Experience: we were shipwrecked after our boat hit a whale

We were sinking fast. I sat on deck, watching for help, preparing for death

I was 20 when, having grown up in Birmingham and dropped out of university, I wanted an adventure. I bought a plane ticket to the Canary Islands and, with no sailing experience, hitched boat rides across the Atlantic, making it to New Zealand.

I settled there, working as a carpenter and builder, and met my wife, Rosie, in 2012. Rosie was English, too, and when she was pregnant with our daughter Anua in 2014, we returned to the UK. But by the time Anua’s sister Willow arrived in 2017, we’d decamped again, to France.

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