Clive and Jane Green have just arrived home after a long summer holiday. So long, in fact, it began back in July 1998.
What started as a brief sailing trip to Ireland and Spain, turned into a 16-year round-the-world adventure.
The retired couple had planned a short voyage to try out their 35ft sailing boat the Jane Green before venturing any further.
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Ahoy! Married couple Clive and Jane Green took off for a week-long sailing trip and just returned 16 years later
The trip began because the married couple wanted to see if they could live together in a cramped 35ft boat
But after arriving in Spain, they decided to keep going, stopping in 51 countries along the way.
They have finally returned to the marina in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, from where they set sail in 1998.
From Spain, the couple sailed to the Cape Verde islands and across the Atlantic to Barbados before island-hopping through the Caribbean. They then sailed up the eastern coast of the US, calling into New York.
So far, so good! Following a successful first week journey to Spain, Jane (60) and Clive (62) opted to continue
Wedded bliss: In over 16 years of circumnavigating the globe, Clive insists the pair never fought once
After heading north to Canada they journeyed back down to the Panama Canal, crossed the Pacific to Australasia, sailed up through South-East Asia, over to India and through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean where they have been sailing for the last two years.
They lived on around £130 a week, bartering belongings for supplies.
Their best swap was one of Mrs Green’s M&S bras for a sack full of fresh fruit and vegetables on a small island off Fiji.
The adventurous couple posed on the Fox Glacier in New Zealand, after leaving West Wales years earlier
From Pembrokeshire to Malaysia: The pair took photos every step of the way on their adventure of a lifetime
Never ones to shy away from adventure, Jane and Clive spent 18 months exploring New Zealand
She recalled: ‘The tribe didn’t speak any English so it was difficult to find out what we could trade.
‘But one of the women suddenly lifted up her jumper to expose her breasts and I realised she needed a bra.
‘I gave her a spare and we left with enough fruit and veg for a month.’
Simply breathtaking: The pair spent time in Fatu Hiva, French Polynesia during their 16-year voyage
Cheers! To survive at sea, Clive chose to stock the small boat fridge with just one item: his favourite beer
The couple say they didn’t have a single argument on board their £16,500 vessel.
Mr Green, 62, explained: ‘We made a rule that if ever we fell out one of us had to leave the cabin and sit on the deck next to the mast. But in 16 years it didn’t happen once.’
They had encounters with turtles and sting rays, saw orang-utans in Borneo, Komodo Dragon lizards in Indonesia and swam with seals.
In Egypt, Jane (pictured) and Clive took a break from the boat to ride camels
The pair count watching volcano sparks shooting into the night sky in Fiji among their top travel moments
Mrs Green, 60, said after they arrived back in Wales last week: ‘We have been very lucky to see our planet in such an amazing way.
‘We didn’t ever plan to sail around the world.
‘We would sail to a place and then, through word-of-mouth from other sailors hear about somewhere else to go on to. That has been our life for the last 16 years.’
JOURNEY OF A LIFE TIME: THE GREEN’S 16-YEAR GLOBAL ITINERARY
1998-1999: After leaving Wales on July 11, they took in Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Madeira, Canaries, Cape Verde and Barbados
2000: St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Trinadad and Tobago, Venezuela, Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua and Barbuda
2001: St Kitts and Nevis, St Maarten, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, American Virgin Islands, Bermuda, USA, Canada
2002-2003: Bahamas, Panama, Galapagos, Marquesas, Tuamotu, Society Islands, Northern Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga
2003 – 2005: New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia
2005 – 2007: Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand
2009-2011: India, Oman, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania
2012- 2014: Greece, Malta, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Azores, Ireland, wales (August 8)
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