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KAYEM - UPDATE

ADDED 20 JULY 2006

Following my letter in the Digest issue 35, July 2006, regarding Ken and Madge Robinson and their yacht ‘Kayem’, I mentioned that plans were already underway to construct a larger vessel.

Ken continued to build the new ‘Kayem’ in his spare time at the rear of the garage until its completion and then in April 1988, Ken and Madge retired after 30 years at Racca Green Garages.

On 1st June 1988 they set sail from Whitby in Kayem (the steel yacht which Ken built) and embarked upon what was to become a life onboard for almost the next eighteen years.

They visited most of the Mediterranean countries on both coasts and in 1996 crossed the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to Barbados with a friend as crew. They left him there and went on to cruise the Caribbean Islands, Grenada and back to West Palm Beach in Florida USA.

From there they sailed up the intra coastal waterway to Charleston in South Carolina where they stayed for three-and-a-half months. Leaving Kayem behind they crossed the eight states of America by train to Los Angeles from where they explored the National Parks and Las Vegas before flying to Australia to visit Madge’s sister and family.

Eventually after three months, they returned to Charleston where they stayed for another three months before sailing up the ICW to Baltimore, calling at Washington DC, and then up the Potomac River to investigate the capital city.

This time, leaving Kayem in Baltimore, they travelled by train to the Niagara Falls and across the border to Toronto, Canada. They took a plane to Calgary and travelled the full length of the Rockies by coach. On their return to Baltimore they sailed in Kayem to Annapolis to see the Naval Academy and then back to Charleston for the winter.

In May 1999 they sailed to Bermuda and after all the wonderful sights in the US, crossed the Atlantic to the Azores and back to Gibraltar and the Mediterranean.

In April 2005, as they were approaching their 80th year, they set sail from the island of Elba, heading for the UK via Corsica, Sardinia, Spain, Portugal, the Bay of Biscay, the English Channel and Belgium, finally arriving in Hull Marina in September 2005 after sailing 3000 miles from Elba!

So ended their wonderful life aboard Kayem – 34,000 miles at sea and 37 years of sailing since 1968!

They are now reluctant landlubbers back in their bungalow in Kelfield, looking back on their travels and constantly in touch with their many yachting friends from all across the world.

They are both still fit and well and do not look a day older than they did on the day I said goodbye to them as they set sail in Kayem. I left the garage to start a family but they remained in touch with me throughout their travels and adventures.

I moved from Knottingley to the same village as Ken and Madge in 2002, and they arrived home in September 2005. I see Ken and Madge quite often and reminisce with them about our days working together at Racca Green Garages and their travels around the world.

Ann Thompson
20 July 2006


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