now being retired and also released from family responsibilities, we bit the bullet and 'Sundancer' left UK waters permanently on 1st June.

Our cruises around the coastline of France, N Spain, Portugal, S Spain, The Balearics, Sardinia, Corsica and on to Greece and Turkey are described in The Journeys