Mystic 60 JUST JOIA is very much part of the Hubbard family. Since buying her in 2003, she has had two large refits (the most recent one in 2017 to prepare her for the Pacific) and they have sailed many miles. Adventures include five Transatlantics, and in addition to the Caribbean, East Coast of the USA and the Mediterranean, she has cruised the lovely waters of Norway to 70 degrees North.
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Team Hubbard’s next adventure was to have been crossing the Pacific to visit family in New Zealand but that will have to wait for another day and a new owner. JUST JOIA however, is eager to go. In the meantime, here are some tales about the story so far…
Western Mediterranean – Azores to Gibraltar and beyond to Barcelona
Sailing back from the Azores, we were becalmed on the Trafalgar Bank just south of Cadiz. As the morning wind blew up and before we knew it, and in a trice, the wind picked up and we found ourselves on a broad reach racing through the Straits of Gibraltar at a full boat speed of 14 knots, watched by waiting family ashore. The bow wave was huge as we streaked to our destination and then suddenly the wind dropped! What an exhilarating ride.
Western Mediterranean – Mallorca
The end of A-levels celebration was a sailing holiday in the Balearic Islands with as many school friends as possible. Indeed anybody who could find a few square inches of deck space to sleep on was welcome. Not that much sleeping took place anyway and what a full boat – people sleeping in the cockpit, on the aft deck and in the saloon. Only two rules – obey the skipper at all times and one person has to stay sober to pull the others out of the water! Thankfully, no one fell in. Such fun having them all there.
Arctic Norway – Lofoten Islands & beyond
2am and we are watching a pod of orca whales swimming around us feeding in the glorious yellowy midnight sun with the GPS indicating we were passing 70 degrees North. Unreal. Def. one of my David Attenborough moments!
The guidebook said to look out for sea eagles. I looked up and there was one posing for us!
Climbed to the top of the mountain above the town of Reine for the incredible view. The French couple descending with us commented that it was hotter than Vesuvius in summer (well almost!).
Arctic Norway – Trollfjorden
Another close encounter but this time with one of the huge Hurtigruten ferries entering as we were leaving this breath taking but narrow and very deep fiord. Quite a daunting moment.
Over the years, we have moored the boat in our favourite spots in the Caribbean, Atlantic Islands, Europe and home waters at St. Helier, Lymington, Hamble Point and Dover, near our home in Kent.
Dover to St Katherine Marina, Tower Bridge
Dover was colder than anyone could remember. JUST JOIA was covered in snow and the sails were frozen but we were taking her to London for a Christmas break. Dennis and Samantha were on board with our friend Guy who we had met in the Azores. Going through the Thames Barrier with a hot water bottle tucked under our jackets and finally seeing Tower Bridge appear in the distance as we rounded the last bend was truly memorable. It made the cold fingers and toes well worth it.
Cross Channel Day Trips
Another glorious beam reach in the mid winter’s day sunshine. Just the two of us on board. Once more, we could not quite beat the ferries across the channel but came very close. Good fun trying!
Isle of Wight – Lymington
Drifting along in light breezes admiring the views whilst listening to Test Match Special being broadcast from someone else’s boat over Channel 16. A very polite coastguard admonished the culprit with a real sense of humour.
One of the most beautiful moorings we have ever visited. Alex, Alan and Jo motored down from London to join us – a good evening was enjoyed in the riverside inn before all customers made a dash for the door and their RIBs to get back to the boat before the ebbing tide left them stranded ashore for the night.
Great natural anchorage right in the middle of the “Y” of the rivers. Why had we never come here before? We set sail on the late evening tide for Jersey and arrived so early we kept going for a real French croissant breakfast in St Malo. A beautiful starlight crossing.
Atlantic Islands – Terceira, Azores
Arrived exhausted at midnight after a bumpy ride from Madeira and tied up in Angra do Heroismo. Woken at dawn by a cockerel and peeked out to check the mooring lines. I was blown away by the sight of the beautiful World Heritage town right in front of us. The view of the church right beside the marina will remain with me forever. One of my fav. spots. A place to be visited again!
Atlantic Islands – Faial, Azores
Another amazing marina buzzing with boats of all sizes on their Atlantic crossings. The backdrop of the neighbouring island of Pico with its volcano made for a scenic stop. In the tradition, we left our painting on the harbour wall.
