Timing right for Jo's next adventure

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 11:30 14/03/2014
Jo Ivory
Emma Allen

Leap of faith: Blenheim woman Jo Ivory, pictured with Oscar the golden retriever, is excited about her next adventure

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Things are looking up for Jo Ivory, who tragically lost her sailing companion in the Marlborough Sounds last year.

Ms Ivory is about to embark on a new adventure after being offered a job sailing a boat from The Bahamas to the United Kingdom over two months.

Three weeks ago she handed her notice in at Harcourts, where she worked in Blenheim.

She had no plans for the future, but realised there was nothing keeping her in Blenheim besides her golden retriever Oscar.

She decided to finally visit a friend, who worked as a chef on a yacht in the Caribbean, who had been asking her to visit for a while, she said.

"After Charlie died, I just wasn't ready."

As she was booking her flights, she received an email offering her the chance to help sail a 24-metre yacht leaving in April.

"I couldn't believe what I was reading," she said.

The job was all expenses paid, including flights, food and wages to help sail the yacht to Jersey, in the UK, by June.

"If you'd asked me six months ago, there's no way I would be doing this," she said.

On September 21, her friend Charlie Gallagher died after he fell overboard in high seas off the notorious Cape Jackson.

Ms Ivory, an experienced sailor, struggled for more than 40 minutes to get Mr Gallagher back on his yacht but couldn't save him. She hit rock bottom after that, but in February, she began to heal, she said.

"I started to get my backbone back. All I did until then was exist really."

The email offering her a place on the yacht came at a perfect time, she said.

"It was only when I took a big leap of faith that I opened the door and this came in. It's time to live, laugh and love."

She leaves for The Bahamas later this month after a visit with friends in Hawaii, and is expected to arrive in the UK in June.

After that, she plans to travel around Europe and meet up with friends.

She intends to set up a blog to keep her friends and family up to date with her life, she said.

She has no idea when she will return.

"It could be two months, I could get homesick," she said.

"But it could be two years. I do have a 10-year visa."

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- The Marlborough Express

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