A nasty virus, leaks and banged heads

It hasn't been plain sailing for a family gearing up for an epic sea adventure in aid of a little girl with a rare illness.

Sunday, 7th May 2017, 2:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:18 pm
Lotty and Hector aboard the yacht, as the family gears up to set sail for the Mediterranean.

In April, we reported how Sacha Beere, 51, and Lotty Thompson, 39, from Alnwick, have set themselves the goal of sailing from Plymouth to Assos, in Greece, in their yacht.

The couple are joined by their two children, Hector, five, and Phoebe-Plum, two, as well as Sacha’s teenage sons, Sam and Jack, from Chester-le-Street.

The nautical challenge is in aid of brave youngster Evie Campbell, from Shilbottle, who has a rare blood condition where her bone marrow fails to produce red blood cells.

During their time on the water, the family also plans to sail the Atlantic to the Caribbean islands and America, with the aim of possibly returning to Northumberland in September 2018.

The family has spent the last few weeks in Plymouth aboard their yacht, Yves Christian, with the aim of setting sail to the Mediterranean in early June; but it has already proved a baptism of fire.

Sacha said: “We’ve faced a few challenges and traumas. Phoebe-Plum had a horrible virus and she passed this onto Lotty, Jack and Sam who have all been very unwell.

“As well as coping with the illnesses, we were also having to adjust to living on the confines of a boat and finding a place for all our stuff while bumping, bruising and jamming all our extremities.

“Then we had torrential rain for two days and had leaking hatches and wet beds.

“But, we persevered and better health, sunny days and going out on the boat has brought us round.”

Thankfully Lotty, who was scared of water and prone to suffering sea sickness, has found her sea legs.

To follow the adventure, and donate to the cause, visit sailingyves.com