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Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.

S/V Misto Circumnavigates
Around the globe in 2 1/2 years
May 31, 2019

ircumnavigators often spend years sailing around the globe. There’s different countries to explore, bad weather to avoid, and the inevitable hiccups that occur when dealing with a new foreign governments and customs. The journey can take half a decade or more.

Ros and Howard Cheetham of Oriental did it in two years and seven months.

S/V Misto
Ros and Howard Cheetham on their Nautitech 442 Misto just after returning to Oriental from their circumnavigation.

The plan began as a small trip south. The idea was to retire, find a monohull suitable for the Intracoastal Waterway and open water, and go the British Virgin Islands for the summers. Soon, it morphed into a trip around the world. On a catamaran. And as part of World ARC, a world cruising club organizing yearly sailing trips throughout the world.

It came together before retirement. Ros recounts working from home on a Sunday, reading reports, and having a realization. “I can do what I’m doing on a boat. I think we need a boat,” she told Howard, “And I think we need it now!”

S/V MistoS/V MistoS/V Misto
Ros and Howard Cheetham sailed Misto , a 44ft catamaran, on their journey around the world.

The couple, who’d met at Imperial College London as students, began investigating the options. Over the years, the couple chartered several boats for extended trips in the US and abroad, and thought they wanted a large monohull. But research and a fortuitous trip to the Annapolis Boat Show changed their minds.

S/V Misto
Ros helms the boat. Howard is the engineer and docking crew.

They went “with the intention of deciding which boat would be right to buy in three years’ time,” Howard said. “And we bought a new one.” They chose a Nautitech. Ros preferred the raised helms on the 442 and wanted a full, forward facing chart table. The original design boasted an ICW friendly mast height and a built-in rainwater collection system. Nautitech, then a privately owned company, were also willing to customize the Cheetham’s vessel for their trip.

Nautitech, which has since been bought by Bavaria Yachts, modified the electrical systems so they had 110, 220, 50, and 60 hertz available. They also increased the capacity of the diesel tanks and customized a forward cabin into a workshop.

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A look inside Misto.

They’d been debating on a name for the vessel and when the call came in from Nautitech – they needed a name for documents, canvas covers, and the boat herself – Ros and Howard settled on Misto. It is the stage name for Mr. Mistoffelees in Cats, and is the character their daughter played in a school musical.

Misto was delivered in 2013. Over the next few years, Ros and Howard attended World ARC seminars, familiarized themselves with Misto’s systems and the way she handled. In November of 2016, they left Norfolk with the Salty Dog Rally, headed for their original retirement destination, the BVIs.

S/V Misto
Ros checks the logs, looking for Misto’s exact specs.

St. Lucia, where the World ARC Rally began, was a short trip away and the Cheethams were slated to be in it.

The rally is designed to stay ahead of the weather and give the average cruiser the support needed to make the trip while introducing them to different cultures and people along the way. It’s a quick pace; if a cruiser follows the itinerary to the letter, they can complete the rally in 16 months.

Ros and Howard quickly began to see it as a teaser for the adventures they could have in the future; it was just enough time for an introduction to world sailing.

S/V Misto
Howard pulls another log book from near the chart table. A full size, forward facing table was on their list of requirements.

Since World ARC also ran a new rally every year, they could stop off on one rally and join another down the road. They took advantage of this when they reached New Zealand, taking oneyear off to go exploring over land. When the next rally came around, they joined a new group of sailors leaving from Mackay, Queensland, Australia heading for the finish line in St. Lucia.

The leg through Pacific Ocean included visits to several volcanic islands. World ARC recommended vessels bring items, like line and fishing hooks, to barter with. Ros and Howard brought these and more, but found soccer balls were in the items in greatest demand.

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Misto and crew as they leave for the BVIs, and then the rally, in November 2016.

“I would do rallies again, not so much because we feel we need ‘help’, but because we like the camaraderie of other boats,” Ros said. “For us, it’s about the enjoyment of meeting new people and making new friends.”

For now, the Cheethams are assessing damage from Hurricane Florence. It hit while they were at Christmas Island. There will also be time to go over Misto, bow to stern, and get her ready to go again. ARC Europe leaves from Portsmith, VA in May and they want to be ready.

S/V Misto
Howard, serving as crew, waves goodbye as Misto leaves the town dock and heads to Pecan Grove Marina for a more permanent berth.

Posted Friday May 31, 2019 by Allison DeWeese

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