Couple drop anchor after epic journey

Ange and Steve Webb dock in Coffs Harbour - almost three years after they set sail to travel the world.
Ange and Steve Webb dock in Coffs Harbour - almost three years after they set sail to travel the world. David Barwell

LEAVING behind the nine-to-five and sailing off into the sunset is the stuff of dreams for many.

But Coffs Coast locals Ange and Steve Webb did it, and two years and nine months later they've returned home on their yacht Pannikin.

It all started with "a simple idea" in mid-2011, when Steve and Ange decided to buy a boat in Europe and sail it home.

"At the time the Australian dollar was strong, boats were relatively cheap in Europe so we said - let's go and get one. Simple," Steve said.

They came across the perfect vessel in western Turkey and snapped it up, before returning to Australia to prepare for the global adventure ahead.

Returning to Turkey in March, 2013, the couple spent eight months cruising the Mediterranean before they were joined by friends and embarked on the cross-Atlantic voyage.

"I've been a sailor on-and-off for many years but didn't have any great ocean experience," Steve said.

"We were as prepared as you could be."

Traversing open seas, crystal waters of the Caribbean and the brimming culture of South America, Steve said the couple had made life-long friendships along the way.

"We travelled through 26 different countries, each unique," Steve said.

Earlier this year the couple prepared to voyage across the Pacific Ocean and despite a bumpy beginning, arrived in Australian waters in November en-route to Coffs Harbour.

They were greeted by friends and family as the docked on home soil on Thursday.

"To look back at the places we've been, the people we've met and the adventures we've had it's an experience ... it's life-altering," Steve said.

The couple now plan to sell the yacht as they look ahead to their next chapter.

"It might take a little while to settle back into life on land - we'll wait and see how that goes," Steve said.

Topics:  coffs harbour sailing

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