John & Jan at Kelly’s wedding
After losing two yachts, the first off the coast of Africa and the second on a reef in New Guinea, many friends encouraged Jan and John to write a book of their adventures.
So here it is.
However, the loss of two boats was only a small part of their adventurous life story.
John met Jan in 1966, when he was building a trimaran, with the intent of sailing it back to England. The boat was only 29-feet long and, unfortunately, he was unable to entice Jan to join him on this adventure. So to his dismay they parted company after sixteen months and went their own ways for nearly eight years.
John was building the Heart of Edna with his brother, David, when Jan turned up unexpectedly with her parents one day. She had been visiting them from Melbourne where she had lived for the past four years. Soon their relationship was all on again—John was chuffed!
They chartered their 50-foot ketch for nearly four years before her loss. After building Tafua, they chartered in Northern Queensland before returning to the Western Pacific. It was exciting times for Jan and John, and their new daughter, Kelly.
However, it was clear they wouldn’t continue to take Kelly out of school, so their next big move was to increase the size of Tafua from a 60-footer to a 70-footer, thereby tripling the number of guests they could have on board on Sydney Harbour. It was a great move, setting the way for a prosperous future.
Over the next few years they built three more sailing catamarans ranging from 90 to 100 feet, which also became extremely successful on the harbour.
In 1997, they were made an offer for Sail Venture Cruises (their company). It was an offer they couldn’t refuse. That started another challenge, which was to be their last, the building and running of a five-star lodge in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland.
In 2014, they finally sold their beautiful lodge and bought a home in Newport on Pittwater, New South Wales, where they happily live to this day.
They hope those who read this book enjoy it as much as They enjoyed writing it. John has one last challenge and that is to produce a coffee-table version with over one hundred colour images covering every aspect of their adventures. If you would be interested in such a book, keep an eye on our website. www.jjnicholls.com