Atlantic Islands – Ponta Delgada, Azores
With Steve and his friend Jane from Uni. Decided to walk around the crater rim above the Lagoa das Sete Cidades (Seven Sisters Lake). It has to be one of the best walks ever. The hedges of blue hydrangeas were so pretty. We all gave it 11 out of 10! The following day we had a visit to Parque Terra Nostra. Its serenity and 18th century design was unforgettable although, unlike many other visitors, I did not relish the idea of bathing in the yellowy thermal hot pools.
Atlantic Islands – Gomera, The Canaries
Henry’s sister, brother and partners joined us from the UK and we had a great walk up into the National Forest with them. A couple of days later the forest caught fire and Emma took pictures of the ash in her morning bowl of cornflakes on deck in the marina.
Atlantic Islands – La Palma, The Canaries
Hired a car to see a bit of the island. Drove up to the observatories with scientists from all over the world studying the skies. Stopped the car on the way back after dinner (at night) and made everyone get out just to stargaze – the view of the Milky Way was awesome – sad we don’t see it in our towns nowadays.
ARC Crossing Las Palmas
The marina was buzzing in preparation and anticipation of everybody’s forthcoming Atlantic Crossing. With last minute checks to the boat complete and with fuel tanks full, with lockers stuffed with dried foods and fridges full of perishables, we were off! JUST JOIA was like a Tardis!
Day 5 of our Transatlantic crossing. Two sperm whales breaching about two miles away! Everyone out on deck. Then we saw another two asleep on the surface about 1/2 mile away. Stealthily we drifted towards them and were within 150m before they decided to dive. All six of us had tremendous photos from that experience.
The bread maker proved once again to be a winner on our ocean passage. Nothing like the smell of fresh bread to keep the spirits up! A fresh fish or two also made a good addition for suppertime whilst watching the sunset.
Caribbean – St Lucia, Windward Islands
A lovely sight finally loomed on day 19 of our Transatlantic crossing from the Canaries – a longer crossing than usual. Like every other boat, we had been becalmed off the Cape Verde islands but once the Trade Winds blew up, we raced across to St Lucia. The ARC officials were there in St Lucia to greet us amid the hooters and sirens from all the other boats who arrived with us. The welcome boat side rum and punch cocktail did wonders to restore us before the lovely shower on land. What a party spirit in the marina. Rodney Bay is a very secure marina with all facilities, including chandlery and repair shop. Great access to a supermarket too to restock before heading off to explore the other Windward Islands.
Caribbean – Dominica, Windward Islands
What a beautiful place it must have been before Hurricane Maria struck and ripped the tops off all the trees in the World Heritage designated forest. Such friendly people and so accepting of Mother Nature and the problems she causes. 6 months after the storm, about 2/3 of the houses still only had a blue tarpaulin for a roof. We were pulled over on the road at one point whilst Bill Clinton’s cavalcade swept past on a trip to the island to assess the damage and allocate funds for its recovery. Lying at anchorage, we had plenty of time to enjoy a sundowner and wait once more for the green flash – seen so many times now.
Caribbean – Bequia, Windward Islands
Anchored up just off Princess Margaret’s beach for a couple of weeks. Secure holding meant we could go off for day trips around this small but beautiful island. Swam with rays and saw a snake eel just below the boat. After one trip, we dropped the boat keys in the water. All shops etc. were closed at 5:30 but a nearby live aboard family saw our plight and came to the rescue with an angle grinder. Within 30 seconds, the padlock was off and we were back inside. From now on – we will hide a key to the hatch in a secure place when we leave the boat! Was tempted to buy a model boat from one of the craftsmen on the island – they were gorgeous.
Caribbean – Tobago Cays, Windward Islands
Very beautiful reef and very friendly park warden who monitors the boats. A real privilege to be able to swim so close to the turtles munching on the sea grass beds. Loads of starfish there too. A super place to have lunch.
Caribbean – Grenadines, Windward Islands
We stopped at so many beautiful beaches and met such lovely people en-route to our final destination of Grenada.
Caribbean – Grenada, Windward Islands
Time to leave JUST JOIA for a while but what a great time we have had.
JUST JOIA is currently lying in the Caribs and will be sailed to Valencia when COVID-19 restrictions ease. This is where the Hubbard family will leave her for her new crew to sail. It will be for the new team to have more adventures rather like these, but JUST JOIA is rather hoping that the programme will also take in that promised trip across the Pacific to New Zealand for which she has been so thoroughly prepared.