Around this time last year, on the 6th November 2013, I had just taken ownership of Elizmor. It’s crazy to think that was over a year ago – and little did I know what I was letting myself in for. The year that followed turned out to be the toughest year of my life: full of massive highs and lows, nightmares and magical memories, friends old and new, stories to tell for the rest of my life… and now I understand why people don’t generally buy old wooden boats that have been sitting in boatyards for 13 years at the other end of the country!

Since triumphantly arriving back in Brighton aboard Elizmor in late July, I have been reflecting on the journey aand settling back in to a more stable and predictable life, enjoying my time onboard Elizmor and trying to figure out what the next focus in my life will be – apart from the endless maintenance, of course.

I felt it was important to mark this passing of time, so to celebrate my first anniversary with Elizmor, I organised a big boat party last weekend to celebrate the good times, cast away the bad, and look forward to the future with Elizmor surrounded by all the best people in my life.

Around 50 of my family & closest friends turned up, and Elizmor proved herself to be an awesome party boat. OK, so I admit that my first criteria when I was looking at Elizmor with a view to buying her was “Can I imagine having an awesome party on this boat?” and she has way surpassed my expectations of a good party boat. It was, without a shadow of a doubt, the best night of my life. My mum & dad, brother & his girlfriend, auntie & uncle, cousins all came along – plus 40 of my best friends from all parts of my life. We stayed up until 5am, retiring to the snug to sing along to banjo and guitar songs.

I’m not sure what the next year will hold for me & Elizmor, but hopefully not as many massive cranes and lifeboats as the one just gone!