News

30th October 2019


Blogger Melissa Gatt shares joys & struggles of her husband’s upcoming year-long sailing race

“It truly is retro sailing in its purest form!”


Melissa, a.k.a The Island Mumma, and Daniel Gatt’s story feels like an excerpt from Pirates of the Caribbean – without the pillaging, burning and mythical creatures.

As the couple prepare for one of the toughest experiences of their lives, where Daniel will be sailing around the globe, alone, for 300 days at a stretch, Melissa lets us in on how the pair met, and how they’re preparing for the journey ahead.

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They met seven years ago in the South of France while they were both job hunting aboard yachts – she as a stewardess and he as a captain. Sharing a flat allowed them to develop a solid friendship and when he landed a gig in Spain a fortnight later, Melissa joined him on request.

During the two years they spent cruising the Spanish coast, the pair fell for each other and eventually decided to “cast their roots here in Malta.”

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Melissa says that Daniel’s proposal occurred in her hometown in South Africa, specifically at her favourite scenic spot overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Their wedding arrangement suited their respective families who were divided by large stretches of land and sea: “We got married in Malta 6 months after that, in 2014, and had our white wedding on the West Coast of South Africa a year after he proposed.”

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The pair welcomed baby Savannah in 2017 and Melissa confesses that pregnancy was an “absolutely amazing experience” excluding the extreme fatigue that plagued her in the first trimester.

Speaking of her husband’s passion for sailing, Melissa attributes it to having grown up with a family who spent their summers on board their motor yacht, which only increased over time and saw him work in the superyacht industry. His dream was to compete in the Golden Globe Race and now everything has fallen into place for him to compete in the 2022 edition.

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A solo race around the world, it involves non-stop travel and only allows the use of technology which was available back in 1968. “It truly is Retro sailing in its purest form!” Melissa adds. Her devoted support towards Daniel shines through her recent Instagram post, which revealed the news to her followers. “This race scares the crap out of me, and I honestly don’t know how we are going to cope without him for 300 days+ (without modern technology!!!!) but, we support him no matter what!”

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Melissa confesses that she is not “looking forward to being without him for so long” adding that “worrying about his safety everyday will be very hard on me.” With communication being so sparse, if at all, Melissa does worry about its effects on their young family but is nonetheless adamant in her belief that this life changing event “will only grow our bond as a family despite being apart for such a long time.”

Daniel’s first milestone is securing an appropriate boat and oversee it’s refitting according to the competition’s requirements, followed by a search for the right sponsor. Despite the two-year wait, Melissa reveals that Daniel has already started preparing himself both mentally and physically: “he has started a training, eating and wellness plan to have him prepared to tackle such a feat.”

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Asked about her own plans for 2022, Melissa admits that she is still digesting everything, but she plans to “use that time to work on personal goals, travel a bit with my daughter and try and spend some extended time with my family in South Africa if possible.” Melissa believes supporting her husband is a goal in itself: “it makes me happy that he set his heart on this, and when he’s happy, I am happy.”

Image Credits

Wedding Directory